Over the Falls

Chalkboard - The Man In the Blue Flannel Pants

“Simpson, stop frolicking and get to work!” – Mr. Smithers
“Right away, Mr. Smithers, I’ll just walk across these slippery rocks . . .” – Homer Simpson

Near the end of “The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants” a man on a jet ski appears from the sky just before a raft with several able bodied men plunges over a waterfall because another able bodied man wouldn’t push them slightly to shore.  At that point, Zombie Simpsons could safely assume that its audience was completely numb to plot whiplash.  I certainly thought I was.  Then Homer, who less than a minute before had possessed the power to swim away from the falls while pushing a raft, fell back into the river and went over the falls by himself.  My whiplash came back. 

That was the end of the A-plot.  There was also briefly a B-plot, but Zombie Simpsons dropped it completely after only its third scene.  Maybe that was for the best, because it was bizarre enough already with Bart and the bullies (who are apparently bullies again) suddenly finding their love of Little Women, especially since the whole thing was a repeat of a much better joke from “Homer Loves Flanders”. 

On the plus side, John Slattery was there, and since he’s not quite famous enough to play himself they had him play a role virtually identical to the one he plays on Mad Men.  I thought he had a couple of decent lines, though there was an awful lot of crap around them (Lenny and Carl at the diner was a particular lowlight).  Of course, he’s a lot funnier on Mad Men than he was on Zombie Simpsons, but that’s hardly his fault. 

Anyway, the numbers are in and they are sinking to depths Madison Avenue wouldn’t even consider.  Just 5.61 million people reached for bourbon last night, that’s the lowest ever for the fall half of the season, the fifth lowest in the history of the show, and so bad that it’s brought the Season 23 average down to just 6.98 million.  Season 22’s average, the lowest in history, was 7.10.  If they stopped showing new episodes right now, Season 23 would already be the least watched ever, and the lowest rated part of the schedule is still to come.  I hope they have a good accounts man. 

5 Responses to “Over the Falls”

  1. 1 Chrissy
    28 November 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Here is a quote from Homer in the episode that describes it: BORING!

  2. 2 Stan
    28 November 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Well, I don’t think that the particular example of Homer falling down the falls just after being able to pull back the raft is that much of an inconsistency. They wanted to do a stupid joke and they did, in this very context it’s not more apparent than Krusty having his cigar in the different hand somehow taking it again from his mouth at the beginning. Sure, those suck, but they’re mere details, I find.

    What I find catastrophic however is how they treated the b-plot in this one. Not only is the idea itself utterly lame (as we all know that would Bart be unable to read, him having read Radioactive Man back in Season 6 or whatever would make no fucking sense), they come out of it as if it was a staged-up b-plot, as if Bart just makes a joke out of it. Using a little brain in this one could’ve resulted in them having Bart knock his head on something, and then forget how to read, and then start reading Lisa’s books to learn it back, and then becoming a sissy novel lover – that yes, that could’ve worked as a b-plot. But this…

    A year or so ago I said that some episodes of this show are now boring to watch, others are just pathetic. I think this one is a perfect marriage of both, resulting in something that gives out a lingering feeling of nostalgia about earlier times, all while nauseating of how much their current storywriting is a piece of shit. Yeah, somewhere between those.

  3. 28 November 2011 at 10:22 pm

    What the hell was this episode even about? The Simpsons have a party, Homer gets a promotion then other stuff happens. I just watched the episode four hours ago and I couldn’t give you a synopsis if my life depended on it.

    And I loved the opening scene: Bart and Milhouse tell the viewers they are in Krusty the Clown’s audience then it’s Krusty for the next five minutes being loud and not at all funny.

  4. 28 November 2011 at 11:38 pm

    About as awful as it gets. Dammit.

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