Hey hey friends!
So, courtesy of one heck of a cold (by the time you read this I’m hoping it’ll be gone so no need for chicken soup or well wishes my friends), I found myself with some extra time to write and said to myself, “Self… what do you want to write?” If you read the Season 26 recap, you know I decided I had to write that one first which led to this one. I blame the perfectionist in me, my lady laughed when I told her that. So now that all the recaps for Season 27 are done, I decided to go back and revisit the season, mainly just rereading a bunch of words written on this site and re-watching a few of my favorites, in an effort to have one big recap. Here are my thoughts on the the 27th season of the Best. Show. Ever. It’s amazing that this animated sitcom has ran for 596 episodes over 27 Seasons. Haters can say what they want but that’s some serious longevity. The following are just some thoughts I had about each episode. The long episode recaps are linked in each title if you’re interested. In order to avoid any discontent I’ll throw out a SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn’t seen the episodes as I may discuss plot points. Click more if you don’t care or want to hear more of my thoughts or both.
The Simpsons Season 27, September 27th 2015 to May 22d 2016. 22 episodes of yellow people hilarity. In fairness, I seriously love this family and their fellow citizens of Springfield, so I’m probably not as hard on every episode as other critics. The Simpsons brings me joy in a world too often devoid of it. It lampoons popular culture and tickles my funny bone. I can’t imagine a world without this silly cartoon and thankfully don’t have to for the time being. This post will basically be ramblings episode by episode. You can think of this as the Fuzzy Guide to Season 27. I tried to keep it as concise as possible.
I gave each episode a grade (blame it on the future teacher in me) but I also once came up with a blah/meh/oooh/aaaah/wowza/woo hoo scale that I never really used so I figured I’d resurrect that system too. Honestly, all the grades are pointless but fun. Up to you how you feel about episodes, these are just my thoughts that usually are not the same as other critics.
Episode 1 – “Every Man’s Dream”
Worst. Episode. Ever. I really loathe this episode and refuse to rewatch it (unless it’s for origin purposes and then only to screenshot the image and eject). A dumb dream sequence with an awful story involving a trial seperation for Marge and Homer. Fail, fail, fail. Notice that I insisted on not using an image including the guest star. Seriously, this episode make my blood boil. Thankfully the rest of the season was better. Final grade… F (blah)
Episode 2 – “Cue Detective”
The episode I wish was the premiere. Gotta love the voice of Edward James Olmos and any episode including delicious BBBQ is alright by me. Honestly, although this was a strange one with some funny parts, it coming on the heels of the first episode elevated it for me. I still laughed during my re-watch and there’s a little part with Clash of Castles that strikes so close to home as a TSTO Addict, I had to love it. Also a glimpse of the monorail and anyone who knows me can guess how happy that made me. Final grade… B-/C+ (ooooh)
Episode 3 – “Puffless”
Seems like recently, the seasons have taken a few episodes to get rolling and this is the episode that regained my trust. This one’s B plot with Maggie’s Extraordinary Animal Adventure is amazing. Spiderpig. Duffman’s parrot Hoppy. Cute animals. Cute Maggie. To top it off, the A plot involving Patty & Selma is good too. A throughly enjoyable episode and I haven’t even mentioned a cigarette voiced by Jon Lovitz or cellist Yo-Yo Ma. With a little bit of hindsight, I considered grading this one lower than my initial woo hoo but a re-watch and the sheer joy of Mags cemented it. Definitely a wowza but I mean, Spiderpig. Final grade… A (woo hoo)
Episode 4 – “Halloween of Horror”
The best episode of the season bar none. It took 578 episodes to finally do a canon Halloween episode and the wait was worth it. A tribute to halloween events, Rocky Horror, and horror genre movies all rolled into one fabulous episode. Seriously watch it. The song towards the end is so catchy and funny and stuck in my head again. No complaints. Final grade… A+ (woo hoo does not even begin to describe how much I like this one)
Episode 5- “Treehouse of Horror XXVI”
After such an amazing canon Halloween, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that this season’s THOH was a disappointment. Sideshow Bob creeps me out serial killer style, Homer is Godzilla, and a weird telepath story for Bart and Lisa. It’s like the writers devoted all their time to the great episode and then just threw this one together. Good for Mr. Terwilliger… he finally got to do something he always wanted to do and I wish he hadn’t. Nothing spectacular to write about. The Homer godzilla bit was probably the best. Final grade… D (blah)
