427. Mypods and Boomsticks

Mypods and Boomsticks(originally aired November 30, 2008)
This episode blows my mind, it’s the most offensive, uncomfortable show I’ve ever seen. Bart befriends new kid Bashir and his Muslim family, and Homer succumbs to his bar buddies’ insistence that they might be shifty-eyed terrorists. All the racial stuff is amazingly embarrassing to watch, it all feels so wrong. Homer’s latent homophobia in “Homer’s Phobia” came from an understandable place, reflecting the ignorance of the common man. Here, Homer is representing racist asshole Americans who assume all Muslims are terrorists. It reminds me of a similar instance in South Park where Cartman is instantly averse to the new Muslim kid in school (similarly named Bahir, I might add), but there it works because we know he’s a bigoted intolerant racist dickhead and is treated as such. Homer is supposed to be our hero, and in episodes like these, I just want to strangle him to death. The final act begins with Homer eavesdropping at their window and mishearing the father announce he’s going to blow up a building… because he works in demolitions. How did he miss that part of the conversation? By ducking down and leaning forward not even a foot away from the window. How could he not hear him? You gotta be fucking kidding me with this nonsense.

This episode also has the Mapple shit in it, which is only saved in that I find the main story so much more infuriating. So yeah, Mapple, myPod, Steve Mobbs… How much do these writers get paid? At least in Futurama, they called them eyePhones because they were literally installed into your face. This episode attempts to mock hardcore Apple fan boys, making Lisa one herself, but overall the tone just couldn’t be more fawning and favorable toward the company. It doesn’t feel so much like a parody than more promotion and screen time for Apple products, with Lisa being so enamored by everything (“Such beautiful packaging. I never thought a company could be my soul mate!”) By the end, we see Mobbs in his underwater Mapple base, an all-knowing diety who offers Lisa great compassion. Isn’t Apple… I mean, Mapple, so great? There’s so many things you can poke fun with involving Apple and its crazy fanbase, but the episode doesn’t seem to want to bother. Again, it just feels like an exercise in saying how fucking cool Apple is. One of the worst episodes of the entire series.

Tidbits and Quotes
– I chuckled at the beginning with the mall worker throwing a reindeer in the wood chipper, and the Meet Santa stand being replaced by Meet Martin Luther King, Jr. (“Lunch time!” “Free at last! Free at last!”)
– All the Mapple stuff… I’ve mentioned this before about the show ripping on brands, how it used to be more encompassing. Duff represents all alcohol. Krusty Burger mocks all fast food. Mapple is just… Apple. It makes the jokes and the material so limited; Duff Beer is a parody beverage, but has become an original icon and time-honored staple of the show, while Mapple is Apple with a fucking “M” in front of it.
– For once, I actually liked the way the bullies were handled in this show, ragging on the new kid, until Bart comes to his defense and points out all of their differences, ending up in them just beating themselves up.
– Like most of them of late, the Itchy & Scratchy cartoon runs twice as long as it needs to, and is unfunny.
– “So, now that we’re alone… death to America, right?” Homer’s behavior is downright despicable in this episode, the worst he’s ever, ever acted. Along with his intolerant and offensive comments, he neglects to tell Patty and Selma to vacate the mall he thinks is going to be blown up, then dives underwater to rescue a truckload of beer, but leaves Hans Moleman to his watery grave. Also, he apparently put poison in the American flag cake, so he was going to kill Bashir’s parents, I guess. And he’s never held to task for blowing up the newly constructed bridge, of course. How in the ever loving fuck are we supposed to support or like Homer in any way?
– Funny that Dan Castallaneta voices the Genie in Homer’s dream, having voiced him for the Aladdin TV series and one of those direct-to-video sequels.
– As if the ending isn’t aggravating enough, they have the old mall right across the street from the new one? A mall we’ve never, ever seen before? We’ve always seen the same Springfield Mall for the entire series, now all of a sudden there’s an old one? Maybe at the beginning of the show the family could have gone there, acknowledged it as a dump, and they could have made a joke where they walk across the street to the newer, better mall, which has the Mapple store in it. But now I feel I’m putting too much thought into this. Why should I think when the writers clearly didn’t?

31 thoughts on “427. Mypods and Boomsticks

  1. Me and my friend walked out on this ep. when we first saw it due to all the annoying not-Apple crap so we never even saw the Muslim stuff back then lol

  2. God damn the picture is ghastly and I’m surpassed you didn’t comment on Marge’s unnatural line of praising Bart for having his muslim friend and his muslim family over for dinner. WHY THE FUCK DOES SHE SAY IT LIKE THAT BART KNOWS WHAT ETHNICITY THEY ARE AND EVEN IF HE DIDN’T IT SHOULDN’T MATTER THAT MUCH TO BE CALLED OUT LIKE THAT!

    1. Actually come to think of it this episode is full of unnatural dialogue and scenes from everyone esp. the not-Ipod headphone whip seriously do they think those flimsy things would hurt a 10 year old (even all at once) and even tho it’s point out the Apple fanbase it just comes across as child abuse and where the hell did Homer, Marge and Maggie go as they must have been in the same store at the same time…. grrr what a mess…

  3. At least in Futurama, they called them eyePhones because they were literally installed into your face.

    Despite people’s negative reception to that episode they mocked the whole smartphone, apps and mobile internet concepts all at once and used Mom’s vicious nature very well. It could’ve done without the whole Susan Boyle thing but as it was an actual boil i’ll let it slide.

