Yeah, it’s been a long time since I did a season review, so I might as well do another one, and I decided to take a look at season 12 of The Simpsons. This show’s been around a long time, hasn’t it? Now before we begin, I should probably give my (probably unpopular) opinion about seasons 9 – 12 (or the “Mike Scully era” as many fans and critics call them), which many people say marked the decline of the show. Yeah, I don’t really agree with that sentiment; in fact, I think the show was still quite good during these seasons and personally, I sort of think the Mike Scully seasons get quite a bit of undeserved hate. I’ll probably get to seasons 9, 10, and 11 later (or not, but who knows?), but for now, let’s go into what I currently think about season 12.
Treehouse of Horror XI (aired November 1, 2000): Yeah, whenever I review a Treehouse of Horror, each segment gets its own rating, so yeah.
G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad: Yeah, I haven’t watched “Ghost Dad” (the movie) and probably don’t plan to anytime soon, but as for this, it was alright. It was sort of funny seeing Homer survive almost dying from pretty random things, and then got killed by eating broccoli; I thought that was funny.
Scary Tales Can Come True: I liked how it played with a lot of common motifs with more well-known fairy tales, although I’m not sure what fairy tales have to do with Halloween, but I digress. It was okay, but really nothing too spectacular.
Night of the Dolphin: Now this was pretty funny; Lisa decides to free a dolphin from a Seaworld-like park (I haven’t been to Seaworld since like 2007, probably one of the things I liked going to while living in San Diego as a child), but it turns out he’s the leader of the dolphins, so he leads all the dolphins to take revenge on humans, and they can even crawl on land. Yeah, they hate living in the sea, and as punishment, humanity is forced to live in the sea. Overall, a funny episode that still carries the humor that I expect from a Simpsons episode, so yeah, it was good. Yeah, I did miss Kang and Kodos (even though they made an appearance at the end) during this Treehouse of Horror, but I digress.
A Tale of Two Springfields (aired November 5, 2000): Another good episode. Homer finds out that Springfield now has two area codes, and instead of learning a new area code, he decides to divide the town along the two area codes (636, the rich part of town, and 939, the working class part), and starts a rivalry between Olde Springfield. However, whatever he does ends up benefitting Olde Springfield (such as them dumping a beer shipment to New Springfield into the river, then when Homer cuts off the river, Olde Springfield discovers gold in the riverbed and become even richer). So, Homer decides to build a wall between the two cities, but because he’s an incompetent leader, all the inhabitants flee over the wall. But, Homer decides he can get everyone back if he can get The Who to play in New Springfield, but The Who suggests that everyone can just use speed dial to call people, and then the town is reunited. Overall, a good episode, even though I didn’t think it was a very great one, but I digress. I definitely enjoyed The Who appearing in this episode, since they’re one of my favorite classic rock bands, and I enjoy their music quite a bit, but that’s just me.
Insane Clown Poppy (aired November 12, 2000): Krusty the Clown finds out that he has a long-lost daughter and tries to bond with her. To be honest, I don’t really care for this episode very much. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad episode by any means, but I didn’t feel like it delivered very much, either in terms of story or humor. But to me, there wasn’t really much in this episode that stood out, good or bad, so it sort of falls a little flat in my eyes. Yeah, this is pretty “meh,” neither on the good nor the bad side of “meh.”
Lisa the Tree Hugger (aired November 19, 2000): Yeah, before doing this scorecard, the last time I ever watched this episode was back in 2005, and back then, I didn’t really think much of this episode. Hell, before watching this again, I thought it was gonna suck due to being all preachy about environmentalism and given Lisa’s flanderization into something of a “Soapbox Sadie,” I was expecting the worst, but I can say I was glad to be wrong. Sure, there’s environment themes, but I kind of see it as sort of a parody of environmentalism, and I like how there wasn’t really much that dragged down this episode in my eyes. So, you know what? I’m gonna do an “Admirable Animation” on this episode, but as for now, this is definitely good enough to call “Great,” in my opinion anyway.
Homer vs. Dignity (aired November 26, 2000): Yeah, before I go into this, I will say that I am fully aware of the panda scene, and while that scene was pretty unpleasant, I didn’t feel like the episode was completely ruined because of that scene. Yes, it was a bad scene, but it was just 45 seconds long. Anyway, the premise is that the Simpsons have no money left, and in order to secure their financial future, Homer decides to do extra work for Mr. Burns, as his personal “prank monkey,” but when Lisa finds out that Homer was selling his dignity for money, Homer decides to do something to get it back. Yeah, I don’t think I can explain my complete thoughts on this episode fully, so I might do a separate review of this episode later on, but for what it’s worth, it did a fairly decent job of delivering a moral that you shouldn’t sell your dignity for money, and Homer actually listened to Lisa and quit being a “prank monkey” for Mr. Burns, so yeah. So far, it seems like a decent episode, panda scene excluded, although even then, it didn’t ruin the episode for me.
