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Thread: Rate & Review: "'Tis the 30th Season" (YABF02)

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  1. #1
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Rate & Review: "'Tis the 30th Season" (YABF02)

    Season 30, Episode 10
    Original Airdate: December 9, 2018
    Writer: Jeff Westbrook
    Teleplay Written By: Joel H. Cohen & John Frink
    Director: Lance Kramer
    Showrunner: Al Jean
    Synopsis: After a failed Black Friday shopping spree, Marge is determined to fix Christmas. However, Homer and the kids surprise Marge with a vacation to a Florida resort.

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    TV VIEWERSHIP - 2.8 Rating / 11 Share - 7.53 Million Viewers

    R&R Poll Average Score: 2.94 / 5 (as of April 27th / 35 votes)
    IMDB User Rating: 7.0 / 10 (as of April 27th / 286 users)
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 04-27-2019 at 06:09 PM.

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  3. #2
    Here I come, world! Financial Panther's Avatar
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    This was a pretty dull and uninspired episode. It didn’t go anywhere new, and it played to a lot of clichés. The first act with Black Friday shopping was probably the best, but when they went to Florida to make Marge happy, it got pretty bland. There were scenes showing how bad and boring the place was and how the rest of the family tried to be happy for Marge’s sake, but none of it felt original at all, and there were no twists to the episode. It was just supposed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. They went to Moe’s to celebrate Christmas, and Bart and Lisa give a sappy speech about how being with your family and friends is all you need for Christmas, and they tried to save it by making it seem funny that they were at Moe’s, but it didn’t work for me. There were a couple things that made me smirk, like the bumper-sticker joke and the Hug-a-Bull, but overall, this was the worst episode of the season so far. Low 2/5.
    Favorite and least favorite by season
    1. Krusty Gets Busted There’s No Disgrace Like Home 2. Bart Gets an F Dead Putting Society 3. Homer at the Bat Like Father, Like Clown 4. Brother From the Same Planet Krusty Gets Kancelled 5. Cape Feare Lady Bouvier’s Lover 6. Homer Badman Another Simpsons Clip Show 7. King-Size Homer Lisa the Iconoclast 8. Homer’s Enemy El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer 9. Bart Carny The Trouble With Trillions 10. Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo Homer Simpson in: “Kidney Trouble” 11. Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner? Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder 12. HOMЯ Tennis the Menace 13. Tales From the Public Domain She of Little Faith 14. The Dad Who Knew Too Little Helter Shelter 15. I, Annoyed Grunt)-bot Bart-Mangled Banner 16. A Star is Torn On a Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister 17. My Fair Laddy Bonfire of the Manatees 18. The Haw-Hawed Couple You Kent Always Say What You Want 19. Funeral for a Fiend All About Lisa 20. Gone Maggie Gone The Good, the Sad and the Drugly 21. The Bob Next Door The Color Yellow 22. Donnie Fatso Love is a Many Strangled Thing 23. The Falcon and the D’ohman A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again 24. Hardly Kirk-ing Moonshine River 25. The War of Art What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting 26. Sky Police Let’s Go Fly a Coot 27. Halloween of Horror Lisa With an ‘S’ 28. There Will Be Buds Moho House 29. Springfield Splendor Throw Grampa From the Dane

  4. #3

    Just watched. Wasn't too pleased. It was kind of boring, especially when they stayed at that hotel. The moral message (if you can call it that) is very mundane: "All you need is your family to be happy at Christmas blah blah blah." I liked it more than Krusty the Clown, though.
    Last edited by HitoftheMillennium; 12-09-2018 at 06:02 PM.

  5. #4

    Quote Originally Posted by Financial Panther View Post
    This was a pretty dull and uninspired episode. It didn’t go anywhere new, and it played to a lot of clichés. The first act with Black Friday shopping was probably the best, but when they went to Florida to make Marge happy, it got pretty bland. There were scenes showing how bad and boring the place was and how the rest of the family tried to be happy for Marge’s sake, but none of it felt original at all, and there were no twists to the episode. It was just supposed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. They went to Moe’s to celebrate Christmas, and Bart and Lisa give a sappy speech about how being with your family and friends is all you need for Christmas, and they tried to save it by making it seem funny that they were at Moe’s, but it didn’t work for me. There were a couple things that made me smirk, like the bumper-sticker joke and the Hug-a-Bull, but overall, this was the worst episode of the season so far. Low 2/5.

