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Thread: Rate & Review: MABF02 - Thursdays with Abie



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  1. #1
    Some kind of crazy person McClure's Avatar
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    Rate & Review: MABF02 - Thursdays with Abie

    Grampa is sitting on a bench waiting for his family when a thoughtful-looking man named Marshall Goldman approaches him and asks to hear about his life. Grampa tells Goldman about the time he was on a World War II battleship, which was hit by an enemy torpedo, and Goldman, a human-interest columnist, publishes it in The Springfield Shopper. Later, Grampa meets Mitch Albom (author of Tuesdays with Morrie) and shares another story with Goldman for a follow-up article. Homer becomes jealous of Grampa’s newfound fame and seeks a surrogate father. But when Homer discovers a draft of Goldman’s third story, he must race to find Grampa before it is published and his life is changed forever.

  2. #2
    Nothing Goes Over My Head Walid's Avatar
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    3.5/5, maybe rounded to a 4. I liked it but the pacing seemed weird. Bart's plot could've been better. Nelson singing "Nelson Had A Little Lamb", and his "Dark Side" line seemed weird. I liked the random "Yoga" talk between Lenny and Carl, maybe because of the absurdness of it, not the dialogue, but them talking when Carl was in that kind of situation.
    Also, did anyone else think the episode was short? It seemed short to me, I don't know why.

  3. #3


    Thumbs Up

    First post here, so I hope I do this right...

    3.5/5. I missed the first act, but the rest was pretty funny, especially Mitch Albom saying "Ohh I like this kid" about Ralph, and Homer's first "ramble" at the end was really cute and funny (through was admittedly stretched out a little too far). I also liked Bart's determination to find Lisa's stuffed animal Larry, though I missed out some parts of that, too.

    Overall, not a bad episode!

  4. #4
    Banned D'ohmer's Avatar
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    Couch Gag: Excellent!

    I thought the beginning with the water park was funny.
    I really enjoyed the main plot. I thought it was very interesting and I loved the plot twist. I also like the ending. I thought there were many great jokes scattered throughout as well, such as Homer's computer brain. I'll give the main plot a 5/5.
    I didn't enjoy the subplot as much. I thought it started off good and I liked some of the jokes throughout it, but I didn't like it once Lisa joined in. I thought she was annoying and I didn't think her helping Bart find the stuffed animal was a good plot twist. I will give the subplot a 3/5.
    Still, the excellent main plot is enough for me to give this episode a 4/5.

    Other things I noticed:
    -The picture of Marge's liscense plate has this episode's production code, MABF02, on it.
    -Marshall Goodman used a Mapple computer.

  5. #5
    Nothing Goes Over My Head Walid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maikeru View Post
    I also liked Bart's determination to find Lisa's stuffed animal Larry,

    Overall, not a bad episode!
    Actually, Larry was the 4th grade's "pet". I know you said you didn't see all of the first act, I'm just telling you

  6. #6


    Hey, this episode was pretty good.

    First Act:
    Liked the waterpark setting.
    Thought it was a pretty retro touch, putting the production code on one of the camera pictures.
    I loved the line “Hey, you’re gonna die before I do!” to the newspaper man.
    Strange act break.

    Second act:
    Some filler here and there, I loved the Old Jewish Man’s line.
    I liked Agnes Skinner’s line to Lisa (not so much to Bart later).
    I loved the Homer Computer brain joke.
    Overall, pretty good first two acts.

    The third and fourth acts were alright, not as good. But overall, I loved the episode.

    4/5.

    AND WHO NOTICED LENNY’S BEARD WAS MISSING ATOP THE TRAIN?

  7. #7
    Nothing Goes Over My Head Walid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thardin View Post
    AND WHO NOTICED LENNY’S BEARD WAS MISSING ATOP THE TRAIN?
    I did. It wasn't too hard to see, but still surprised I noticed, I don't usually notice stuff like that

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Bea O Problem View Post
    Actually, Larry was the 4th grade's "pet". I know you said you didn't see all of the first act, I'm just telling you
    Oh cool, thanks a lot! That's actually pretty funny

  9. #9
    AddminisGator Gatorgod's Avatar
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    Pinball Couch gag! Larry the Lamb! Good use of Abe!!! This episode Rocked!
    I wish I had a James Cameron type Simpsons Avatar so I could virtually enter this episode. Reserve me a seat in the "Ink Zone" at the Slimu show!!


  10. #10


    who was the writer for this episode?