Episode 6 – “Friend With Benefit”
The couch gag lampooning a Pixar animated short is fun but I’d honestly forgotten this episode already. Crowd funding is lampooned and Lisa makes a new “friend”. During my re-watch, the plot of Homer enjoying a life of luxury courtesy of Lisa’s new spoiled friend offered some laughs. I’m happy Homer made the right choice and sided with his lovely daughter in the end. Final grade… B-/C+ (oooh)
Episode 7 – “Lisa With an ‘S’”
Laney Fontaine returns in an episode and the couch gag is enough to make any Trekker squeal with glee. Lisa goes to Broadway, the Simpsons family goes to New York (again), Amish Flanderses, and a Flanwich with a sides of love and forgiveness. A fun episode that has stuff for fans of musicals like yours truly. The opening song gets points from me. Final grade… B (aaaah)
Episode 8 – “Paths of Glory”
Lisa searches for evidence to clear the name of Springfield’s most famous female inventor and Bart is locked up as a sociopath. The first is gender issues written by men and the second is a bit ugh. Not the best episode ever but before you go Vanderbuckle on the season, it’s not the worst either (see episode 1). There’s laughs to be found. Final grade… C+ (meh)
Episode 9 – “Barthood”
Bart’s life from six to adulthood in a semi-parody of the movie Boyhood. Basically this is all about Bart living in the shadow of his sister’s amazingness. Maybe I need to rethink living in the shadow of Alissa the Amazing. Nope… no parellel. If for no other reason than watching the characters of the show age (something which happens very infrequently), this one is worth a watch. I enjoyed it and there’s definitely heart to this one. Final grade… B (aaaah)
Episode 10 – “The Girl Code”
Lisa creates an app in an episode ripe with jokes only coders will probably get. Homer goes hilariously Greek. This is a fun episode with a fleshed out storyline. I laughed just as much when I rewatched it and especially liked ConRad. Did I mention Greek Homer? Final Grade… B+/B (aaaah)
Episode 11 – “Teenage Mutant Milk-Caused Hurdles”
An awesome 80s couch gag, Bart gets a new teacher who is an Air Force veteran and has a crush on her, there’s something weird going on with the Simpson kids milk, Bart grows a stache, and a rivalry between Skinner and Bart. Definitely an enjoyable episode with a funny title. I don’t blame Bart for crushing on Miss Berrera. Definitely enjoying the different teachers showing up now that Mrs. K is gone. Final grade… B (aaaah)
Episode 12 – “Much Apu About Something”
So this is one of those episodes that I really enjoyed that others didn’t. It could be that it has something to do with the TSTO tie-in but I’m not sure. I enjoyed the Apu-centric story even if I think Jamshed is a disrespectful millenial punk. Wasn’t that the point of his character… to not like him and thereby raise up lovable Apu? The Springfield Volunteer Fire Department shows up, Indiana Jones is mentioned, and Wiggum gets a tank. I thought this story was well thought out, connected nicely and I’d gladly Gays in Wonder at it in the future. Final Grade… A-/B+ (wowza)
Episode 13 – “Love Is in the N2-O2-Ar-CO2-Ne-He-CH4”
The first episode I didn’t write a recap for that wasn’t done by the resident cottontail. Thanks again Robobot for covering for a few. Holiday themed episodes usually make me happy and I like us getting another one for Corporate Greeting Card and Candy Day, errr, I mean the Feast of St. Valentine. Frink gets some love in this episode, literally, and the seniors of the Retirement Castle hallucinate about the good old days. All in all a good episode and it didn’t hurt that this one was also a TSTO tie-in. I love Frink and any time Mona Simpson shows up in an episode I’m going to be a happy walking carpet. Final grade… B+ (aaaah)
Episode 14 – “Gal of Constant Sorrow”
Despite Natalie Maines singing Appalachian Folk Music and Homer being funny as a handy, man, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this episode. It felt like filler to me but there’s bound to be a few of these episodes in every, and I mean every, season. 22 episodes is a tall order especially for a show that’s lasted as long as this one. If you need to skip an episode, this one would work. It’s not awful but also not full of awww. Final grade… C (meh)
Episode 15 – “Lisa the Veterinarian”
So while I wouldn’t rate this one high on my all-time list of episodes, for some reason this is my oldest Ewok’s favorite and every time I watch it with her, I enjoy the heck out of it while still knowing it’s not that great. Life is weird like that. Also possible that the younger generation’s opinion about the Best. Show. Ever. might be different than us older fans. I certainly recommend the antics of an epinephrine stimulated goat. Lisa becomes a vet, Marge cleans up crime scenes, Bart makes me laugh saying dinghus fish, and Nibbles features in another episode and breaks my heart. Final grade… B-/C+ (ooooh) My kiddo gives it a B+ (wowza)
