Behind Us Forever: Homerland

Chalkboard - Homerland

“Anybody lose their glasses?  Last chance.  Woo-hoo!  The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side.” – Homer Simpson
“That’s a right triangle, you idiot.” – Guy on Toilet
“D’oh!” – Homer Simpson

Season 25, here we go:

  • They start the year with their first joke of the season about how lame it is to be on after all these years.  That didn’t take long.
  • But the couch gag makes the same joke and does take too long.
  • The Homeland opening credits are well done, but remaking other people’s credit sequences has become something of a time filling specialty for them. 
  • Bart’s first line of the year is a direct repeat of Homer’s triangle joke from Season 5, so that really didn’t take long. 
  • Between Homer’s suitcase flying open and them all chanting the word “convention” they’ve eaten up a remarkable amount of time with nothing when we get to the hotel.
  • “Good Riddance Shriners” is pretty good, but the signs are about the only part that can retain even a little bit of the character of The Simpsons
  • As per usual, the show likes to lock itself into a cheap joke and just ride it into the ground: swag, Marge not wanting Patty and Selma (or Wiggum) to say frightful things, Kristen Wiig not being able to go more than one line without switching her behavior completely. 
  • Lotta heavy handed musical cues in this one, and that’s before you count the flashbacks.
  • And a lot of MacFarlane style unconnected cutaway jokes:
    Lisa: This is worse than when he went to New Orleans and came back with a southern accent.
    [Cut to Lisa remembering Homer in hillbilly clothes and a straw hat while he talks in a drawl.]
  • This scene with Lisa spying on Homer and then, ugh, imitating a cat, is just atrocious.  All of her dialogue is unneeded exposition which for some reason Homer can’t hear. 
  • Lunatrix – “For Bipolar Disorder” – A goofy drug that makes bipolar people act out isn’t a completely terrible idea, but Zombie Simpsons handling of it is so poor that it’s just insulting, not for what they’re trying to make fun of, but for being that cheap and unimaginative at doing so. 
  • I get that they’re working from a spy thriller type show, but the combination of drawn out tension and unbelievably stupid jokes and dialogue (Kristen Wiig’s Claire Danes character can’t get through one line of dialogue without saying something pandering and dumb) is really off putting.
  • I’m sure glad they have a scene where Homer explains everything we’ve already had explained three times so we can relive the hilarity of him passing on beer and kneeling down on a rug. 
  • The sitcom-y nature of the writing didn’t improve any over the summer: “There isn’t a prison made that can hold me!  Prisons are still made of mud and wattles, right?”  [Canned laughter]
  • And we end on Burns getting a security x-ray to reveal that he has a hamster in his chest.  When an episode runs short these days, it really runs short.

Season 25 is here, and it landed with Zombie Simpsons’ customary whimper.  There’s plenty of unnecessary exposition, scenes that make no sense, and a story “parody” so dumb that you’d barely be able to follow it if you weren’t at least a little familiar with the original material.  For added zany effect, they spent some time changing Homer’s character, tacked on a bizarre ending where the plant is closed and Burns is arrested, and had a post-script scene that also made no sense to the point that the sign at security has Burns peering up someone’s ass right as we see Burns step into the machine.  Even in one off scenes Zombie Simpsons can’t tell a consistent story.  

Anyway, the ratings are long since in, and they are bad.  Just 6.29 million people wished they were actually watching Homeland last night.  Not only is that down from last year’s premier, it’s the kind of number that would’ve been considered anomalously bad just three seasons ago.  Now they’re standard. 

9 Responses to “Behind Us Forever: Homerland”

  1. 1 R. Michelle Marcel
    2 October 2013 at 3:05 pm

    A moment that totally baffled me was this exchange at the start of Act 2

    Marge: Dear Christian God…

    Lisa: Hey!

    Marge: Sorry. Dear God…

    And I’m like “What. Is that supposed to be a joke?” If it’s supposed to be a joke, what are they going for? Are they making fun of Christians? Are they making fun of atheists? Are they making fun of Lisa’s Buddhism?

    Classic Zombie Simpsons. They just haphazardly shoehorned something in there to try to be edgy: no context intended, no thought required.

    • 2 Stan
      2 October 2013 at 7:09 pm

      I didn’t watch the ep, not going to either and the quoted part sounds really lame.
      But just to clarify it’s a joke about laity of the Western nation. Like the “Merry Christmas\Happy Holidays” part from American Dad.
      It doesn’t have to be shitty office worker humor, just to be clear. Jokes can be non-religious, apolitical, asexual and even thought-requiring. They don’t get it. Never will.

  2. 2 October 2013 at 3:10 pm

    So in order to get some kind of laugh from this insanity I should be familiar with a TV series I have never seen?

    Yeah no thanks

  3. 4 Dan S.
    2 October 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I may have missed it but who were the people that reprogrammed Homer? Generic Hippies?

  4. 5 Zutroy
    2 October 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Only 6.29 million people were suckered into watching this? How much lower until “the show becomes unprofitable”?

    • 6 Stan
      2 October 2013 at 10:51 pm

      Whenever FOX decides to make more cash off of merch instead.

      • 7 Sarah J
        9 October 2013 at 9:55 pm

        But as Charlie Sweatpants explained in his essay about Zombie Simpsons, merchandise is likely the main reason the show remains on the air. Zombie Simpsons doesn’t get good ratings. If Zombie Simpsons was a new show with different characters, even if it did get the same ratings it would probably get cancelled. But because The Simpsons was this great, revolutionary show that had a huge impact on our pop culture and our media, it still holds merchandising power. But like with any franchise, the merchandising power is lessened when the show goes off the air. New episodes, as crappy as they are, draw in younger, newer viewers.

  5. 8 Chris
    2 October 2013 at 11:56 pm

    “Lisa: This is worse than when he went to New Orleans and came back with a southern accent.
    [Cut to Lisa remembering Homer in hillbilly clothes and a straw hat while he talks in a drawl.] ”


    Good Lord this is pathetic humor. Pathetic doesn’t even describe, and neither does humor. It’s just…there. Do these writers have to look over their shoulders for cops when cashing their paychecks? Whatever they make is highway robbery. Free comedy tip slick; the pie gag only works when the sap’s got dignity.

  6. 9 Sarah J
    9 October 2013 at 10:05 pm

    They’re doing cutaway gags now? When did this start? From the sounds of it, the joke isn’t even good! I wouldn’t even qualify it as a joke!

    A bit with Lisa spying on Homer and expositing lines that he doesn’t seem to hear? You know… If this was the old Simpsons, Homer would’ve heard her, caught her, and then one of them makes a joke about how stupid it was for her to talk to herself while trying to spy on someone. That’s what the old Simpsons was, it was subversive. It took cliche things and turned them on their heads.

    Major problem with the Zombie Simpsons is that it feels the need to use every cliche it can. I don’t know if this is because the writers are inexperienced/amateur and believe that every cliche needs to be used, or if they’re just legitimately bad and not clever in the slightest. They try so hard to play a cliche straight that they’ll even have characters act out of character for the sake of fulfilling it. Like an episode where Milhouse acts like a jerk/bad boy so Lisa falls for him and it works. The old Simpsons would’ve done a deconstruction of the concept: Milhouse acts like a jerk, causing Lisa to resent him even more, or he makes her cry, causing everyone in school to hate him.

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