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Thread: Rate & Review "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words" (KABF19)



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  1. #1
    big bad Bartolo sung's Avatar
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    Rate & Review "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words" (KABF19)


    Written by Tim Long
    Lisa discovers her amazing talent for doing crossword puzzles and becomes an expert cruciverbalist, and she soon enters a citywide crossword puzzle tournament. Homer, short on cash after abandoning his “Sweet Conclusions” professional break-up artist business, goes to cheer Lisa on at her tournament and discovers an underground crossword puzzle betting ring. In the ultimate betrayal, Homer profits from betting against Lisa in the championship match. When the heartbroken Lisa finds out, Homer must spell out his love for her with a little help from New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz (guest voice as himself) and master crossword constructor Merl Reagle (guest voice as himself) in the “Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words” episode of THE SIMPSONS airing Sunday, Nov. 16 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (SI-1919) (TV-PG D, V)
    calmer than you are

  2. #2
    rip Ryan's Avatar
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    17 minutes into the east coast airing. Gee, I sure hope we're into the plot by now. Eagerly awaiting sticky and opinions...
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  3. #3
    big bad Bartolo sung's Avatar
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    Well, the 2nd acts finished here and I gotta say that it has been decent so far

    It all depends how 3rd act goes

  4. #4
    Pin Pal |Mr.Sparkle|'s Avatar
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    4/5

    While it was a bit cheesy, I did have multiple laugh out loud moments and it was a pretty sweet episode. A couple funny ones were

    "did you get new shoe laces"

    "no one gives better advise then childless drunks"

    "when I was young we called them Alphabet Hotels"

    "hey these glasses have no lens"

  5. #5


    really great episode, best of the season. some good gags (like the Skinner, Ilsa, and elephant/unicorn zooms, and Moe taking Lisa's name) that all reminded me of classic jokes. the episode stayed on track with its plot, which was a really good one. the episode also featured one of the best jokes in recent era, bart's "speaking of San Fransisco People Movie" followed by the cut to the gay bar. 4/5 great episode.

  6. #6
    Some kind of crazy person McClure's Avatar
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    Nice couch gag, it's surprising that we have been getting so many new ones this late in the production run.
    Just a side note, "Secret Millionaire" sounds like it will be a horrible series.

    First act
    Oh joy, Cletus and Brandine and more "rednecks with too many children" jokes
    Am I the only one that finds Homer's anguished moan incredibly annoying?
    Wait, so Skinner and Krabappel were back together again?
    I enjoyed Homer's conversation with Skinner.
    Homer being able to break up with people seems kind of... Odd.
    Yay, the blue-haired lawyer is back!
    Yay, Grady is back! Sounds like he's voiced by Scott Thompson too.
    "Marge, I'm going to a hardcore gay club and I won't be back til three in the morning" "excellent!" Great line.
    Wait, so Duffman is gay now? Sigh.
    Didn't Julio marry some guy in that one episode?
    I'm impressed, they managed to have a scene in a gay bar without making some unsubtle reference to Smithers.

    Not a bad act so far, good plot moving, some pretty decent jokes, nothing too horrible so far. Homer's subplot seems odd, but has yielded some good jokes. I'll give it a 4/5 for this act, hopefully they don't screw it up later.

    Second act
    The montage was okay, nothing too funny though.
    Good stuff with Superintendant Chalmers, he's one of the few characters that hasn't gotten a lot worse during the Jean era.
    Two montages within a few minutes of eachother? Okay...
    The thing about words being removed in the past year was funny at first, but went on a little too long. It would have been better if they had started off with it then cut away to Homer, then gone back to it.
    Nice bit with Gil hustling Lisa.

    Not much memorable about this act, but nothing too terrible. Pretty well built plot and hopefully there will be some good pay-off in the third act. 3/5.

    Third act
    The "are you sure you're not mad" thing was okay, but should have had a good resolution, like Lisa suddenly destroying something.
    Am I the only one who is sick of over-description when a guest star is introduced?
    What was the point of bringing in Merl Reagle? His appearance was very brief and not memorable.
    Okay ending I guess. The emotion seemed rather forced.