    Beat me to it. It reeks of post early Jean era blandness. They don't even try that much humor. If it wasn't so cliched, maybe you could give it a pass for that because of the emotional aspect. But in this case you just get another lackluster Zombie Simpsons episode.

  6. #5
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    May just be coincidental but it's odd that Lance Kramer wound up directing both of the recent Cohen / Frink teleplay episodes. Hope he didn't eat Oliver's early slot in the production rotation and that we see Oliver slotted back in for YABF03.

    As for tonight's episode, it was indescribably low effort all around. Makes me kind of glad that Oliver wasn't otherwise wasted on it although then we'd have at least seen effort in some capacity.

    One small detail they could have done would have been for Marge to make some kind of connection with Moe while in the Black Friday line that would have led to him opening up the bar to the old & needy for the holidays as opposed to it just being some random ending for the episode but we didn't even get that. It's really too bad. Hopefully this production run is able to rebound in the new year.
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 12-09-2018 at 06:30 PM.
    The Winter of Our Monetized Content - 2/5 / Go Big or Go Homer - 2.5/5 / The Fat Blue Line - 3.5/5
    THOH XXX = Danger Things - 2.5/5 / Heaven Swipes Right - 1.5/5 / When Hairy Met Slimy - 2/5
    Gorillas on the Mast - 4/5 / Marge the Lumberjill - 2.5/5 / Livin' la Pura Vida - 5/5
    THANKSGIVING OF HORROR = A-Gobble-ypto - 3/5 / The Fourth Thursday After Tomorrow - 5/5 / The Last Thanksgiving - 3.5/5
    Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? - ?/5 / Bobby, It's Cold Outside - ?/5

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  8. #6
    Trying not to cry BloodySimpsonChibi's Avatar
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    It was decent. Kinda hate Gil now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaine View Post
    I'd imagine patting Lisa on the head would sting, damn kids with their spiky heads.

  9. #7
    Mmmmmmmm, floor pie
    Join Date
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    Benicia, CA

    Hey, let's play that classic game, "Where's Springfield This Week?" This time, it's at least 2000 driving miles away from Kissimmee, FL, which is farther away than any point in Maine.
    EDIT: In fact, 2000 miles by road from Kissimmee is pretty much a straight line from Tucson, Arizona to Bismarck, North Dakota.

    Antennas do exist for HDTVs; it's how people with, say, DirecTV or AT&T U-Verse get the Buzzr channel supplied by their Fox affiliates.

    Didn't Bart and Lisa sing "Silent Night" in the Funzo episode?

    Marge is reading Backwaters and Crapholes.

    The sign in the Android's Dungeon says to have a Marvel Christmas and a DC New Year - so, it's Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse for Christmas, then Aquaman the following week?
    Last edited by That Don Guy; 12-10-2018 at 07:47 PM.

  10. #8
    Motorized 3t8yb's Avatar
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    Oct 2018
    New Jersey, U.S.

    Very little to say about this one. If you want to try and do a sentimental Christmas episode, you can try doing a spin on the formula, like with the decent I Won't Be Home For Christmas from a few years back. This episode was just unoriginal and had no stakes at all. Not to mention, I barely cracked a smile once throughout the entire episode. If it weren't for the fact that White Christmas Blues exists, and is unwatchable, this could take the title for worst Christmas episode. As things are now, this one will just have to settle for being extremely forgettable, and a likely pick for worst of the season once it's over.


  11. #9
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    Yeah, it was boring. I guess the first act was the only thing that made me chuckle here and there, but far from being spectacular anyway. The Black Friday madness seen as a customers brawl, I don't know for you guys but I think it's not really funny anymore (even if I get sometimes, it's not so far from reality). And Gil is an asshole, and I used to like his character before. Now he's just pathetic for the hell of it. So the Simpsons minus Marge try to give a good Christmas to her, by a vacation that (we didn't see it coming) turns disappointing.

