Hope it’s okay to bump after having seen several of the eps Marley23 recommended.
Some of these were good, though they still felt … I dunno, off. It could totally be my own expectations here. I just notice a difference in storytelling; some twists used in these episodes wouldn’t have been used in the classic seasons I’ve grown so used to.
F’rex… Eternal Moonshine… was clever, but it felt more like a gimmick that would’ve been saved for a Halloween episode, or even a Futurama episode. I don’t remember outrageous sci-fi being used in earlier episodes. As cartoony as the show is (literally and figuratively), I always think of it as based in a recognizable reality, albeit one where people have yellow skin, four fingers, and an ability to recover from dropping off cliffs. OTOH, I know Frink’s been used for oddities like his flying motorcycle in Lemon of Troy, so maybe I’m misremembering. Still, Patty and Selma being willing to murder Homer? Again, I know I’m thinking waaay too much about a cartoon, but … part of what’s special about The Simpsons to me was its relatability. Having regular characters turn from “regular” meanspirited jerks into homicidal nutjobs doesn’t seem Simpsonsy to me.
Similarly, using Martin’s ‘death’ as a gag didn’t work so hot for me either in Dial N for Nerder, maybe 'cause I don’t buy that Lisa would be so quick to turn hard-hearted … or maybe 'cause I remember that we’ve seen Martin’s parents, and the idea that they apparently thought their kid was dead for about three days doesn’t amuse me much. Though props to continuity for Lisa remembering that she went out with Nelson and using that to “seduce” the pseudo-Columbo. (Though I think Milhouse might’ve been a better choice, since I don’t buy Nelson as giving a rat’s patoot about Martin.) And even huger props for the parody of the CBS Mystery Wheel (or whatever it was called). My, that brought back good memories of watching MacMillan and Wife et al. with my parents! Younger folks must’ve been wondering what the hell that was all about!
IMHO, of the ones I’ve seen, The Debarted was the one that would’ve fit most closely in with earlier seasons. But I haven’t seen The Cook…, Heartbroke Kid or Lisa the Tree-Hugger.
Yipe: again, this is probably way more analysis than I probably should be giving to the show. Sorry. Anyway, there were some good laughs here so again, thanks very much for the recs!