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Thread: Rate & Review: "Hail to the Teeth" (ZABF05)



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  1. #1
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Rate & Review: "Hail to the Teeth" (ZABF05)



    Season 31, Episode 11
    Original Airdate: January 5, 2020
    Writer: Elisabeth Kiernan Averick
    Director: Mark Kirkland
    Showrunner: Al Jean
    Synopsis: Homer and Marge attend Artie Ziff's wedding and become quite uncomfortable when they realize that his bride-to-be is a clone of Marge. Meanwhile, Lisa grapples with the misogynistic implications of the immediate popularity she receives after getting her new Invisalign braces.

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    TV VIEWERSHIP - 0.6 Rating in Adults 18-49 - 1.81 Million Viewers

    R&R Poll Average Score: 2.10 / 5 (as of March 27th / 20 votes)

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    IMDB User Rating: 6.0 / 10 (as of May 17th / 269 users)
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 05-18-2020 at 06:07 PM.
    SEASON 31 RANKINGS
    The Winter of Our Monetized Content - 1.5/5 / 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 - 3.5/5 / Marge the Lumberjill - 2/5 / 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? - 3.5/5 / Bobby, It's Cold Outside - 2.5/5 / Hail to the Teeth - 1.5/5
    The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson - 2/5 / Frinkcoin - 3/5 / Maggie Simpson In "Playdate with Destiny" - 4/5
    Bart the Bad Guy - 5/5 / Screenless - 2/5 / Better Off Ned - 2.5/5 / Highway to Well - 4/5
    The Incredible Lightness of Being a Baby - 2.5/5 / Warrin' Priests - 2/5 / The Hateful Eight-Year-Olds - 4.5/5 / The Way of the Dog - 5/5

  2. #2
    Wants to be a sweetie pie Financial Panther's Avatar
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    I say this a lot nowadays, but man, this episode was weird. Mostly for the Artie plot, which seemed more suited for a THOH. But the episode seemed to treat Artie as a bad person for making a bunch of Marge clones, and I think that’s a bad way to look at it. Artie’s just a guy obsessed with the one woman he truly loved and can’t figure out how to accept that she’s with Homer. But the ending with all the Marge clones disliking him made me think that the writers wanted Artie to be seen as a terrible person.

    I enjoyed the Lisa plot more, although it was a bit reminscent of Homer’s baldness in Simpson and Delilah, although her presumed loss wasn’t shown to be based on her lack of smile and more on her attempt to fool the audience. The rest of this plot was pretty good, and I thought it had some pretty funny bits in it, like Mel’s illegitimate son. It did a pretty good job showing how much society seems to react to smiles. It was easy to predict that she would lose that smile before the election was over, though, so there weren’t any really surprising twists to the episode.

    The Artie plot just seemed to miss the mark a bit, and the Lisa plot was a bit predictable, albeit with some strong jokes. 3/5
    Favorite and least favorite by season
    1. Life on the Fast Lane Homer’s Night Out 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 The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase 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. Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind 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 30. Daddicus Finch I Want You (She’s So Heavy) 31. Thanksgiving of Horror Warrin’ Priests (Part Two)


  3. #3
    Stonecutter John95's Avatar
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    Pretty meh episode, though I'll admit I was only half paying attention so maybe that had something to do with it. I previously said that the subplot from synopsis alone reminded me of the joke from Papa Don't Leech of Lurleen dating someone that looked just like Homer, and was disappointed to see them basically rehash that same joke but now make it semi-episode length to lackluster results.

    Main plot was slightly more interesting, but ended rather anticlimactically and had some jokes that went on longer than they needed to like the end of the first scene with the dentist, Mrs. Hoover's pills and Wiggum going to the garbage island or barge.

    Other things I'll add:
    * Grey's Sherri & Terri is spot on, but her Martin could still use some work.
    * Was one of Lisa's images on the app a reference to her daughter in Holiday of Future Passed?

