Behind Us Forever: Friends and Family


“I want to go on the yard work simulator!” – Bart Simpson

The official synopsis for this week’s episode of Zombie Simpsons:

Mr. Burns’ search for a clan to play his virtual-reality family leads him to hire the Simpsons, except for Homer, since Burns intends to play the father. With nothing to do, Homer befriends the new next-door neighbor, a woman who eats, drinks, thinks and acts like him.

A more honest synopsis:

Burns goes to a therapist, who then dies for no apparent reason. At the funeral, which the Simpsons attend because reasons, Burns realizes no one loves him. Then he runs over Frink, who was using a virtual reality headset. Burns then has Smithers use Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie as a virtual reality family so that he can pretend someone loves him, which for some reason means all four of them have to live at Burns Manor seemingly forever. Meanwhile, Homer meets a new female neighbor of his and becomes weird friends with her. When Marge gets back from Burns Manor, she freaks out about this in one of the dumbest and angriest Zombie Simpsons scenes in a while. Then it ends.

The most unintentionally entertaining part of the episode was the couch gag. They’ve gotten so used to explaining jokes and filling their scripts with unnecessary exposition that they did it before the episode even began. First, we see the family on the couch with a smart phone in front of them. Each member gets clicked and turned into an icon:


As couch gags go, at least it’s slightly novel. But when it gets to Homer, instead of having the screen flash “memory full” or some other wordless joke like the couch gags have long been, they had Homer explain out loud what was happening:


Homer: I’m too fat!

The phone then gets swapped for a larger tablet and he declares himself, “Still too fat!”. It’s completely unnecessary, we can plainly see that he’s too big to fit, but they felt the need to explain it anyway. I’m not laughing with you, Zombie Simpsons, but for once, I am laughing.

Anyway, the ratings are in, for both this week and last week’s premier. For the season premier – with no football lead-in – Zombie Simpsons managed to attract just 3.36 million viewers. That’s a horrifically bad number, but thanks to the nearly as bad Season 27 premier, isn’t actually a record. Last year’s premier only got 3.26 million viewers. By way of comparison, the previous low was Season 25’s 6.29 million.

On Sunday, Zombie Simpsons managed to display some self awareness with their chalkboard gag:


Unfortunately, they did, in fact, lose half of their NFL lead-in. FOX’s postgame show was watched by 12.49 million Americans, with Zombie Simpsons retaining only 6.00 million. Heh.

7 Responses to “Behind Us Forever: Friends and Family”

  1. 5 October 2016 at 11:26 am

    I’d like to hear more about ” one of the dumbest and angriest Zombie Simpsons scenes in a while.”

    • 2 Charlie Sweatpants
      5 October 2016 at 11:41 am

      I’m working on that. Hopefully tomorrow.

      • 3 The Artist Formerly Known As Bleeding Gums Murphy
        5 October 2016 at 5:08 pm

        I supose the comparison will be with “The Last Temptation of Homer”, “Another Simpsons Clip Show” (Marge asking about Mindy’s whereabouts) and “Homer’s Night Out”.

        It surprised me that they come up with the idea of Homer becoming friends with a woman without any romantic/sexual feelings involved, and they completely wasted it (using it as a B-plot, and making Marge act in a very out of character way and as a jerkass, since Homer did absolutely nothing wrong in this episode and Marge freaked out). The Marge I love wouldn’t say she’s Homer’s best friend unless she says it in the most supportive way.

  2. 5 October 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Another “teddy bear burns” episode….ugh.

    I remember how fun Mr. Burns was when he was an evil, miserable, out of date and kinda ridiculous man. It was dumb but scary. Now he is just…..I don’t know what the hell he is anymore

  3. 6 ecco6t9
    5 October 2016 at 9:16 pm

    But if it was all VR why did they actually have to be at Burns Manor? Secondly if it was faking a family why was the VR even nessacary?

    • 7 The Artist Formerly Known As Bleeding Gums Murphy
      5 October 2016 at 9:28 pm

      It also seems Smithers can record footage of the Simpsons family to use it for later VR sessions. Oh, and Burns imagines VR sessions too even when the device is disconnected. And somehow the VR device allows to imagine older versions of people. And the VR plot is dropped once Burns imagines adult Bart in Harvard, because Burns doesn’t like Harvard for whatever.

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