    This episode has a big pacing issue. The Simpsons go to Florida after 11 minutes, and the rest of the episode is uninspired jokes and lack of effort. In fact, I like seeing Homer and the kids trying to do their best for Marge, but boy it's so cliché, even the twist about Marge actually not happy about this trip, I'm sure I've already seen that somewhere else. I don't know what to say, this episode is too bland to make a big review. So the family leaves the motel, there's a random ending with Moe celebrating Christmas with some people in his bar (okay, I admit it, I find the idea pretty sweet), with a classic speech and Lisa saying "We have traveled many miles to learn there's no place like Moe's" (which sounded in my head like "We have traveled many miles to make a pun") and the end.

    There's not really more to say, 'Tis the 30th Season is not painful to watch, but totally forgettable. At least, I liked the musical score, with the good remixes of some Christmas tunes, but otherwise... meh. Very, very meh. And so bland that I don't know if I found this episode worse than the Treehouse of Horror.


  12. #10
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Spittle County

    This one wasn't that good at all and an somewhat mediocre affair overall, though okay at best (as it did have it's moments among what didn’t work).

    I must admit that I liked the premise itself, that with Marge having back luck at the Black Friday sale and Homer and the kids trying to make it up for her by taking her with them on an vacation to a Florida hotel for Christmas (by so combining an holiday episode with a traveling one), but the story didn't live up to it's potential as it kinda came off as vignettes connected to each other with random stuff happening here and there (some kinda wierd and coming off as nonsensical), starting to lose itself as it went on and it never really getting really interesting or funny, which was a problem as compared to the previous episodes this season it didn't have much of interest or anthing that really stood out (something that even some of the more lackluster ones had).

    It did start well with Bart and Lisa wanting one of those smart HD TVs (or was it one each? never became quite clear) and Marge decides to journey out in the cold to wait in line outside Sprawl-Mart with the other shoppers and get a TV on sale (which had some nice moments between the characters), but failing as she helps Gil get that toy for his niece which costs her the last TV to the Spucklers (how they can afford a 500 dollar TV I have no idea). I liked her being selfless but it was ruined with the gag of Gil selling the toy she helped him get for 100 bucks to Tim Lovejoy (wished they kepy him sympathethic; him being an asshole ruinedthe point of Marge doing something kind for a tortured soul and not only had her sacrifice be for nothing but thought of him willingly disappointing his niece was mean.spirited). Still, the first act was probably the best part of the episode since I liked the staging with Marge in line helping Gil and Homer with the plan of him assisting Marge and some of the humor.

    It got a little interesting with Marge ending up with her frostbitten hands in bandages (having lent her mittens to Gil while in line,) her trying hard to make the best of Christmas and the rest of the family teaming up to give her a vacation, which could have made for a pretty good and sweet tale and I figured the trip to Florida would work, but it sadly didn't and felt bland and dull with the run-down motel setting, the bad manager and the few amusment park scenes that I didn't care for. It was clichéd, felt empty and was mostly unfunny to the point of it getting better again once they left. The family ending up at Moe's where they have a Christmas dinner with Moe and Grampa was a kinda sweet, if familiar, ending; it was nice that it ended on a nice note (the final bit with the manager writing Bart an apology letter and sending the money back and some extra was very meh, though the final bit the family having used the money to buy a smart TV and watching the HD fireplace video on it above the real one was pretty funny).

    I think the main problem with the episode (aside from there not being anything that really jumped out at me) was that most of it felt borrowed or taken from previous episodes and to make matters worse they didn't put any new spin on any of that so it just became uninspired. The animation was good but nothing was that eyecatching, there were some decent jokes but it was mostly unfunny & the pacing was pretty shoddy with the trip coming in too late, there just being fragmented bits of the trip (pretty much only the hotel and the amusement park) before they decide to go home (after Bart pulling an Godfather-styled prank on the manager to make them get their money back). As for the characterizations I actually think they were pretty good for the most part; Homer and the kids stood out but Marge too(for instance her being selfless which does feel like her).

