706. The Last Barfighter

Original airdate: May 23, 2021

The premise: Moe participates in Homer and company’s drunken night out for the first time ever, breaking the sacred bartender-customer oath of the secret society he belongs to, resulting in every bartender in Springfield being out to get them.

The reaction: Season 28’s “Treehouse of Horror XXVII” featured a segment with Moe in a secret society of bartenders in a half-baked Kingsmen parody. Four years later, we’re doing John Wick, except it’s a normal episode and it’s three times as long. The concept of “The Confidential” is kind of interesting: a place where bartenders can share their woes, but always must keep the secrets told to them in confidence by their clientele. We open with Moe toasting to the grand institution, which begs the question, why is Moe such a lonely, miserably sad sack when he has all of these other bartenders who are open to talk with him? Instead, he’s touched that Homer and the guys ask him to drink with him, and they go all out on a raucous, drunken night, during which Moe blabs a bunch of secrets told to him by other bartenders (again, indicating he belongs to a social circle), breaking the Confidential’s code. Not only is Moe expelled from the organization, his regulars are being hunted by other bartenders to be injected with “anti-booze,” which will make them sober forever. All of this is absolutely ridiculous, of course, and has the feel of an extended Halloween episode. It’s also a “parody” in the usual sense that it just recreates visuals and plot elements from a film without even trying to satirize it. Just as the Kingsman “parody” featured a sequence imitating the elaborate church fight scene from the first movie, this episode has Moe fighting like John Wick in the street against a bunch of bartenders, subbing a gun for his trusty bar rag. None of the fight choreography is particularly entertaining or creative, especially when stood up against the exhilarating and fun action sequences of the John Wick movies. Homer, Lenny, Carl and Barney all end up getting de-boozed, but flash forward three months, we see that they’ve all greatly improved their lives now that they’re sober. They track down Moe to gloat about it, but when they find him miserably working at an omelette bar, they make amends and return to Moe’s (which Moe still has, I guess), wanting Moe to be their bartender again, even serving just water. Then the Confidential head magically appears in the bar, offering them all an antidote to the anti-booze because the episode is almost over and we need to reset the world. For an episode supposedly parodying an exciting action film series, one that I very much enjoy, this show felt particularly boring, and a really tired way to close out the season.

Three items of note:
– After the opening with Moe, Bart and Milhouse end up in the audience of Bumblebee Man’s late night talk show, an exciting affair filled with ridiculous game show segments and Horchata sponsorships. It felt kind odd that we get entire lines of dialogue from Bumblebee Man and the audience in Spanish with no subtitles, like you can follow what’s going on (and Milhouse helpfully shouts explanations to Bart from the audience when he’s brought on stage), but none of it felt particularly funny and was mostly just time wasting. Bart’s prize from the show is a crystal skull bottle of tequila, which Homer eventually gets his hands on (through a Raiders of the Lost Ark opening parody, inevitably reminding me of the superior “Bart’s Friend Falls in Love” sequence) and shares with everyone at the bar. A credits scene features the broken bottle magically regenerating and speaking ominously to the kids in Spanish. It’s not like a bilingual bonus joke, where you understanding the language is an additional joke; in the case of the Bumblebee Man scene and the ending, it’s just full Spanish dialogue and that’s it.
– Ian McShane voices Artemis, the leader of the Confidential, appearing in a similar role as his John Wick character. I really don’t even know how you would parody a series as ridiculous and over-the-top as John Wick. You could comment on its gratuitous, exaggerated violence, I guess, but it kind of feels redundant to what the series does anyway, and certainly not something you could do on a network show. Maybe something on Adult Swim could do it. Or maybe Robot Chicken will do a shitty John Wick sketch. They probably already have, but I don’t care to look it up.
– In the end, Homer is the only one who chooses not to take the antidote, prompting Artemis for some reason to put out a Confidential hit for him to be re-boozed. Sober Homer is shown to be a wonderful husband and father, fully functioning at work after his new promotion, noticeably thinner, with everything going great for him. I was expecting him to be as quick to jump on the antidote as the others and that being the tired joke, but him choosing to keep his new, better life, only to be doggedly chased down and forced to be an alcoholic again felt a little bit sad, even if it really doesn’t even matter.