    1. The “Susan Boil” thing was very lame (not to mention dates the episode since I doubt anyone nowadays recalls that particular person), but it at least was a pretty interesting play on ethics when it comes to how the Internet and social media work in terms of both content and getting your brand across. Fry wanted to build his brand through taking the high road with sophistication and some semblance of class using original content and nobody cared, while Bender went the more traditional approach, using shock value and tired-yet-tested methods and got towards his goal target of followers quickly, so Fry wound up humiliating Leela just to even up with Bender so he didn’t have to dive into a pool filled with two-headed goat vomit.

      Plus, the episode was forever cemented with “Shut up and take my money” as a meme.

  4. The episode that finally made me quit watching the show regularly, for the first time since 1989. These first few episodes of season 20 are absolutely atrocious, even by zombie Simpson standards. At this point, the writers have clearly just given up.

  5. The Council on American–Islamic Relations praised the episode and sent a commending letter to Matt Groening.[10] Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the council in Los Angeles, wrote “I applaud your effort in Sunday’s episode of ‘The Simpsons’ to humanize American Muslims by challenging anti-Muslim sentiment in our society. […] By introducing a professional Muslim family, the ‘Mypods and Boomsticks’ episode highlighted the diverse make-up of Springfield and brought to light how Americans can work toward mutual respect and inclusion by getting to know their neighbors.”[11] During the episode, Homer mistakenly calls God (Allah) “Oliver”, and the Islamic holy book (the Qur’an) “the Corona”.[12] A spokesperson for Britain’s Islamic Cultural Center and London Central Mosque commented on the episode before it aired, telling the U.K. tabloid The Daily Star, “I hope Muslims take no notice of the show.”[12] Creator Groening defended the episode by saying, “Cartoons deal in stereotypes. We try to be sensitive.”[

    1. “Cartoons deal in stereotypes. We try to be sensitive.”

      What by pushing Jerkass Homer to the maximum levels in the history of the show…? Also the Pardon My Intolerance sign… Homer’s rarely been intolerant even ZS Homer? :/ And I’m surprised the Bin-Laden’s (real subtle “writers”) forgave Homer for his asshole behaviour then again ZS is know for half-ass endings…

      1. I think he was just talking about the Muslim characters being portrayed in a positive light. Seems to me Matt Groening just doesn’t give a crap about this media juggernaut he created anymore, and is just going with the flow.

  6. I watched this episode and found some parts interesting but overall a pain to watch. I have Muslim and Arab friends (some of whom are Christian as well), they are good people, hard working and the women are beautiful (Think Queen Rania of Jordan, Paula Abdul and yes even Carmen Electra)

    Anyway, yes, the Mapple shit is tiresome and makes no sense to me whatsoever and needless as it is. A few weeks ago they already did a Steve Jobs parady I might add. Sigh. My head hurts.

    1. I had a Lebanese teacher in college, she isn’t Muslim, but she is much like the women you described, except with a few extra pounds (just enough to remain within the threshold of beauty, I guess).

    1. They clearly wrote that episode the second his death was announced… like Mapple has anything on Duff, Buzz Cola, I & S and Monstromart -.-

  7. This episode is the absolute worst I’ve seen. Everything is wrong with the writing on a basic technical level; the Islamic family are somehow both completely bland and flawless; Homer is an idiot arsehole shitbastard “satirising” the post 9/11 mentality a few years too late; the whole thing is patronising, trying to tell its audience that “hey, Muslims are people” when we all know that; there’s a massive gay joke at the start; the “look how fanfuckingtastic Apple is” stuff…


    1. American Dad was originally started as post-9/11 satire but got dropped very soon in favour of the characters but about The Memari’s the husband (forgot what his name was) was Iranian but born in Cleveland and the were established as racist at the end of their first episode and then at 1 point they had Linda attracted to Francine and being a possible lesbian.

  8. Outside of this being a Lisa episode, I actually liked the 2/3s of the Mapple stuff because it shows how ridiculous people are when it comes to their products. I have a friend who worships the ground Steve Jobs walks on and he will defend Macs and the iphone to the bitter end.

  9. To me, the most offensive thing about this episode is that it uses the “character hears another character talking out of context and radically misinterprets it” plot that The Simpsons has begun to rely on more and more. That started getting old on fucking Rugrats in the late 90s.

    It’s pretty obvious that Homer was supposed to be the bad guy here… I don’t see how anyone would argue that the writers were trying differently. Of course, that makes Homer the idiotic, loud, xenophobic strawman conservative (conservatives are stupid because Homer is stupid!) once again, which we all just love.

    1. Yes APPLE has been freakin’ established in the show and why use the term Microsoft when you can use Micromoft of Sicromoft and why not call Bill Gates Mill Mates or Gill Bates or whatever….. -.- see how stupid these ZS “parodies” sound when you expand on them Al Jean and your “writing” crew…

  10. I saw about five minutes of the episode and cringed when the Muslim boy referred to his religion as “Muslim”.

  11. The episode definitely sucks ass but I find my self quoting Krusty’s “Well, isn’t anybody gonna get me started?” line quite a bit. I keep thinking it came from an earlier, better episode, but no, it came from this one…

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