    It's probably the worst of the season so far, but I'd rather call the episode bland than bad. The premise was good as said and it did have some good scenes of the characters interacting (really liked Homer's moments with Bart & Lisa), some nice bits of humor and that first act was pretty good (save for Gil betraying Marge and his niece) but that dip with the unimaginative and dull trip to Florida (which also wasted guest star Jane Lynch on a forgettable character) made it into another dutifully average modern era episode which tries to piece something together but ultimately fails due to a lackluster script (heck, as far as vacation plotlines go I'd say that 'Kill The Alligator And Run' did a more interesting and humorous Florida section).

    All in all, an mediocre, dull and unoriginal episode that I cannot really find much more to say about. They could (and should) have coughed up a much better Christmas ep but as it did have some likeable stuff I can't completely fault it despite being far from great.


  13. #11
    SuperFriend Kaine's Avatar
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    A below average episode. I like the idea of merging both a Christmas and traveling episode together so they might celebrate it somewhere else, but it didn't go anywhere and instead we get a rather sloppy paced and uninspired episode. I also like the idea of making Marge feel regretful (though Homer was part of the blame aswell which wasn't brought up at all) for not buying the HD TV and somewhat trying to make up for it, which leads to the family ordering a vacation (despite being an obvious scam) to Florida. But again there wasn't really much to it, basically all of the Florida scenes were just spending a lot of time in their room and some of them spending time in an amusement park.

    The intro was nicely Christmas themed with a good Star Wars couch gag to it. The first act is probably the best as it starts off well where the kids try to convince their parents to buy a new HD TV. I really liked how Bart and Lisa were acting the whole time, and than happily gallop away while holding hands. It was pretty funny how Homer talked about the TV being to stupid as it has shown a much better TV for a low price, yet gets called ''street smart''. Then Gil comes into the scene who I already don't like, and this episode did its job of making me hate him even more. He is once again taking advantage of Marge's kindness which leads her on missing out the TV, finishing the act off with him selling the bear despite his sad story that he told Marge before. Though what I hated about just as much is how Homer just went unconscious like that after his scarf got stuck in the door. Then somehow he manages to drive into a lantern with both cards. Quite some things I hated in the first act, and it doesn't get much better from there.

    Then we have a rather slow moving plot with Marge's hands wrapped in bandages and somewhat trying to save Christmas. And apparently Marge's hands are fully healed the moment she sat in the car that has hot air conditioner? Not sure what to think of the family's idea to make Marge pass out just to surprise her. The motel scenes are rather mixed when it comes to good jokes and moments, but overall I think they spend way to much time in the room scenes where things don't really happen at all. I guess the motel owner was a decent character, but nothing special. I like the small room they got and that the shower was part of the restroom. The first theme park scene didn't really go anywhere and the ''hug-a-bull'' gag lasted to long. The ''Family Guy World'' by Disney gag was so random, though I like how the Stewie impersonator was like ''I was the IT boy in 2006''. The second theme park trip also didn't really go anywhere and they just spend most of their time at the presidential animatronics. The stuff with Marge not enjoying the trip and the family trying to hard to pretend that they are was just not built up well and it got kinda thrown out there.

    I liked how Bart got back at the motel owner with the animatronic heads that continue to function. For some reason she was willing to pay a lot of money just to keep the family away. At least the trip ended with a funny gag of people being tricked to visit church to see the new Star Wars. Then the family end up at Moe... who out of nowhere seems to care a lot of the old and needy people. Giving the family a proper Christmas meal. And they are able to buy the new HD TV after all, so maybe this rather sad Christmas episode did not get Miracle on Evergreen Terrace levels of sad.

    The plot is uninspired, the pacing is sloppy, the humor is lacking, the characters didn't do much for me and I ended up hating Gil more than already did. The Florida trip didn't start until like 11 minutes into the episode. I do think that the premise had potential to make a proper Christmas/traveling episode together, but this episode has a lot of issues which contributes mostly to the bad pacing, which I think is very important for every episode. As for the jokes I didn't find many that I found any good. I guess one of the best was Homer's ''interaction'' with the TV. When I was halfway watching this episode I was almost afraid to get another super sad Christmas episode like Miracle on Evergreen Terrace, which is luckily not the case and the family got a rather happy ending despite all the mishaps they endured. I'd say that this is the weakest episode of the season yet, maybe not the weakest Christmas episode which would still be Kill Gil, Volumes I & II and White Christmas Blues for me. I think I might actually be to gentle with my rating:

