Warning: this review contains spoilers.
It’s been two weeks since the last episode of The Simpsons aired on Fox and I have already fallen out of interest with the show again. I will never understand the structuring of American television, it took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to understand why they advertise two different time slots and then I find out that they take weeks off DURING the season! Well, actually I already knew they do this but for the sake of writing an interesting review I shall pretend I didn’t. This is the kind of thing that is killing the terrestrial television industry, why watch a show week by week and sometimes wait even longer than a week when you can binge an entire series in a day with a subscription service? Anyway, back to the review.
Friend With Benefit
Santa’s Little Helper gets a bit of a boost this episode as he appears as the main subject of the cold opener, “Fat”. In homage/a spoof of the Disney short film, “Feast”, Santa’s Little Helper quickly becomes Santa’s Big Fatty Boom-Batty Helper and floats of to chubby puppy heaven/hell, it’s all relative. While this was cute, I also think that all of the jokes were very obvious and the kind of jokes a bunch of primary school kids would come up with in the playground. Essentially, the dog gets fat.
As I make my way through this series, I am constantly reminded of the numerous great characters that The Simpsons has on offer. Willie makes a quick appearance this episode and he’s always worth a laugh, along with Milhouse, who at full geek is absolute gold. The new characters this episode aren’t overly impressive though, Kristen Bell was kind of wasted on Harper Jambowski and aside from the hilarious mocking of 5SOS, I didn’t care much for the “Doe-Eyed Boys”. Mr Jambowski however, was a wonderful satire of the new breed of eccentric, technology billionaires flooding the market.
Friend With Benefit was both absolutely hilarious and a great satire on many modern day phenomena. The highlight being the ridiculing of crowd funding and the people that take advantage of the system *cough Zach Braff cough*. As I said before, the dig a 5SOS was a lot of fun as well as the dig at Crocodile Dundee 3. Australian jokes seem to be a favourite of The Simpsons writing team and whether it’s a deliberate decision or not, they always seem to go over the top. Which ironically, only makes the jokes all the more hilarious. I mean who would name their child after Wodonga? Quote of the week was a toss up between; “Is this heaven? Not quite, cause I hate the music.” or; “This is like being from North Korea and finding out there is a South Korea!”.
Not only was this episode filled with great background jokes but there was an enormous amount of note-worthy Easter eggs. I don’t quite understand why they don’t fill every episode with nods to the past, it’s one of the most fun things you can do with a show that has such a rich history. This week though, we found out how Marge always gets her hair so small at night and the stand out was the return of “Join the navy.”.
One of the things that I have noticed slipping this season of The Simpsons are the references to pop culture. First of all, David Copperfield? Who cares? I mean they did try and they actually got the timing kind of perfect with both a Bond and a Back To The Future reference. Unfortunately the Bond reference wasn’t very funny and I was expecting it to lead up to something a bit more. As for the Back To The Future reference, it was barely a joke, they just said the title. Now, this is the problem section of my review so I’d just like to ask, similar to the white guy voicing Apu, is it still alright that they have that Mexican bee character? Just asking.
Even though it’s been two weeks and I felt like I had lost interest in the show, Friend With Benefit caught my interest very quickly. It will always surprise me how seamlessly The Simpsons can slip from one storyline into another. To be fair, it doesn’t always work but it did this week. There was a lot of extra work put into this episode, with the story, the jokes, the cold opening and even the credits, I really enjoyed every minute. That’s not to say there wasn’t problems and I didn’t have quite as much fun as I did with the Treehouse Of Horror episode, so for that reason I am going to rate this episode a 3.5 out of 5. Well I don’t know about you but I’m off to join the navy.