    1/5
    Family Guy Season 18 Ratings - Yacht Rocky: 1.5/5 Bri-Da: 2.5/5 Absolutely Babulous: 1.5/5 Disney's The Reboot: 1.5/5 Cat Fight: 1.5/5 Peter & Lois' Wedding: .5/5 Heart Burn: 1.5/5 Shanksgiving: .5/5 Christmas is Coming: 2/5 Connie's Celica: 0/5 Short Cuts: 2/5 Undergrounded: 1.5/5 Rich Old Stewie: 3.5/5 The Movement: .5/5 Baby Stewie: 0/5 Start Me Up: 1/5 Coma Guy: 1/5 Better Off Meg: .5/5 Holy Bibble: 0/5 Movin' In (Principal Shepherd's Song): 0/5
    American Dad! Season 16 Ratings - 100 Years a Solid Fool: 0/5 A Starboy is Born: 1/5 Tapped Out: 0/5 Brave N00b World: 0/5 Into the Woods: 0/5 One Fish, Two Fish: 1.5/5 Exquisite Corpses: 2/5 Trophy Wife, Trophy Life: 1.5/5 Game Night: 2/5 American Data?: 0/5 Salute Your Sllort: 0/5 Ghost Dad: TBD Men II Boyz: TBD Roger Needs Dick: 0/5


  4. #4
    Dinner at 80 mph lionelhutz123's Avatar
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    As over-the-top as the Artie plot was, I couldn't help but laugh at insect robot Marge swooping the old man up at the end, declaring "The future is now!" Made it kind of worth it.


  5. #5
    Junior Camper Frankbags's Avatar
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    When I first read the synopsis I was worried that it wouldn't have much in term of substance and a lot of pandering.

    I'm happy that there was some nuance in this episode.

    Here's a few of my reactions for this episode.

    - The random old white dude was random... yeah I know. I can't help but feel like this was a little lazy.
    - I'm glad they didn't do too much with the braces but I really enjoyed that the fact that lisa's teeth are crooked is because of her sax.
    - The puber app was funny.
    - The Hologram thing was stretched pretty thinly and I think there's so much more to be done in respect to resurrecting dead celebrities.
    - Okay, we get it homer is fat, the elevator is struggling.. no need to add two more jokes to that one.
    - Sideshow mel's kid was funny.

    The best joke was probably when Lisa asked bart how the kids on the playground would vote, the kids at the slides are up and down, monkey bar are climbing.

    The rest of the plot was pretty boring. 2/5
    Last edited by Frankbags; 01-05-2020 at 08:21 PM.


  6. #6
    Mmmmmmmm, floor pie
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    Three A few things caught my attention:

    Once again, the Maggie / Grampa New Year opening was used; this is the sixth time.

    The chalkboard opening seemed more appropriate for Mrs. Krabappel than for Ned Flanders, and, as usual, it doesn't mention the teacher's name.

    In the closing credits, Lisa is christening "U.S.S. Lisa Simpson"; to be pedantic, a ship doesn't become USS until it is commissioned, which is usually well over a year after its christening.

    Somebody remembered continuity; Mary Bailey is still the governor of "whatever state Springfield is in," and Miss Hoover's first name begins with an E (Elizabeth, as stated in (at least) two previous episodes), as it is listed on her prescription bottle.
    Last edited by That Don Guy; 01-06-2020 at 07:58 AM.

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    Well, that couch gag was pretty yikes at the end.

    As for the episode... it was weird. Lisa's plot was as heavyhanded as they came, but that's inevitable when sexism is the topic... and while stereotypical I don't doubt there's plenty of folks like that old guy. That said, that smile was more uncanny than anything. I joked about it but it really is like that facelift Lenny got. It's probably also the flimsiet note for her to become instantly popular. I feel like I've seen Dubya before but still... why him out of anyone else? Mary was the only one of them that had much of anything, the others just blend together more or less. That said, it was a really welcome change of pace to have Lisa fail for once. It really felt like it would have ended with her making some big speech and even everyone applauds or something. (also, loyalty and integrity? Funniest joke of the episode)

    As for the Ziff plot... Marge said it, it was too weird. Definitely gotta say, didn't see that coming either. Yet it didn't feel like it amounted to a lot in the end. John Lovitz did really stand out performance-wise though, felt he was pretty good! It was also kinda neat that Marge tried encouraging him to use the Margebots for good though.

    A few chuckle-worthy moments: Nelson describing how Americans can be fat and poor, Ms Hoover (surprisingly enough), the "Great to be Me" hedge maze, the rhino leaving, Milhouse's one thing, Bart describing the voters, "it was my machismo talking!" not like Martin really had any machismo...

    But overall, it was pretty weak and the jokes were only mildly funny at most ouside of Ms Hoover and the Milhouse&Nelson moment. I guess a 2/5...? Thought it'd be worse but then it was hardly super either.
    Season 31 just sucked.