    Last edited by Kaine; 12-10-2018 at 02:57 PM.
    Episodes rated best and worst from each season:
    1: Krusty Gets Busted/Homer's Night Out 2: The Way We Was/Bart's Dog Gets an F 3: Colonel Homer/Dog of Death 4: Marge vs. The Monorail/So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show 5: Cape Feare/Bart Gets An Elephant 6: Treehouse of Horror V/Another Simpsons Clip Show 7: Mother Simpson/Homerpalooza 8: You Only Move Twice/The Canine Mutiny 9: Lisa's Sax/The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons 10: Lisa Gets an A/Sunday Cruddy Sunday 11: Behind The Laughter/Beyond Blunderdome 12: Trilogy of Error/The Computer Wore Menace Shoes 13: I Am Furious Yellow/Homer the Moe 14: The Dad Who Knew Too Little/Large Marge 15: The Way We Weren't/Diatribe of a Mad Housewife 16: Thank God Its Doomsday/Mommie Beerest 17: Marge's Son Poisoning/Bonfire of the Manatees 18: Marge Gamer/Revenge is Best Served Three Times 19: Treehouse of Horror XVIII/That 90's Show 20: Gone Maggie Gone/Coming To Homerica 21: O Brother, Where Bart thou?/The Devil Wears Nada 22: Homer Scissorhands/The Fool Monty 23: Holidays of Future Passed/Moe Goes From Rags To Riches 24: Adventures In Baby-Getting/Whiskey Business 25: Brick Like Me/White Christmas Blues 26: Bart's New Friend/The Musk Who Fell to Earth 27: Halloween of Horror/Every Man's Dream 28: There Will Be Buds/Moho House 29: Gone Boy/Throw Grampa from the Dane

  14. #12
    Junior Camper Mikesuper26's Avatar
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    Sep 2017
    New York

    I guess I am going to be in the minority here in that I actually enjoyed this one. While granted it was not nearly as good as some of the classics, for a modern episode I thought it was quite good. The couch gag and chalkboard gag were amusing and a good way to start, as was the kids asking for a smart TV to replace their "dumb" TV. I always love when Bart and Lisa act like the little kids that they are supposed to be, and them galloping away while holding hands as well as walking around chanting the name of the smart TV is definitely in character for young kids (Maggie following in the rear and playing her xylophone was a nice touch). It is also equally nice to see Marge and Homer act like good parents and try to get their kids what they want for Christmas - though based on this episode I do wonder if Bart and Lisa still believe in Santa. Marge ending up helping Gill is a testament to her good nature, though her good intentions resulted in her failure to please her kids. I don't hate Gill as a character, but I do hate how ungrateful and excessively pathetic he was in this episode. I was hoping that he would redeem himself by trying to make it up to Marge and her children but he is not seen again for the rest of the episode. Homer rallying the kids to try to do something nice for their mother was nice and free of Homer being his usually jerkish self. The kids singing "Silent Night" to Marge was sweet, but the drugging of her tea was not.

    The scenes in the crap motel were not too eventful but had some good family moments, like the meeting in the cramped bathroom and Bart teasing Lisa for being the sadest one among them. Bart hugging the mascot to please his mother while nearly grinding his teeth in displeasure was both sweet and funny to me. The kids complaining to the manager was funny also, though she proved to be a bit more of a cruel person then I imagined (spraying a ten year old and an eight year old in the face with amonia for no particular reason is worse then setting up a fake ad IMO) and the end result of the family leaving the "resort" after everyone revealed they were having a horrible time was not particularly note-worthy, though I did enjoy Bart getting back at the manager. The ending at Moe's with Bart's prayer was well-intentioned if not a bit mundane.

    Overall, this isn't the best episode of the season by far. There was, however, a certain sense of holiday cheer embeded in the episode that was apparent to me which added to my enjoyment of the episode. Add in the good characterizations of both the kids and their parents and the absence of the usual plagues of jerkass Homer and sociopath/stupid/abused Bart and what was left was enjoyable to me, though I understand why most will disagree with me. While not the best holiday episode, I thought it was another solid entry for Season 30. 4/5

  15. #13
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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  16. #14
    Moe is their leader. Captain_Smiley's Avatar
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    I don't understand the mandatory part after 'Seth sings Sinatra'.

