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Thread: Rate and Review: Season 11



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  1. #31
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    Personally, it's the hate towards Alone Again Natura-Diddily that I don't get. Okay, I hate myself the way Maude dies, too much oriented humoristic. But the rest of the episode is nice. I like the way Homer tries to help Ned in his situation.

  2. #32
    Junior Camper Captain Wacky's Avatar
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    I personally despise Alone Again due to the fact that I feel it treats its story way too callously for its otherwise dour and serious subject matter, which leads to the entire episode following Maude's death coming off as distasteful and mean-spirited. I actually believe that Homer is possibly at his absolute nadir here - yes, he does at least attempt to help Ned on a conceptual level, but the episode seems far too content with pulling more wacky antics (many of which are unfortunately and painfully unfunny, particularly Homer shedding a tear at the concept of simply 'not being a jerk' and the shockingly terrible "ambulance slot" line) involving him out as opposed to focusing on Ned's grief and allowing the audience to sympathize with his plight and progression towards recovery (which is bizarrely the emotional push the episode attempts to strain for at its conclusion), leading to Jerkass Homer-focused comedy consuming pretty much the entirety of the second and third acts and rendering the story with little room to breathe, which comes off as particularly inappropriate given the episode is focused on a bereaving man attempting to recover from the death of his wife (which was caused by the zany antics of the same character whom the episode continually points to as hilarious for similar zany antics), which creates a weirdly callous atmosphere that I personally find disrespectful; in particular, Ned did nothing to deserve the death of his wife, which is compounded by Homer not appearing to genuinely regret killing a woman in that regard, which leads to him feeling oddly reprehensible and hollow (despite the episode treating his assistance of Ned as a positive and well-intentioned development, which I found too extreme a pill to swallow considering that Homer does not react to the dour/severe situations around him in any way comparable to an actual human).

    Also, the scenes surrounding Maude's death really were terrible.
    Last edited by Captain Wacky; 01-02-2019 at 03:23 PM.


  3. #33
    Administrator Sam's Avatar
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    i love love love the scully era but the maude death ep is easily the worst episode of the show for a great while until like some ungodly jean season


  4. #34
    Junior Camper Captain Wacky's Avatar
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    Currently rewatching at season 14 - I would argue that "Brake My Wife Please" actually comes pretty close (although "Co-Dependant's Day" may prove worse on rewatch), but yeah, "Alone Again" is probably the worst episode outright until season 19 or so (I believe?).
    Last edited by Captain Wacky; 01-03-2019 at 12:54 AM.

  5. #35
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Wacky View Post
    Currently rewatching at season 14 - I would argue that "Brake My Wife Please" actually comes pretty close (although "Co-Dependant's Day" may prove worse on rewatch), but yeah, "Alone Again" is probably the worst episode outright until season 19 or so (I believe?).
    No chance for On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister or The Boys of Bummer to take the title?

    FYI, I've always taken the mean-spiritedness of Alone Again, Natura-Diddily as a veiled shot by the show's creative staff and production team at Maggie Roswell for daring to have the audacity to ask for more money.
    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


  6. #36
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    @Captain Wacky, I get your point but I'm not totally agree with it. I'm aware Homer and the episode still falls in his wacky antics, but I don't think it's that mean-spirited comparing with some other episodes (On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister), I always seen Homer more as a clumsy guy than simply being a jerk here, it's not like he killed Maude on purpose (that ambulance joke is pretty terrible, but I saw Homer's intention, that's the typical "I want to comfort him but I do it by using the wrong words" situation), and so I still found touching the fact he really try to help Ned and resolve his loneliness, even if he doing it on a clumsy way, obviously. But more clumsy than mean-spirited in my opinion, in fact, that's a good way to resume the entire episode, I think.

    Plus, I like the repercussion of Maude's death on Ned, by becoming doubtful about his faith (not so long, sure, but I like the idea, it's pretty true), he's touching throughout the last two acts, and I enjoy the fact the episode tried to end on a good note, without a joke to break it.

