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Thread: Rate & Review: "I'm Dancing as Fat as I Can" (YABF06)



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  1. #1
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Rate & Review: "I'm Dancing as Fat as I Can" (YABF06)



    Season 30, Episode 13
    Original Airdate: February 10, 2019
    Writer: Jane Becker
    Director: Matthew Nastuk
    Showrunner: Al Jean
    Synopsis: Homer angers Marge by binging their favorite show without her, and has to pick up a new skill in order to make amends. Meanwhile, Bart prepares to compete in "Krusty's Holiday Trample".

    Previous R&R
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    INDUSTRY REVIEWS
    - The A.V. Club - Dennis Perkins - B-
    - Den of Geek - Tony Sokol - 3 / 5
    - Bubble Blabber - Jesse Bereta - 8 / 10
    - Phil Payton {YouTube} - C+

    SIMPSONS REDDIT DISCUSSION THREAD
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 03-03-2019 at 12:14 PM.
    SEASON 30 RANKINGS
    Bart's Not Dead - 2.5/5 / Heartbreak Hotel - 1.5/5 / My Way or the Highway to Heaven - 3/5
    THOH XXIX = Intrusion of the Pod-Y Switchers - 1.5/5 / Multiplisaty - 2.5/5 / Geriatric Park - 2/5
    Baby You Can't Drive My Car - 2/5 / From Russia Without Love - 3.5/5 / Werking Mom - 3/5
    Krusty the Clown - 4/5 / Daddicus Finch - 5/5 / 'Tis the 30th Season - 2/5 / Mad About the Toy - 1.5/5
    The Girl on the Bus - 2/5 / I'm Dancing as Fat as I Can - 4.5/5 / The Clown Stays in the Picture - 1.5/5
    101 Mitigations - 3/5 / I Want You (She's So Heavy) - 1/5 / E My Sports - 3.5/5 / Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy - 4.5/5
    Girl's in the Band - 4/5 / I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say D'oh - ?/5 / D'oh Canada - ?/5

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  3. #2
    Pervert Financial Panther's Avatar
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    It was meh. Marge getting mad at Homer for watching a show without her seemed quite petty, but I guess it can be a real problem in relationships. I’ve heard people get mad about this stuff before. The first act with Homer trying to avoid everything about the show wasn’t bad, and I liked his effort to stay faithful to Marge’s wishes. I wasn’t a fan of the Netflix CEO showing up on the screen and being what set Homer over the edge, and I also didn’t like his returning in other scenes. I don’t think he contributed much to the episode other than just to get another guest star.

    This episode was a little funnier than average; I liked the scenes where Julia was trying to teach Homer to dance, and Marge’s monitor of Homer’s vital signs got a chuckle out of me. Speaking of Julia, one part of me likes that they didn’t give her another generic MacNeille voice, but the fact that she was clearly voiced by Cartwright and sounded way too much like Bart was really jarring.

    The subplot was utterly disposable, although the twist at the end that Lisa wrote Ralph’s letter too wasn’t bad. I guess it’s good that they did a subplot in this case, because otherwise we’d probably just see more Marge/Homer bickering. The ending with Marge being happy with Homer’s grand gesture and forgiving him based on that was as tired and played out as always, though. Very low 3/5 I guess.
    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


    I want to do it to the dance lady. 3/5.


  5. #4
    Dinner at 80 mph lionelhutz123's Avatar
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    It was refreshing to watch an episode that took its time to tell a story... under Jean's showrunning, no less. I was waiting for some cringy joke to cut through the treacle during that final dance but instead it was played surprisingly straight and tastefully. Not bad for season 30.

    Favorite joke was probably the Netflix recommendations for 80's shows about monsters. Nice characterization for Homer throughout and Marge being upset about Homer watching ahead is something I can relate with. Binging TV with a significant other is sacred after all.
    Last edited by lionelhutz123; 02-10-2019 at 07:12 PM.


  6. #5
    The blackest eyes.... BloodySimpsonChibi's Avatar
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    Not really sure what to say about this episode.....the Stranger Things reference was good I guess?
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaine View Post
    I'd imagine patting Lisa on the head would sting, damn kids with their spiky heads.


  7. #6


    Marriage crisis episode and blah blah blah but I thought it was done beautifully and the last scene was great.


