Zombies Rise from the Sea
Title jacking aside, this was a very weak episode. Let me just say they should seriously consider bring back the whole 3-act format for future episodes because having 4-acts makes episodes like these feel disjointed and it doesn't really allow for episodes to reach their full potential.
Onto the episode. It starts off at the power plant and another fight similar to the previous episode happens (what are these peoples obsessions with fights). Then it cuts to Mr. Burns signing his will. It was nice of them to have a long name that didn't last long but I did not like the brain cap falling off, too cartoony and too appalling, then he becomes mentally incapacitated and it goes into a nice memory flashback for a while before cutting to the real world. The first part was slightly good but the second part was unnecessary as fuck. So Mr. Smithers takes the will from the safe and reads it, there is a list gag but luckily it does not last long. The conversation between Mr. Burns and Mr. Smithers is average but I have to admit it was a nice touch, though one ruined with a slight touch of attempted humor that falls flat.
Now begins the main plot. I have got to comment, Bart vandalizing an iPod ad felt so 2005 (this is 2011, I doubt I have seen an iPod commercial with a white guy since like... Ever...) Mr. Smithers gets rejected from the gay bar which takes in stereotypical gay studs and he goes to Moes. Mr. Smithers gets the idea to redecorate the bar and Moe agrees after seeing Barney who I admit has lost all of his personality (seriously). There are certain scenes after this where Moe manages to keep his straightness a secret while he shrugs off stuff like a husband who just wants to sit down and watch TV. I just found myself slightly angered at these scenes (seeing as how the stereotypical (to me) gay people seem to eat it up like cake; Charlie Check'm must be having his day...) anyways... After a montage which portrays itself to be clever (but seems to feel like it's clever because no other show has done it before (I can see why obviously, feels very pompous.) Moe's is suddenly Mo's and the sign flies to the retirement home, I have to say the gag is average.
So after we're introduced to these gay guys (who look unique but still feel stereotypical), the bar becomes popular and Homer and the guys struggle to realize that it's gay... I get that it's the set up for jokes but come on man. come on... I have to say, the reference to previous bar makeovers was a nice touch, and a nice image gag to end the act. Already, I have to be saying that "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" did this plot 100x better. The scene then cuts to SFE and band practice being horrible. Surprisingly, the teacher says that he's retiring and he's found a soulmate. I don't know why they pretended they'd love him, I guess it's their version of how it went down in Elementary School. Anyways, after Superintendent Chalmers appears stumbling with his words (not funny) the new music teacher comes in all sexy and hot. I get it...
Back to the bar. They're talking about tolerance and I don't get why Marge didn't notice it. Comic Book Gay (worst pun BTW and nearly exactly the same character as CBG except he's gay! I have to give props to the fact that he is not a replacement for Comic Book Guy, but still...) Marge and Patty being mistaken for guys doesn't feel as funny as it should be and the sign gags of Moe being gay throughout the episode is to my opinion, weak... Moe tries to reveal that he's straight, he sees all of the gay's faces and he proclaims everybody to dance... Eh, not going to complain (seeing as how it's a somewhat reasonable way to do things). The angel being a devil gag I did not see and it is somewhat clever, so I have to give them props for that.
Now they're at the mountains, a nice change of scenery and I'm kind of liking her personality but I felt like this was a poor way to introduce Skinner into the story, I don't get why he wasn't there when she's introduced, probably the story would be expanded and better thought out if he appeared early... So now Skinner is in love (I can see why) and the whole scene is good but some references I could not get into. Now Mr. Smithers is bringing in Mr. Burns, therefore fulfilling a main plot point but when a gay guy tells him to do stuff. Mr. Smithers takes Mr. Burns out for the rest of the episode.... So anyways, Moe keeps on making excuses, but Mr. Smithers is starting to hate Moe for pretending he's gay. Homer eats wooden pretzels in an unfunny gag (where he grabs a First Aid Kit) that ends the act rather poorly.
Now we're off to Mr. Skinner and Bart. The whole scene I thought was alright, both Bart and Mr. Skinner were good at this but the good part of the scene was when the prank goes off when Bart is in his office, saves it from being a totally average scene... Then we get a sign gag (I didn't see much of the sign gag to see it but I thought it was nice) and we get introduced to the nerdy Ralph Wiggum like character. I like her somewhat but she does not sound 8 or 10, and she also feels obsessive as fuck. I did like some of the stuff she did but her voice really detracts her character. Bart goes through the motions and we get some one on one time with Skinner and that female music teacher. I like her character in this but I disliked the volcano erupting when something sexy happened, makes me focus more of the sexyness rather then the character itself.
