Ugh… it’s a rare day I wish I didn’t have to write about a Simpsons episode but today is one of those days. One of the features we like to have on this site is recaps of new Simpsons episodes for all our friends who can’t watch them immediately or like our takes on them. Despite a warning that this isn’t my favorite episode by a long shot and that the plot is strange and contrived, I still wanted to pop in with another episode recap for y’all. Most of my reviews tend to be stream of consciousness style and this one is no different. Here’s my recap and thoughts on Season 27, Episode 1: “Every Man’s Dream”.
First off this title is meant to be confusing. The official synopsis for the episode is as follows per TV Guide. Season 27 begins with Homer being diagnosed as a narcoleptic, which sends him on a bender, after which he returns home drunk. This prompts a visit to a marriage counselor and results in a trial separation from Marge, during which Homer finds himself a 20-something companion. You’re made to think that every man’s dream is to be with a twenty-something but it’s actually just a clever title to say “we warned you how it all was going to end.” This will make sense as you read your way through my notes. Without further words from me, let’s get started.
– The Simpsons zipline in to Springfield in the opening sequence followed by a neat Beatles tribute for the couch gag (Meet the Simpsons, Hard D’ohs Night, Rubber Pants, The Yellow Album, Labby Road)
– Homer is asleep at his work console… nothing new there but it is a little different that the claxon alarm, fire resulting from his console overloading and subsequent suppression measures don’t succeed in waking him up.
– Homer’s is off to a familiar place… the Hospital (Home of the $29,999.99 Appendectomy) where once again he’ll be fine even if his airways are full of fire retardant. Marge is considered that Homer has been sleeping a lot. He even slept through their vacations to a theme park, scuba diving and the running of the bulls. Hibbert diagnoses our favorite Dad after taking a spinal tap. The gag of Hibbert removing a ton of spinal fluid and only using a drop makes me laugh way too much but that might be my experience as a medic laughing. Homer has low levels of hypocretin meaning he has narcolepsy. Bart pulls the plug… on the TVs in the room… and Hibbert advises Homer to avoid stressful triggers but gets all gangsta when Homer asks if paying his medical bill is one of them. “Don’t play with me man. I will mess you up.” This made me laugh but not as much as the fact that Bart has a sphygmomanometer (B/P cuff) around his neck at this point.
– So Homer gets a bona fide medical prescription to avoid anything he finds taxing. No surprise he uses it to avoid everything even though he promised Marge he wouldn’t. Homer would rather spend half his life napping, like cute little Maggie. Ugh… never mind, Maggie apparently no longer sleeps like a sweet little angel.
– Marge tells Homer he has no idea what it’s like being married to him. In true Homer fashion he daydreams about marrying himself, another female version of himself barging in with a child, a Homer dog and a stained glass window of himself as an angel. All of the aforementioned items talk of course.
– Homer is off to Oedipus Rx (A Mom and Pop Son Pharmacy) to pick up his narcosleepy pills. Unfortunately there is a line of oldies in front of him and boy do they every take a long time to pick up their pills.
Four old people = a long wait so Homer tries to sleep it away and goes to Moe’s instead. Homer at least “tried and failed miserably”, right? Nope… Marge is frustrated and the two are off to work it out in counseling. The couple may have “been through every counselor from Avery to Zabinski” but that still leaves Zilowitz.
– Dr. Zilowitz, Family Therapy, Keeping couples happy till they get to the parking lot. This horrible sign probably should have been an omen of everything that comes after this point IMHO. Homer is off-track, talking about Chi Chi Rodriguez and gold, while poor Marjorie would just “kill for ‘okay’”. Seriously, she says she “treasures the moments where it’s just so-so” while Homer snores right next to her. Dr. Zilowitz’s professional opinion is that Homer and Marge’s marriage is something that smells, much to Marge’s chagrin, and advises that they “spend a little time apart, followed by more time apart, followed by a divorce.”
– Ok… I’m emotional. The kids are upset as Homer is moving out. This is not ok. Homer didn’t take his illness seriously enough. Then Bart is ok with it and going to blame all his problems on his parent’s splitting up and going to cry on Flander tear dickeyed shoulder? Something is rotten in Denmark…err, Springfield.
– Homer now lives at the Nuclear Plant (and somehow still manages to be late). We get a sad montage that’s only bright moments are as follows: There’s a wall of Owner of the Month plaques that shows the Germans who owned it once among the images of Burns and Homer colliding a line of chairs that knocks Mr. Burns out a window and into the arms of a golden statue of himself outside the building. “Smithers, come up through my rear and grab me.”