  8. #7
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    This was a clumsy marriage crisis episode that didn't really bring anything new to the table. The way the binge watching transitioned into the dancing felt a little contrived, like they had 2 marriage crisis plots but didn't trust each one to be its own episode. Ted Sarandos was a forgettable guest star, and his constant reappearances just felt like the writers giving Netflix free promotion. Speaking of guest stars, I wouldn't mind if Julia had been voiced by one. Not often I say that, but Cartwright's voice is far too similar to Bart's to be used on some pretty young female character without being distracting. I couldn't tell if Lisa nearly crying about how romantic the ending was was supposed to be a joke or not; it almost seemed like the writers trying to convince you it was a really sentimental moment, but it just came off as cloying and cheesy. Whatever. This episode wasn't pathetic or unwatchable, but if it was suddenly deleted and lost forever, nothing would be missed. I guess we can be thankful that, as far as I can remember, there was no weird musical number. But that should really be the norm.

    2.5/5


  9. #8


    The B story should have been the A story.. It feels like we've already seen an episode where homer binged a show... lost was it? I think they called it Stranded, Homer wouldn't watch the show per marge's recommendation but then got addicted to watching it.

    My favorite bit of the episode was Krusty talking to Milhouse and Bart.

  10. #9
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    1/5

    Stale story once again. Another Homer bad, Marge mad episode. Once again the storyline could have been flipped but AGAIN Homer is made into jerkass Homer. Well Homer can dance. He has danced plenty of times. Plus I'm sure this type of storyline has been used in other shows.

    The second story with Bart and Lisa was AGAIN another Lisa basically being an ass. Why couldn't she have helped Bart win the contest? No, she had to be cheaters never prosper and all that bullcrap. She might have even gotten more out of it than what she got.

    Not impressed.
    When a woman says nothing's wrong, it means everything's wrong. When a woman says everything's wrong, it means everything's wrong. And when a woman says that something *isn't* funny, you'd better not laugh your ass off!

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suicide_Moe View Post
    I want to do it to the dance lady. 3/5.
    Which one?

  12. #11
    Remember Me As I Was 1010011010's Avatar
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    In today's episode:

    -Homer ate a book for 20 seconds.

    -Never watched Stranger Things, but I think they could've referenced it better besides just "80's" and plant monster. Or maybe they did. Didn't know Netflix had a ton of dance shows either, so what do i know.

    -Mirror sequence was neat animation.

    -Would question why Bart and Ralph won the contest, but it is Krusty, sooo (though they did bother revealing how Ralph won at the end)

    Pretty typical Homer/Marge story. For today's standards, I'll give that the plot at least had some coherence and pacing, there was a little more effort put into Marge/Homers characterization that made em feel more believable, although I can't really see them being a binge watching couple for some reason. Dance scene at the end being played straight was kinda nice.

    Netflix CEO cameos sucked.

    2/5
    Just because I'm stupider than them, they think they're smarter than me!
    Simpsons Season 27 Ratings:
    Every Man's Dream-4.8/10 Cue Detective-6/10 Puffless-7/10 Halloween of Horror-8.4/10 Treehouse of Horror XXVI-(4.5, 5, 3.5) 4.25/10 Friend With Benefit-5/10 Lisa With An 'S'-5.5/10 Paths of Glory--/10 Barthood--/10 The Girl Code--/10 Teenage Mutant Milk-Caused Hurdles--/10 Much Apu About Something--/10 Gal of Constant Sorrow--/10 Love Is in the N2-O2-Ar-CO2-Ne-He-CH4--/10 Lisa the Veterinarian--/10 The Marge-ian Chronicles--/10 The Burns Cage--/10 How Lisa Got Her Marge Back--/10 Fland Canyon--/10 Simprovised--/10 To Courier With Love--/10 Orange is the New Yellow--/10
    Futurama Season 7B Ratings:
    2-D Blacktop-7.5/10 Fry and Leela's Big Fling-7.9/10 T.: The Terrestrial-8.2/10 Forty Percent Leadbelly-6.8/10 The Inhuman Torch-8.4/10 Saturday Morning Fun Pit-(9, 7, 8.5) 8.2/10 Calculon 2.0-8.7/10 Assie Come Home-8.5/10 Leela and the Genestalk-7.2/10 Game of Tones-9.2/10 Murder on The Planet Express-9/10 Stench and Stenchibility-8.5/10 Meanwhile-9.5/10
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  13. #12
    Actually an Esquilax Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    It was... alright. I mean the main conflict really was just stale. Granted as someone who's been watching a thing alongside others, one in a totally different timezone, I get Marge being angry about Homer going ahead without her but when it's nothing we haven't seen over, and over, and over again, it kinda robs the story of pretty much everything in that regard.

    There were some pretty neat background elements though, I think this is the first time we've seen Wendell's parents, also spotted Ruth and I think Laura in the last scene too and the dance instructor wasn't too bad... though her voice was too Bart-like, for sure.
    I think the highlight was going to be Ralph screwing over Bart and Milhouse in the end... but it was kinda ruined when it turned out to be partly Lisa's doing because god forbid anyone other than her do anything remotely competent on their own. Also, when did he have time to get a toy for Lisa? Unless it was from Milhouse's cart and actually that's kinda plausible.