And with that, that’s a wrap for yet another season, and boy howdy, can you believe it was a real stinker? This honestly may have been the worst season yet, but ranking anything within the past decade of this show feels so unnecessarily granular to me, since it’s all been pretty terrible. I always held season 28 to be the worst, with the ensuing few seasons after feeling not quite as bad, but looking back at the episode list this year, this felt like a particularly sorry crop. Season 31 had the surprisingly enjoyable “Thanksgiving of Horror,” while this season, I can’t point to one episode I even halfway enjoyed (the closest being “The Road to Cincinnati,” enjoying the impulse of an honest Skinner/Chalmers episode, but not the execution.) Meanwhile, my worst episode list is bursting at the seams (“The 7 Beer Itch,” “Sorry Not Sorry,” “Diary Queen,” “Yokel Hero,” “Do PizzaBots Dream of Electric Guitars?,” “Manger Things,” “Burger Kings,” “Mother and Child Reunion.”) But one thing I can say, I’m genuinely curious about the future of the show for the first time in years, but only because of the world outside the show itself, thanks to their new corporate overlords. The FOX acquisition by Disney has been over and done with for a few years, and the upcoming 33rd production season is the first one actually ordered by Disney. Meanwhile, The Simpsons  still airs first-run on FOX, who has no ownership of the show anymore, while Fox Entertainment, the FOX-owned media branch that formed after the Disney buy, is busy creating their own slate of new animated series, starting with Housebroken, which premieres next week, as well as Dan Harmon’s Krapopolis, and I’m sure more to come. Despite the dwindling popularity of The Simpsons and Family Guy, it’s probably still very important for FOX to hold onto them to anchor their Sunday nights, but I imagine their goal is to create their own new animated hit that they can reap all the financial rewards of. When (and if) that happens, they might see less and less need to air shows that their major competitor owns. Meanwhile, who’s to say Disney might not want to move The Simpsons onto FXX? Or Freeform? Or cancel the series as it is and revamp it in a new streaming format altogether? I’m not aware of all the ins and outs between Disney and the FOX network airing the show, and at what point that might change, but suffice to say, I have to imagine sometime in this next decade, there’s going to be a major shift in the show for sure. Whether that be a channel hop, a new movie, or the end of the series, it all remains to be seen. And seen it shall be, come this fall, when we dive headfirst into season 33. That’s right, for yet another year, it’s back into the toilet I go.

As for the blog, there’s the last few Revisited posts to come: the finale of season 11, The Simpsons Movie, and a small conclusion post for the 10th anniversary of the blog. Stay tuned!

705. The Man From G.R.A.M.P.A.

Original airdate: May 16, 2021

The premise: After fifty years of searching, a British spy arrives in Springfield to unmask the Russian spy known as “The Grey Fox,” who he believes is Abe Simpson, enlisting Homer in planning his capture.

The reaction: There’s been a couple episodes this season where the lead character is a one-off guest star (Olivia Coleman in “The 7 Year Itch,” Ellie Kemper in “A Springfield Summer Christmas for Christmas,” Megan Mullally in “Uncut Femmes,”) and they’ve all come off very confusing and awkward. There’s varying levels of attempt to actually develop these new characters into someone you actually give a shit about following through a story, but this show can barely create engaging stories with its thirty-plus-year-old leads, let alone brand-new ones. Our focal point this time around is Terrence, an M15 agent who’s been hunting for a Russian spy for fifty years, finally arriving in Springfield to take down our very own Abe Simpson. First he must get Homer to help him, working to convince him his father is actually a spy, for reasons I’m not really sure why. How hard is it to apprehend a doddering old man like Abe? This is also one of those episodes where it’s treating its story a bit more seriously than most. Both acts end on dramatic moments with no jokes, there’s tense music as Homer considers whether his father is actually a spy, the two end up tied up in Terrence’s trunk and make tearful amends… but as usual, there’s literally nothing specific for me to latch onto to make me care. Terrence believes Abe, the Grey Fox, is getting nuclear secrets from Homer, but how? And to what end? He’s been doing this over fifty years and nothing of note has happened because of it? He implies that Abe’s influence is why Homer’s never been fired for his years of negligence, but how does that make sense? Also, Homer’s only worked at the plant for ten years, so what was Abe doing for the other forty? There’s no attempt to give us any information that might make us interested. Terrence gathers the barflies around to tell his life story, but then we just get a music montage of him talking. In the end, Terrence’s daughter reveals that his father is retired and is just deluded in his own senility, and Homer and Abe are saved before any tension can escalate or anything that might possibly be interesting happens. This one was a real snoozer; so many episodes feel like there was so little effort given in the writing, but this one seemed to completely fall asleep at the very premise. Abe is suspected of being a spy… that’s good enough, when’s lunch?