  9. #8
    No to cooties and sisters. Shoskin's Avatar
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    Once again the writers are on their soapbox and made this episode about sexism. Plenty of people, including men, don't smile. I myself had been told to smile at work plenty of times. I have also had Invisalign, which I not sure was actually was said that she got, but it didn't make me smile more. However, I agree that there isn't anything to smile about lately, anywhere.

    At times I see that cannon doesn't even matter in this show at times. Lisa has already been told to smile before so people will talk to her. She hates phonies but became one herself. Plus she has been a misfit and a outcast all her life and she starts to smile and everyone likes her? All those kids in her school must be really stupid.

    The Artie story could have been the real episode where basically Artie comes to grips with why Marge doesn't want him other than being with Homer. He's a self-centered human being who basically tried to rape Marge.

    Show had me chuckling at some parts. Some of you mentioned them above. Milhouse pining is getting old.

    Disappointing but I'll be nice for Artie 2/5.
    Last edited by Shoskin; 01-06-2020 at 02:15 AM.

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  11. #9
    will gut you like a fish BloodySimpsonChibi's Avatar
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    Well this was a weird one. The Artie plot felt like it would be more at home in a TOH as FP said and frankly came off a little creepy. As for the Lisa plot, it kinda felt like I was watching an older Lisa-centered episode which to me is a good thing. Also, I'd be lying if I said I didn't think that Marge bug carrying off that sexist old guy was satisfying.

    7/10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaine View Post
    I'd imagine patting Lisa on the head would sting, damn kids with their spiky heads.



  12. #10


    The Ziff plot with a Marge clone caught my attention at first, but after that robot reveal I simply lost interest. The Lisa plot seems like something i've already seen many times so I didn't care.

    3/10

  13. #11
    her cocoa is so chuggable PreciousBodilyFluids's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Financial Panther View Post
    But the episode seemed to treat Artie as a bad person for making a bunch of Marge clones, and I think that’s a bad way to look at it. Artie’s just a guy obsessed with the one woman he truly loved and can’t figure out how to accept that she’s with Homer. But the ending with all the Marge clones disliking him made me think that the writers wanted Artie to be seen as a terrible person.
    ....

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  15. #12
    Breathtaking Nitsy's Avatar
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    -Well, we're off to a heavy-handed start. Random non-character starts yelling sexisms at Lisa! The writers really lose their ability to write when they want to cram a "woke" message into the episode...
    -"Puber" app is pretty funny. Bart thinking it cool that he would die young is not out of character.
    -I'm glad they at least acknowledge that Lisa had braces before.
    -Romanian is not a Slavic language! Names don't end in "-vich".
    -I get the commentary they're going for here, but among various issues that women face, the "smile" issue is one I have trouble caring much about. I'm quiet and have been told to "speak up" my entire life and have had to pretend to be social to get ahead. I'm not saying it's not an issue, and I'm sure having some douchebag tell you to "smile more" is frustrating, but this didn't seem like the strongest pro-woman issue to hinge an episode on, though I guess they're not going to be doing a #metoo episode anytime soon.
    -So now we've gone full sci-fi with the Marge clone. This does feel almost like a THOH.
    -I lol'd at Bart's jokes about the voters.
    -A zoo of Marge robots. Definitely a weird subplot.
    -That was a disturbing "pronoun" joke!
    -The funny thing is, I don't know that I would've questioned Mel's presence at a school debate. I just expect him to speak up in a crowd. When Bart pointed it out, I thought "oh yeah. What is he doing there?"
    -Um, wtf with a winged Marge talking to Lisa?

    Overall this episode was decent. The subplot was truly one of the strangest I've ever seen, but it wasn't bad per se. I like Artie Ziff and while his appearance here was a bit creepy and the plot THOH-like, it wasn't the worst. I can suspend disbelief for a "canon" episode every now and then. I could've done without some of the zaniness of it, however. It took away from the episode a bit. The Lisa plot was also alright. Like I said, the whole "smile" issue is not one that you'd think could carry an episode, but it did alright, even if some elements (Lisa getting braces, Lisa running for school president), have been done before. It was kind of fun seeing Lisa be popular, even if it was for a shallow reason. At least the popularity didn't turn her into a jerk and she actually tried to do something good with it. Plus I don't know that Lisa has ever been shown to be someone who doesn't smile in the past? She certainly is the most melancholic of the Simpsons, but the montage at the end made it seem as if she never ever smiles and that just isn't true.

    3/5

    Also, was this subplot foretold?