    So I guess I'll have to give it to Marge's not-yet-dying aunt.


  14. #13
    Grappling with Local Oaf Beggs's Avatar
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    This was a good, relevant idea for an episode that was unfortunately brought down somewhat by how often the show has done marriage crisis plots, particularly over petty and trivial matters. It's unfortunate because everything about binge-watching, avoiding spoilers, and causing a rift with your significant other when you watch "your" show without them is good fodder for an episode on paper, and even Marge's angrily icy reaction would've worked better if we hadn't seen her get that angry in so many contrived episodes before this one.

    Putting that aside, it was a solid premise with on-point commentary about Netflix and binge-watching. I liked the shoutout to Bojack Horseman (or maybe it was a jab; it did seem reasonably affectionate, though) and enjoyed the suggestions based on "80s Monsters". Marge's visit with her aunt was pretty brief, but it was one of the best scenes of the episode with Patty and Selma being characteristically ghoulish, and the joke claiming the pepper with an S and the salt with a P was quite snappy. The humour was pretty good throughout, I felt; other highlights for me include Homer bursting out laughing and trying to disguise it as sobbing, Milhouse giving Bart notes on reading Yertle the Turtle, the marriage birthday/birth anniversary exchange, the wry jab at supposed "story-driven" nudity, Krusty inviting the kids to explain why they love him "more than God or America", Abe thinking Homer's going off to war and then calling Marge his daughter, and Homer "confessing" to Reverend Lovejoy. They all helped carry the episode, since the two plots had their issues.

    The transition into Homer impressing Marge by learning to dance was a little clunky, and Ted Sarandos' guest appearance was gratuitous, but it worked well enough. Oddly, it even briefly tied into the subplot with Krusty bemoaning his lack of popularity due to streaming content, though after that, it was more or less the usual tale about Krusty sleazily staging a hackneyed stunt for his show. It wasn't bad and it was fun to see Ralph emerge victorious, though having Lisa help him was a bit unnecessary. It probably would've been funnier if it turned out they were the only three who entered the contest, because all the other kids were busy streaming more entertaining programming, just to tie it back into the main theme of the episode. It was fine for what it was, at worst forgettable rather than terrible.

    Homer and Marge's plot wrapped up by the numbers, but it was a genuinely nice moment. Bart actually having fun with the paddle toy and insisting that 89 was a pretty good record was a decent joke that added some levity and prevented the scene from being too sappy, though it was unusually sweet and heartwarming for a modern episode. I'll give it 3.5/5 but I'll round down to 3 for the poll. It was a pleasant enough Valentine's Day episode without going over the top with the trappings of the holiday, there were some surprisingly snappy jokes and on-point commentary about Netflix and binge-watching culture, and it ended on an enjoyable note. Unfortunately it does suffer from being yet another marriage crisis/argument episode where Marge is angrier than she should be, a choice that wouldn't be so bad in context but is something we've seen too often to feel fresh here.
    A little less Generic than before.


  15. #14
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Man, I think we could have the perfect marriage crisis plot or the modern day equivalent of Life on the Fast Lane and folks would be predisposed against it and give it a 3 out of 5 simply out of principal due to it being "a marriage crisis episode again". They're going to recycle tropes over and over again, folks. It's Season 30. That's going to be a regular occurrence whether we like it or not.

    I'm willing to give any worn over plot idea a fair shake provided that it's executed well and I thought this one was paced and written masterfully. Everyone's motivations were mapped out and the episode logically flowed from beginning to end. Marge reinforced why it was important for her to trust Homer to not watch their show without her while she was gone. They showed him resisting temptation repeatedly until finally giving in. The "dancing his way back into her heart" angle was naturally set up; I was dreading the Sarandos guest spot but his involvement in both breaking Homer down and providing a path to a solution via his invasive Netflix viewing habit algorithm was inventive.

    The comedy in the dancing segments was pretty hilarious (I can conveniently forget they danced just fine in a terrible Scully episode that was much worse than this). I actually LIKED hearing Nancy voice the instructor instead of "yet another generic Tress MacNeille character"... although I wouldn't have minded a guest star either. Marge wound up getting to the dance ballroom for Homer to spring his surprise in a logical fashion instead of magically appearing out of thin air for inexplicable reasons as she did in Homer's Night Out (which the Goodchat community watched collectively later last night).

    I could see how Lisa's reaction might come off a little overdone and unearned but it was sweet and set up the joke with Bart acting nonchalant and more impressed with his record paddle-ball achievement well. Really, my only knock against the main plot was that the Stranger Things send-ups got a little samey and overdone with recycling the plant monster instead of doing multiple things with it.