– Homer is happy after the montage, convinced that Marge will take him back like every other time. That is until Lenny and Carl let him know Marge changed her relationship status to “It’s Complicated.” Homer tries to prove everything is hunky dory by calling Marge’s phone but just gets the voicemail… for Marge Bouvier?
– Ok… by this point in the episode I’m worried. Initially I’d agree with Homer that the love between him and his wife knows no bounds. Marge is a good woman and has put up with A LOT but everything seems ominous. Even the Itchy & Scratchy episode the barflies watch at Moe’s is about alimony. Moe tries to cheer up Homer by saying he can now get in much better shape but Homer doesn’t want to become a cliché. I agree with Lenny that “most guys never get the chance to lose an amazing woman like Marge.” Watching Barney “clean up” because Marge is single by combing his hair with pickled egg juice and drying the comb on a rat doesn’t make me laugh hard enough. Could my faovirte power couple be over?
– Homer finally goes to pick up his script for amphetamines, anticataplectics and GHB (actually all used to treat sleeping disease) from the pharmacy. Somehow, the semi-cute, young, nerdy pharmacist sees something in Homer despite the fact that he’s just “a lonely guy with a bag full of drugs”, wait… that might be what she sees in him. Let’s go further down the rabbit hole with this story and concentrate on the awful sign we see when Candace pulls down the pharmacy window to hang out with Homer. “Pharmacy closed. For drugs see weird guy in alley.” Need I say more?
– Candace and Homer go to a hipster bar where we also see Otto with Lindsay Naegle, Milo and Strawberry, and Krusty with Mr. Teeny. Craft beers include Garbage Pale Ale, Thrilla in Vanilla, Skinny Tire, Humble Bastard, Rachel McAdams, Novembertoberfest, Harry Potter’s Porter, Snail Ale and Chip Off the Old Bock.
– Candace tries to convince Homer that his separation might be a good thing. They were so young and even she’s dated more girls than Homer. I don’t like her. Homer tries to make an exit (the donut shop will be throwing out the unsold donuts) but stays after she drops drugs in his beer.
– Enter a drug sequence including tattoos coming to life (Candace has ink of a skill-faced girl in a bikini top, jeans and cowboy boots on her arm that goes to gallivant with the Nuclear Plant mascot, space coyote, spiderpig, Lard Lad, Mr. Sparkle and Space Coyote on her upper back. In the tramp stamp arena, Candace has Krusty and Cletus. The weird trip continues with hallucinations of the evil clown bed and the disembodied heads of Satan, the Grumple, Flanders, Sideshow Mel, Patty and Selma (who blow a smoke ring that says Bouvier). Boy do I not like this sequence even with the classic references. It’s made even worse with Homer waking up in Candace’s bed. He’s made the one drunken mistake he’s never made other than Bart. I never thought it would be possible to be furious with Homer but at this point I was. He does seem upset with himself though and claims he’s a man that never gives up. When he fails to get through to Marge on the phone though, I’m not very sympathetic.
– If the episode had kept going with Homer trying to get back Marge, I’d have been happier but the next clip is Homer getting scones with Candace and her friends (the cast from Girls plus Julio). They can’t figure out why she’s with Homer. This clip explains it though.
– Candace and Homer get matching tattoos (ok… it is funny when Homer put his horse butt against Moe’s tattoo of his face) but I’m not digging the new relationship. Where’s Marge? How are the kiddos doing? Ugh. I don’t even care that Homer is unhappy with his girlfriend’s friends always being over and not being able to find the TV. Good… that’s what you get.
– Homer goes to meet Candace’s Dad at the Gilded Truffle. Roger has no problem with the age difference between the two but that’s because he’s been dating a much younger woman himself… MARGE!?! Talk about an awkward dinner. Everyone has issues and Roger does seem to have a screwed up daughter with a loser boyfriend. Roger proposes to Marge, Candace’s announces she’s pregnant… NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I hope you pictured me saying that like Episode III Darth Vader and understand the impications of it.
– Homer wakes up in therapy. It was all a dream and despite the implications, initially Homer doesn’t seem to really take the lesson he should have learned seriously. Marge asks him to be good for a month and somehow Homer actually does it in March. “A beautiful Easter. A sober St. Patrick’s Day… and impeccable behavior watching the NCAA basketball tournament.” Lisa has started eating meat due to good parenting and Maggie’s not only talking… she’s singing… beautifully I might add.