    I'm not sure how to feel about this episode, it had a great first act followed by two so-so acts. Great to see a return of Grady, I think he is one of the under-rated one-time characters. This is a case of a decent story idea with okay plot flow but nothing overly memorable in terms of jokes (which generally applies to most of the episodes this season). I'll give this a 3/5.
    Last edited by McClure; 11-16-2008 at 05:38 PM.

  7. #7
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, but this was nausiatingly formulaic drivel and was not "emotional" on any level. IMO, this was Lisa's "Kill the Alligator and Run" and the worst Lisa episode since "Make Room for Lisa."

    1/5, with a smile.

    EDIT: I'm already getting more laughs and a better vibe 3 minutes into King of the Hill.

  8. #8
    He Wears Short Shorts tom cody's Avatar
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    2/5. This was an up and down episode for me with more down than up. Homer, to me, was a jerkass in this episode. I thought this episode would be really good but instead it was another lacklustre effort.
    Kids, let me tell you about another so-called ``wicked'' guy. He had long hair and some wild ideas. He didn't always do what other people thought was right. And that man's name was...
    I forget. But the point is... I forget that, too. Marge, you know what I'm talking about. He used to drive that blue car?

    -- Homer's parable of the guy in the blue car, ``Homer the Heretic''

    Ralph: I Won! I Won!
    Principal Skinner: No Ralph this means you're failing English
    Ralph: Me fail English? That's unpossible.

  9. #9
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    In my opinion, Fantastic episode, at least as far as modern Simpsons episodes tend to go. I loved every minute of it, however, I must say that the end of the episode left me on a bit of a sour note. The episode had been so focused up until this point, and the humor so on par, that the introduction of the guest stars and sappy climax just seemed rushed and poorly thought out. I wish that they would've left guest stars entirely out of this episode, and left Homer's message to Lisa a mystery. That, I think, would be a lot more tasteful. It was the end that stopped me from giving it a 5, so I ultimately decided on a solid 4/5. Even so, I think this is my favorite episode so far of the season.

  10. #10
    Thundercougerfalconbird Dave Shutton's Avatar
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    Wasn't bad had a few good jokes mixed in there and nice usage of secondary characters. It was a bit boring at times and i pretty much knew what was going to happen at the end eve from the very beginning but hey at least there was two montages.............

    3/5
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  11. #11
    Homer Mad Homer Smash
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    My rating: 5/5.

    First time in a long time I've given an episode a perfect score -- maybe it's because I had an exceptionally great day, or maybe, just maybe, because this episode rocked.

    I really enjoyed this episode, all the characters were spot on -- except for Duff Man. I thought Duff Man was a real ladies man, does this mean he is now gay or bi, or the writer's just decided to make him whatever they need for each episode?

    Watching Homer ride Lisa's bike over to Moe's was hilarious, and then having Homer break up with Skinner was just as fun. Though I don't think he ever did get the beer he was promised for doing so.

    Homer breaking up with people for others was a riot to watch -- though did we miss something? Usually there is a scene where Homer gets some idea to charge money for his latest money making schemes, yet we never saw that. Though he did mention later in the episode that he's charging $100 per breakup -- but still we never saw that scene where he decides to make money off of other people's pain.

    The scene where Lisa is riding the school bus and sees all the crossword puzzle words was cute, and ended just right with Otto peering in "who's driving the bus Otto?"

    The scene where Chalmers kept calling Skinner's name was funny too -- and so were the posters he gave to Lisa -- notice on the crossword contest it mentioned nerds

    Lots of great emotions in this one too -- with Lisa getting hustled, then Lisa getting pissed off at Homer, and in the end, when Lisa and Homer make up.

    This is one of the best episodes I've seen this season -- 5/5.
    OfficerWriter

  12. #12
    Thundercougerfalconbird Dave Shutton's Avatar
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    You gotta remember there are multiple Duffmen

  13. #13
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    Overall, low 3/5. "Get him, chairs and babies!" was my biggest laugh. Chalmers stuff was one-note and forced. End was cheesy. Liked Homer's calm "yeah" with Skinner at Moe's. Liked the tribute to removed words. Nothing awful, but my second least favorite of the season, if not tied with the premiere. Lost Verizon through Dangerous Curves were all much better.