    And the subplot was just fine as well. It's what you want out of a subplot in terms of being a tightly-written distraction from the main story. I think the criticisms above about Lisa's involvement are just ridiculous. She wrote two entry essays for both Bart and Ralph (hell, she probably wrote Milhouse's as well). She was under no obligation to help Bart win once she got him in contention and she didn't help Ralph win, either. He did that on his own. Hedging makes her look smart (being smart is her thing) and the ONLY criticism I think is warranted is that it makes her reaction to Homer betting against her in Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words come off as hypocritical... but that's an argument against THAT episode and not this one.

    Frankly, I think Jane Becker did a fantastic job and would love to see her freelance another episode down the road. Women writing for this show is something to be celebrated... especially when they're not married to someone on the team already.


  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1010011010 View Post
    -Would question why Bart and Ralph won the contest, but it is Krusty, sooo (though they did bother revealing how Ralph won at the end)
    At first, I wondered why there would be a giant unicorn doll in one of the carts. Then I realized...Milhouse.

    Although, the rules did change; as first announced, it was whoever had the most expensive total would be the winner, but then it became whoever crossed the finish line first.

    I thought the main plot ended flat - they should have followed it up somehow in the last act, instead of the bit with the unicorn.

  17. #16
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    Giving credit to this episode, it's indeed another marriage crisis plot and I'm usually sick with this idea recycled over and over, but they did pretty well with what they had. That's a good way to shortly resume this episode in my opinion. I like how they handled the topic this time. First, I was afraid of Marge being mad at Homer just for bingewatching. But they give logical reasons to the crisis, since Marge highlights the fact that this is their thing, something they do together, and it's a question of trust. So, the crisis didn't seem pointless this time, and I appreciate it. Besides, Homer truly tries to avoid to break his promise, it's not like he doesn't give a shit, he really has guilt when he launch the bingewatching, after having desperately resisted to temptation.

    And secondly, Homer truly tries to do a important thing to patching things up with Marge. Something that took him days to prepare, instead of some little thing done in hurry that doesn't really mean anything and that seems out of nowhere. That's a proof he really does care about his marriage and about Marge. Homer's overall characterization in this episode is neat, and I liked his plan to solve the problem. Otherwise, I enjoyed the instructor, the fact she tries to keep her calm in any circumstance is funny ("When you step on my toe, it causes me pain"), and the final dance between Homer and Marge is a sweet ending, mostly due to a well done execution, with not so much jokes to make a distraction.

    I still have some issues with this episode. I didn't like the scenes that almost felt like a Stranger Things and Netflix promotion (in fact, why they kept Netflix's name while other big companies such as Google or Mapple had their name changed in the series), and Ted Sarandos is an absolutely forgettable guest star (though I liked the running gag with nobody knowing who he is). The subplot, even if it's not bad, was too short for my taste. But, much to my surprise, there was nothing truly annoying, and considering the base they had with this episode, that means a lot.

    Furthermore, even if some jokes were misses, I had a number of chuckles throughout the episode (Homer laughing and trying to disguise it, the nod on Bojack Horseman ("Too depressing"), "Write down, in 15 words or less, why you love me more than God and America", Homer and Lovejoy, Bart more amazed by his new record on the paddle toy than by Homer and Marge's dance). A big surprise and somehow a nice breath of fresh air in "marriage crisis plot" territory. 3.5/5
    Last edited by Wile E. the Brain; 02-11-2019 at 01:17 PM.


  18. #17
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    The episode was pretty decent, I think. So Marge has to go to her sick and possibly dying Aunt and Homer staying at Homer with the kids and after a lot of temptation from everywhere and trying his best ending up bingewatching the new season of him and Marge's favorite Netflix show (a 'Stranger Things' parody named 'Odder Stuff') even though he promised no to which sparks hostile marriage crisis once she finds out (essentially immediately when she gets home). I liked the basis with the show being their thing to watch as a couple and a crisis built on that when Homer betrays her trust (which was good reasoning behind their conflict) was a fresh idea, but I think the execution could have been a little different.

    Marriage crisises are overdone but I'm not too much against them when they are done well but there's been so many dull ones and I'm not fond of the forced ones of the HD seasons where Homer messes up but it's something more or less trivial yet Marge explodes with rage and pushes him away until he goes lengths to make it up to her and this was one of those. I understand that watching the show together is their thing but Marge becoming super petty and spiteful (even pouring syrup on him and separates their bed with a wall of books) over him giving in to temptation when knowing how he is was taking things too far and made her kinda unlikeable (I miss when Marge used to get super sad and disappointed instead of going all in-your-face rageful when being let down; would have loved if they had toned down her rage here to something more quietly bitter and somber, almost like how she treated Bart in 'Marge Be Not Proud', which would have gotten the point across perfectly without sacrificing her likeability and could've worked better against Homer’s regretful attitude).

