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Review – The Simpsons Season 27, Episode 11

Warning: this review contains spoilers.

I know that as a reader of Novastream you made find it hard to believe considering the unbelievable quality that this site produces but sometimes it is a difficult task to review television. Now I would never admit to failure myself because as you can see, I am flawless in my writing skills and a master of sarcasm but if I ever came close it would be due to The Simpsons. A show that after thirty years it’s very hard to write an original word around, let alone a original episode. So on the one hand it’s understandable that this show has lost all of it magic but on the other, just give up already.

Teenage Mutant Milk-Cause Hurdles

This episode is the closest to a nothing story that I have ever seen. In fact I even felt myself muttering, “what did I just watch?” once the episode was over, a phrase generally saved for disturbing Youtube videos and disappointing time travel movies that didn’t even try to follow the rules (I’m looking at you Looper). Twenty minutes felt like five and not in a good way. The “stories”, if you could call them that revolved around Bart’s crush on an older woman again and milk induce hormones which was already spoiled by the title.

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It’s such a shame because this episode really did start with a bang. The 80s action television inspired couch gag was far and away the best opening of the series. Tacking such an amazing opener on such a pathetic story made me feel as if even the producers knew what a stinker they were pumping out. I say “tacked on” because it seems that Fox is now outsourcing the couch gags as the credit went to Steve Cutts, it’s a bitter sweet move that fills me with both disappointment and pleasure. There’s a feeling that the production team really has run out of steam but it’s wonderful to see them sharing the work around to other people in the industry.

Back on the plotline side of things, I feel as if I’ve seen Bart’s storyline a thousand times before and I haven’t even seen all the episodes of The Simpsons. Bart falls in love with a woman that is far too old for him and we all know it would never happen unless The Simpsons were to be ripped from the airways. The only difference this time is that this little crush just fizzles out with no real climax. This “Buzz Milk” induced crush just wears off as soon as Lisa acknowledges its existence. They may have tried to make this storyline seem original by mashing it together with the Bart/Skinner rivalry but this fizzles out as well.

For even less narrative we can head over to the Buzz Milk side of things. There’s hormones in the milk that give Bart various disgusting teenage moustaches and Lisa accidental beauty enhancing acne. Seems as if the writers wanted to tell a teenage story without any actual teenagers. Lisa puts on makeup and then in classic Lisa style announces how it’s all a mask and Bart simply pulls his moustache off his face. While we are on the topic by the way, Bart’s moustaches are incredibly disturbing and it lead to me a realisation. Both Bart and Lisa have skin coloured hair, cue Lionel Hutz shudder.

Along with the couch gag, another aspect of the show that isn’t a huge let down is the humor. There are some great human gags in this episode, particularly the reference to Flander’s moustache sense and vaping. Vaping is a topic that will never not be funny. There is a small, clearly unintentional reference to David Bowie. This is nothing more than a throw away line that made me think of Bowie but thinking of Bowie is no bad thing, may he rest in peace.

Two cool female teachers in two weeks is a bad decision in terms of episode release but season twenty-seven of The Simpsons is no stranger to bad season structure. I also couldn’t help feel that Sofia Vergara was wasted on this role. Sure she had a nice self referential name, Ms. Berrara but so does Chelsea Peretti in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Gina Linetti. No matter how much hard exterior you wrap around this character, she still came out to be a poorly written love triangle victim. Season twenty-seven still remains to be a mish-mash of quality and disappointment and judging by the Wikipedia descritpion of next week, I don’t think that we will see a return to quality just yet. I am really holding out but with eleven episodes down I’m starting to think this is the way of the series for now. Teenage Mutant Milk-Cause Hurdles is one of the worst episodes of the season and deserves nothing more than 1 out of 5 stars.

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