    Still waiting for the crazy wedding where something happens and do-do-do-do...
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    Last edited by Nitsy; 01-06-2020 at 11:41 AM.
    Get woke, go broke


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    That old man was far from a well written character... but on the other hand, I'll take it over the usual route these kinds of plots take (not just The Simpsons) and making half the cast suddenly sexist as hell regardless of their character like in Paths of Glory...

  17. #14
    SuperFriend Kaine's Avatar
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    Kind of an odd episode. I had expected the Artie plot to be the main plot since the Lisa plot was described as ''meanwhiled''. Good thing this wasn't the case because the Lisa plot was a lot better. I don't really like Artie as I don't like his obsessive behaviour towards Marge and the lengths he goes through just to get to her, but in this episode he finds a somewhat alternative which is also rather disturbing for Marge, but nothing inoffensive. Still I don't see why the Simpsons would even want to come anywhere near Artie at this point. At least the Lisa plot was entertaining enough despite sharing a lot of similarities with Simpson and Delilah, replacing Homer's hair with Lisa smiling.

    The couch gag was alright but nothing special. The old man talking to Lisa felt so random, which makes it better that he returns a couple of times and gets a sendoff. The dinner scene had some good moments with the Puber app, Lisa's sax being the cause of her teeth problems, the Artie holograms which started to drag on in the bedroom scene. I liked the ''dr. Kidzrule'' name and what it really stood for. The roof party with Artie felt a bit pointless with a fat joke, Homer overexplaining Artie his own joke, and Homer being send to the hospital by overeating a pig. Most Lisa scenes were good with her telling a sad story of Charlotte's Web and Bart accidently calling her gorgeous.

    The wedding scene had at least one joke going for it with Homer pretending that Artie's wife is his daughter he is giving away. I like Millhouses drawings with Lisa and how she is still forced to smile at it. Having a random Spuckler compete with her as the next student body president is pretty random but at the same time they needed someone as incapable as him. Now Lisa is unable to laugh and she somehow didn't expect this to happen. The garbage island gag is probably this episodes best gag. I like how Artie plot was now shaping up where he reveals his robot Marge's, with some of them having rather funny portrayals like the terminator, Bender and the spider-like ones. Kinda funny that Marge suggested to use these robots for good, but then we have Artie going back to himself in an instant and drives these robots away. The Lisa mouth editing was pretty fun and Sideshow Mel having a son looking so close to him. Apparently Lisa is aware of the robot Marge's where one of them talks to her and sends off the old man from the beginning. The ending with Artie was also funny with the latest Marge simply saying that she doesn't like him.

    Its an alright episode with a lot of good moments, decent jokes and some entertaining plots. The Artie plot felt close to a THoH plot which they could've made even more disturbing, it would also make a lot more sense for the Simpsons to not act so disturbed. I didn't like the Artie plot that much until the Marge robots were revealed, which lead to some funny gags. I didn't mind Artie as much either although he just never seems to learn from his behaviour and continues to go back to his old self. I guess his obsession with Marge is what makes his entire character, though I would prefer to have him act high of himself. The Lisa plot was better and more fleshed out. I liked her character a lot in this episode and I just like seeing more school setting in the main plot. Her story is nothing new and very basic. I'm not sure what to rate this episode, its probably close to a 3.5/5 but for the poll I'll round it down to a:

    3/5
    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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  19. #15
    Up an atom. Ramier Wolfcastle's Avatar
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    All this episode did was reference previous episodes and remind me how good they were: Mary Bailey, Artie Ziff, and of course, "Lisa Needs Braces" without the dental plan.

    1/5


  20. #16
    Stonecutter angeldeb82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angeldeb82 View Post
    Phil highlights a few things that are wrong with the episode. The episode is funny and the Lisa plot is good fun but the Artie plot is just lazy filler, and basically, "I'm still in love with you marge". Artie will always be one-dimensional unless he's open to change.

  22. #18
    blocks your path CousinMerl's Avatar
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    This episode wasn't awful, but I found it a really weak letdown. Both of the plotlines, Lisa getting invisible braces and Homer & Marge being invited to Artie Ziff's wedding, didn't sound impressive when I read the plot description for the episode but I still hoped it be enjoyable enough. It ended up having some good and entertaining bits in there (mainly humor along with some decent execution of the ideas) but it never grabbed my interest, wasn't that funny or original and felt really off.The plots felt sort of dull and kinda empty to me, as if the energy and heart wasn't really there and like they both just scratched the surface and came out feeling thin and incomplete. Lisa's plot came off better than I thought it would be (as they did something a little interesting with another "Lisa needs braces" plot, reused as it was) but was merely okay at best & the Artie Ziff story was really weak and thin (and went too far with the silliness) but it had some decent moments and things of interest.