Three items of note:
–  In the M15 flashback from fifty years ago, Terrence knows that the Grey Fox was part of the Flying Hellfish battalion and is in a small town with a nuclear plant. Wouldn’t there be some available recorded list of all the Hellfish soldiers? It’s not like it’s a secret. Springfield Cemetery has a Hellfish monument, that’s where they all were from. We also see from Terrence’s dossier that the Grey Fox is confirmed to be living in a town called Springfield. He doesn’t mention it aloud in the flashback, but it seems like this is the original report as the paper is all aged and ripped. So how many small towns with a nuclear plant are Springfields? How the hell did it take Terrence fifty goddamn years to find Abe?
– It’s really jarring anytime the show uses live action footage, which seems to happen at least once or twice a season now. In the Retirement Castle rec room, we see an old black-and-white live action movie playing on the big TV. I don’t know what it is, but I assume it’s some kind of old spy movie. Later, on the boardwalk, there’s a sign gag, “Joseph Cotten Candy,” featuring a real photo of old film star Joseph Cotten. I don’t know how many people actually know who Joseph Cotten is, but I’ll tell you what’s not going to help sell the joke: putting his actual fucking picture on screen. Was it worth it just to sell your awful pun? I guess he was in some old spy pictures? Both of these inclusions feel like another example of this show sometimes doing plot lines or extended references to source material that feels way too old for anyone in the audience to get. I really don’t know what the demographic breakdown of this show is anymore, but I would hazard a guess a lot more younger people watch it than senior citizens, who are the only people who could appreciate a Joseph Cotten reference, or a whole episode about the 1962 To Kill a Mockingbird film.
– Speaking of old references, Orson Welles (voiced by Maurice LaMarche, of course) makes an inexplicable cameo at the boardwalk getting on a Ferris wheel. I have no idea why he’s there, he just is, because why not. There was another recent episode within the last few years that featured Welles, and it feels weird that they’re still trotting this impression out. LaMarche’s Orson Welles is impeccable, without question, but both Pinky & the Brain and the infamous “green pea-ness” scene from The Critic are almost thirty years old. If you’re going to re-use the character so many times, you should have something new or interesting for him to do. The first time The Simpsons used LaMarche was in a Halloween episode fifteen years ago that recreated Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” broadcast, which was actually a pretty creative idea. Here, the joke is that Orson Welles was fat so they put a bowling ball on his Ferris wheel seat to balance the weight. Worth it!

704. Mother and Child Reunion

Original airdate: May 9, 2021

The premise: Nine years into the future, 17-year-old Lisa suddenly decides she doesn’t want to go to college, unsure of what she wants out of her life. This infuriates Marge, who was riding her entire hopes and dreams through her daughter, causing a massive rift between the two that would last for decades.

