My father has been a big fan of The Simpsons for pretty much the entire run of the series. Long after I considered the series a washout, my ever-the-optimist father has been loyal. So it was with great surprise that I got a call last night at 8:37 from my dad that started with "worst... episode... ever". My dad does not imitate the character voices, he doesn't spew lines verbatim like most fans I know, so the gravity of his statement was evident. I let him know that I had taped the episode and not yet seen it, so he proceeded to tell me that this episode was so bad and unfunny that it was easily the worst Simpsons he had ever seen. Thinking to myself that he and I don't share that many specific tastes, I thought maybe there was simply some small facet that he didn't dig that was skewing his viewpoint and asked him what he meant.
"Not one thing was funny at all, the only time I even chuckled was when Moleman was trapped in the snow."
I was intrigued, how could my father - who tries to find something good about everything - be so repulsed by one of the few TV shows he has been a fan of for so long? I assured him I'd watch it on tape to gauge it for myself and report back to him, and after the rest of our phone conversation, I did indeed view the tape...
I was, to say the least, surprised at how accurate my pop was. I was expecting there to be something that would jump out and say "that wasn't as bad as such-and-such episode" (I'm lookin' at you Saddlesore Galactica and Simpson Safari) but nothing ever did. So much of the writing fell flat or felt misplaced that I felt a little assaulted - and that is coming from JT, the guy who has disliked nearly every episode since the New York one. The only stuff I was amused even a little by was the couch gag (which only worked as a stand-alone and barely that) and the Hans Moleman gag (which I felt could have definitely been tightened up). This episode wasn't even a "so bad that it's good" sort of thing, it was just a disjointed, unfunny mess.