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Season 13 reviews

Here are the reviews of all the Season 13 episodes I wrote as they aired (2001-2002).

Treehouse of Horror XII

Curse of the Dummy - I thought this story was quite funny. All the family being cursed provided some good opportunities for jokes. I especially liked Marge getting hairy. 7/10

House of Whacks - This story was great! The house had some great features, and using Pierce Brosnan for the voice topped it off. I can't think of anything specifically that I liked, but generally it was a good story. 9/10

Wiz Kids - Another decent story. This wasn't as funny as the first two stories, but it did have some funny moments. The best was probably Smithers eating Mr. Burns after he died. Bart & Lisa were friends again at the end which is always nice to see. 8/10

Overall, this was a good Treehouse of Horror episode, probably the best for a couple of years.

Rating: 8/10

The Parent Rap

This was a funny episode. The tethering provided several opportunities for gags, and these were exploited.

The episode starts off well. Wiggum's moments in this section were good, such as the donut eating. Then we get to the courtroom scene. I thought this was a bit feeble, especially the self reference to their "court days".

However, after Homer & Bart have been tethered together, the episode picks up. Great moments were: Homer & Bart rushing to the kitchen, knocking Lisa over; Bart standing outside Moe's while Homer has a beer; and best of all, the fight in the bedroom. Homer & Bart making the other person slap themselves creased me up!

The ending does tail off a bit. There were some funny moments, such as Homer's line "So... it cost you nothing," when the judge tells them that the quilt they ruined was made by her grandmother.

Rating: 7�/10

Homer the Moe

How lame was this episode? There was so much which could have easily been improved. This time I'll start with the bad stuff.

First of all, we get a weird story about Bart digging, which was way too long in my opinion. It would have been at least a decent opening if it was only, say, a minute long rather than about five. Also, Barney is still drinking coffee which is the most annoying continuity change in the history of the show. Barney is an alcoholic, period. Why does he have to stay sober? (He quit drinking in BABF14, if you didn't know).

Then there was that guy who walked into the lake, Homer cutting his hand and surely losing at least four pints of blood, Homer's robot, and to top it off, another shameless bunch of guest stars who had no real part in the episode (REM).

Now the funny moments... well, there weren't that many to be honest. The ending was nice, but it didn't make any difference after the set of stupid jokes. The only funny thing I can remember is when Homer shot Moe. That's it.

Rating: 4/10

Hunka Hunka Burns In Love

I found this episode, like all Burns episodes, very enjoyable - among classics such as Last Exit To Springfield, Burns' Heir, and Homer Vs. Dignity.

The episode starts with the visit to Chinatown. This was very funny, especially the Chinese dragon thing (it was a real animal). The episode quickly gets into the main storyline, that is, Burns reading his fortune (as written by Homer) and then dating a young woman. The Smithers gay references are the best bits here - after Burns reads his fortune, Smithers says: "We're the only two people here, sir." then his unenthusiastic "whoopee" at Burns' suggestion to go womanizing.

Anyway, Burns finds his true love and they go on dates. More great jokes included Homer carrying Burns carrying Gloria to the bedroom, and the aphrodisiac.

The only thing I didn't like was the ending. Homer talking about someone's wiener was just sick, and the family walking into the sunset with Burns was a bit strange. I think the writers were trying to make a 'nice' ending, free from wackiness, but it didn't seem right to me.

Rating: 8�/10

The Blunder Years

This episode was quite average, I didn't love it, and I didn't hate it. There wasn't anything particularly wrong with it, it was funny in places, but not enough places for me to love it.

The opening was good, until Homer's screaming fit. This went on for a bit too long in my opinion. But then again, the whole introduction was a bit too long.

Then we learn that Homer found a body in the quarry. From here onwards, most of it is funny. I especially liked Wiggum's line: "Can I tag along? I'm kind of a crime buff." Burns was also funny in the last act as well. Everything is wrapped up nicely, then we have Moe's rant over the credits, which was okay.

Rating: 7�/10

She of Little Faith

Okay, this is the first episode without Mike Scully (exec. producer for Seasons 9-12), and it wasn't half bad!

The opening act was great, with some funny lines spouted from Homer, such as: "Mmm... pie pants," and "All nerds clear the launch area!" The hamster walking up to the rocket has to be one of the funniest animal-related moments in Simpsons history.

Anyway, we soon get into the main story - the destruction of church and Lisa's abandoning of her faith. Everything in this part was good, even some of Lisa's lines (a rarity these days). The best Lisa line has to be: "No it's not, it's apt. APT!" The way she says it makes it funny.

As with most episodes recently, the last few minutes were not as funny as the rest of the episode. However, it did not matter this time because it was more of a "resolution" ending to the story, which is nice - Lisa learned that she can celebrate Christmas.