    Lisa's plot started with this sexist old guy who tells her to smile more (It was timely with the issue of girls and women being told by men to smile more and as a kick-off to the plot it was handled well). She brings it up at dinner, Bart FaceApp's her to how she'll look like during puberty has her wearing braces & Marge says she must get new ones since the old dentist was really a periodontist (wait, why did Marge wait until now to bring the braces up?). Lisa's new Invisalign braces (which gives her an really weird and strained permanent smile which I agree did look like the gag about Lenny's facelift in Season 3) causing everyone at school to be super nice to her was interesting (though Lisa looking at the old video about workplace sexual harassment felt unnecessary; Lisa would of course already know of this). Her taking advantage of it to run for class president was an interesting turn and I liked how Bart supported her (and that she was honestly trying to make things at the school better when she had everyone's attention, not for selfish reasons so kudos) but I never got invested in the story.

    She naturally has the bottom jaw braces installed right before the final debate, giving her a permanent frown and has to cover it up, only appearing at the debate over video link (with some mouth editing). I like the mishap stuff but was a little disappointed in the ending with her revealing herself and her plan, disappointing everyone and make them blindly shout for Dubya to win; it felt too much like 'Simpson And Delilah'. Granted, they didn't like being used like that but that doesn't mean that all her thoughts and ideas are invalid (and she did mean well for the school and acted in their best interest), but the satire of how shallow people are and how people react towards smiling (and the sexist implications) was evident (plus I sensed an timely political reference with how everyone went up in arms about Dubya) and she did deceive everyone so she maybe deserved what she got. The old man appearing to rub it into her face for a third time was unnecessary, but I didn't mind it; also he got what he deserved, even though it was really ridiculous and over the top). It was an OK story at best, though still lame and derivative, nothing more.

    The secondary plot about Artie Ziff inviting Homer and Marge to his wedding was pretty meh. Having Ziff back was a nice and he's still an entertaining character, but the explanation of how he was a billionaire again (due to selling fireplace logs that look like cash) felt cheap (also the holo box joke went on for too long). His bride revealed as a Marge clone at the wedding was interesting, but the explanation that the Marge clone being an humanlike robot, followed by the reveal of a secret robotics laboratory housing maybe a dozen Marge robots (some with non-humanoid designs) was a little extreme. It just became a little too weird, dumb and Treehouse-like for me. I liked Marge convincing him to use the Marge bots for good things (and we see them building a schoolhouse in some tropical place before growing wings and flies away for some reason; what?) but the plot felt too silly and pointless; nothing really changed and Artie is still an arrogant creep, but some of the humor was decent and I liked the Artie scenes, though one of the flying robots appearing at the end of Lisa's plot and her cheering instead of being freaked out was too much and made no sense; way too much cartoonish nonsense in this one. I don't have more to say about this lackluster plotline so I'll leave it there.

    Speaking of the jokes and gags, there were some good ones here but most of them came in the Lisa plot, with both Milhouse, Nelson and even Martin having at lease a good joke each (also Ms. Hoover got a good bit) and stuff like Sideshow Mel's illegitimate son, Chief Wiggum rather scrounging for Ralphs lost retainer on Garbage Island rather than pay the exorbitant fee for a new one & the Aaron Eckhart joke were nice; the Artie Ziff plot was less funny and only really relied on Artie himself when it came to the humor, with some moments being provided by Homer, naturally. The animation was good even though nothing really stood out, the characterizations were most a-okay as everyone felt more or less in character (which was a big positive) and the guest star Jon Lovitz did a great job as usual; I hope we'll see more of Artie in the future but the next time, I hope he'll get a stronger plot as this one just lacked and was too over the top with the Marge-series robots (Would be nice with a storyline that in no way involves his obsession with Marge and instead gave him some character development; felt like they could have done more than this with him as it felt stale and safe in a sense, ridiculous as it got).