    Despite our opposite opinions, I'm agree this episode isn't the best one that deals with the death of a character (far from it), not the most emotional or the most clever, a bit too silly for his subject, but I still find it a little overhated.
    Last edited by Wile E. the Brain; 01-03-2019 at 05:34 AM.

  7. #37
    Junior Camper Captain Wacky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    No chance for On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister or The Boys of Bummer to take the title?

    FYI, I've always taken the mean-spiritedness of Alone Again, Natura-Diddily as a veiled shot by the show's creative staff and production team at Maggie Roswell for daring to have the audacity to ask for more money.
    Forgot about "Clear Day" and "Boys of Bummer". I'm dreading the rewatch of those two.

  8. #38
    Pin Pal bboynexus's Avatar
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    The Simpsons hits rock bottom with season eleven.

    I’m not even going to bother listing grievances with individual episodes. I’d merely end up repeating myself and probably regurgitating opinions already expressed so eloquently here and on Dead Homer Society. Suffice to say, the problems from season ten are dialed up to eleven (pun intended) and the result is 22 episodes consisting mostly of objectionable and barely watchable nonsense with less than a handful of decent entries to offset them.

    The Simpsons has become almost unrecognizable in just two short years. Bart breaks into a military installation and hijacks a tank in Brother’s Little Helper, a gang of evil restaurateurs conspire to murder Homer in Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner, drug-crazed animals wreak havoc in E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt), Homer engages in a motorbike sword fight in Take My Wife, Sleaze, and let’s not forget the homicidal elf jockeys in Saddlesore Galactica.

    This unrelenting and scarcely believable stupidity is augmented by disturbing psychopathic moments. Homer tries to commit suicide in Hello Gutter Hello Fadder for no good reason, no one seems to care when half the passengers on Burns’ cruise ship drown in The Mansion Family, and Bart tries to dislodge a wicker basket to crush his unsuspecting father in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge which ends with Homer shooting his wife with a tranquillizer.

    Did I just list grievances with individual episodes? Oops.

    Yet even these offences are mild compared to the appalling repugnance and unforgivable callousness of Alone Again, Natura-Diddily – arguably the worst episode of the entire series. The death of Maude Flanders represents the zenith of Jerkass Homer and the endpoint of a journey that began with Trash of the Titans, an episode similarly written by Ian-Maxtone Graham. This time, however, there is no reset button and the consequences are permanent.

    That Maude dies as a result of Homer’s reckless abandon is contemptible enough, but what follows is perhaps even more egregious. Take Moe after the funeral for example. He offers his condolences, but then immediately objectifies Maude and gets off on the idea that Ned will beat him to death so that he can hook up with her in heaven. It’s gross and unfunny to say the least and I don’t think even Moe would ever stoop to such a perverted level openly.

    Ned later confides in Homer, expressing regret over the last words he spoke to Maude and wishing that he had done things differently so that she would still be alive. The scene closely resembles one from A Milhouse Divided where Kirk van Houten shared similar thoughts with Homer about the breakdown of his marriage. One of these scenes is a great moment while the other is decidedly awful. Can you guess which is which? Is there even any doubt?

    No, of course there isn’t.

    In A Milhouse Divided, Kirk laments that he never helped out with the house, could have stayed in shape, and should have done more to make his wife feel special. Homer sits with him and offers support with friendly affirmations to each of these observations, failing to realize that he’s guilty of all the same things. It’s quintessential Homer – a well-meaning dope with zero self-awareness – and the punch line with the thawing hot dogs is brilliant.

    In Alone Again, Natura-Diddily, Homer compounds rather than alleviates the suffering of his devastated neighbor. He coldly recounts how his actions not only caused her death, but also prevented her from being saved. He displays a conspicuous lack of remorse even though it’s obvious that he’s fully aware of the role he played. Was there really any need for Homer or, by extension, the writers to add the point about having parked in the ambulance zone?