  17. #15
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    I am a little surprised by the negative general consensus that this episode has received. It is far from what we have seen in other Christmas specials, although it is also true that this holiday is not a specialty of the series, and that I never have high expectations for them.

    The first act delves into an event that had never played an important role in the series. The crazy Black Friday had never been part of a plot, and this was a required first time. The parodies were decent, reflect the reality that lives in those situations. People crazy and showing their most irrational side is something they captured quite well. It's also nice why Marge goes into that madhouse: Bart and Lisa communicate their desire for smart TV, in the same way they did with Monte-Splash. In addition, it is nice to see Marge with such an accurate characterization, giving everything for her family and helping the unfortunate Gil who, on the other hand, fails him when he can get $ 100. On the other hand, it would have been great if the shop to loot had been the Kwik-E-Mart but, you know, it's apparently forbidden.

    I liked the actions of Homer and his children with Marge, showing willingness to collaborate in a happy Christmas and designing a quite intelligent plan to achieve it. While the stories in which "The Simpsons travel to ..." are too frequent, in this case we had something different, at least in relation to what we got used to in the last experiments. It is not a commercial towards the place where the family visits. It is an opportunity to stereotype the place. They exploit the bad side of Florida. We see The Simpsons living an adventure, and not being normal tourists in a place of luxury. The issue that the department is very small is effective. Since I saw Hurricane Neddy, I imagine what it would be like to live in such a place. It was predictable that they would be scammed with fake advertising, but I did not imagine something like that. It was another success for me.

    After a good stay in Florida, we have a somewhat hasty outcome. On the one hand, I find it effective as the family gets rid of the hotel. But after that, the family celebrates Christmas at Moe's, with the owner of the place, Grampa (what was he doing there?) And some poor and unfortunate people in the City. Okay. I must say that it was an unfinished ending. I really liked the phrase that justifies the good gesture of Moe. If he does not receive the needy, they go to the Church; and if they go to the Church it does not come back from Moe. But even so it does not seem like a totally convincing reason for the innkeeper to perform such a good action. Still, it must be said that the Christmas spirit is present at almost every moment, and that it is an acceptable episode to represent the holiday.

    I want to make a dishonorable mention to Lance Kramer. The management work was decidedly bad. It does not help at all in the telling of the story. The only remarkable contribution of his part was when Marge falls asleep. This scene is well achieved. Otherwise, everything is fair or worse. Still, I am pleasantly surprised that an episode in which Westbrook is involved has not been a total fiasco. I hope that the couple of Cohen and Frink continue to offer good material. Of course, there are certain jokes that made me feel uncomfortable, like when Hoover puts a cigarette in Marge's head. They should avoid that.

    So, a worthy material that is halfway there. Neither the best nor the worst Christmas special, nor the best or worst of the season, nor the best nor the worst trip of The Simpsons. This is another episode of season 30 that remains in the standard. Pretty good for 3 and quite weak for 4. I'll go for a solid 3/5.
    Fan of the Outstanding Animated Show of 2019.

    The Winter of Our Monetized Content: 3/5 / Go Big or Go Homer: 3/5 / The Fat Blue Line 4/5
    Treehouse of Horror XXX: 4/5 / Gorillas on the Mast: 3/5 / Marge the Lumberjill: 2/5
    Livin' La Pura Vida: 5/5 / Thanksgiving of Horror: 5/5 / Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me: 2/5
    Bobby, It's Cold Outside: TBA / Hail of the Teeth: TBA

  18. #16
    Grappling with Local Oaf Beggs's Avatar
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    I'm also in the minority on this one, as I quite liked it. It wasn't the most original premise, nor was it jam-packed with a lot of hilarious jokes, but it appealed to my seasonal cheer. I thought the characterisation of the family was good all around, and particularly enjoyed that Homer stepped up to scold the kids for being selfish. Their attempts to put on a happy face for Marge's benefit had some genuine heart, and it was nice to see them making such an effort. There was nothing remarkable about the story or their adventure in general, but I felt that was kind of the point. They tried to do something nice, it didn't go to plan and turned into a crappy vacation, but in the end they were all on the same page and were happy. A little corny? Sure, but it's a Christmas episode. In a time where a lot of comedies are pushing so hard to be ultra-edgy, acerbic, and mean-spirited in their humour, stories, and characterisation, a bit of old school treacle worked for me.