    All in all, the episode certainly disappointed me. I didn't expect much from this but like I said, the heart and the energy needed just wasn't there, even for a modern episode. The plots felt pretty standard and bland, Lisa's story felt like an amalgam of old stories (and the feeling of the 'Simpson And Delilah' ending cannot escape me) and Artie's plot with the Marge clone and the robots was over the top and never really that funny at all. It just felt really bland and emptily dull in a sense, many of the story beats felt too familiar and reused plus the episode felt confused as if it didn't know if to be grounded and down to earth (Lisa's plot) or big and weirdly cartoonish (Artie's plot), but I liked the characterizations, some of the humor, the social commentary on sexism regarding women being told to smile and if you accept the robot plot (which was a bit too much for me as said) there wasn't really anything too offensive. It's not an completely bottom of the barrel awful episode, but still an really weak and honestly kinda bad one: mediocre, dull and boring. Not the best episode to start the new year (and decade) with.

    The episode recieves a 2/5 from me. Had the episode been more original, grabbed my interest more plus had more meat to the plotlines & less cartoonish weirdness I would have given it an higher rating but it fell short and never bloomed into something more. It just felt so unremarkable as a whole (even for an episode with robot duplicates) and it got a little too out there with the subplot for my taste.
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 02-13-2020 at 01:19 AM.

  23. Thumbs Up To This Post by: Szyslak100

  24. #19
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    Oh boy, that was terrible. Yeah I personally thought that it was a pretty painful episode to watch. It's not like the previous episodes were brilliant but I think that it was the first time since quite some time that I thought the show has to stop to keep its dignity. So what can I say ? The main plot is badly handled and hackneyed and the second plot is just ridiculous, as well as showing how one-dimensional the writers want that Artie remains even through the years. Granted, I should've been worried from the beginning since it was one of the laziest way to launch a plot that I saw in the show. They were so desperate to find a way to launch the plot that we have random man putting Lisa down in the street because she doesn't smile. M'kay. Well, at least the dinner scene had I believe the only joke of the episode that genuinely made me laugh (the puberty app tested on Bart).

    I'll begin with Lisa's plot with the girl needing dental braces again (at least they aknowledged it) and being listened now because the braces makes her looking like she's actually smiling. Well, first off I don't really like how the writers imply again that Lisa is only a depressive girl who's completely unable to smile and have some positive thoughts. The plot itself, looks like I wasn't the only one who thinked about Simpson and Delilah, but I think the execution was nowhere near as clever as it was in the aforementioned episode for a number of reasons. For me the writing here was very lazy, I mean, I get the idea behind Lisa being suddenly listened because it looks like she's smiling, I get the jab at our society ready to listen to the showman instead of the reasonable candidate and I get that some people aren't listened because they're not positive, but that doesn't mean that I will excuse such a poor execution, In Simpson and Delilah, the experience really added something to Homer (also thanks to his relationship with Karl), learning to be more confident despite people listening only because of how he looks like, the message about the worship of appearance was clever, but here I thought it felt useless and stupid regarding the characters (Lisa being accepted despite saying out loud that it's because of the braces), I mean granted, people of Springfield never were a lot smart but still. I thought it was better handled in Trash of the Titans. I absolutely didn't care about this story despite the not so bad idea behind it.

    As for Artie's plot, it's even worse. If only such a funny character (usually) can be used for other plots than the everlasting "he has an obsession with Marge". To be honest, I thought that such a plot could've work if, for example, Artie married a doppleganger of Marge instead of a clone, before learning that it's not because a woman is a doppleganger of Marge that she's the Marge he loves. If they really wanted to keep the "Artie wants Marge" plot, I think this one could've been more interesting. But no, the Marge he's marrying is a clone and it's just ridiculous. I can handle goofy plots from time to time but this one did go too far for my taste, and I couldn't help but think about the fact Matt Groening didn't want The Simpsons to be a goofy cartoon. But with this episode, it's really close to be one. What were the writers thinking ? It's stupid, it's weird (and not in a good way), and it's also completely useless. Just another way to show that Artie still is an obsessed guy, and a very poor and dumb way to do so. He's marrying a clone but actually no, we're at the starting point again. Also, the clones bring with them such stupid scenes (apparently it was better to have a clone talking with Lisa and flying away with random man because rule of funny).