    Still, while Marge's portrayal felt overdone with the hateful anger it wasn't too bad. I really liked the whole aspect of Homer taking dancing classes to make it up to his wife (even knowing how bad he is at it) which led to some pretty sweet and amusing scene between him and his likeable and cute dance instructor Julia (I really liked her and how she was so patient with him despite his clumsiness which led to some embarassing situations; her being voiced by Nancy Cartwright in an Bart-like voice didn't really bother me, though the part would've good for a guest star); I think those parts were fun and took my mind of the marriage crisis plot and Marge's behavior (heck, I almost wish that they could have gotten to that part sooner instead of spending almost 10 minutes on the Marge-Homer conflict which got a bit too unpleasant; it was that good, I feel).

    The subplot about Bart entering a Krusty-sponsored contest of grabbing as much toys from a Krusty-brand store within five minutes was also pretty amusing despite not being anything special; I liked how it was just between him, Milhouse and Ralph and how the latter won because the former two kept fighting (though it turning out Lisa helped Ralph in secret with his contest entrance paper was pointless and made her look pretty hypocritical since she previously chastised Bart for cheating on his paper; also I didn't get exactly why. Just so that her brother wouldn't win, possibly?). Anyway, I liked the finale with Bart and Milhouse being awarded an paddle-ball each and Bart using it even in the last scene when he appears next to an overjoyed Lisa (having set a record with it, too) as Homer invited Marge to his party where he shows off his new dance skills which nicely tied the two plots together in an nice finale. All's well that ends well, I guess.

    The humor was pretty decent there were some good jokes (such as Homer having to try contain his laughter after finding out about Marge's aunt and how she doesn't have to follow Marge and him accidentally sppoling another Netflix show for Reverend Lovejoy) and I liked the satirical aspect about Netflix, their shows and their content (my favorite was the joke about the nudity on Netflix and how it's supposedly story-driven, which was a nice jab at the many times pointless nudity and sexual content on their programming), but the appearances of the Netflix CEO on TV as he manipulates Homer into watching was forced (and it was never revealed if it did actually happen or if it was only in Homer's mind). It was very well paced, it looked really good visually with some neat dancing animation and lighting and the characterizations besides Marge's exaggeration were pretty good overall with most coming off as fairly natural.

    So all in all, it wasn't such an bad episode if not taking the marriage crisis being on relatively petty and trivial grounds and Marge acts with so much rage and resentfulness too seriously (though it's understandable as some folks can after all take this kind of bingewatching thing very seriously, not only between spouses but between friends and family so it's likely a commentary on that). I liked Homer training dancing with Julia (it was very likeable), Bart's subplot (aside from the Lisa reveal), the satirical Netflix elements (besides the CEO) and several of the gags so it wasn't that much of a waste but rather had a lot of moments that made it worthwhile. Nothing too fancy but still an alright and mostly well written episode with a good premise for a marriage crisis and lot of bright spots (especially the dancing plot which made the episode for me).

    3/5


  19. #18


    I like that Homer wanted to do something nice for Marge, but I wonder why they settled on ballroom dance. Homer's been a great dancer before (dancin Homer and the one where he choreographs NFL touchdown dances) but I guess you could argue this was a different style and harder for him to learn. The dance instructor was nice anyway, polite and very sweet. It definitely had the feel of a Valentine's episode and I liked the overall tone. The subplot was kind of funny, Ralph giving Lisa the unicorn was cute, reminded me a bit of I love Lisa.
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  21. #19
    “Pretension” by Calvin Klein ataeaf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by That Don Guy View Post
    Although, the rules did change; as first announced, it was whoever had the most expensive total would be the winner, but then it became whoever crossed the finish line first.
    He did carry both Bart’s and Milhouse’s carts at the end.
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  22. #20
    Junior Camper bboynexus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    Man, I think we could have the perfect marriage crisis plot or the modern day equivalent of Life on the Fast Lane and folks would be predisposed against it and give it a 3 out of 5 simply out of principal due to it being "a marriage crisis episode again". They're going to recycle tropes over and over again, folks. It's Season 30. That's going to be a regular occurrence whether we like it or not.

    I'm willing to give any worn over plot idea a fair shake provided that it's executed well
    I agree with this completely. It's one of the biggest reasons people were (and still are) so quick to dismiss an episode like Ice Cream of Margie - one of the finest Homer and Marge episodes of the entire post-classic era.