    I will say that Gil has gone from a pitiable character to a rather unsympathetic one. It's not necessarily a bad direction for his character to take as it kind of makes him a little more interesting than merely getting dumped on all the time, but man, it's definitely tough to cheer for Ol' Gil these days!

    There were a few decent jokes and standout moments. Marge wondering why they had rabbit ears plugged into a HD TV ("It looks cool!"), the cat wanting to be fed, the animation as Marge is passing out, "We call it a shoilet!", Bart's revenge on the sleazy manager, changing the bumper stickers to appeal to the state they were travelling through (and then doing it in reverse on the return trip), FaceTiming with Milhouse, the church sign changing to "promise" new Star Wars, and yes, even the disturbing couple in the room next door, were among the ones I enjoyed. I also liked the Family Guy gag, especially as they had a bit of a friendly jab at The Simpsons in their latest episode. It appealed to me because I remember all the hoopla when Family Guy was brought back and people were liking it a lot more than The Simpsons (which was in the thick of some rather dismal Jean Era seasons, so I don't totally disagree with the sentiment), only for it to dissipate rather quickly when Family Guy's quality nosedived quite abruptly, so the Stewie Impersonator's line felt extremely apt.

    I certainly understand the criticisms of this one, and normally, I'd probably feel similarly about some of the blander go-nowhere moments. I think the overall message and niceness of the episode overrode that for me though, and as I said, there were jokes that hit the mark for me as well. Call it the Christmas spirit if that's not too corny, but despite the flaws, this one left me feeling good regardless. 4/5, and may Gil be blessed with coal in his stocking.
    Last edited by Beggs; 12-19-2018 at 05:33 PM.
    A little less Generic than before.

  19. #17
    Stonecutter angeldeb82's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
    East Hartford, CT.
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    The A.V. Club gave it a C-. That's not good.

  20. #18
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Spittle County

    A C- feels about right for this one, I'd say. It's not that good at all yet not bottom of the barrel horrible either (I'm putting it around a C, or 3/5 as it would be here, myself).

  21. #19

    Beginning black friday was funny. Bartt and Lisa repeating the exact name of what they wanted sound exactly what children would say. Later bit wasn't bad but it was pretty bland. An average episode overall. 3/5.

  22. #20
    Sub-mediocre artist Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    The Mists of History
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    Eh, it was still pretty on par with most of the other stuff this season. After Daddicus Finch I was in no rush to see this one but hey, it turned out much better than that steaming pile. Gil being a douchebag wasn't really that surprising, I mean I don't remember that much of Kill Gil but wasn't he constantly taking advantage of the family in that one? However considering it's a vacation episode means he was one of the only characters from Springfield to have any lines and took up the most screentime.

    However overall it was pretty decent, ended pretty decent, didn't make me feel more bitter for having seen it like the previous one so that's some points in its favour. Think the highlights were either the ending with Moe or Maggie getting into various appliances.

  23. #21
    Pin Pal wiley207's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Brockton, MA

    Nice update to the Christmas intro with the Frosty the Snowman reference!

    Uuugnhhh, I still remember Black Friday 2014 when working at Wal-Mart, when that woman literally kicked me out of the ladies' room I was cleaning. ("I'll only be a minute." *BOOT!*) And she got away with it too! I think Wal-Mart had a secret policy where customers were allowed to abuse and assault employees.
    I liked their lampshading having the antenna on an HDTV.
    And of course, it begins to snow in Springfield the moment after Thanksgiving, with their stupid perfect winter weather that wraps up after the holiday season! Of course, they already said before it was partly due to the nuclear plant and the tire yard fire. Hey, I'd like a perfect snow winter like that too, but I don't want to resort to those factors! I like how they made it more realistic with there being no snow outside of Springfield, like when they were in Tennessee.
    Geez, Marge's voice keeps getting worse and worse.