    The entire scene has a sadistic cruelty that’s immensely difficult to stomach. It’s baffling that Ned refuses to make Homer accountable for the actions he himself admitted to. Ned shrugs it all off and agrees that no one should be blamed even though that’s clearly not true. This is similar to, but several orders of magnitude worse than, what we saw in Make Room for Lisa. In this warped amoral version of The Simpsons, Homer can do and get away with anything.

    The transgressions don’t stop here.

    It’s followed by Homer filming Ned without his consent for a dating video that he doesn’t want, invading his privacy and effectively violating his autonomy. I’m reminded of what Lisa said to Mr. Burns in The Old Man and the Lisa: “When you’re trying to be good, you’re even more evil”. This is definitely applicable to Homer here and, once again, he never gets called out on it. Instead, Ned chooses to use the video which is all kinds of gross and problematic.

    To make matters even worse, Alone Again, Natura-Diddily permanently alters the character of Ned and his status within the world of Springfield. He was conceived as the affluent and enviable neighbor who reflects the challenges, anxieties and insecurities that Homer and his family feel on a daily basis. With Maude’s death, Ned becomes a pitiable widower whose life no longer looks desirable. This is a fundamental perversion of The Simpsons and its ethos.

    Over the last twenty two years, dozens of episodes of The Simpsons have flopped and failed as a result of poor characterizations, lazy comedy, cheap gags, nonsensical narratives, and general mean-spiritedness. Yet none of them can lay claim to the cruelty and malice infused in Alone Again, Natura-Diddily from start to finish, desecrating the show and its vaunted legacy. I wish that it had never been made and that it could be wiped from existence.

    Let’s try and end on a positive note.

    Treehouse of Horror X has one classic-era worthy segment – I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did – followed by two middling stories that are pretty forgettable. I love the menacing tone and atmosphere of the first segment, which has moments that bring earlier entries such as The Shinning from Treehouse of Horror V to mind. In addition, I find that Ned almost always works well as a villain in Halloween specials – either as the devil or, in this case, a werewolf.

    Grift of the Magi scores reasonably well on a grading curve. I think it’s certainly one of the weakest Christmas episodes of the series up until this point, but the corporate satire works nicely (even though it tends to feel a bit rinse-and-repeat in the Scully era) and I quite like the sequence with Homer and the kids stealing the Funzos. I think the episode would usually score lower, but I’m feeling generous given that it stands out as being relatively decent.

    Days of Wine and D’oh’ses is a pleasant change of pace, telling a relatively grounded and subdued character-driven story by season eleven standards. I especially like the focus on Barney and the way the subplot effortlessly converges with the main story. It’s not a great episode by any means – various sitcom clichés and Jerkass Homer moments that are typical of the Scully era at this point undermine it – but it works well enough overall and I enjoy it.

    Behind the Laughter is the only genuine standout of the season. I love the mokumentary style and the self-awareness that the script demonstrates (including poking fun at its own decline) charms rather than frustrates. Its reputation as a worthy series finale is well earned, although I suspect it would have left me feeling cold. Perhaps it could have been the perfect penultimate episode. We’ll never know, but it’s a great season finale nonetheless.

    Four good episodes out of 22 is a sad indictment against season eleven. It’s a train wreck with very few redeeming qualities and I’m in no rush to revisit its often unsavory stories any time soon. For me, it’s easily the worst season of the show and I don’t think even the lowest lows of the widely despised HD-era ever quite reach the same depths.

    Things can only get better from here…

    …Right?

    Beyond Blunderdome - 2/5
    Brother's Little Helper - 3/5
    Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner? - 2/5
    Treehouse of Horror X - 4/5
    E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt) - 2/5
    Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder - 3/5
    Eight Misbehavin' - 2/5
    Take My Wife, Sleaze - 2/5
    Grift of the Magi - 3/5
    Little Big Mom - 2/5
    Faith Off - 2/5
    The Mansion Family - 2/5
    Saddlesore Galactica - 2/5
    Alone Again, Natura-Diddily - 0/5
    Missionary: Impossible - 2/5
    Pygmoelian - 3/5
    Bart to the Future - 1/5
    Days of Wine and D'oh'ses - 4/5
    Kill the Alligator and Run - 1/5
    Last Tap Dance in Springfield - 2/5
    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge - 1/5
    Behind the Laughter - 5/5