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  24. #21
    Actually an Esquilax Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    In a way, I think it's best compared to, say, New Super Mario Bros. From a gameplay standpoint, 2 and U are still really well designed and still fun to play, SMB is a tried and true formula after all. But then when it uses the exact same plotline, the exact same visual style, the exact same set pieces in the exact same order and almost entirely the exact same music, it's much harder to not feel a little weary of it all. But at the same time, it's not like a lot of the other "types" of Mario games are super varied, a lot of those things will be the same (like, say, the general style, peach gets kidnapped, bowser's the baddie) but then between 64, sunshine, galaxy and odyssey they have entirely different ways of handling the levels, the soundtrack, the themes even Super Mario Galaxy 2 manages to feel a little distinct from 1 because of things like these even though it was basically "Super Mario Galaxy except with ideas we came up with after the first/didn't have room for before".

    And it's kinda like that with these plotlines. There have been ways in which it's really interesting, like with Colonel Homer, where the offending incident came from Marge and Homer's attempts at helping a small time singer achieve her dreams... except she ends up falling for him. Or The Last Temptation of Homer, where he fell for someone else and the story was his struggle to resist someone that seemed like the absolute perfect woman for him. There are ways to do these things differently. Or like Life on the Fast Lane where it actually focuses far more on Marge's side.

    Like for instance, a lot would be changed just by the tone of her reaction. Like maybe if we'd started with them watching Odder Stuff or whatever it was together and getting really into it and talking about it and everything when the phone calls start. Then when she finds out Homer watched season 2 without her, instead of angry, she's crushed. Even when they try to watch it together the fact that Homer knew everything just makes it feel entirely hollow for Marge. It'd still be along the lines of a marriage crisis but it'd change an awful lot if those things I just suggested were done and just right, it'd still be gut wrenching to go through.

    It's like with another long standing series, The Legend of Zelda. In their basest form nearly all of them have the same setup, local nobody in green gets a sword, goes out, clears a buncha dungeons to either get mcguffins or save living ones, then stab the baddie, often a giant pig, a bunch of times and viola you win. But it still feels different when almost all of the points in between down to the world, the various items and nearly the entire side cast being different each game. Heck Majora's Mask managed to feel plenty like it's own game even with a lot of assets shared with Ocarina of Time because they still changed quite a lot in between including changing up the roles and lives of the familiar side characters. And a few huge dollops of nightmare fuel, of course.

    And that's where I think this ep ends up tepid, it's following the bare bones of a marriage crisis plot outside of kicking Homer out without any real spin on it, the most typical thing most of us would think if we heard "marriage crisis". Well aside from maybe the dance class moments, which were actually fairly good.


  25. #22
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venomrabbit View Post
    Like for instance, a lot would be changed just by the tone of her reaction. Like maybe if we'd started with them watching Odder Stuff or whatever it was together and getting really into it and talking about it and everything when the phone calls start. Then when she finds out Homer watched season 2 without her, instead of angry, she's crushed. Even when they try to watch it together the fact that Homer knew everything just makes it feel entirely hollow for Marge. It'd still be along the lines of a marriage crisis but it'd change an awful lot if those things I just suggested were done and just right, it'd still be gut wrenching to go through.
    I would have loved if it ended up playing out like that, much since it could've been bit less forced and more interesting; as I was watching the episode and was at the part when Homer caved in and started watching I had the idea of the two of them potentially trying out to watch the series together later, it being a rewatch for Homer and the first time for Marge and it not working out and ringing hollow and pointless like you said (just that could've made it deeper and maybe more hard hitting), but then things played out like they did and it felt more or less like one of the more usual HD-era marriage crisises (though the dancing plotline and it's execution made it better as said). It would've been a pretty simple rewrite.

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  27. #23
    Grappling with Local Oaf Beggs's Avatar
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    It is probably a little unfair to write off an episode simply because it treads some familiar ground, but freshness does count for something, and when it comes to marriage crisis/argument plots, they have gone to that well a lot over the years. I think it's fair enough that for some fans, another one is too much to stomach, even if it's been done better than its predecessors.

    As I said in my review, it did affect my enjoyment a little because I'm weary of those plots too, but at the same time, it was a pretty good spin on it. It's also helped that the usual grand gesture by Homer that puts everything right is something that was set up and we saw him working on, rather than being some spontaneous act that is contrived to happen in the last couple of minutes. I was on the fence as far as rounding up or down from 3.5/5 for the poll, and ultimately went down because I didn't quite feel it was a solid 4/5 for me. That said, 3 feels a bit low, which is why I split the difference outside the poll.