Episode 16 – “The Marge-ian Chronicles”
Woo hoo for an episode featuring Marge and Lisa that works! Lisa is intent on going to Mars some day and Marge is intent on derailing it. Somehow they both end up on the mission and Marge is one heck of a future planetary colonizer. This is an episode for a sci-fi lovers and my pick for #2 for the season. Mmmmm… free-range eggs. Watch it! Final grade… A (woo hoo)
Episode 17 – “The Burns Cage”
This episode is the one which was newsworthy beacsue Smithers was going to finally come out of the closet to Monty. If I remember right, it was jailed as a two-parter. Problem is, it was only one part and I’m not sure it followed through on expectations. I’d have liked more development in the A plot between Smithers, Burns, and Julio. I did enjoy the B plot of a school production of Casablanca but the Bogart kid seemed like a weird joke. I’d have ditched that premise for another episode and stuck to Waylan. Oh well. As a win, George Takei stars as himself in the episode… oh my. Final grade… B (aaaah)
Episode 18 – “How Lisa Got Her Marge Back”
This season has certainly been one for tributes to Broadway and theater. This is the third episode featuring some element of it. The theater kid in me isn’t complaining but this is one of those episodes that probably would have fallen flat for me if I didn’t enjoy the inside jokes. Bart loses his pranking mojo but has a fun relationship with Maggie… win. Marge admits she doesn’t like jazz, Lisa overhears, and Marge has to struggle to win back Lisa… meh. Broadway jokes and Andrew Rannells… yay. Final grade… B-/C+ (oooh)
Episode 19 – “Fland Canyon”
This episode wins in my book solely based on beautiful vistas and animation techniques. Truly, the folks at Gracie just wanted to show off some HD goodness with the Grand Canyon but surprise, surprise, they did it with a good story involving The Simpsons and the Flanderses and I haven’t even mentioned the Disneyfied couch gag yet. I liked this bedtime story for Maggie from before she was born. Seeing sexy Maude Flanders again was awesome too. Final grade… A-/B+ (wowza)
Episode 20 – “To Courier with Love”
The Simpsons go to Paris. Another episode which is the show pulling out it’s proverbial talented member and showing it off for the world to see. The shots of Paris are beautiful. Al Jean basically mentioned both this and the Canyon episode as show-offs and two of his favorites. The story worked for this one and flowed smoothly. None of the jokes about Paris or France felt forced or mean. César and Ugolin made an appearance. Jay Leno’s cameo was done well. Fun stuff. Final grade… A-/B+ (OOK, I mean wowza)
Episode 21 – “Simprovised”
Of all the episodes hyped for this season, this was the one I was most antcipating and ultimately let down by. Basically a story of Homer failing in a speech and turning to improv that was all written solely so the show could try the experiment of Homer Live. Nothing special to say about the story. There were laughs and maybe if I like improv more, this might have struck home better. I enjoyed the B plot of Marge building Bart a new treehouse more than the rest. Not a horrible episode, not a great, and for what it was, the live stuff was fun although the prerecorded version was the best. When I think back on this episode, my main takeaway is BRING BACK FUTURAMA (AGAIN). I like that the show is still trying new stuff. Final grade… C+ (meh)
Episode 22 – “Orange is the New Yellow”
Blue Thunder aka Marge goes to prison for not supervising her children. Problem is that that law is stupid and Marge enjoys the tranquility of time alone and a rigorous schedule. Nothing a tornado, a prison riot, and the love of one Homer Jay Simpson can’t fix. The IKEA couch gag made me laugh and the heartwarming ending felt right even if they sort of ruined it with one last scene. I sort of wish they’d quit doing the little end bits in the future. They miss more often than not. Use that time for the episode. Anyhoo… I liked the season finale and it falls into the better half of the season. Final grade… B+ (aaaah)
So there’s some thoughts and a “recap” for Season 27 of The Simpsons. This season had a majority of enjoyable episodes and two stinkers. Here’s the final tally on the blah/meh/oooh/aaaah/wowza/woo hoo scale.
Woo hoo – three/Wowza – three/Aaaah – seven/Oooh – four/
Meh – three/Blah – two
You can take those ratings as you will, I’ll happily recommend anything that got a higher rating than meh but definitely check out Episodes 3, 4, and 16 if nothing else. 12, 19, and 20 aren’t shabby either. This recap took a bit more time than I thought it would but I enjoyed the process. I’m not sure if I exercised brevity as much as I would have liked but I’ve rambled enough for this post. Now to look forward to Season 28! What were your thoughts about the Season? Were your favorites different than mine? Is there something I missed you feel has to be said? Chime in below. Y’all stay classy as usual.
TTFN… Wookiee out!