The only thing I worry about is whether Lisa is going to stay Buddhist, or if she will go back to being Christian. The writers nowadays seem to like this kind of permanent continuity changes, such as Barney now drinking coffee all the time. I hope this doesn't continue.

Rating: 8�/10

Brawl In The Family

Another great episode! Things are looking up for The Simpsons! Pretty much everything in this episode was funny.

The episode starts with a fight over a monopoly game. One thing I am pleased about (being the maintainer of the "D'oh!" list) is that Homer actually said "D'oh!" in this episode, because he hasn't said it for a long while. The button on the phone was a good gag - it's also referred to in a later episode.

Anyway, the Simpsons get a social worker, who helps them to function as a family again. The best bits in this part were the wolves and cougars working together, and then getting drunk.

After this, the family return home to find Homer's Las Vegas wife (from "Viva Ned Flanders," Season 10). Then the episode gets even funnier, with great scenes from Ned. Also, Ginger making Homer a sandwich was great.

This episode was surprisingly funny. I thought it would be one of those lame "repeated ideas" episodes, but it turned out okay!

Rating: 9/10

Sweets and Sour Marge

This episode is a weird one to review because on one hand it was very funny, however, on the other hand, it had a lot of stupid and unfunny stuff in it.

I liked the opening. The attempt to get into the Duff Book of World Records was great! I particularly liked Homer's diagram of the human pyramid (a triangle). Then Springfield is named America's Fattest Town, because of the Motherloving Sugar Corporation loading Springfield's food with sugar.

After sugar is banned from Springfield, Homer and Bart go on the sugar mission. Pretty much everything here was funny, especially Homer's quote: "Has everyone kiestered their secret supply? [other people look at him strangely] Cause, er... I sure haven't!" Also the button labels - Dump Cargo or Obey Bad Guy were good sight gags.

However, having said all this, there were so many inappropriate and unfunny jokes. Silly self-references such as the worldwide headquarters of the Motherloving Sugar Corporation being just down the street, pointless jokes such as the one about Congress, and that Erin Brockovich thing - what the hell was that all about? It wasn't funny and it added nothing to the episode.

The episode was funny, but there were too many lame jokes for my liking.

Rating: 6�/10

Jaws Wired Shut

Yet another excellent episode! Jaws Wired Shut gets more and more funnier as the episode progresses! It starts with the gay pride parade, which is the worst moment of the episode. The only funny moment was hearing Smithers' voice in the closet with either Patty or Selma. Of course, that doesn't mean it is him...

The episode picks up as the family go to the movies, but there are so many previews. I particularly liked Bart's comment: "(to Lisa) I prefer to egg him on. (to Homer) Hey Dad! Has the movie started yet?" The giant Kit-Kat was funny, too.

Then Homer runs outside and breaks his jaw. This was a bit weird as it was over so quickly. Nonetheless, we soon get into the funny stuff. Homer learns to listen. This is great for two reasons: firstly, it is funny; and secondly, it is nice to see Homer not being a jerk for once. Funny moments here included Homer writing "yes" on his chalkboard twice in a row when answering Lisa's questions; and saying "I'm horny" through his jaw wires at the dance.

After the jaws come off is when this episode really shines. Homer and his glass of milk has to be the funniest moment here: "I'd love to stay and argue with you, Marge, but then I'd have to get a new glass of milk." The Popeye parody was good as well, but in my opinion it went on for too long.

At the end, Homer goes back to his loud, crazy self. Hopefully, he won't be too much of a jerk in future episodes!

Rating: 9�/10

Half-Decent Proposal

Man, this episode was great! I thoroughly enjoyed watching it, there was so much that was funny.

To start, we have Homer's snoring problem (oh, and the opening scene with Comic Book Guy - that was great), and Marge can't get any sleep. Homer's different snores made me laugh as well, such as the high pitched "memememe!" and when he snored while awake. Also funny in this bit was when Marge fell asleep on the wheel, sounded the horn, then "got the door" and dived out the car.

Next, we have a scene with Patty & Selma, their longest appearance in years, and Artie Ziff makes a return appearance. Now we get into the full story: Artie offers Homer $1 million for a weekend alone with Marge (hmm... have I seen that storyline somewhere before?).

After Homer goes to the prom night that Artie has set up, he sees Marge kissing Artie and runs off into West Springfield with Lenny. From here the episode gets even funnier. The best moment of the episode for me was when Homer ran into the camera trying to strangle Bart - another comedy classic!

And to finish the episode, Artie gives Homer his latest invention, the Snore Converter, and Artie watches Marge through a camera. Well, at least it's a sane ending.

This episode is definitely my favorite of the Season so far.

Rating: 10/10

The Bart Wants What It Wants

Not a bad episode, but not a really funny episode either. Like most episodes nowadays, it starts off good, but drops off towards the end.