    To the point about Lisa, that's certainly fair. I didn't dislike that she revealed she wrote Ralph's essay as well, I just felt it was a bit tacked on and feel it might've been funnier if Ralph had written some nonsensical essay and only made it to the Top 3 because no one else bothered to enter, tying back into Krusty's waning popularity. It was a fine subplot, though; more of a What If rather than a major complaint on my part, I guess.


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    Actually an Esquilax Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    Think it also helped that they went to the effort of having the dances choreographed and everything before hand, as shown on that one video clip. Considering how easy it is to accuse the show of going through the motions, it's important to acknowledge when they do go and do something like that.


  29. #25
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    Homer, Marge, and marital problems. A never ending story in this series. Recycling is constant when dealing with a conflict between the main couple. But you can not blame writers for repeating plots in a show that has been on the air for thirty years. In addition, the problem is not in the episodes where they focus on their conflicts. The problem appears when they use it as a twist on occasions that can be avoided, as has happened at Heartbreak Hotel, Werking Mom and Krusty the Clown, only this season.

    I have to say that I also get angry with the people who follow on their own a series that have started with me. It is as if they break a bond that unites both. Although I also understand the other party, the one who suffers from an addiction to a series. It is an interesting situation that they explored really well. It was fun to see Homer disguising his joy with sadness. It was also to see him resisting the temptation to start the series, and I liked the assembly of his two-season marathon. What I did not like were the cameos of Ted Sarandos. It seems forced, as if there was no place for it. And his participation was not good. Still, the jokes that refer to Netflix seemed pretty successful, especially the nod to BoJack Horseman. I laughed too when Homer confesses with Lovejoy, and spoiled him the series he sees. Then, on the advice of Sarandos, Homer goes to dance classes to surprise Marge. I thought the episode would stagnate here, but it passes with remarkable fluidity. Julia's character I liked, and it was nice to see Homer trying again and again.

    As for the subframe, it is really successful. Cut with the sweetness and suspense of the main, to tell a simple story but no less fun, with good appearances by Krusty, Milhouse and Ralph. It was a good choice to put Ralph on this site, and it was great that he once again showed his smart side, winning the contest organized by the Clown, and his appreciable side, having a good gesture with Lisa, who helped him enter. to the contest, as he did with Bart and Ralph. Personally I liked the development and I have no complaints, although I also thought it was a good idea that @Beggs proposed. I suppose that both ends are good happens because the plot that develops has big potential.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beggs View Post
    It probably would've been funnier if it turned out they were the only three who entered the contest, because all the other kids were busy streaming more entertaining programming, just to tie it back into the main theme of the episode.
    As, I guess, it has happened to most, I loved the end. I feel that everything that had happened before was an incentive for you to want to see the resolution. And that worked with me. And they surpassed my medium expectations with a really great dance, with a very well achieved environment and successful musicalization. Even 'Every Breath You Take' was an excellent choice for Marge's entry into the room. Lisa's reaction may seem exaggerated, but I felt genuine. And the intervention of Bart, happy with his record of 89 strokes to the little ball, was useful for not impaling a scene that could lack humor.

    4/5. Jane Becker did a very good job, and I join the request to have her back in the series. After Dangers on a Train, this is the best episode with this difficult theme in the HD era.
    SEASON 30 RANKINGS: Bart's Not Dead: 3/5 / Heartbreak Hotel: 2/5 / My Way or the Highway to Heaven: 3/5 / Treehouse of Horror XXIX: 2/5 / Baby You Can't Drive My Car: 4/5 / From Russia Without Love: 4/5 / Werking Mom: 4/5 / Krusty the Clown: 4/5 / Daddicus Finch: 5/5 / Tis the Thirtieth Season: 2/5 / Mad About the Toy: 3/5 / The Girl on the Bus: 3/5 / I'm Dancing as Fat as I Can: 4/5 / The Clown Stays in the Picture: 2/5 / 101 Mitigations: 4/5 / I Want You (She's So Heavy): 1/5 / E My Sports 4/5 / Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy: 5/5 / Girl's in the Band: 4/5 / I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say D'oh: 2/5


  30. #26
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    @Beggs, I too debated with myself whether to give it a 3.5/5 and round it up for the poll but I decided for a stronger 3/5 which felt more suitable since I didn't think the episode was strong enough for a 4/5. Also agreed on what you say that freshness has a play in how these marriage crisis stories are judged even when they do something a little new with it such as this time with the binge watching, which is probably unfair like you say but a lot of folks are tired of the concept itself and that can hurt the episode in question for many even with all the stuff that is very well done and add to the episode (like the dancing plot in this one).

    As for the writer, Jane Becker, I think there's a future for her if she decides to continue writing for the series since I think that she can do even better than the stuff here; it's very often hard for a writer to perfectly nail the first episode to a T but usually they improve with their second, third and so forth so I'd welcome more episodes by her (also good to have more female writers on the series).


