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Season 12 reviews

Here are the reviews of all the Season 12 episodes I wrote as they aired (2000-2001).

A Tale of Two Springfields

This was a good Season premiere. Homer is outraged about the new area code change in Springfield, so divides the city into two towns - New Springfield and Old Springfield. He then elects himself as mayor, but everyone soon flees his town.

I'll start with the good stuff. Generally, I liked the plot as it provided many opportunities for laughs. Homer was great in this episode, as was Bart. Good gags were the www.whatbadgerseat.com website (by the way, this is a real website - Fox created it for the show), Bart confusing stoats with corn, Lenny = white, Carl = black written on Homer's hand, the lowbrow expressions ("Oh yeah..." and "Come here a minute"), the whole chloroform thing, the 'Who-huddle', and their guard.

Two things I did not like were the badger ending (what was that all about?), and Homer's skin being ripped off by the badger, which was a tad unrealistic. However, this was counterbalanced with the excellent line, "What am I, a tailor?" Great episode, I hope that the rest of the Season will be like this!

Rating: 9/10

Treehouse of Horror XI

Three stories, one of which was quite bad, really. I have given them each a review and score, then taken the average.

G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad
This was definitely the best story of the three. The very specific horoscope; "Flupid Floropope" after the axe in the head; and the speed at which Homer died after eating the broccoli were funny. I noticed (the fourth time I saw the episode) that St Peter was playing cards after Homer ate the broccoli again. The best line was probably this from Homer: "Whoa, whoa, whoa! I'm just trying to get in, I'm not running for Jesus!" 8/10

Scary Tales Can Come True
It's unusual for me to say this about a Simpsons episode, especially a THOH story, but this was really bad! There were two funny bits in this: Lisa's line "Face it, they're not great parents," and the other with Bart mixing the porridge, a noticeable flaw with the Goldilocks fairy tale. Otherwise, this was poor. Shame on the writers! 5/10

Night of the Dolphin
This one was good. However, the parody of 'Free Willy' was another re-used gag (from The Boy Who Knew Too Much), and was very similar. There were quite a few laughs in this story, such as the "inaudible whispers" on the subtitles for the dolphins, the marching dolphins squeaking to the army march, and the leader who could speak. Classic line: "Alcohol and night swimming - it's a winning combination!" - Lenny. 7/10

Rating: 7/10

Insane Clown Poppy

This was a good episode. The first act provided many laughs, especially Homer and Bart's antics with the fireworks. Great lines were spouted out, such as "It's gonna take a lot of fireworks to clear this mess up."

Next came the book fair. Everything here was funny; including Milhouse's, "There hands were everywhere!" My favorite bit was the Books For Dummies author: "Duh, I don't know. Me gotta go to bank now."

There was much more great stuff in this episode which can't all fit here, so here's some of the best gags: Kearney and his son, the mafia summit, the mafia's web site (crime.org - note that this is a real organized crime site, so go there at will), and Johnny Tightlips & Hugo Squealer.

One bit I did not like was when Homer was talking to Krusty on the beach, and after he got distracted, said: "Where were we? Oh hey! A clown!" This was a bit too stupid for Homer in my opinion.

Rating: 9/10

Lisa the Treehugger

So much in this episode was funny! The episode starts with Bart delivering menus for the restaurant, "You Thai Now" (I love that name!). This whole section was funny, but it stopped abruptly when the family got to Krusty Burger, and could have provided some extra laughs in addition to the main story line if continued.

The Krusty burger scene was by far the funniest scene so far this Season, with great stuff such as the "bag-zooka." Other great stuff in this episode included Homer, on refugees: "How about a smile?" and "moping won't make it better!" The Kentucky Fried Panda restaurant (it's one of the shops the log destroys, if you missed it) was great - as Homer said, it was "finger-lingling-good!"

Something that bothered me was the fact that Lisa could see the Eiffel Tower from the tree, as well as Hollywood and the Statue of Liberty. Okay, it was only a joke, but the weird this was that the Eiffel Tower was in between these two.