    And if the plots were lazy, it's also the case of the humor. Besides the puberty app and a very few other jokes (2pac, the rhino leaving the wedding and Sideshow Mel's son, the last one probably because his "Oh the shame" quite reminded me of Sylvester Jr. in Looney Tunes), not a single one of them worked in my opinion. I thought it was a very basic humor that is more destined for those who never watched the show before because all of them looked like cheap variants of jokes that were made throughout the show (haha, it's funny because Homer is fat, haha it's funny because Artie is narcissistic, haha it's funny because Ralph is dumb, haha it's funny because Nelson is poor, haha it's funny because we're fat in America, etc.). Really, I think it was the worst episode that I saw since quite a time. I mean, it's not unsalvageable either, and like I said I get some ideas behind but between Lisa's hackneyed plot, Artie's stupid plot, the weak humor and the pretty terrible pacing, I can't say that I had a good time watching this one, far from it. So let's go with a 1/5 rounded down from a 1.5/5.
    Last edited by Wile E. the Brain; 01-09-2020 at 07:48 AM.
    It ate EVERYBODY, stupid !

    The Winter of Our Monetized Content - 2/5 / Go Big or Go Homer - 2/5 / The Fat Blue Line - 3.5/5 / Treehouse of Horror XXX - 2.5/5 / Gorillas on the Mast - 3.5/5 / Marge the Lumberjill - 2/5 / Livin' la Pura Vida - 4/5 / Thanksgiving of Horror - 4/5 / Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me - 2.5/5 / Bobby, it's Cold Outside - 2.5/5 / Hail to the Teeth - 1.5/5 / The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson - 3.5/5 / Frinkcoin - 2/5 / Bart the Bad Guy - 4/5 / Screenless - 3.5/5 / Better Off Ned - 1.5/5 / Highway to Well - 3/5 / The Incredible Lightness of Being a Baby - 2/5 / Warrin' Priests: Part One - 3/5 / Warrin' Priests: Part Two - 2.5/5 / The Hateful Eight-Year-Olds - 3.5/5 / Way of the Dog - TBA


  25. #20
    blocks your path CousinMerl's Avatar
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    @Wile E. the Brain, while I gave it a point more than you, I do agree with you on many points. And with some of those external reviews (Phil Payton's included) it's another example of an modern episode that is well recieved by online critics but here we are not impressed with it.
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 01-09-2020 at 02:51 PM.

  26. #21
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    To be fair I don't remember when was the last time an episode wasn't well received by online critics...

  27. #22
    Hercules Rockefeller Homer Samson's Avatar
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    I liked it. 3.5/5 rounded to a 3
    Best and Worst Episode per Season:
    1: Krusty Gets Busted/Homer's Night Out 2: One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish/Bart's Dog Gets an 'F' 3: Bart the Murderer/Saturdays of Thunder 4: Homer the Heretic/So Its Come To This: A Simpsons Clip Show 5: Cape Feare/Lady Bouvier's Lover 6: Homie the Clown/Another Simpsons Clip Show 7: Raging Abe Simpson and his Grumbling Grandson in " The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"/Scenes From the Class Struggle in Springfield 8: The Springfield Files/The Old Man and the Lisa 9: The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson/Miracle on Evergreen Terrace 10: Mayored to the Mob/Homer Simpson in: Kidney Trouble 11: Grift of the Magi/Eight Misbehavin' 12: Trilogy of Error/I'm Goin' to Praiseland 13: The Blunder Years/The Lastest Gun in the West 14: Moe Baby Blues/The Strong Arms of the Ma 15: My Mother the Carjacker/Co-Dependent's Day 16: The Heartbroke Kid/Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass 17: The Seemingly Never-Ending Story/The Bonfire of the Manatees 18: The Mook, The Chef, The Wife, and Her Homer/The Boys of Bummer 19: Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind/Husbands and Knives 20: Gone Maggie Gone/Lisa the Drama Queen 21: The Squirt and the Whale/The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed 22: Homer Scissorhands/The Fight Before Christmas 23: The Book Job/Lisa Goes Gaga 24: The Saga of Carl/Love is a Many-Splintered Thing 25: Brick Like Me/What to Expect When Bart's Expecting 26: Sky Police/The Musk Who Fell to Earth 27: Barthood/Every Man's Dream 28: 22 for 30/The Caper Chase 29: Flanders' Ladder/Singin' in the Lane 30: Woo-hoo Dunnit?/I Want You (She's So Heavy)

  28. #23
    Junior Camper Frankbags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wile E. the Brain View Post
    To be fair I don't remember when was the last time an episode wasn't well received by online critics...
    yeah, I'm not a fan of most TV reviews, avclub is okay but the denofgeek review.. it's a recap.. it's so lazy. I might be a little harsh because I expect the simpsons to hit all the notes it did 25 years ago.. I try and be conscious of that and rate the modern episodes for their own merit. I can understand someone enjoying an episode more than I do.. and I think people try to be generous, shitting on a tv show isn't very professional, if someone gave all the modern episodes such low scores I think they'd probably be wiser to spend their time another way.

    well, I'm not very wise, I keep watching on the off chance that there's an episode that will really hit all the notes I expect.. and it does happen.. rarely.