  14. #14
    canadian. likes the hockeys arii's Avatar
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    It wasn't too bad - hell, I actually enjoyed it. It had a nice enough flow, although a couple of things just confused the hell out of me - like, since when did Krabappel have to break up with Skinner again? I mean, there wasn't even any mention of them getting back together, was there? Sorry to get all fan nitpicky here but you'd think for a guy that really wants to fix any changes in the status quo within the show, he'd remember that he already had a whole episode (and a really terrible one at that) dedicated to "fixing" the Skinner/Krabappel bit. Hm.

    That and two music montages within such close proximity of one another raised my eyebrows. I mean, the second one, with Lisa solving the crossword puzzles - actually felt that was a pretty good one, but you know, right after one that wasn't necessary at all (we've already seen Homer break up quite a few couples... we don't need to see it being done even more. Whereas, showing Lisa's progression through the tournament actually was a good decision).

    Anyway. Yeah. That doesn't really detract from the episode that much, and I usually don't bitch about musical montages, but... really now. It's getting to be too much.

    Still, this episode did have a nice flow to it. The ending felt a liiiiittle rushed, but other than that, it was actually paced pretty decently. I liked the idea of Homer breaking couples up, and that was actually a pretty fun dream sequence to watch (plus Homer saying to Marge after it if he's not sure he'll ever be able to sleep easy again - and then we see him doing just that, with a pretty funny expression on his face actually - nice gag, good timing, etc). I kinda love it in general when Homer displays a talent. And it was actually relevant to the episode! Yay!

    Lisa, for her part, was well-characterized as well. She was smart, but not overly obnoxious, and she was still just a kid filled with self-doubt, and while cocky, still kind-hearted (also, that fake-out with Gil was very, very nicely done), and justifiably angry with Homer (whose conversation with Lisa's teddy was also funny). And Homer was well-done and not obnoxious in this, and he came off as rather sincere in the whole episode, really. It was a really good way for him to apologize to Lisa, especially since it, you know, not only shows him desperate to make it up to his kid but doing it in a way she would actually appreciate.

    Just as a small side note, but I love that Lisa's revenge on Homer was to strip away his name from her. I remember from a much, much earlier Homer/Lisa episode - can't remember which one - that Homer said that Lisa was the best thing his name ever got attached to. The episode might've been more effective if that had been mentioned in some way (not a direct rereading of the line or a flashback or anything, but some way) to show just to what extent Lisa going to Bouvier would've crushed Homer, since I doubt the casual viewer would remember that line, not to mention an absence of something like that takes some away from the emotional impact of the episode itself...

    I would've liked to have seen a small smile from Marge or something after she was able to sortatrick Lisa into doing the puzzle, like her being in on it and proud of her husband or, um, you know, something. Lisa noticed the diagonal line thing a little too quickly, so yeah, that and with the completely out of no where (but not all around terrible) guest star placements did make the ending feel a little rushed, but then again it also felt like they were taking their dear swee ttime (not necessarily in a band way) for the first two acts, sooo...

    A high 4/5. Well-plotted, well-characterized, a very nice way to connect the two stories together in the beginning and it was actually a pretty funny episode, but nothing ultimately stood out and there were a few iffy moments, like just how rushed that ending was. Should have been the stand out moment of the episode and it was the least developed. Very nice overall though.
    Last edited by arii; 11-16-2008 at 05:59 PM.