Overall, this was a good episode. The story line was quite original (I haven't seen Lisa campaigning in an episode for ages), and there were enough laughs to keep me going. Classic line: "Wow! It's so decomposed!" - Lisa, commenting on Jesse's pocket mulching.

Rating: 8/10

Homer Vs. Dignity

Probably the best episode of the Season so far, I was laughing all the way through! The beginning was probably the strongest part of the episode, but the rest was still excellent.

The 'Happy First A' celebrations were especially great. The explanation was good as well as the family running out on the meal (Homer throwing his credit cards at the waiter), then having to repay their debt by singing, and selling the car chassis. Homer's 'financial panther' bit was good, as was Mr Burns' toy gun ("Curses, it's jammed!"). The best bit of the episode came next, in the cafeteria. Lenny's line was a classic: "My eye! I'm not supposed to get pudding in it!"

Then we get into the main story line, which was great. The only thing that I could say was bad about the episode (to be fair) would be the panda scene. Maybe it was a bit unrealistic for the male panda to drag Homer off to do whatever it did to him (I'd better not write it here!), but apart from this, the episode was fantastic!

Rating: 10/10! Superb!

The Computer Wore Menace Shoes

This episode starts well, but quickly goes downhill. Aside from the major plot hole that The Simpsons already have a computer ("A Tale of Two Springfields", "Das Bus"), I did not like many other things in this episode.

Firstly, there were Bart's psychological problems. I think the writers went a bit too far with him apparently taking a swing at a cop with a switchblade, and being "mad all the time." He was way out of character.

Secondly, Homer being gassed and taken to an island somewhere (a parody of a 60's TV show called 'The Prisoner') was a very weird and unrealistic twist to the story. However, the giant bubble, although another recycled joke ("The Joy of Sect") was funny. Thirdly, the ending was appalling. The family all going back to the island and living there did not do anything for me at all.

However, there were some good jokes. The 'Dancing Jesus' and the Springfield Police web sites, and Homer's first attempt at a web site were all good. Also, the Mr X site, which showed Homer's face before the bag covers his face, was funny. Be sure to check out the real Mr X's web page that Fox created for the show at www.mrxswebpage.com

Rating: 6/10

The Great Money Caper

Oh my god! What is happening to The Simpsons? I thought the last episode was bad, but this was really terrible! If you've not seen it, I advise you not to watch it! The episode starts with a quite unfunny scene in a restaurant. I don't think I laughed once. Next, we have a fish falling from outer space somehow, and another recycled gag, from THOH XI - the "Russian profanities" in the subtitles.

The episode does get better, as the conning was good in places. But by the courtroom scene, the episode had lost any charm it had, and had returned to the unfunny state it was in at the beginning. The one thing that was funny (and quite funny it was) was the fact that Willy was not in on the set up.

And to end, we are presented with the now common stupid and unfunny scene. This one was surfing, and the idea that everything was going to be explained, but then everyone got distracted, was copied from "Brother's Little Helper." This is definitely the worst episode of the Season so far.

Rating: 4/10 - D'oh!

Skinner's Sense of Snow

This episode starts quite badly, but does get better. The French circus was poor. The guy who disappeared was a bit too cartoonish and unrealistic, and the rainbow in the jar thing was stupid. However, Marge was good in this section, with some great lines: "They're only in town for eight months, then they're gone," and "they always pick the guy with the wires." Also, Marge imagining herself in exotic positions cleaning the sink was good.

Next, it's snow day. Homer's snow angel, which turns out to be a devil, was strange, but the rest of this scene was good. The movie, "The Christmas That Almost Wasn't But Then Was" was funny, especially when we learn it was a DVD.

It was also great to see some nostalgia on The Simpsons - Ned and Homer talking about Mr Plow was great: "I think I remember my own life," Homer said. Also, Uter's appearance surprised me because I thought he was dead (remember "The PTA Disbands," and his parents in "Guess Who's Coming To Criticize Dinner?")

There were more unrealistic things in this episode, for example, the self-repairing permanent record. How unrealistic can you get?
Overall, this was a good episode with plenty of laughs, but it was excessively unrealistic for my liking. I don't know, maybe a wizard did it.