  11. #11
    clever user title Guy Haines's Avatar
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    Negatives
    Marge's Camera Joke
    Nelson making Bart write in the lamb journal
    Wiggum's sewer cops
    Lenny's yoga talk
    Most all of Nelson's dialog

    Positives
    Parts of the octopus bit
    The lamb subplot
    Homer going to Burns for a father figure
    The line "release a hound"
    Homer running after the train resteraunt
    Homer saving Abe
    Homer's first ramble

    Overall, it was very good. 4/5

  12. #12


    who was the writer for this episode?
    ^ Don Payne, and some other person I didn't know. New writer?

  13. #13
    Some kind of crazy person McClure's Avatar
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    Not a horrible episode, but not particularily great. I enjoyed most of the B-plot (though most of Nelson's dialogue felt forced and it didn't really have an ending), and there were some pretty funny moments, like Grampa's shark story (with the picture), "release the hound" and the newspaper secretary shredding Homer's story.

    I did not like Lisa in this episode or Nelson in this episode, nor do I like the joke with him telling Bart what to write. It's been done before (characters yelling orders one after another), and isn't particularily funny. The character voices really sounded off. It's hard to describe, but half the time, their voices sound over the top or (for lack of a better term) "defensive" and it gets annoying after a while. This isn't new, but it's getting worse.

    2.5/5.
    Last edited by McClure; 01-03-2010 at 05:55 PM.

  14. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by trea View Post
    who was the writer for this episode?
    Don Payne. Welcome to the Forum!

  15. #15
    canadian. likes the hockeys arii's Avatar
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    I have to say, I’m really loving this running gag of Homer stealing Ned’s coffee mugs.

    But as for the rest of the episode… I’m really not sure. Somebody finding Grampa’s stories interesting is a decent enough twist, and it makes sense for Homer to get jealous and only want to spend time with his dad as a result of that, but it—Uh. Some good jokes, like Homer comparing the guy (I… can’t even remember his name) to “the father he never had” in retaliation against Grampa, and the guy’s befuddled reaction, but unfortunately this one had to suffer from Wacky Third (Fourth?) Act Syndrome.

    Okay… so… he wants to kill him all of a sudden? He can be a sleezy glory hound all he wants, but to out of left field decide that murder is the way to go? And thus setting up a crazy conclusion so Homer can rescue Grampa and the two can reconcile? That’s just fucking lazy writing and we’ve seen way too much of that already (Bart and Homer rolling down a mountain; Marge, Homer, and that tree their names were carved into). Things like this aren’t funny, they’re forced and completely ridiculous and it really brought down what was a pretty decent premise. I thought we were past this sort of thing. A natural conclusion may not be as “funny” (though if they really tried they could probably make it), but at least it’s natural. Not that the random murder plot was particularly funny. A couple of decent bits (Homer running to the café, the out-of-nowhere appearance of Lenny and Carl – not so much what followed, though), but not really worth it.

    Though I will admit that I still felt kind of touched by the reconciliation at the end, regardless. And “at least you never tried to kill me” was funny. … But it really could have been so much better. Weak ending.

    The subplot really petered out… It, too, had a pretty decent start and I recall one great background joke (Bart tossing the lamb in a frying pan), and Lisa taking it along, lavishing it with attention only to lose it was a cute idea, but that’s where it lost its footing, after she lost it. We got treated to some overbearing, not-funny Nelson who has become overly effeminate/psychopathic as prime motivation (but! It was a great turn to see Bart actually holding more morality than Lisa. She tried to ignore her mistake, hoping it would all go away, like a little kid would, whereas Bart actually recognized that even though he doesn’t care about the lamb, other people do. I feel like a nerd for saying this but… I was genuinely impressed with him there).

    Bart gets his sewer adventure and that was it… It just ended with the lamb being ripped in two after saving him. The least we could have gotten would’ve been Marge sewing him up while Homer tells his story at the end.

    Speaking of, the very-very end was great. Homer getting his own Grampa-esque ramble… I love the traits in this family, I really do. We’ve seen a great deal of connection between Bart and Homer before but this really did work to connect Homer and Grampa. Much stronger than saving some random guy from killing his dad.

    Both endings could have probably been fleshed out more if we hadn’t spent so much time in an unrelated first act that didn’t really bring a lot of laughs, though. There were definitely some pretty glaring errors in the script but parts were still funny, the story was still decent, so it wasn’t too bad… but not particularly great either.


  16. #16
    Come back, Zinc!! Sniper Squirrel's Avatar
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    nice to see Grandpa in his propper form, pretty enjoyable episode 4/5
    I'm just like Krusty!
    I'm Krusty, who are you? by NoHomers.net

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  17. #17
    He was a zombie? hin_01's Avatar
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    This episode is a great example of how the people running this show forgot how to write episodes. So the guy is going to kill Abe...and he thinks no one will notice? And then he's going to kill Homer, because I guess...no one will notice that either? I actually thought the idea of Abe acting as a Morrie-type was a neat idea, and frankly natural for Grandpa because he's always telling stories, but the resolution to it was terrible. It's like the writers decided, "hey we need some conflict, maybe the guy could try to kill Abe or something." "Perfect!"