Anyways, Mr. Skinner is walking on sunshine with singing that I did not like (though I'm sure other people might of liked it). Superintendent Chalmers was unnecessary and unfunny (it seems like his characters purpose is to create unnecessary conversations.) Bart hits the hammer of a Buzz Lightyear like toy in order to make it come to life like that movie Toy Story. (I recently got information that it's not dated, it's actually very common. But if they're doing to do a gag like this then I'd prefer they use a toy that exists in the Simpsons universe rather then an obvious looking Buzz Lightyear doll. I get that you feel the need to explain the joke but maybe the intelligent people would respect it if they wern't told where the reference came from... Also while Toy Story is the shit, this felt like another shoutout to Pixar. IMO they need to ease off the Pixar references. Not that I appreciate them, it's just that these recent seasons have been littered with more Pixar references then normal.) Anyways, Bart lets the girl hang upsidedown and Bart ends the relationship abruptly by saying that she's so much like her sister and he can't be with her... Yeah, that's it... I didn't feel anything because we barely got time to connect with the character, I would of liked it if she was in more speaking scenes but eh, The Simpsons writes what they want to write. There is a rare moment when Mr. Skinner feels the need to go after an unfunny call from his mother (containing a James Bond movie stump... I don't think there are any Bond movies out right now.) and Skinner says no, but surprisingly he goes with her and there is a average gag following it. Then Mr. Skinner comes back in a bus appearing in Marti Gras clothing and it turns out he's been gone for 3 months and everything is back to normal... Okay, something need to happen to the status quo if it wants to continue past Season 23, these things can't continue to happen. Even D'ohmer would get tired of the whole status-quo restoring things.
Back the bar storyline. The gays have a problem where they won't let them march in the parade (few years too late but I'm sure it's still relevant in places where there aren't tolerance.) Moe declares that he's going to run for city council and this makes Mr. Smithers mad. He brings him to the backroom where Mr. Smithers berates him for pretending to be gay while Moe just acts like... Moe... The whole climax came too soon. It read 8:21PM on my clock, it just made me wonder how they were going to resolve this... And then it comes. Moe is making his speech and a lot of Gay people are cheering for Moe, his speech felt generic, and this is coming from the show who has made fun of politics and corruption in politics. So Mr. Smithers being forceful comes in too late (again, get rid of the 4 act format.) Comic Book Gay being honest is good but does not redeem this episode. So after Mr. Smithers and Moe go into a back and forwarth and Moe tries to kiss him, he decides to drop the act and tells them he's not gay... I thought the summary would be that these gay people figure out that Moe is just pretending to be gay and they teach him a lesson but it turns out that Moe just had a change of heart (these FOX summaries keep lying to me for some reason). Moe gives a speech resembling old-school simpsons but the whole republican ending was just very obvious (it's common fact that Republicans are closeted, for some reason, I feel like South Park and Family Guy does political stuff better nowadays). So there are some words from the gay guys about who to choose and after a thunderstorm gag (one half clever, one half lame). They nonchalantly walk away and Mr. Smithers tell Moe they had to do what he had to do, and then Moe kisses Mr. Smithers in a poor attempt to take people by surprise (Shock humor is not funny anymore, not since Eminem and a few others ruined it but the scene was still interesting enough.)
There are a few bright spots and a few signs of brilliance but overall this was a very weak episode of The Simpsons. I wasn't expecting brilliance but I did want something along the currently best episode of the season LSTIYL, hell, I even wanted to like the subplot but despite the characters it introduces (likeable characters as well, I feel like the music teacher could stay on but I didn't get enough time with Bart's girlfriend to get a consensus, though she seems nice, the voice actor being a heavy detractor.) it doesn't manage to do much with the plot it has, even ending abruptly. That added with a main gag-heavy plot doesn't really connect (although I have to say Mr. Smithers was well characterized, but it and many other excuses do not balance or negate the faults of this episode) making this one of the poorer episodes of Season 22. Some people might like this but I'm with the latter on this one. I have to admit, it did do some the things it wanted to do well...
Last edited by Zombies Rise from the Sea; 05-24-2011 at 12:15 AM.