Rating: 7/10

HOMЯ

First, I'd like to say it's good to see Itchy & Scratchy again after so long. They were part of the animation fair, and the rest of this was great. Animotion was pretty funny, and all the things that stemmed from this. Good things were Carl's remark, "So, does he still work here or not?" Homer's brain singing "We're in the money!" and the automatic share prices:
"What the hell is this crap?"
"Fox Broadcasting, down 8."

Next, Homer is in money trouble for the third time this Season (Homer Vs Dignity, The Great Money Caper), and so Homer goes to a medical research centre. In yet another twist to the story, Homer has a crayon in his brain.

When I first heard about this story, I thought it would be really funny, but it wasn't as good as I expected. The explanation for the crayon not having been noticed before was poor, but a lot of things in this part of the episode were good, such as Homer accidentally proving there's no God, the scene at the school, the auditorium being bulldozed into a mini mall, Lisa's graphs, and Homer's "walk" (which was actually a drive).

Rating: 7/10

Pokey Mom

There was a lot of good stuff in this episode, but there was also a lot of bad stuff. The episode starts well, with Marge crushing Homer's juice box and thinking it was him. The rodeo was quite funny, especially the clowns.

One thing that annoyed me was Homer's ignorance: "Not now honey, Daddy's busy," when dangling Lisa over the side of the arena. The appearance from Sideshow Bob (in bandages - watch carefully) was funny, as was the artist who painted a judge being stabbed.

A couple of things bothered me in this episode. Firstly, why was the school in the same place as the prison? Marge looked out of the window twice to the same place - first she saw the prison, and later she saw the school. Secondly, what was the whole "not till you eat your sundae" thing? This was a very weird joke in my opinion.

The sideline story of Homer and his miracle spine-o-cylinder (Patent Pending!) was good, but the ending of this episode was not. Jack burning Skinner's car was stupid, and his conversation with Chief Wiggum really was unfunny. This ending ruined an otherwise fine episode.

Rating: 6/10

Worst Episode Ever

Every minute of this episode is hilarious! A great episode about one of the best characters in the show. We start with a classic kitchen scene, not matched since the "missing dinner plates" scene from The Cartridge Family (when they eat out of colanders and mugs, then Homer's gun accidentally shoot's Marge's picture). The baking soda that came with the house was good, as was Homer antacid trip. This, and Homer's recollection of his first public banning reminded me of the classic Season 4 or 5 style, which is always good.

Right after Comic Book Guy's heart attack, the episode gets funnier and funnier. There were so many great moments in this episode; I couldn't possibly list them all here. Great bits were: Comic Book Guy declaring his cardiac episode "Worst Episode Ever" (hence the episode title); the transformer toy that turns into a watering can; Bart in his coat and hat; Homer trying to help him make friends; the whole scene at Moe's; the kids tying to escape through the posters; Chief Wiggum and Lou; and the radioactive monkey.

This episode made a refreshing change to the normal activities of The Simpsons, as it was Bart & Milhouse involved in the zany scheme instead of Homer, and Homer was helping someone.

Another thing that kept me laughing was that Comic Book Guy, as he is known, was never referred to by his real name. Even Chief Wiggum said: "Comic Book Guy, you are under arrest!"

Rating: 10/10! Excellent!

Tennis The Menace

Another good episode. It starts with yet another repeated gag - Homer in the shower, and Bart making it hotter and colder (recycled from Bart Vs. Australia). I think this was just added to fill up the 21 minutes.

The old people's home talent contest was funny, as was the quick jump from the cemetery to the tennis court. The rest of this episode was average, but there were some funny bits. The best by far was Kent Brockman being told what to say, especially when he said, "I guess you could say I'm Iraqi." Other good stuff included Wiggum and Lou wanting to play tennis, Burns' chessboard, Homer's home testing kit, and Dr Hibbert's outdoor operation.

However, Homer thinking that Bart was going to kill him and marry Marge was a weird twist, and shows just how paranoid Homer can get (similar to Kill The Alligator And Run, when he thinks that everyone is out to get him). Also, the swapping partners thing was really unnecessary.
This episode was too average with only a few highlights. It was a big disappointment after Worst Episode Ever.

