Zombies Rise from the Sea
How I Wet Your Mother
This episode has been heavily hyped as a part of Fox's "Blockbuster Sunday" event and most of that has to do with the parody of Inception that takes up two halves of an episode; but the most anticipated part of all has been Homer's long awaited interation with Mona in dream form; just; how will they meet, will it be emotional, will it be sweet? Well... Let's just say that it'd be best to keep such things in the imagination realm.
The first and second acts of the episode are good; having Homer not mainly act like a crazy, moronic dumbass is a wise choice. Sure, he does act like a dumbass early on (during the scenes at the power plant) but they learn from their mistakes and manage to improve him for what could be called the best parts of the episodes. Seeing Homer bond with Bart in a natural way is pleasing and seeing Homer hiding and dealing with his bedwetting could be said to be entertaining. There is a sense of both worry and humor that precedes these scenes and even though alot of these scenes feel sitcommy, most of them work within the context of the episode. Homer's "I'm Sorry" Barbeque is some decent stuff and Homer at the Bedwetting shop is okay though they do miss some obvious opportunities for Jokes. The moment where they revel Homer's bedwetting seems like it leads to something better but instead it leads to Homer in a diaper. Really? (Note: Saying this because it's something that is referenced in the outskirts of fringe communities because of quick research I did; some things should be not be referenced to at all.) The third and fourth acts consist of the Inception parody that make the episode. Cartoonnetwork made a comment earlier about the dreams looking like dreams but the parody ultimately stuffers from "Epic Movie syndrome"; meaning that there are alot of scenes that just reference scenes from the movie. There are a lot of scenes where they could of done something different or done more but alot of the scenes here just "reference". Not helping matters much is the way Lisa explains "levels" as if she knew how dreams work, that is just out of character for her and helps to make this obvious that this is an Inception parody, I mean whatever happened to the days when parodies weren't trying to remind you which movie it was parodying? Even Homer's dream is reminiscent of the final scene of the movie, complete with a beach and everything; one could say that the beach is a manifestation of Homer's dream but the comparisons are just hard to ignore.
That's not to say there's variety in the dream itself. The Tracy Ullman like scene mimics the animation style well and Dan Castella mimics his old vocal style well (Bart and Lisa not feeling up to par.) but it feels like they updated the style to match the HD animation prevalent throughout the episode; what would of been good is if they'd recreated the scene exactly like they did it in the Tracy Ullman era; complete with hand drawn drawings and 4:3 aspect ratio. The medieval dream looks decent and it serves to prove somewhat of a point and Homer's dream isn't a 100% recreation of the dream in Inception; there are some minor differences and some stuff unique to Homer though some stuff seems to be added during the time when Scully was showrunner.
The characters here all play their roles well but there could of been more from every family member; including Homer. In the Inception parody, they just seem to be pushing the plot forwards and supporting the various random jokes that happen to come along the way. Homer's dialog as it goes on feels unfocused and I couldn't get a clear grasp of what he was saying at some times; this is a problem since he is the main star of the show and the climax of the episode revolves around him... We could of had more of his feelings and more of his actions as he tried to figure out what made him bedwet but instead it just feels like wasted potential that really could of help the episode but instead went towards the Inception parody. The moment where he does meet Mona is satisfying and the reveal is done well. This is another one of the episodes great moments because seeing Homer and Mona together is always a delight, even after their last appearance together; however, it could of been lengthened because trying to fit in the Inception parody just leaves for less time for the Mona/Homer plot, which is spent playing a film. While the film itself is nice, I couldn't understand how that film helped Homer cure his bedwetting but as a plus, there was some expinations behind it; even though they had to accompany a bunch of retcons to do so... I guess the point of the film is to be sweet and to show Homer that Mona will always be there for her, even leading up to the shots promoted in the promo shot though in the wrong context. Still, could of been more.
The jokes throughout the Inception part don't land (Bart dancing in the air for example.) and alot of them feel random rather then coherent; a problem of Modern Simpsons episodes unfortunately. Don't get me wrong, there are some jokes that land; a ton of moments in Homer's dream are entertaining and some of the moments involving Frink are decent but those moments in the Inception parody seem few. The fight involving Wiggum and Frink seem random but it's needed for the explosion part of the Inception parody to happen and the fight itself is okay but still... It feels like it's there to support the parody, not because it's actually funny. Additionally the end of the episode where they parody the spinning top just feels like it's there to reinforce the fact that this is a parody of Inception... The stuff that happens afterwards seems decent but it just doesn't work out in the end; unless you're the kind of person who likes this stuff...
So in the end... Homer's fears of Bedwetting are quelled; however the fears of this being mostly a reference to Inception are more then confirmed. This episode uses the four act structure well, two of the acts are dedicated to the bedwetting plot while two are dedicated to the Inception Parody; despite that it still feels like they couldn't manage to fit everything within the episode's timespan and therefore everything feels like they could of done more with it. (Compared to the movie Inception, this feels like 50x FF.) The first two acts of the episode are decent and it's always a delight to see Homer & Mona but again, there is that feeling that they could of done more with Homer & Mona. This isn't a terrible episode but it is disappointing...
Last edited by Zombies Rise from the Sea; 03-11-2012 at 08:58 PM.