– It’s no surprise all that was a dream, right? We all know Homer. He’s done the sober thing before for Marge but all those items together? Homer’s back in the hipster club with Candace, a rock version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is playing and Candace is bringing him “one of those beers you enjoy unironically.” Apparently Duff won a blue ribbon in 1890. Homer is understandably upset that he lost his chance with Marge… again… and runs home to Evergreen Terrace. To his dismay, Marge and Roger are living together.
– Lisa comes out to tell Homer he’ll never lose her and despite the tender moment is easily pulled away by Roger’s mention of getting a pony. Ugh… they even ruined a daddy-daughter moment. I know Lisa is a 8-year-old girl with a penchant for pony-loving but this might be too much. Just what the H-E-double hockey sticks is going on with my favorite cartoon?
– As Homer scream “nooooooooooo!” for the third time in the episode, we discover this whole thing has been yet another dream… Marge’s dream. She goes to therapy once more with Zilowitz for an explanation. The glib psychobabble she gets is “it means like all married women sometimes you’re sick of your husband, but sometimes you’re afraid of losing him.” Marge need some sort of guidance to sort it all out… someone to put their finger on it so she can tie it into a bow. The concise, simple solution is… a flash to a Simpsons tattoo on Girls character Hannah Horvatz’s back that means “Don’t get drunk in Brooklyn.”
To say I dislike this episode might be one of the biggest understatements I’ve made. I didn’t find any of the heart I come to expect of episodes that center around the relationship between Marge and her Homie. I felt like Bart, Lisa and Maggie were treated as bit character steretypes. The first time I watched this with my oldest daughter, we did laugh at some of the jokes but by the time Homer cheated on Marge, I just sat there with my mouth open and winced in my soul. The dream within a dream within a dream within a tattoo ending may have been the only saving grace for this episode but it certainly was contrived. It almost felt like the writers ran out of ideas or had to figure out a way to get to showing Leena Dunham’s character that made her famous enough to be a guest star on The Simpsons. I don’t know.
Since this blog and cartoon are supposed to be my happy place, I’ll just stop at this is one of my least favorite episodes that I wish hadn’t been an episode tie-in to my faovirte mobile game. I’d have rather seen time spent on all the characters effected by the break-up or even better, Homer trying out the dating and realizing once again how Marge is his soul-mate. If he can not sleep with Mindy Simmons or Lurleen Lumpkin, he can certainly ignore Leena Dunham’s Candace… drugs or no drugs.
But it’s not all about me… what was your opinion of it all? Probably a better idea to chime in if you watched the episode yourself than just read my opinion since I know mine was biased. Feel free to sound off in the comments like usual. As for me, I apologize for being a negative nancy but I just love the Simpsons and get twitchy when I feel a disservice is being done to it. I adore these characters and just felt this episode fell on its face in dealing with them. There were definitely some funny moments and I guess we can say all the items in TSTO are just dream sequence stuff anyways, but in the words of Rabbi Krustofski… meh. Thankfully, I can survive this disappointing blip in a solid run of 554 episodes to date and just hope that the rest of Season 27 is much better. Stay classy friends and keep on tapa-tapa-tapping in the free world.
TTFN… Wookiee out!
One name describes this episode: Armin Tamzarian
I honestly found it about middle of the road for modern Simpsons. It doesn’t have the heart of the classic relationship trouble episodes, but I’m one of those who think very few episodes from the past ~10 years have the same heart as the first 10 – 15 seasons did.
I guess I didn’t find it that bad because I wasn’t that worried since the show had already come out and reassured people that the breakup wouldn’t be permanent.
Honestly, Homer and Marge breaking up would probably be more realistic and could be an interesting thing to explore. However, the show doesn’t really do things that would change the show’s basic formula that much, so doing it now would smack of desperation.
The “blue ribbon” beer reference was to Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Very cheap, low end beer – though people who drink it will defend it by saying it won a blue ribbon. The reference was pretty funny bc I knew people in college that swore by that beer.
Oh I got it… there actually was a Duff Blue Ribbon in “The Day the Earth Stood Cool” (S24:E7). I’m one of those weirdos who think PBR tastes good but if I ever used the ribbon to defend it, it was done ironically or after several were ingested.