Rating: 7/10

Day Of The Jackanapes

This was a good episode about one of my favorite characters, aside from Comic Book Guy. The "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" spoof was, especially the jabs at the show, eg Moe saying he was told to stall for twenty minutes.

This was a nice lead into the main story. Although we've kind of seen this story before (The Last Temptation Of Krust), this was still a good episode. Off the top of my head, I can only remember a couple of things which were funny: the executives saying things like, "I was just thinking that" (funny in context); and when Maggie supposedly shot Mr. Burns again. They weren't the only laughs.

However, there were quite a few things in this episode, which were a bit strange. The lack of continuity was one. What happened to Cecil (from The Brother From Another Series)? Some explanation would have been nice. The second thing was the executives who came back to life near the end was really strange and unrealistic. Thirdly, the ending to the episode was also strange. Why was Bob given the death penalty? Are the writers trying to get rid of him, or what? If so, why bother even writing a Sideshow Bob episode, especially after so many years ("The Brother From Another Series" was Season 8)?

However, this was still a very funny episode, with very little wrong.

Rating: 9/10

New Kids On The Blecch

I absolutely HATE boy bands, but this episode cracked me up! I think it was mainly because of the boy band stereotypes, such as the voice enhancer, and the pathetic fallacy of N Sync. Their clothes getting out of date suddenly, and the enter & exit dance routine was so sad it was funny!

The beginning of the episode was good as well. The marathon and Homer looking like Grampa when dehydrated was great! The performances from Party Posse were really funny, especially Ralph's singing voice.
Other funny stuff included Lt. Smash and the Captain using the gun for pushing buttons instead of shooting, and Smash letting Lisa leave by accident.

However, I strongly disagree with the ending they used. N Sync talking to "the viewers" was unacceptable, because it's a cartoon and not a chat show! This ending ruined an otherwise good episode, and brought down the episode's score by a point or two.

Rating: 6/10

Hungry, Hungry Homer

Another great episode this Season. It's good to see an episode revolving entirely around Homer (it's a rarity these days).

The beginning was excellent. The Blockoland theme park was great, and provided many opportunities for laughs. Especially good were: the slide, the mirrors, the boat ride and Bart's Lego shirt... I mean, Blocko shirt. Homer going back to get the missing Eiffel Tower piece was funny, as well as the storyline of Homer helping people.

It was also great to see Duffman again in this episode. He had some great lines: "Duffman is thrusting in the direction of the problem," and "What would Jesus do?"

Homer getting drugged and not tasting the beer was good, as was Milhouse calling his father "Weekend Dad," "Duck man," and the mayor or Albuquerque.

Overall, this episode began really well, but lost it a bit towards the end. Still, there were some good gags in there.

Rating: 9/10

Bye Bye Nerdie

The subject of bullies has been covered before on The Simpsons, but it was not as funny as this. A great episode full of laughs, and with the funniest opening scene for years! Homer not going into work was funny ("If I come in late again, I'm fired - I can't take that chance."), as well as the whole 'Speed' parody. Milhouse's comment was the best line I've heard in ages: "It's like Speed 2, but with a bus instead of a boat!"

Then we meet the new girl, and find out she's a bully. The funniest bits of this story were Nelson talking to Lisa, the scene with Willy, and the sign on his door: 'KEEP OOT'. The 12th Annual Big Science Thing was funny too, with nerd remarks such as "chemicals are our friend," and the 'science pole'.

The sideline story in this episode - Homer helping to prevent baby accidents - was better in my opinion, and this should have been the focus of the episode. It didn't seem to end properly either.

There wasn't really anything in the episode that I didn't like - overall it was a good episode.

Rating: 9/10

Simpson Safari

This was a weird, but nonetheless funny, episode. Another funny opening to begin with - the bag boys. Lenny's 'casual' get-together (Carl, dressed up like a millionaire, remarks "Casual?!") and Lenny being scared of the bag boy knocking his hat off were great. So was the animal crackers scene, leading to the family getting the holiday in Africa after all.

Next comes the weird stuff: A spider spits on their suitcase and it shrinks ("bound to happen" - Homer); a rhino comes out of an egg; a giraffe emerges from a hole in the ground; a cheetah climbs a tree; a hippo is afraid of the water; and of course, the monkeys mining.