    Larry the Lamb was also kind of a neat idea, but horribly executed. Lisa ruins the lamb, Bart tries to rescue it, I'm with you. But then the lamb is destroyed (of course), and...nothing. We never see a resolution to this, as to how the other children would react to this. Why add a B story if you're not going to resolve it's conflict?

    Good ideas surrounded by terrible execution, that was basically the story of this episode. Marge's camera joke was so poorly timed I can't believe it made it to air. Resolutions to conflicts were awkward or nonexistent. A shame, too, because this could have been a nice little episode. Instead it was watchable, and not much else.

    2/5


  18. #18
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Old people are funny. They can amuse with their exploits about growing up in the snowcapped peaks of Minnesota, where they had to walk up hill, both ways, to get to school in 9 feet of snow just to a catch the bus. But old people can also be pitiful--they can develope alzheimers, forget familar faces, forget their most cherished moments of their past, and sadly, they can forget to be themselves.

    Unfortunetly, watching tonight's Simpsons episode "Thursdays with Abie" was like watching the show that was stricken with a latent stage of alzheimers. This entire episode was about making a story of Grandpa's inane rants, but it ended up about as pointless as one of grandpas inane rants. Of course, all could be forgiven had this episode was geniunely funny, but like a person with alzheimers, "Thursdays" kept slumming along, desperetly trying to make a point, but when the writers seemingly had written themselves into a corner (or was afraid all the Homer Show fans would balk at this mess) the "twist" of Grandpa's impending death (from the Hank Azaria lookalike, no less!) was introduced. The only thing that could've made this 'twist' any more absurd was Don Payne and Al Jean making a cameo.

    Oh, please.

    Even before the meat'n bones of "Grandpas Exploits" were explored we were still given the fruit of bad writing with the pre-plot set up: Slimu, a b-plot that was probably an afterthought, Homer's fucked up rant over the credits and one of the worst time-killing jokes ever with Marge's parking lot picture recap. Ugh. Either this elite writing staff thinks they're incredibly smart, or we're incredibly stupid. This episode made me feel like I was watching a clipshow, and it's not even a clipshow. Oy.

    Anyaway, this was shit terrible, not only is the worst episode of S21, it's even worse than Kill the Alligator and Run. This isn't bad Simpsons, it's just BAD.

    0/5, if it was an option. Even Mike Scully, king of the crappy Simpsons, is going: "Oh, Al! No!!!!"
    Last edited by Patches O'houlihan; 01-03-2010 at 06:13 PM.


  19. #19
    Dinner at 80 mph lionelhutz123's Avatar
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    Honestly, I just couldn't get into this episode. I thought the main plot was very dull and the subplot was more interesting. There was alot of forced writing, especially concerning Homer's actions. This episode also holds not only various lame gags, but several pretty bland ones like the Agnes scenes or Moe getting beat up. Marge's picture montage was an eye-roller and Homer having no bathing suit was plain predictable and dumb. I mean, this episode was just littered with bad jokes. The only decent gags that made me smile was Homer's brain or Nelson's dark side. The voice acting for general characters is getting tired to the point where it's a bit distracting. Either Hank Azaria or whoever should put more variety into random citizen voices, or perhaps they should hire a new voice actor to put a fresh voice into the simpsons universe (Not a new character, but just someone to do random springfieldians). The animation felt fresh and vibrant. This episode overall however just felt weak to me. The whole "Marshall is going to kill Abe" twist was silly. Also, how did Lenny and Carl get on the train? That was just...no. It wasn't a very memorable episode and not a good start to the new decade. 2/5. By the way, was this broadcast in HD? I watched on a regular tv and there were no black bars on top.


  20. #20


    i know it is 'the simpsons' that has been on for twenty years and they try to fit the same style as jokes, but i could predict so many jokes in this one.

  21. #21
    Don't bad-mouth the head! Xt'Tapalatakettle's Avatar
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    Yeah, this was bad.

    I liked Nelson's nursery rhyme and maybe a few other jokes, but I found myself waiting for it to end. 2/5


  22. #22


    and for a positive note: i think bart still feels like a classic character to me.


  23. #23
    rocko Jims's Avatar
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    Overall, I didn't really feel this episode.

    The Larry the Lamb stuff started out pretty well. The premise was organic and original. I remember having stuff in elementary school that a different kid would take home, and I tended to have the same feeling as Bart. The problem with the B-plot is that it didn't go anywhere and wasn't resolved in any way.