  15. #15
    big bad Bartolo sung's Avatar
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    Well, like I've said, it all depended on 3rd act - which was a letdown.
    Well, the episode kicked off with somewhat formulaic patterned (which I do not really mind, but mind at times when it's pretty apparent), yet very decent first two acts. I don't know if Homer's new job was just as a ploy for eating time but, eh, I'd just think that the aspect was solely for his money-making for bet and it did have several funny moments attached to it. I tell you what, I really really loved Homer's nightmare with ghosts, it should get into one of my favorite post-18S moments... real good. And, wow, blue haired lawyer, Grady, Julio and Ms. Hoover appeared... and 2 music montages, I know somebody won't be happy, but I liked those so no bad taste left for me there. Several gags were noticeable - not laugh out loud funny, but good enough for me to get attentive towards the episode itself. I must say that those first two acts deserved at least 4/5 from me, however...
    ...it's just my opinion, but I have to say that I did not really like 3rd act at all. It brought the plot to 'somewhat formulaic, but acceptable' into 'very formulaic with two not-so-interesting guest stars, not to mention rushed'. I mean, the beginning of 3rd act was okay (I knew we had "Booby-er" joke coming one of these days! :jimbo, but it climax and ending were all rushed up too quickly and emotion... did not really feel it at all, felt very contrived (and felt awkward watching it). Very disappointing. First two had great pacing, but last didn't
    Several of the Homer-disapoints-Lisa episode are my favorites ("Make Room for Lisa", "Lisa's Substitute", "The Dad Who Knew Too Little", off the top of my head. Yes, I know that S10 one was rather formulaic), but this one, sorry to say, definitely is not one. It is saved from 1/5 by very decent first two acts. D+/C- or 2/5
    Last edited by sung; 11-17-2008 at 12:49 PM.

  16. #16
    AddminisGator Gatorgod's Avatar
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    This episode was so good, so really really really good. From the opening Pompeii couch gag all the way to the happy ending. I wont use any "Cross-words" (sorry) to describe tonights show ... 5/5


  17. #17
    Schweeet cakes!
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    4/5

    I thought it was a cute episode, esp. when Homer made amends w/ Lisa. I found Homer's breaking-up-people scheme kinda weird, but the gay bar scene (and Homer's line: I'm going to a gay bar and won't be back til 3am and Marge: have fun!) was funny and it was kinda...nostalgic? seeing Homer at "work" at the Plant. Once the main Lisa/crossword plot started rolling, I really liked the part where Lisa sees words on the street and makes them into a crossword, while on the bus, and also the list of words taken out of the dictionary (hootenanny...actually, I've only heard that word on another Simps' ep from Sideshow Mel) By the way, is that list for real??
    "You mean it's not Maggaggie's birthday?" -Homer

  18. #18


    great couch gag. i always love couch gags more than the episodes themselves these days.

    script by tim long - wow, when's the last time we've had a tim long ep?

    the whole opening was rather odd, but i guess it got better. homer walking slh was funny, i guess. maggie's mixing of the lemonade was one of my favorite gags. homer's extended moans used to make me laugh each time, but this one went too long. the gay bar joke was great, as were the gay bar scenes. i was happy to see grady and julio here. the montages i mostly groaned at, but i remember laughing at something in one. bart talking to lisa while lisa responds with an answer to each crossword was entertaining. all the moe's scenes were bland, and edna/krabbabel broke up? the "is this another religion?" and the following line was my favorite joke of the episode.

    now comes the ghostly scene. a great scene, IMO. i loved the entire scene, and the animation was pretty nice. gil's appearance was great, but homer betting on lisa was just another reason i didn't like the episode. homer's "planting" of the message in the puzzle reminded me of "my mother the carjacker", and it was a predictable way to end the episode. i'm reaaaaly tired of "[insert guest star and what they're known for here]" introductions. both of their appearences were short and unfunny. the ending was forced, and emotion never worked.

    btw, did the second act seem extremely long to any of you?

    2/5, C-

  19. #19
    rip Ryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake View Post


    I'm sorry, but this was nausiatingly formulaic drivel and was not "emotional" on any level. IMO, this was Lisa's "Kill the Alligator and Run" and the worst Lisa episode since "Make Room for Lisa."

    1/5, with a smile.

    EDIT: I'm already getting more laughs and a better vibe 3 minutes into King of the Hill.
    Fuck.

    Expectations significantly lowered...

  20. #20
    something clever grissom's Avatar
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    pretty mediocre episode. plot felt contrived, and there wasn't much going on in terms of humor either. I did like homer's dream sequence though. c-

  21. #21
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homer5000 View Post
    Fuck.

    Expectations significantly lowered...
    These days, the taste saccharin fools a lot of people since we've hadn't been given anything that's geuniunely sweet in years.