  31. #27
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    "This is the same story we've seen before" is mentioned by Phil roughly a dozen or so times.
    Doesn't matter that it's executed well. Gotta punish the show for treading over familiar ground.
    Because, apparently, people that are still watching The Simpsons in Season 30 don't want familiar. Really?

    Like, I'll be the first one out there to criticize the show for not exploring more of its supporting cast. I'll be the first one out there to criticize the show for not mining fresh story ideas. I'll be the first one out there lambasting the writers that have been there for 15+ years who are content to spin their wheels rehashing the same tired story beats so they can cash a check and muse over their silly movie box office fantasy game.

    But this was a FREELANCE writer taking a crack at a familiar Simpsons story archetype and pulling it off pretty damn flawlessly. And a woman no less. That isn't married to anyone on staff. I consider this something that should be celebrated and not hand-waved away.

    I'll also echo @Venomrabbit for giving a shout-out to the extra effort that Matthew Nastuk and Courtney Platt clearly put into choreographing and mo-capping the dance sequences. They could have simply taken the cheap way out here but they didn't and I'll applaud their initiative to make those come off more natural within the animated medium.
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 02-12-2019 at 02:36 PM.

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  33. #28
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    It's a familiar theme, but its own story. That's probably a key point to distinguish. I agree that another episode (or more) from Jane Becker would be welcome, and the choreography also deserves a lot of credit.

  34. #29


    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post


    "This is the same story we've seen before" is mentioned by Phil roughly a dozen or so times.
    Doesn't matter that it's executed well. Gotta punish the show for treading over familiar ground.
    Because, apparently, people that are still watching The Simpsons in Season 30 don't want familiar. Really?

    Like, I'll be the first one out there to criticize the show for not exploring more of its supporting cast. I'll be the first one out there to criticize the show for not mining fresh story ideas. I'll be the first one out there lambasting the writers that have been there for 15+ years who are content to spin their wheels rehashing the same tired story beats so they can cash a check and muse over their silly movie box office fantasy game.

    But this was a FREELANCE writer taking a crack at a familiar Simpsons story archetype and pulling it off pretty damn flawlessly. And a woman no less. That isn't married to anyone on staff. I consider this something that should be celebrated and not hand-waved away.

    I'll also echo @Venomrabbit for giving a shout-out to the extra effort that Matthew Nastuk and Courtney Platt clearly put into choreographing and mo-capping the dance sequences. They could have simply taken the cheap way out here but they didn't and I'll applaud their initiative to make those come off more natural within the animated medium.
    First of all, I don't know why we should rate this episode any differently because it was a Female Freelance writer and a fun fact is that she has worked for the simpsons as an assistant to the producers ( she has since moved to other duties outside of the simpsons )

    I rate episodes as a long time fan in relation to golden age simpsons episodes, that is the benchmark for me but I try to be fair and rate it for it's own merits.
    If you compare this episode to other marriage crisis episodes, like "The Mysterious Voyage of Our Homer" this episode is far from flawless.
    I think a lot of modern simpsons writers have issues with storytelling, they either move the story too fast or too slowly, although I think they have a tendency to try and cram too much into an episode. I also don't think a lot of writers really get the characters they are writing for sometimes.

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  36. #30
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    This is an alright episode. I'm not much into marriage crisis episodes these days, but this is done fairly well. What I liked most is the fluid pacing and properly building up the marriage crisis, rather than coming up with all these sudden turns where Marge often gets very angry over very little things. I watched What Animated Women Want earlier and this is an episode done horribly wrong in comparison. They built up her outrage quite well of Homer not being able to hold himself from watching a certain show before she gets home. I liked most of the scenes with Homer trying to avoid spoilers, getting tempted by the TV to watch and Marge visiting her dying auntie with her sisters.

    The Bart/Krusty sub plot felt filler-ish but it had a lot of good moments. The pacing was also done well because it didn't distract from the main plot as much. I liked Julia as a character who is actually very patient with Homer and is determinant to teach him dancing. A happy ending for the main plot, something Homer actually worked for to achieve. There wasn't really anything bad that I found in this episode, I'd say the few issues I have is that despite being well written and paced for most part, its still a rather generic marriage crisis episode that didn't try much new that interest me. Its mostly a lot of Netflix based jokes and I'm not as much into dancing (also Homer danced way more often with Marge before this episode. Why does he suddenly need to learn it then?). And despite the built up I don't think that Marge had to act so outrageous towards Homer, especially considering that he had no idea that Marge was about to be home (she could've at least tried to call or text Homer).

    I still liked this episode and might've rated it a bit to low on the poll. My overall score will be:

    3.5/5
    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

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