The reaction: The novelty of these future shows really start to run on empty when you’re going on your eighth one. I honestly don’t remember anything about the last one, which was also focused on Lisa, but this episode feels a bit discouraging because it actually touches on a promising premise: after grade-grubbing and spending her entire childhood studying, Lisa has an internal crisis about what her life is going to be. However, as it’s introduced in the episode, it’s difficult to follow. Lisa complains about how college costs a fortune now (now?) and won’t lead to any jobs, and separately laments about how she missed out on doing anything fun as a kid. These feel like two separate issues: Lisa’s future career prospects vs. actually having fun in life/having friends and relationships. Before she expresses her crisis, she had just rebuffed a promposal from Milhouse, but it’s not like it was specifically triggered by that, but I thought there would be something about how Lisa is crestfallen how she’s made no friends or had no romantic partners through school and regrets it. But hey, you know where you can start over and have a rich social life? College. Anyway, Lisa has gotten into every school and Marge is waiting with bated breath as to which she’ll pick. When Lisa announces she’s not going to college, Marge is pissed, outright telling her daughter she’s rested all her abandoned hopes and dreams on her so you better fucking pick a college, you sniveling ingrate. In three different interactions, Marge comes at Lisa hard about how much she’s sacrificed for her so pick a damn school, rather than, y’know, ask why her daughter feels this way and what’s going on. There’s been plenty (way too many) recent episodes featuring Marge being an irrational bitch toward Lisa, which always feels so incredibly distasteful. Marge is an eternally loving and understanding mother, so seeing her act this way is bizarre to see. So Lisa doesn’t know what to do next, which is fine, but the episode feels like it’s fumbling its way into finding a point. Lisa gets a food service job, and after an interaction with a dullard kid customer, gets the inspiration to start an after-school program to help underprivileged kids. Hey, do you know what might help you get that started? An education degree. We quickly flash forward and see that Lisa’s teachings (Knowledge Minus College) leads to great success, with dozens of schools opening nationwide, with Lisa later becoming superintendent, governor, and finally President. We barely get a scene out of Lisa’s classroom, where she teaches Shakespeare using dances from TikTok, so I really have no idea what I’m supposed to latch onto. Over halfway through the episode, Lisa’s existential ennui is finally solved, she’s interested in education, and then after one minute of screen time, we move through decades into the future, and then it becomes about Lisa and Marge finally making up, with Marge apparently a completely senile old person who didn’t even know her daughter was elected President and still insists she was right that she should have gone to college. The conflict between the two is so completely empty and meaningless that they don’t even make up directly, thanks to a great joke involving a “Mom translator” who “interprets” Marge and Lisa’s remarks back at each other until they hug and that’s the end. This one was a real stinker. It honestly feels like they wanted to do an episode featuring President Lisa after Trump was elected because of the reference in “Bart to the Future” (who is referenced to without naming him as Lisa’s new aide tells her, “Just after you were sworn in, your predecessor finally conceded,”) and then they worked backwards to actually come up with a plot. Maybe they should have worked harder and actually written one.

Three items of note:
– The wrap-around features this future vision being told by magician shop owner Werner Herzog and his mystical tarot cards (hey, remember “Lisa’s Wedding”?) Herzog appeared in an episode last season (or two seasons, I forget), and I gotta say, I have a little difficulty understanding his voice, especially when he’s trying to work his way through some labored joke dialogue.
– There’s been so many future episodes that nothing in these shows really feels fresh anymore. 3D printed pancakes, floating tablets, an antiquated Fruit Ninja reference, the college drones (which I think was in the last future episode), none of it feels like anything new. We see muscular teenage Milhouse, who has shown up before, as well as the ending with Bart and Lisa getting high and having a heart-to-heart on the White House roof, which very much feels lifted from when they got drunk in the treehouse in “Holidays of Future Passed.” We also need to give some kind of excuse for why Maggie doesn’t talk, so they have her communicate through emoticons or something. Why the fuck not just have her talk? At least it would be something different.
– Nate Silver voices himself to smugly poke fun at how absolutely incompetent and shameless he is as a political commentator and it made my skin crawl just a bit. Worst guest appearance since Chrissy Teigen.

703. Panic on the Streets of Springfield

Original airdate: April 18, 2021

The premise: Lisa becomes so obsessed with sardonic British pop artist Quilloughby that she personifies him as her imaginary friend, becoming even more of a judgy snob. Also Homer gets a truck, I guess.

The reaction: I’m still not sure if the writers realize how unlikable they’ve made Lisa in recent years. She might have had a slightly big head on her in the early years, but nowadays, her pretentiousness and condescending attitude really makes her come off bad, and this is basically an episode all about that. After rejecting every suggested track off of “Slapify” (“Let’s see if your algorithm can predict my tastes?” she chuckles), she finally lands on the morose artist Quilloughby, a British singer/vegan activist who hasn’t been seen in public for years. Inspired by his music, Lisa gets the school cafeteria to serve mushroom tacos (how she did this is unexplained), but is shocked that Lunchlady Doris added bacon into it. “Everyone at my school is a jerk! Why are they so mean?” she cries. Then she starts to see Quilloughby, who becomes her closest confidant, as they proceed to bond over their snarky displeasure in literally everything and everyone. It’s clear they’re having Lisa go through some teen angst (at age 8), and she’s supposed to be taking things too far and realizes that in the end, but her attitude isn’t grounded in anything as the audience can get behind, so she ends up coming off more annoying than sympathetic. The story culminates in Lisa going to an outdoor music festival where the real Quilloughby is appearing for the first time in decades. While there, her Quilloughby begins to get on her nerves with his never-ending negativity. Real Quilloughby takes the stage, now an out-of-shape middle-aged failure of a has-been who has renounced his veganism and antagonizes the crowd by spewing out bigotry. Ultimately the lesson, intoned by imaginary Quilloughby, is for Lisa to be more open-minded and not sneer at others with differing opinions. It’s almost like an admission by the writers at what they’ve turned Lisa into over the years, that she’s so stubborn and myopic in her worldview that she’s basically on her way to being an irrationally angry bigot who everybody hates. The comparison also feels shaky given that real Quilloughby is screaming about how migrants should die, whereas Lisa is just against eating meat. In the end, it’s yet another episode I don’t see the point in. There was no inciting incident to make Lisa feel so pissed, and her epiphany was basically all internal, but not at all interesting in the slightest, since it’s all painfully spelled out through dialogue, per usual. They try to put a sweet bow on things with Lisa and Marge having a sweet reconciliation, but so much of this episode is intensely sour that it feels pointless.