    If I were the writers, I would've added an extra scene where a shocked Krabappel reads the Larry Journal that describes all the horrific stuff that Larry went through. If they're not going to resolve the story, they could at least have tied it into the main story. That's what I thought they were going to do for a second when they cut from the train to the sewers... Unfortunately not.

    Speaking of the main plot, it also started out pretty well but fizzled out in the later acts. The idea of using Grampa for human interest pieces makes sense and is a story the show hasn't done yet. Good start. But does the show just have to go the murder route for this episode? First of all, it doesn't really make all that much sense... Why would the reporter kill his cash cow? And second, does Grampa really have to be dead to win a Pulitzer?

    To be fair, you could argue those points either way... But as a result of this plot device, the episode turned into WACKY ADVENTURE TIME. Wacky adventures are fine, but it kinda ruins the drama when you know, at almost 100% certainty, that Grampa's not really in any trouble. Sometimes you can make up for that foreknowledge with a clever resolution but this one didn't do it. Lenny, Carl, and Homer seemed to materialize out of nowhere, and the antagonist got his comeuppance by a handbrake and a pile of hatboxes. Lame.

    I do kinda like the randomness of them being hatboxes, though. "So... many... hatboxes..." Still it's the kind of tongue-in-cheek ending we would get in the Scully Era.

    Overall, 2/5. And that's a "below average" 2/5, for those weird "2/5 = average" people.

    Quote Originally Posted by arii View Post
    I have to say, I’m really loving this running gag of Homer stealing Ned’s coffee mugs.
    Eh... Gonna have to disagree on that one. I'm getting a bit tired of the prevalent "Property of Ned Flanders" jokes. It's the kind of joke that has become prevalent in the show where they just go to the well for another joke instead of coming up with new stuff. I kinda wish the mug was blank.


  24. #24
    Skeletor rising hughes's Avatar
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    Solid

    not spectacular, but I laughed and enjoyed the episode. Either a 12 or a 13; will decide when I post my full review tomorrow
    Living In a Rock and Roll Fantasy--my music review blog
    Most recent review--The Who's My Generation (12/15)

  25. #25
    Bart Fan! BartSimpsonfan17's Avatar
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    I've been liking Bart a lot this season, he's just been seeming like his old classic self latley. I give the subplot hmm a 3/5 cuz Bart was great in it. However Lisa was very annoying here, where did the Lisa with morals go?
    Homer/Abe plot not sure if I liked it or not. I guess I give it a 4/5 it had its ok moments.

    Bart V.S Bob!
    Bart fan!

  26. #26
    Up an atom. Ramier Wolfcastle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lionelhutz123 View Post
    By the way, was this broadcast in HD? I watched on a regular tv and there were no black bars on top.
    Yes, it was broadcast in HD. If you saw it on a regular TV with no black bars (letterbox), then it means you saw a "pan and scan" version of the ep. where the sides of each scene were cropped.

    4/5 for me. For once, Grampa actually gets to tell lengthy meaningless stories where someone actually listens and pays attention. I thought it was touching at times, up until the point where Marshall Goldman decides he needs to murder Grampa in order to win a prize. That wasn't funny, but at least Homer was able to "save the day" and make amends with his father. But the ending: it just cut to them in the house with HOMER telling a Grampa-like story??? And I couldn't help but Larry the Lamb was split in two in the sewer but was all mended in the final scene, with no resolution to the B story??? That's too bad. But the MABFs are off to a decent start.

    Fun facts:
    -The license plate Marge took a picture of was MABF02.
    -Marshall Goldman uses an Apple laptop (or should I say, Mapple with the modified logo).
    -Homer's "brain" takes the form of an Apple (or "Mapple") computer, with the "Mapple" logo in the top left.

    Also of note, John Frink is now an Executive Producer and Daniel Chun a Co-Executive Producer. I meant to mention this in the rate/review for Oh Brother, Where Bart Thou? as that was the start of the new production cycle.

    Overall: B+

  27. #27
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Another related, yet useless fact is another famous train, the Orient Express, just had it's last trip recently.

  28. #28
    Profound Sadness Kiyosuki's Avatar
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    Really?

    Mmmm...I always wanted to ride it one day.

  29. #29
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiyosuki View Post
    Really?

    Mmmm...I always wanted to ride it one day.
    The tourist attraction with the Period Piece cars is still running, but the normal passenger train closed up shop.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...1365224&live=1

  30. #30
    Wicked World Dehumanizer's Avatar
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    I really liked the new episode tonight. The couch gag was pretty awesome, best one in awhile that I can remember. I nominate this episode for best episode of the twenty-first season, so far anyways. The Larry sub-plot was a tad weak, but overall it was a great episode.

    Rating: 4/5



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