Yeah, the point of PBR back in the day was that it was cheap and at the very least didn’t taste any worse than Bud, Coors, etc. Then it became so popular that it wasn’t so cheap anymore, at least here. MGD and Yuengling seem to be the vogue cheap-ish beers now.
Pabst is still cheap round here so I guess there’s that. There was this great dixie grill I used to go to where I could get a schooner on draft with a grilled chesse meatloaf sandwich… now that’s a slice of heaven.
I didn’t liked this episo either, don’t worry. False start for this season. To the FOX building I say! Angry Mob style with torches and baseball bats! Because we deserves better! Thumb down, unsubscribe, give the viewers their money back FOX!
Stupid keyboard making me look like a fool…
I like how they tried something different. What I don’t like is the implied date rape. If it had happened to Marge everyone would be up in arms, but since it happened to Homer it’s supposed to be funny.
I did not enjoy this one at all.
Say it with me: Worst. Episode. Ever.
Well, I would disagree on that one… Go Back to your cage “Lisa Goes Gaga”! But it was indeed one of the worst for now.
Lol… I don’t dislike the Gaga episode as much as this one but to each their own. I think it was the messing with the family dynamic so callously that got me. I’m probably touchy since I have my own issues with exes and kiddos.
I never even thought that he slept with Candace. It didn’t make any sense to me, Homer would never do something like that. So I waited for the “real” reason he was in bed with her.
It never came.
Because he never did! It was just inn a dream that he did.
That’s comforting, but it makes me wonder whether the entire show has up until this point been a tatoo on someone’s back…..
Homer is off the hook beacuse of the dream stuff but if it hadn’t been, pretty sure that the fact Candace was pregnant implies something was done.
Yes Wook it implies the stork paid a visit, duh. 😉
One of the reasons I hate dream stuff. It’s lazy writing to me, but then, maybe I’m being to critical. Or cryptic. One of the two.
As for the pregnancy, I wouldn’t have put it past Candace to have slept with someone else before hand and drop it on Homer.
Then again, I think I like Alissa’s idea better.
Sometimes women lie. I’ve never seen “Girls” but it’s possible that they lie about these kinds of things on that show. Maybe that was the joke? :-/
Honestly bub, I’m done analyzing this episode… it’s going in the “I’m ok if I never see it again” list.
Am I bub? My comment was a general response but mostly it would have been aimed at Alissa (sorta). You can be done, but is it okay if I continue or does that bug you or something??? I’m not expecting a response from anybody. Some of what I say are rhetorical in nature.
Every time I ask something specific about “Girls” no one replies that they’ve seen it and understand. I’d say that that maybe shows that this was a bad episode to premiere with (if it was done for buzz). Probably would have made a better mid-season episode. Seriously. Okay, done for now. That okay? 🙁
Lol… bub means bro or something equivalent. Of course it’s ok for others to keep discussing the episode. I guess I just thought you were responding to me. I’ve never watched the show “Girls” but I have heard of it. The show has won accolades so someone must watch it. Be done when you’re done lol.
Thanks. I’ll end this with a little dance. *bump-de-bum* *shake-e-shake* *tap-tap-tap* Wait…did I just start playing TSTO? Oh, yep, I did…
I made a small review (not a point-by-point review, though) in the episode reminder post (I think it was). Thing is that that’s how I’ve felt about most new episodes that I’ve seen. Sometimes they’re funnier but also sometimes they’re just so much worse….like, “makes me feel bad” worse. This episode was just in the middle, a “meh”, if you will.
It’s probably because I expect them to be “bad” that I didn’t find anything particularly offensive. Their separation…well, we’ve seen it (even if unofficially). Using the characters for one-note interactions….seen it. Homer’s face on a dog…uh…what did I just see? lol 😉
I think the worst part is simply the focus on Dunham’s role. It was such a focus that it all turned out to be an animated episode of “Girls” (whatever that is). A few questions: Has there been other episodes that focus nearly solely on a guest star?; and Have those episodes always been “bad”?
I think of the Michael Jackson episode, and while there was heavy focus on him (or his white stand-in), the episode was still about the Simpsons family. He helped them in the end. Also, it wasn’t all just a dream… 😛
I think I had a point…and I think I’ve made it. 😉 (…I hope.)
Lady Gaga. Equally horrible.
I’ve heard that but (thankfully?) have never seen it. (That or I wiped it from my memory…)
Yeah, I thought the Gaga episode was much worse than this one.