Three items of note:
– I was very confused by the episode title, and now I see it’s a reference to a Smiths song “Panic,” as in “Panic on the streets of London.” I guess that’s a well-known song, right? Quilloughby is seemingly based on Morrissey, who I’m not very familiar with, but it’s just strange since the majority of the episode titles are extremely obvious “parodies,” and this one sticks out as being less obvious than usual.
– The episode opens with Dr. Hibbert advising Homer about his health, in his first major appearance since Kevin Michael Richardson took over the character starting in “Wad Goals.” He ends up feeling like the weakest replacement voice yet to me only because Richardson’s voice is so familiar, him being very ubiquitous in the TV animation landscape. He’s doing his best to do a Hibbert imitation, but the timber of his voice is just so completely different than Harry Shearer’s that it just doesn’t feel right. But ultimately, none of the new voices will sound “right” because they’re different actors, so it’s inevitably going to be an adjustment. I really don’t want to talk about this new voices stuff anymore, but sometimes I have so little to talk about with specific episodes I just end up talking about it again. At this point, all the POC characters have been covered, with one glaring exception: Apu. Whether he gets a full episode reintroduction, a sneaky reappearance in one scene, or is just gone for good remains to be seen.
– Homer buys a truck after Dr. Hibbert tells him his testosterone levels are slightly low. This isn’t so much a B-plot as just some random stuff happening alongside the main story. Marge ends up exploding at Homer because he’s being so annoying about being a trucker guy (another heavy exercise on Julie Kavner’s vocal chords that made me feel sad.) The ending involves a riot at the music festival Lisa is at, and Homer’s truck finally coming in handy as he goes into all-terrain mode to save Lisa, but that turned out to just be him dreaming asleep at the wheel and Marge found Lisa and brought her back to the truck and she was fine. Whatever. I got bored even just writing that sentence.

702. Burger Kings

Original airdate: April 11, 2021

The premise: Mr. Burns’ latest impulse desire to be beloved leads to the creation of a new plant-based burger joint, which wins the hearts of the whole town, even the most discriminating Lisa. But, of course, Burns’ burgers turn out to be not what they appear to be.

The reaction: Usually we have to wait a few seasons between these awful “Burns wants to be loved” episodes, but how lucky, we got two of them in one year! And man, does this make “Undercover Burns” look a lot better. I’m sure I mentioned it back then, but these premises are just complete non-starters for me. You’re going to need to give me some real incentive to convince me that Burns gives even one iota of a fuck what the common folk think of him, but per usual, he just pathetically mewls after realizing people were ready to celebrate his death. The real Burns would order death squads outside his hospital room to dispose of the riffraff, but here, he literally tries to pull the plug on himself in defeat. In response, Smithers offers him one last shot at a redeemed legacy: inspired by Burns’ newfound love of Krusty Burgers, he has Professor Frink engineer the most delicious meat-free burger ever conceived, leading Burns to start the X-Cell-Ent burger shop. The entire town is won over by this, more than willing to overlook Burns’ entire life of evil by opening a restaurant (a newspaper headline literally reads, “Lifetime of Evil Completely Forgotten.”) Even Lisa seems way too eager to embrace Burns immediately, hugging him after her first bite of the new burger, along with the other Simpsons. So Burns got what he wanted, but it doesn’t actually matter. The episode can’t decide whether Burns wants the affection of others or not; he orders Smithers to dispose of the throngs of well wishers outside of his house (with rubber bullets if necessary), then the very next scene, he sighs, “It’s so wonderful being liked!” He’s finally allowed access to the Beloved Billionaires Club, with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates (really fucking debatable how “likable” they are), but not Mark Zuckerberg, who gets a limp dick take down scene, made even more pathetic since they graciously allowed him to a guest voice ten years ago.