Still, this was all funny, and in the end, that's what counts. The warthog in the car was definitely the best moment for me ("Mom! Bart implied I was a warthog!" - Lisa).

The ending was again a bit strange, but funny nonetheless. Overall, I think the episode was very funny, if a little unrealistic.

Rating: 8/10

Trilogy of Error

An absolutely fantastic and original episode, for once involving the whole family. Well, I say 'original' - for me this was very similar to "22 Short Films About Springfield," in that it was a series of interlocking stories. I much prefer this episode though, because it keeps you guessing until the very end!

I'll start at the beginning (that seems most logical) with 'Homer's Day.' Most of this was pretty funny: Marge cutting Homer's thumb off, and Santa's Little Helper running away with it. Then Homer gets drunk at Moes, and has trouble hitch-hiking - with no thumb, how can he? Also, Dr Nick not realizing that inflammable meant flammable was another good moment.

Next up is 'Lisa's Day.' Lisa puts some last touches to her science fair project - Linguo, the grammar correction robot. It's pretty funny, too, especially when Lisa corrects the robot: "Must conserve battery power." After getting taken to the wrong school, Lisa ends up in Moes, where Chief Wiggum has just lost an undercover spy. Anyway, Marge is there, and gives her a lift. Suddenly Bart appears from a manhole cover in the road...

'Bart's Day' was probably the funniest: his Itchy & Scratchy clock hits him on the head, trying to get him up; we find out that 123 Fake Street is a real address; and Linguo corrects the mob, but suffers from bad grammar overload. And then the story is wrapped up nicely with Lisa stitching Homer's thumb back on for her Science project. Phew!

This episode has so many funny moments, especially the repeated bits (Ned Flanders' mailbox being destroyed three times for example).

Rating: 10/10!

I'm Goin' To Praiseland

Four words: Homer is a jerk. He just ruined what could have been an excellent episode. It was as if the episode was all about him, and not Ned. The first bit of Homer's 'jerkiness' was when Rachel and Ned met again, and he was whispering things like "oh, she wants to go for coffee!" very loudly to Ned. Then there was Homer hanging from Ned's window, watching him.

Next, Ned wanted to build a theme park, and it was taking up a lot of Homer's time - he kept looking at his watch. Actually, this was quite funny, which just goes to show how Homer being a jerk can be good if used at the right time.

There were many good bits in this episode: Ned's obsession with Maude; Homer and Bart's 'sorting' machine; and the appearance of Patches & Violet.

The ending, although ruined by Homer's jerkiness, was at least sane and not completely off the wall like most endings these days.

Rating: 7/10

Simpsons Tall Tales

This was a pretty poor Season Finale. This is the third "special" episode this Season (the other two being BABF21 and CABF14), and I personally thought it was too much.

The episode starts with a lame excuse for a holiday. In fact it's a repeated clip from Behind The Laughter. Even Homer said: "We'll make this the last Season" in that episode, implying that it is a bad episode. They can't get on the train, so they board one of the carriages, where they encounter a singing hobo.

We start with Paul Bunyan (Homer) and his giant Ox. There were a few good moments, but overall, this story was pretty poor. The same goes for the second story about Connie Appleseed (Lisa).

The third story was better, but still average. The gun fight in the pub was funny, as was Dr. Hibbert singing.

There were some funny moments, but overall I didn't like this episode because it just wasn't funny enough.

Rating: 5/10

Children of a Lesser Clod

This episode has to be one of my favorites of Season 12. For once, Homer is being nice to people... well, children anyway. The episode starts off well with the sport evening thingy.

Then Homer breaks his leg and has to go to hospital. Everything here was funny, especially the comment by Homer: "So I've got to just sit on my ass and watch TV? That's not my style, man!" The bear appearing was a great gag as well.

Next, we get into the story. This was funny as well. The best in this section was probably the snack table for the television program. The ending was also great - nice to see Arnie Pie returning, and he was funny, too.

The episode as a whole was great, there were so many funny moments!

Rating: 9/10