    Season Grade: 2.3 / D+
    Last edited by bboynexus; 04-25-2020 at 03:27 AM.
    SEASON 31 GRADES

    The Winter of Our Monetized Content - 3/5 / Go Big or Go Homer - 2.5/5 / The Fat Blue Line - 3/5
    Treehouse of Horror XXX - 2/5 / Gorillas on the Mast - 2.5/5 / Marge the Lumberjill - 2/5
    Livin' La Pura Vida - 4.5/5 / Thanksgiving of Horror - 5/5 / Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? - 3.5/5
    Bobby, It's Cold Outside - 2.5/5 / Hail to the Teeth - 2/5 / The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson - 3.5/5
    Frinkcoin - 3/5 / Bart the Bad Guy - 4.5/5 / Screenless - 4/5 / Better Off Ned - 1.5/5
    Highway to Well - 3.5/5 / The Incredible Lightness of Being a Baby - 3/5 / Warrin' Priests (Part 1) - ?/5
    Warrin' Priests (Part 2) - ?/5 / The Hateful Eight-Year-Olds - ?/5 / Way of the Dog - 4.5/5

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  10. #39
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    Beyond Blunderdome: D-
    Brother's Little Helper: A-
    Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner: B
    Treehouse of Horror X: B+
    E-I-E-I-D'oh: B
    Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder: D+
    Eight Misbehavin': B-
    Take My Wife, Sleaze: B-
    Grift of the Magi: B+
    Little Big Mom: B-
    Faith Off: C+
    The Mansion Family: C
    Saddlesore Galactica: F
    Alone Again, Natura-Diddily: F
    Missionary: Impossible: D-
    Pygmoelian: C
    Bart to the Future: C-
    Days of Wine and D'oh'ses: A-
    Kill the Alligator and Run: F
    Last Tap Dance in Springfield: B+
    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge: F
    Behind the Laughter: A

  11. #40
    Junior Camper Liks's Avatar
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    Beyond Blunderdome: B
    Brother's Little Helper: C
    Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner: B
    Treehouse of Horror X: B+
    E-I-E-I-D'oh: A
    Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder: C+
    Eight Misbehavin': D+
    Take My Wife, Sleaze: B+
    Grift of the Magi: C+
    Little Big Mom: C+
    Faith Off: C+
    The Mansion Family: B+
    Saddlesore Galactica: D+
    Alone Again, Natura-Diddily: B+
    Missionary: Impossible: B+
    Pygmoelian: B+
    Bart to the Future: C
    Days of Wine and D'oh'ses: B
    Kill the Alligator and Run: B
    Last Tap Dance in Springfield: B
    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge: C-
    Behind the Laughter: B

    Season grade : C+

  12. #41
    Pin Pal The B's Avatar
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    Without any comments, my own rating list (out of 100)
    «Beyond Blunderdome» 72 (B-)
    «Brother’s Little Helper» 68 (C+)
    «Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner?» 73 (B-)
    «Treehouse of Horror X» 76.34 (B-)
    «E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)» 64 (C+)
    «Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder» 77 (B-)
    «Eight Misbehavin’» 59 (C)
    «Take My Wife, Sleaze» 67 (C+)
    «Grift of the Magi» 77 (B-)
    «Little Big Mom» 68 (C+)
    «Faith Off» 75 (B-)
    «The Mansion Family» 69 (C+)
    «Saddlesore Galactica» 68 (C+)
    «Alone Again, Natura-Diddily» 74 (B-)
    «Missionary: Impossible» 70 (B-)
    «Pygmoelian» 57 (C-) (season low)
    «Bart to the Future» 63 (C+)
    «Days of Wine and D’oh’ses» 80 (B) (season high)
    «Kill the Alligator and Run» 65 (C+)
    «Last Tap Dance in Springfield» 74 (B-)
    «It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge» 66 (C+)
    «Behind the Laughter» 73 (B-)