We’re halfway through the episode now and I don’t even know what the plot is or where it’s going. Yeah, inevitably, Burns’ burgers will have some nefarious secret and he’ll be brought down for it, but he had effectively no involvement in this plan at all, it was basically all Smithers’ doing. So when Lisa discovers that the plants being used for the burgers are all endangered, I don’t even know if Burns knew about it or not. Hell, why doesn’t she go ask her good friend Professor Frink who was hired to make the burger in the first place? Never mind, he appeared once to give Burns the burger and then disappeared. Lisa confronts Burns about it, randomly showing up at the Beloved Billionaires Club, and later beating Burns back to his mansion (by teleporting, I guess), but Burns doesn’t seem to give a shit or even know what she’s talking about. Then the episode becomes about Homer being the one to expose Burns. Earlier in the episode, he appeared in a commercial for Burns’ burger joint, but then the episode continued with no mention of it. Homer has a nightmare co-mingling with other fast food mascots, fearing he’s sold his soul, but I never got the impression Homer was the face of X-Cell-Ent. It felt like he was barely in the episode at all. When we get to the end and Homer struggles with admitting the truth and breaking his NDA, it feels like it means nothing, because it does. Burns snaps back to reveling in his evilness, and nothing of value was gained. This oddly feels like the worst episode of the season solely due to the “not-giving-a-shit” level of the writing being so high. It was like the ghost of a “Burns tries to be good” story with no real plot progression or character motivation, with those replaced by stale material about vegan food (it tastes bad!) As for Burns, literally the only jokes they can do with him anymore are joke about how frail and old he is. Him salivating over a Krusty Burger grossly dehydrates his whole face. He apparently only weighs 14 pounds. Ingesting one bubble of champagne causes him to float to the ceiling of his office like a parade balloon. I’d say kill the poor old man off already, but these characters have all be shambling corpses for about two decades now, so what’s the point?

Three items of note:
– In the absence of an actual plot, there’s vague hints at different subplots. Krusty finds it difficult to compete with Mr. Burns, finding Krusty Burger in dire straits, much to Bart’s dismay (“Oh, jeez, my hero’s a loser!”) Putting aside the fact that Krusty’s empire isn’t entirely based upon his shitty fast food chain, this plot tease is just that: a tease. Krusty reappears at the very end at Burns’ press conference fiasco to celebrate his good fortune (“I won by doing nothing!”) Meanwhile, Marge accidentally purchases stock in X-Cell-Ent, and upon getting a good return on investment, becomes obsessed with monitoring the stock. She’s a compulsive gambler, but I guess she’s just playing one stock? Lisa reacts in horror at her mother being a shareholder, but it doesn’t really matter, it’s all just time killing in an episode that could care less about weaving an actual story.
– Reference time! Right before we see Bart, Lisa and Milhouse biking to Burns’ processing plant, we see the Stranger Things kids ride by, being unknowingly pursued by a biking not-Demagorgon, as the not-Stranger Thing theme song plays. Later on, we hold on a shot of Bart biking as three empty bikes roll by him followed by the not-Demagorgon riding by, clearly having eaten the kids. It’s the most shameless insert-reference-regardless-of-context-here I’ve seen in a long time, made even more egregious that they literally did an entire Treehouse of Horror segment about Stranger Things last season. Also, at Burns’ plant, we see not-Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men with his bolt stunner “murdering” plants with it. This character appeared way back in an episode from 2009, which at least was within the window of relevancy of that movie being out. I feel like he popped up again at some point too, but here, it’s just so baffling, a random appearance of a character from a 14-year-old movie. It’s no different than a shitty Family Guy gag.
– The episode gets its mileage out of depicting Simpson-ized versions of fast food mascots, first in randomly displaying portraits of Burns dressed as Colonel Sanders, Wendy and so on in his office at the start of act two, then later the mascots appearing in Homer’s mascot. Narrating (sort of) the story is a crooning Mac Tonight, a long-dead mascot whose only claim to fame now is being co-opted by the online alt-right to the point that the Anti-Defamation League has “Moon Man” classified as a hate symbol. I guess that’s another issue with having a crew of 55-and-older legacy writers, not only are the references dated, but they might also have adapted all-new meaning in new mediums you’re not aware of.