  29. #24
    blocks your path CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wile E. the Brain View Post
    To be fair I don't remember when was the last time an episode wasn't well received by online critics...
    I remember it having happened a number of times with episodes that are well recieved by us on the boards.

    Examples of modern episodes getting not too good reviews from all outside critics while we generally liked them, there's 'Baby You Can't Drive My Car' & 'Daddicus Finch' from the last season, for instance.
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 01-10-2020 at 08:54 AM.

  30. #25
    Stonecutter John95's Avatar
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    @Wile E. the Brain, Did you also feel like some of the gags went on too long like I did, such as the end of the first scene at the dentist's office or Wiggum going to garbage island?

    Also, I didn't learn this until watching Phil's review but the episode was penned by a newcomer which once pointed out unfortunately shows...

  31. #26
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    I don't think it showed that much. There's been some pretty sloppily written episodes this season. As weird as it was, this was still a bit better put together than some others.

  32. #27
    Stonecutter John95's Avatar
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    Well I thought it showed with how jarring of a direction the Artie story went in for something I'd expect from a THoH or even Futurama. Plus the number of jokes that either went on too long or were spelled out were a little too FG.

    Bascially, this felt like an at least watchable version of what happens a lot on AD! these days where they keep adding on new writers who show a very obvious lack of understanding the show's setting and characters and view it as the FG clone it was accused of being in the early days.

  33. #28
    blocks your path CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John95 View Post
    @Wile E. the Brain, Did you also feel like some of the gags went on too long like I did, such as the end of the first scene at the dentist's office or Wiggum going to garbage island?

    Also, I didn't learn this until watching Phil's review but the episode was penned by a newcomer which once pointed out unfortunately shows...
    If you ask me, I did think a few of the gags were too long, especially Artie's holo-box which they just dragged out unnecessarily (to cover up how flimsily thin both plotlines were, I'm sure). To me the episode's biggest problem was that it felt so uninteresting and empty & the cartoonish aspect with the robots was jarring (would've made for a good 'Treehouse Of Horror' segment, though).

    As for the new writer thing, it's not something that I feel is indicative that an episode will be a disappointment. A lot of the newcomer/guest writer episodes have worked out really well while others didn't (this episode belonging to the latter group). It feels a little wrong to automatically equate a new writer to it having a lesser chance of turning out good.
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 01-10-2020 at 08:54 AM.

  34. #29
    Stonecutter John95's Avatar
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    @CousinMerl, There was literally no reason for the scene with holo-Artie in he bedroom other than pointless padding.

    The whole thing with the robo-Marges is why I said that it became much more clear that this was penned by a newcomer once it was pointed out because of how cartoonish that was. Not only has the THoH comparison been made, but also with this they ended up doing something that they previously did as a one-off joke in They'll Never Stop the Simpsons.

    Didn't care much for Daddius Finch, but Baby You Can't Drive My Car I guess shows that it can be hit or miss with first episodes penned by a newcomer, with this one falling into the latter pile for me.

  35. #30
    blocks your path CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John95 View Post
    Didn't care much for Daddius Finch, but Baby You Can't Drive My Car I guess shows that it can be hit or miss with first episodes penned by a newcomer, with this one falling into the latter pile for me.
    I think you got a little confused here.

    The part of my post about modern episodes that the board has given good ratings to while some online critics aren't as fond of them (where I mentioned 'Baby You Can't Drive My Car' & 'Daddicus Finch') was a reply to what I mentioned previously in this thread (post #24), unrelated to what I was saying about newcomer writers and their efforts (I looked it up and neither of the episodes were written by newcomers or freelancers, by the way. Rob LaZebnik and Al Jean, respectively). I should have edited my previous post instead of leaving it at the end of the last one so I will do something about that. Sorry for the confusion

    And regarding the 'They'll Never Stop the Simpsons' song connection you mentioned regarding the Marge bots (and which @Nitsy referenced with the screenshot from the song), it's actually the second time we've gotten an robot Marge after that episode, the first being Homer imagining Marge as a Terminator 'The Heartbroke Kid', only this one really had actual robots looking like Marge. I guess a fantasy wasn't enough.



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