The first act was probably the best. Homer stealing the Olympic Torch was a great moment: "They've pre-empted my favorite shows for the last time!" Marge's moan: "Every four years..."

Next, Homer spots a fair. This may be self-reference to the increasing number of episodes which start or are based around a fair/special event in Springfield (first noted by yours truly). Anyway, this fair (a private school open day) was good. The monkeys point/monkeys cry line was good, as well as Lisa's efforts to stay at the school.

The next act is also good. Rainier Wolfcastle's truck and the thumb wars game were good moments. The best moment of this episode had to be the Itchy & Scratchy DVD - Itchy kills Scratchy on the audio commentary! Hilarious!

Pretty soon, Bart messes it up, and Greta starts dating Milhouse. Then she goes to Toronto, and so the Simpsons follow her there (yet another holiday). Anyway, after Bart & Milhouse fight, Greta decides to dump both of them and the story wraps up nicely, although a tad predictable.

Rating: 8/10

The Lastest Gun in the West

Well, that run of great Simpsons episodes stopped short! This episode was awful, there were no good or funny jokes or gags in there at all!

We start with some completely random storyline about a dog who is after Bart for no reason. Okay, this is funny, but after seven minutes it stops dead and a different story sparks up. I don't mind normally, if there is a good link, but this was very weak.

So, Bart meets a cowboy and starts admiring him. Homer gets upset which is more like the 'old' Homer from earlier Seasons, but this gleam of hope is overshadowed by so many flat jokes.

Suddenly, the cowboy (I can't even remember his name!) reveals he is an alcoholic and so the family try to get him to quit. He does, just in time to save the day at an armed robbery.

But then, he goes off and we see him moving around in his house for the last minute of the episode, which was just a time-filler, really. Oh, and then the dog from the beginning makes another appearance in the last few seconds. Crap, or what?

It is a few days since I saw the episode last, and I can't remember any good jokes from the episode. I'm struggling to give it any marks at all, but I guess I'll have to.

Rating: 4/10

The Old Man And The Key

I really don't know whether to even bother reviewing this episode! I suppose I'd better. All I really have to say about this episode is that it was crap. I laughed once, at the Scrabble-Ships game at the beginning, but after this I couldn't laugh at anything.

It's a shame, really, because Grampa is a funny character, but only when he's being senile or old-fashioned. He is just not funny when trying to be young and hip.

I also noticed Homer was shouting a lot in this episode - it's pretty much all he did. The plot was a bit stupid, too. I think that's all I am going to write.

Rating: 1/10

Tales from the Public Domain

Although I didn't really like the repeated idea of the three different stories (from AABF14 Simpsons Bible Stories and CABF17 Simpsons Tall Tales), this episode wasn't bad.

It wasn't as good as Simpsons Bible Stories, but it was a lot better than Simpsons Tall Tales, although that isn't exactly hard. I also do not know the original stories particularly well, so there are probably some jokes and similarities that I didn't get.

It's been a while since I've seen the episode, but a few things stick out in my mind. Firstly, Hans Moleman appearing as God, but then opening the tap door and letting the real God in; Secondly, Marge looking at the picture of handsome Homer in the first story; and lastly, the ending of the last story when everyone dies in different ways was quite good.

The ending, although unrelated to the story and completely off the wall had me in stitches! This was a decent episode, but I'd prefer it if they didn't make any more because the format gets a bit boring.

Rating: 7�/10

Blame it On Lisa

Yet another "The Simpsons are going to..." episode. It wasn't bad, I just get the feeling it's been done too many times before, and when this very fact is pointed out by several characters, it really does start to get repetitive.

There were several good gags in the episode, though, such as the inevitable stereotypes which go with this type of episode: the conga line; the soccer scene; and the bit about their money being gay to name a few.

However, there were several of the annoying and unneccessary things which give new episodes such a bad name. Things such as the self-reference to which state Springfield is in, and the ending (with Bart dancing inside the snake) are silly and just degrade the show. The writers should just give up trying to add these silly self-references because they just get worse and worse. Other than this, it was a decent episode.

Rating: 7/10

Weekend at Burnsie's

Surprisingly, a reasonable episode! Looking at the synopsis - Homer gets addicted to medical marijuana - really makes you feel that the writers are fast running out of ideas. However, I think this episode tackled an important current issue, and for such a controversial topic, they did well.

The opening scene went on for too long in my opinion - although it was a good lead into the main plot, nearly half the episode was over by the time the main storyline started. Homer is prescribed medical marijuana to control his pain. Homer high on pot was very funny, especially when Ned Flanders called round and read the bible to him.

Any episode with Mr. Burns can't be bad, and with Homer high, pure comedy takes over. There weren't too many Smithers' sexual innuendos in this section, which was good (when they do too many it gets boring). The ending was a bit strange, though, and a repeated joke from The Parent Rap.