    The Yankees Suck Fantasy Camp was a funny bit!
    Geez, that was pretty bad of Homer to destroy an expensive MacBook like that (maybe from Mapple?) Hope it was his own and not Marge's or Lisa's...
    I'm still surprised they are using flat 2D backgrounds for shots inside moving vehicles, instead of going all-CGI like "Family Guy" has.
    And of course when it's initially stormy outside the resort, we hear the thunder sounding like Elmer Fudd firing his gun. (Maybe if they do a Looney Tunes spoof with Elmer or Yosemite Sam, Travis could use that thunderclap for any guns firing?)

    I enjoyed those obscure cartoon character mascots.
    LOL at the Family Guy World! And since FOX Television Animation now handles production of "The Simpsons" as well, that makes it easier for them!
    It was sweet seeing Moe feed Christmas dinner to the elderly.
    I also got a chuckle out of Lisa commenting how redundant it is to be watching a log burning on the HDTV when they have a real one in their fireplace.

    It was still "meh" for the most part... I give it a 3 out of 5, because it's a Christmas episode. "Tis' the Fifteenth Season" was much better.
    Last edited by wiley207; 12-25-2018 at 07:30 AM.

  24. #22

    Oops, voted 4/5 but wanted to go for 3/5. Never mind.

    It's the first episode we've seen on Sky One of season 30, and I thought it was kind of good. The first half with all of the Black Friday fun was the strongest by far.

    I loved the seasonal changes to opening credits as well.

  25. #23
    Junior Camper
    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Marge gets a break from Christmas on a budget vacation. Sounds interesting. 3/5

    How nice of Marge to help Gil out only for him to be a douche about the item he got and sell it for money. Disliking him now. And Marge never got the TV she wanted. Thanks a lot Gil. +0

    The pacing of this episode was kinda slow and took a while to get to the focus of the plot. +0

    Chalkboard and couch gag were good. +1

    Sedating Marge was entertaining. +1

    Voice talents and animation great as always. +1

  26. #24
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    Jul 2017

  27. #25
    Junior Camper The B's Avatar
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    Aug 2019

    Good episode.
    Casual "bad travel" plot, but IMHO, it's decent.

    plot 16/25
    absurdity level (the possibility of what is happening) 17/25
    comedy 17/25
    originary (level of references and of unoriginality) 20/25

    TOTAL 70/100 (4/5 with rounding or B-). GOOD!
    This episode is #18 of travel episodes (in my personal list).
    IMHO the most and the least favourite episodes of each season (without trilogy episodes, upd. 30/10/19):
    1. There’s No Disgrace Like Home/Homer’s Night Out 2. Old Money/Simpson and Delilah 3. Bart the Lover/Homer Alone 4. Homer’s Triple Bypass/Marge in Chains 5. Secrets of a Successful Marriage/Burns’ Heir 6. Two Dozen and One Greyhounds/A Star Is Burns 7. Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily/Bart the Fink 8. Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious/The Springfield Files 9. Miracle on Evergreen Terrace/Das Bus 10. Maximum Homerdrive/Monty Can’t Buy Me Love 11. Grift of the Magi/Pygmoelian 12. Homer vs. Dignity/New Kids on the Blecch 13. Poppa’s Got a Brand New Badge/Weekend at Burnsie’s 14. Moe Baby Blues/Three Gays of the Condo 15. Fraudcast News/Co-Dependent’s Day 16. Sleeping with the Enemy/Pranksta Rap 17. Bonfire of the Manatees/Bart Has Two Mommies 18. The Wife Aquatic/The Haw-Hawed Couple 19. He Loves to Fly and He D’ohs/Smoke on the Daughter 20. Coming to Homerica/Lisa the Drama Queen 21. Chief of Hearts/Stealing First Base 22. The Ned-Liest Catch/Love Is a Many Strangled Thing 23. A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again/Moe Goes from Rags to Riches 24. The Saga of Carl/Penny-Wiseguys 25. Brick Like Me/The Man Who Grew Too Much 26. Bart’s New Friend/Simpsorama 27. Halloween of Horror/Every Man’s Dream 28. 22 for 30/Trust but Clarify 29. Flanders’ Ladder/Grampy Can Ya Hear Me 30. Baby You Can’t Drive My Car/101 Mitigations
    I think that thoughts may differ, because so many people, so many opinions.

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