Yes, I’m afraid there are other Guest Star focused episodes. Some can be good-ish like the one about Mel Gibson, but it’s usually the episodes I dislike the most. Because they’re always lazyer than the others for some reason… Lisa Goes Gaga is still my #1 in my “to bury and forget” episode list. Worst.Episode. Ever.
Usually the guest stars are just bits or play characters other than themselves. Often a guest considered to be bad plays only a minor part in a good epeisode so they are forgiven easily. Sometimes it’s great to have stars, other times not so much. Phil Hartman was technically a guest star 52 times but we all loved him. John Lovitz also is a fan favorite. Lots of other great examples like MJ, Dustin Hoffman, Beverly D’Angelo, Danny Devito, Ernest Borgnine, Kelsey Grammer, Aerosmith, RHCP, “Homet at Bat” baseballers, “Krusty Gets Kancelled” celebrities. There’s a lot to list honestly. Even Pharrell Williams and Elon Musk (my opinion, not a popular one btw) in last season were done well. The list of bad guest stars is much smaller to me… Kid Rock, Ronaldo, N’Sync, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Michael Moore and Jeremy Irons come to mind. I know a lot of folks didn’t dig Willem Dafoe’s character last year either. You could check out this list to make up your own mind.
can’t stand lena dunham and disappointed they threw her in in this way. as bad as the publicity stunt that is breaking up Kermit and piggy to get interest in their new show.
i do hope since the plot that marge and homer would separate was leaked out by the show months ago, that this was it and we won’t see any more fiddling with those two!
To the best of my knowledge… this was the seperation episode that was mentioned. I’m not familiar with dunham really but as far as I’m concerned, she can stay away from the Best. Show. Ever. from now on.
I have no idea who Lena Dunham, but I hate when shows change themselves just to fit in a celebrity. Yeah that Kermit and Miss Piggy break up just turns me off.
You might not want to watch the new Muppets then (Kermit and Miss Piggy’s relationship has changed)
Well now I’m certainly not looking forward to this episode when it eventually reaches the UK. In the past there has only ever been 1 episode that I refuse to watch more than once and that was the Lisa and the girl who’s name i don’t recall creating equalia as I really didn’t enjoy it at all.
I’d say watch it at least once. I’ve seen people say they liked it but it appears to be a minority opinion. My teenage daughter didn’t dislike it as much as me ut then again. she doesn’t have 27 years invested into these characters.
Oh I have every intention of watching it. I don’t think I could truly call myself a simpsons fan otherwise if I didn’t give it a chance.
Wookiee I’m right there with you on this! Anyone who didn’t get to see it yet seriously you *didn’t* miss nothing. Let’s pray their next episode is worlds better.
Yeah… it’s just weird for me because usually I can find a way to enjoy episodes the critics hate. That’s how I know this one failed on so many levels. As an uber SImpsons fan, it’s not something I enjoy feeling.
It was like an “alien” episode, very sad. I’m the same way, just because a critic dislikes something doesn’t mean much to me.
Do you think that there will be a cue detective tie in update?
No… it would have already happened. We usually get just a few during the season. Premiere and finale tend to be two of them.
I am in total agreement with you, Wookiee!! I had very few smiles and much more “meh”!! Very disappointing indeed!!
Not the way I wanted to start a new season but I couldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows about an episode like this.
I will just say that I’m glad this particular writer hasn’t written very many episodes, and I hope that trend continues.
(J. Stewart Burns, according to imdb, for those who are curious.)
He actually wrote two more of the Season 27 episodes but I have liked a good amount of his other offerings, so I’m not too worried. ALso, even though one person pitches a script, the entire writing team chimes in on The Simpsons so this one is a bunch of their faults. A definite bad one. There were a lot of opportunities for this episode to have been much better even if they’d just stuck to the narcolepsy idea or fleshed out the seperation. I truly feel where they hosed this episode was insisting on having a character revolve around Leena Dunham. Oh well, there’s many more chances for solid Simpsons goodness ahead of us.
I was sorta hoping they’d stick to the narcolepsy, too. It’s how it is in our game and it worked super well there. Leena Dunham’s character was minor (or absent (I forget…) ), so that worked, too. Maybe the writers on the game should share notes with the writers on the show. 😉
The interesting thing is that in some cases, they’re the same people. They showed her character’s face in the speech bubbles of TSTO but that’s it. I agree that the dialogue in the game was much better and funny.
I keep checking in for the halloween event lol