Rating: 8/10

Gump Roast

For a clip show, this wasn't half bad! It was presented as a legitimate storyline, rather than the usual "this is our new clip show" from the writers, which has happened way too often (e.g. Another Simpsons Clip Show and All Singing, All Dancing).

However, the main part of the clip show, when Homer was being roasted, seemed to lean towards this style. I much preferred the opening. The Forrest Gump parody was great, I especially liked the feather in the eye - twice. Moe was funny as well.

The clips in this section were much more subtle, a lot like the first clip show. The episode actually progressed as a story, rather than clip after clip after clip.

Rating: 8�/10

I Am Furious (Yellow)

Wow, I loved this episode! It was a good storyline, and had great jokes. I am also surprised it did not have more self-references, what with it being about cartooning, and the ones that were left in were at least subtle.

However, the opening wasn't as funny (it was still good). This could have done with being a bit shorter - I don't know why Lisa had to be included here, she appeared later as well. Also, the opening had a few non-cartoon self-references, such as Kirk being referred to as "Bart's friend's father," which weren't really needed.

Anyway, we soon get into the main plot, and it is good. My favorite joke was when Homer said: "I hope no one's drawing this!" as Bart was drawing him. That was funny for two reasons - the second being much more subtle, which is how it should be.

Next, his cartoon is put onto the Internet. Everything from here to the end was hilarious. I did wonder about the lumps on Homer's neck first time I watched this (I thought it might be another one of those silly cartoony, non-Simpson-like moments). But that was explained.

I loved the animated Internet cartoon, and this episode kept me smiling!

Rating: 9�/10

The Sweetest Apu

Please note reading this review that Sky One completely messed about with the order of Season 13 episodes, and with missing one or two the first time around, I watched this new after DABF07 and DABF08, which may be why I gave this episode such a high rating. Anyway, on with the show...

To be honest, I was dreading this episode. Apu's character has been shaken about so much over the last few years, what with him getting married and having eight kids, I really thought this was going to be another "we're running out of storylines" type episodes from the writers.

However, this episode was excellent. Apu was still as funny as he has always been, and with Homer involved it gave it that edge (like the episode Homer and Apu).

Great moments included the civil war re-enactment, with Barney finally drinking beer; Homer walking backwards from the Kwik-E-Mart to his house, and then dreaming about walking backwards; Homer & Marge's attempts to get Apu & Manjula back together; and finally, Homer's walking backwards on the ladder at the end.

The only thing I didn't like was Homer saying "penis." It's not that it wasn't funny, it just doesn't belong in The Simpsons, the same as the "mummy boner" from DABF05 or Homer talking about someone's wiener in CABF18. That's what I watch South Park for.

Rating: 9/10

Little Girl in the Big Ten

Not bad at all! It was good the way the two separate stories linked in together at the end. That always makes a good episode.

Okay, to start the episode we have Lisa failing at gym again, so she is sent to the "I Am Lugash" gym (Lugash was introduced in Children of a Lesser Clod). Most of this was funny, however, I didn't like the way Lisa woke up after passing out - it was like a manga cartoon, which isn't very fitting for The Simpsons.

Next, Bart gets bitten by a mosquito, getting the panda virus, and must live in a bubble. At first I thought this was a stupid storyline, but it turned out to be quite funny. The only thing I didn't understand is why Bart came to the rescue of all the nerds, because he hates them (although, I suppose he does not like the bullies either).

Meanwhile, Lisa fitted in very well with her college friends. Much of this storyline was good, but not great. However, the ending was great. Overall, this episode was good.

Rating: 8/10

The Frying Game

This episode was just lame. It starts with Homer buying Marge a nice anniversary present (a small water garden). Okay so far. But then they find out it is inhabitied by a 'screamapillar' - basically a caterpillar that constantly screams. And it's an endangered species.

Eventually, an annoyed Homer kills it, and is forced to do community service. He works for an old lady (soon Marge does as well), who is murdered, leaving Homer and Marge as the main suspects. Okay, so this story is plausible. Then, when they are both about to get the death penalty, it turns out it was all part of a game show. The end.

Yet another episode spoilt by a bizarre, off-the-wall ending - although, there wasn't much to spoil anyway as the episode was already bad. I don't really want to write any more about it, so I'll just give my rating and this advice: never watch this episode.

Rating: 4/10

Papa's Got a Brand New Badge

Haven't we already had a clip show this year? I couldn't help but feel that this episode was just a compilation of several storylines from past episodes. Think about it:

However, despite all of this, the episode was extremely good! The story progressed well, Homer actually seemed to have feelings and he was trying to do good things, and the ending was good, although a little unexpected.

Probably my favorite part of this episode was when the mob were driving through the town, to the Soprano's theme - we really get to see Springfield in all it's glory!

The episode was amazingly funny and this has to be one of my favorite Season finale's ever!

Rating: 10/10!