Crazy Noises: Simpson Tide

Simpson Tide3

“I was on PT 109 with John F. Kennedy.  I was the first to discover his terrible secret.” – Abe “Grandpa” Simpson
“Ich bin ein Berliner.” – John F. Kennedy
“He’s a Nazi!  Get him!” – Abraham Simpson

There’s no new Zombie Simpsons until September at the earliest (October? fingers crossed!), so we’re going to spend the summer overthinking Season 9.  Why Season 9?  Because we did Season 8 last summer, and Season 9 was when the show started becoming more Zombie than Simpsons.  Since we’re too lazy to do audio and too ugly to do video, we’ve booked a “chatroom” (ours is right between the one with the sexy seventh graders and the one with the bored federal agents pretending to be sexy seventh graders).  So log on to your dial-up AOL and join us.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (surprisingly enough, not on “Blaxploitation”).

Today’s episode is 919 “Simpson Tide”, 917 “Lisa the Simpson” was yesterday.

Charlie Sweatpants: "Simpson Tide" is 50% gold, 50% shit, but the shit is so black and stinky that I never watch the gold parts. There, I said it.

No, not black, green. That awful "what did I eat?" color.

Dave: Of the two we’re bitching about this week, this is clearly the weaker one.

Charlie Sweatpants: There are long parts of this episode that would not be out of place in Season 12+, and I hate them so very, very much.

Dave: Though to my point earlier, more watchable than I remembered.

Mad Jon: Meh, fair enough. There is definitely too much shit here. I do like the beginning. Probably my favorite part.

Charlie Sweatpants: Definitely.

Dave: It starts off strong.

Mad Jon: Pretty Classic Homer, wakes up from a nap, decides he’s earned a coffee break.

Charlie Sweatpants: Until they get to the submarine this one is amongst the top of 9, then they get to the submarine and it all goes to hell.

Dave: The intro wouldn’t be out of place in a classic episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, it’s a little slower than "Dawn of Man", but it’s in the same ballpark.

Mad Jon: I like the scene in the recruiting office too, not as much though,

  Yes, Dawn of Man comparison is apt.

Charlie Sweatpants: But the recruiting video is great.

Mad Jon: Also true.

Charlie Sweatpants: And the Blaxploitation movies are hilarious.

Dave: Oooh, funky.

Charlie Sweatpants: Of course, two of them are real, but that hardly makes it less funny. [Ed Note: That would be Blacula and Blackenstein.]

Dave: Naturally.

Charlie Sweatpants: The first warning of danger here is that Moe, Barney and Apu join too.

Mad Jon: Most assuredly a loud, red, flaming alarm.

Charlie Sweatpants: The "Deer Hunter" scene is funny as hell, but it was a forerunner of just how boring the plot was to get.

I don’t have a problem with Homer getting into adventures in theory, but this is just noxious.

It’s one insane leap of story-breaking logic after another, and the horns of suspense are everywhere.

Mad Jon: The fact that all of those guys, after 1 week, understand how to operate in various roles on the sub is particularly angering.

Charlie Sweatpants: Or that Homer is left in charge. That’s just lazy. Admiral Baby made more sense.

Dave: Ha.

Mad Jon: Admiral Baby makes me laugh.

At least more than most of this episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: This just keeps going on! Enemy submarine! Pinhole leak! Surrounded by battleships!

Dave: Sparkle sparkle!

Mad Jon: The endless use of "it’s my first day"

Charlie Sweatpants: And all of them are played for action/suspense.

Mad Jon: And the recycled Nu-cu-lur joke that went on for 20 seconds.

Charlie Sweatpants: Most of the drill instructor stuff falls flat.

I get that they’re making fun of Hollywood drill instructors (Trademark 1987 R.Lee Ermey), but they have nothing to do with anything.

Dave: The stupid bodyguard song, ugh.

Charlie Sweatpants: And they’re not funny. It’s Homer acting invincibly.

  I hate that.

Pretty much the only thing that doesn’t suck in the second half of this one is the whole Soviet Union thing. "Must crush Capitalism" is grand. But it’s not enough.

The rest is just blindingly bad and boring.

Mad Jon: Oh yeah the Russia into the USSR is really funny. Kind of drags on, but ends with Lenin which is worth the wate.


Dave: Is the answer more Lenin, less Homer?

Mad Jon: Apparently I now spell phonetically when I’ve been drinking.

Charlie Sweatpants: The answer is less "action".

Mad Jon: Well, nowadays I would be happy to have 8-9 seconds of Homer per episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: It also kinda bugs me that Homer gets fired and it’s not a big deal.

Homer’s left the plant before, but he finds a way back. This time you get the feeling that they’re just working from their template.

Mad Jon: Ah yes, but this breaks us down for the fact that in the next 10 seasons he spends approximately 10 minutes at work.

And 9 of those are in season 10.

Charlie Sweatpants: Pretty much.

They made a joke about it in 11 or 12. It didn’t help.

  Or maybe that’s 10. I forget.

Mad Jon: Something along the lines of "the timing’s good, I just got fired again."

But I couldn’t tell you what plot line that is from…

Charlie Sweatpants: That’s not the one I was thinking of.

I looked it up, it’s from the one where Maude dies: http://www.snpp.com/episodes/BABF10.

Mad Jon: Well, I’m not surprised there are multiples.

Charlie Sweatpants: It didn’t matter as much in "You Only Move Twice", but even at the time it felt downhill.

Dave: Did it?

That’s a pretty good episode in my book.

Charlie Sweatpants: A little, but this one kinda confirmed it.

Dave: Well, I’m not going to damn the former because of the latter.

Charlie Sweatpants: Not at all.

  "You Only Move Twice" is as good as Season 8 gets, there’s a reason we didn’t do a Crazy Noises on it. This one is much, much worse. They’re not even in the same conversation, and it’s with this one that I really began getting the feeling that they were phoning it in.

That one was a good idea that had Homer in it, this one was "Hey, we haven’t made him a sea captain yet!".

  If that makes sense.

Mad Jon: Yeah, I can see that, although I never really have taken much time to sort out when I thought they started phoning it in. Not that I at all disagree with you.

Dave: Yeah, the inflection point is less clear in my book, but your point is well taken.

Charlie Sweatpants: Anything else? Thinking about this episode is making me cranky.

Mad Jon: A just feeling my lord.

Charlie Sweatpants: What have you been watching lately?

Mad Jon: Nothing. It’s summer.

3 Responses to “Crazy Noises: Simpson Tide”

  1. 1 D.N.
    26 June 2010 at 12:36 am

    I distinctly remember loving the hell out of this episode when I first saw it. Today, there is so much of it that pisses me off and is an obvious harbinger of Zombie Simpsons (especially the rather lazy and pointless plot-device of Moe, Barney and Apu enlisting in the Naval Reserves with Homer).

    That being said, there are still some bits and pieces that I like – mainly Captain Tennille’s “I’m a man of few words!…Any questions?”, Lenin busting out of his tomb and going on a rampage, and Grampa’s botched defense of Homer against charges of being a Communist.

  2. 2 Nick
    2 May 2011 at 9:43 pm

    “My Homer is not a communist. He may be a pig, a liar, an idiot, a communist…but he is NOT a porn star.”

    I think that’s become one of my most quoted lines. The rest of the episode is pretty meh.

  3. 3 Nick
    17 May 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Just watched this episode again. Half good and half bad is the perfect way to put it. Apart from Grandpa’s failed attempt to protect his son (which I mentioned earlier), I also liked the Starbucks joke and “That is so 1991!” (easily one of my favorite Ralph Wiggum-isms), but most of the the submarine stuff is dispensible.

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