    Homer's sub-plot was at least funny in an idiotic way and it should've been the main plot, and I can't believe I just wrote that.

  22. #22
    Homer Mad Homer Smash
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    Quote Originally Posted by thardin View Post
    btw, did the second act seem extremely long to any of you?
    2/5, C-
    Yes, I noticed that too. I usually can time these things pretty well, and was about to get up and grab something from my fridge, but it kept going on and on . . .

    Maybe that's why the ending was rushed?

  23. #23


    wow, this isn't getting a whole lot of reviews. this could mean bad ratings.

  24. #24
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thardin View Post
    wow, this isn't getting a whole lot of reviews. this could mean bad ratings.
    Yeah, on tv.com the moderator never even started a proper review thread and the one I started, I have the only review.


    Well, ya'know if you stay positive and forget about trivial things like "proper characterization," "Satire," and "emotional depth" watching new Simpsons episodes can be a seemingly enjoyable lie.

  25. #25
    rip Ryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thardin View Post
    wow, this isn't getting a whole lot of reviews. this could mean bad ratings.
    Unless anyone here has a Nielsen box, I highly doubt this means anything...

  26. #26
    Dinner at 80 mph lionelhutz123's Avatar
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    I have to watch this again. There were plenty of funny parts but at the same time there were some awkward parts. I mean the whole "Are you mad?" montage was very cringeworthy. Also Lisa's voice during that whole display was EXTREMELY creepy. Probably the most creepiest voice to ever come out of Yeardly Smith. Again, I watched this with my family in the room, so awkwardness in failed gags shows itself more, when compared to watching it alone. So, I need to watch this by myself, and see if this episode grows on me.
    Right now, my opinion of this episode is an average 3/5. There were alot of jokes that hit, which I found funny, but the ones that failed miserably seem to stand out more in my mind. I think the plot was fine and perhaps it was a bit silly at times, but it still worked for me. I know the writers love to play with words, and this episode must of been a field day for them . Hey, and congratulations to Gil for getting his first win in the series ever! When Lisa said that she'd end up losing somehow, and they showed us that Gil was her competition, I was still expecting Lisa to lose, but I was not able to predict how she could lol. I mean, it's GIL! That was the best part of the episode IMO along with some other scenes, and everything Gil said made me laugh for once.

  27. #27
    canadian. likes the hockeys arii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homer5000 View Post
    Unless anyone here has a Nielsen box, I highly doubt this means anything...
    I have a Nielsen box!

    But I did actually watch it. And so did my dad, for some reason. This is a pretty quiet night though.

  28. #28
    Mr. Jack Stripper MunkeyBoxx's Avatar
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    Ummmm....the episode wasn't horrible. My least favorite of the Season however. It had some jokes, but the crossword plotline just didn't do it for me. I much preferred Homer's breakup storyline. Homer's act was funny, and kept my attention. But to me this is by far the worst Lisa episode. Maybe "Make Room for Lisa" is worse. IDK.
    My expectations were higher.

    2.5/5


    I am your big brother

  29. #29
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    Hardly anything new, yet except for Homer's sucky subplot, this was pretty entertaining.

    I would've taken the other road and have Homer stick with his Lisa bet (of course losing anyway). The better challenge than Homer blatantly disappointing Lisa yet again would've been something like Homer going after Gil for cheating, or teaching Lisa that her last-minute chokes isn't the end of the world. Not going too deep into continuity, it feels like Homer should know by know not to upset Lisa so damn much.

    3.25/5

  30. #30
    Homer Mad Homer Smash
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    Quote Originally Posted by lionelhutz123 View Post
    I have to watch this again. There were plenty of funny parts but at the same time there were some awkward parts. I mean the whole "Are you mad?" montage was very cringeworthy. Also Lisa's voice during that whole display was EXTREMELY creepy. Probably the most creepiest voice to ever come out of Yeardly Smith.
    That was the point -- it was supposed to be creepy and awkward. Lisa's voice was bang on. Yeardly Smith did an awesome job making Lisa sound very creepy -- because she was phased out at yet another bone head thing her father has done to disapoint her.

    If you felt creeped out or in any other way awkward while watching those moments, good. That means the writers and voice actors did their job



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