    Average score 69.788 (C+)
    Good to bad ratio (41%/59%)
    Maximum planty of good episodes 2
    IMHO the best and the worst episodes of each season (in bold — the best and worst of overall series, upd. 24/04/20):
    1. Moaning Lisa/Homer’s Night Out 2. Bart vs. Thanksgiving/Simpson and Delilah 3. Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington/Homer Alone 4. Homer’s Triple Bypass/Marge in Chains 5. Secrets of a Successful Marriage/Bart’s Inner Child 6. Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part I)/A Star Is Burns 7. Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily/Treehouse of Horror VI 8. My Sister, My Sitter/The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase 9. Miracle on Evergreen Terrace/Bart Star 10. Wild Barts Can’t Be Broken/Simpsons Bible Stories 11. Days of Wine and D’oh’ses/Pygmoelian 12. Homer vs. Dignity/New Kids on the Blecch 13. Poppa’s Got a Brand New Badge/Weekend at Burnsie’s 14. Moe Baby Blues/Helter Shelter 15. Fraudcast News/Co-Dependent’s Day 16. Goo Goo Gai Pan/A Star Is Torn 17. Bonfire of the Manatees/Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangalore 18. 24 Minutes/Stop, Or My Dog Will Shoot! 19. Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind/Husbands and Knives 20. Coming to Homerica/Four Great Women and a Manicure 21. The Squirt and the Whale/Treehouse of Horror XX 22. The Blue and the Gray/Elementary School Musical 23. A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again/Moe Goes from Rags to Riches 24. Hardly Kirk-ing/Gorgeous Grampa 25. Brick Like Me/What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting 26. Sky Police/Treehouse of Horror XXV 27. Halloween of Horror/Treehouse of Horror XXVI 28. 22 for 30/Havana Wild Weekend 29. Flanders’ Ladder/Springfield Splendor 30. Baby You Can’t Drive My Car/The Clown Stays in the Picture 31. TBA/TBA
    The Simpsons season ratings:
    2 > 1 > 3 > 7 > 6 > 4 > 8 > 5 > 9 > 27 > 21 > 20 > 25 > 17 > 29 > 12 > 15 > 10 > 26 > 24 > 13 > 18 > 14 > 19 > 28 > 16 > 30 > 23 > 11 > 22

    I think that thoughts may differ, because so many people, so many opinions.

  13. #42


    Quote Originally Posted by Patches O'houlihan View Post
    Beyond Blunderdome: F
    --Featuring Jerkass Mel Gibson!

    Brother's Little Helper: D+
    --I wanted to hit something with a bat when this was over, too!

    Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner?: D
    --Scully, your cooking sucks!

    Treehouse of Horror X: C+

    E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt): D
    --The writers somehow made sheep on crack NOT funny.

    Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder: C
    Eight Misbehavin': C-
    Take My Wife, Sleaze: D
    --The Dueling Motorcycle scene...I think I just threw up in my mouth.

    Grift of the Magi: C+
    Little Big Mom: C-
    Fuc...er, Faith Off: D
    The Mansion Family: D-
    --I guess these upper-lower-middle class types can't hand the responsibility's of the rich.

    Saddlesore Galactica: D
    --Bart pimped his ride. Hilarity ensues.

    Alone Again, Natura-Diddily: F
    --From Maude to Sod...

    Missionary: Impossible: B-
    Pygmoelian: D+
    --Moe gets a facial and stars on a soap opera. Reminds me of a bad jean era episode with a bad scully era ending.

    Barf to the Future: F
    Days of Wine and D'oh'ses: D
    --Dan, you seem like a great guy, but don't write anymore, please?

    Kill the Alligator and Run: F
    --Get it off the glass!

    Last Tap Dance in Springfield: B+
    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge: D
    Behind the Laughter: C+
    Agree totally with your grades, Thanks for sparing me some work.



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