The Computer Wore Menace Shoes (aired December 3, 2000): Homer gets a computer and starts his own web site that turns everyday gossip into news stories. However, after he’s exposed and can’t get secrets, he starts making up stories, one of which about flu shots actually being true, which leads to him being kidnapped by a secret organization and put on an island for people who “know too much.” I really like the shift in story from internet gossip to secret conspiracy, and I feel they pulled it off pretty decently without it feeling too jarring, and I really liked the humor around what the internet was like back in 2000. Granted, it feels a little dated, but it’s still a good episode nonetheless.
The Great Money Caper (aired December 10, 2000): Homer and Bart decide to scam random people around town for money, but the joke’s on them when they get caught, or is it a scam? Yeah, while the first half of the episode was okay, even though there were very few jokes in regards to the scam, the second half sort of fell flat. I mean, I didn’t mind the rest of the town scamming Bart and Homer, but it wasn’t particularly interesting, and lampshading the convoluted scam wasn’t much help either. However, at its worst, it’s just mediocre, and while I can’t really call it bad, I also can’t call it good either; it’s just there.
Skinner’s Sense of Snow (aired December 17, 2000): This was definitely a pretty damn funny episode. The school stays open on a snow day, but the kids get snowed in, and not only have to deal with that, but also deal with Skinner as well. There were so many good jokes here and there was not a single moment where I felt bored with the episode, since each part stayed consistently funny. Yeah, this was a pretty enjoyable episode, and probably even “admirable” worthy.
HOMR (aired January 7, 2001): Pretty good episode, I’ll just say right now. After Homer loses the family’s life savings in buying worthless animation stocks, he becomes a human guinea pig for money, and during the experiments, the scientists find out Homer lodged a crayon in his brain, and that’s why he’s so stupid, so Homer gets the crayon removed and becomes more intelligent. At first, he’s happy with it, and is able to bond with Lisa, but he soon discovers that he can no longer fit in with the rest of Springfield. Yeah, this is inspired quite a bit by the book Flowers for Algernon, which dealt with an intelligent protagonist who becomes alienated from the world around him, and I think HOMR was able to emulate that story pretty well. And I also liked the bond that Lisa and Homer were starting to develop after Homer had the crayon removed from his brain, so yeah. This episode worked on quite a few levels, and maybe I might consider doing an “Admirable” (that is, unless there are 10 other admirables on this episode already).
Pokey Mom (aired January 14, 2001): Marge takes in an ex-convict after she discovers his artistic talent, so she gets him a job doing a mural for the school, which ends in disaster. Yeah, I sort of thought Marge was kind of a fool in this episode; I know her character is supposed to be all optimistic and wanting to be nice to people, but I sort of felt she let her emotions cloud her judgment, although she did rightfully call out the ex-con after he burned down the mural (and Skinner’s car, which was admittedly a little funny), but whatever. While it did get a couple of laughs from me, there wasn’t much else that stood out, and the B-plot with Homer starting a chiropractic clinic using a busted trash can wasn’t anything special either. So, yeah, this episode is average. While it’s not a particularly great episode, there were a couple moments that were able to pull it above the mediocre range, but it’s an alright episode at the most.
Worst Episode Ever (aired February 4, 2001): Comic Book Guy has a heart attack and Bart and Milhouse run the comic book store while he recuperates. I think the episode title is pretty funny, since it seems pretty ironic, since this episode is anything but “Worst Episode Ever.” Hell, far from it, it’s a pretty decent episode. My favorite part was where Tom Savini performed at the store, and totally humiliated Comic Book Guy so hard; hell, the fact that I find Comic Book Guy pretentious as all hell makes that scene pretty satisfying and hilarious. Yeah, I also liked Bart and Milhouse running the store, although I was indifferent to the B-Plot with Comic Book Guy dating Skinner’s mom, but that’s just me. Overall, “Worst Episode Ever” is a good episode. Not one of the best, but still pretty solid.
Tennis the Menace (aired February 11, 2001): Homer puts in a tennis court in the backyard, and he and Marge play tennis with other couples in town, but since Homer doesn’t take it seriously and everyone laughs at them, Marge decides to dump him and have Bart be her new tennis partner. Yeah, there isn’t anything special with this episode in the slightest. It’s an episode about tennis, and like any other sports episode in any other show, the main characters get all competitive about it, and yeah, we’ve seen episodes like these so many times. So yeah, it’s just… there. Not terrible, but not great, just mediocre.
Day of the Jackanapes (aired February 18, 2001): Another Sideshow Bob episode, which sort of gives me the idea to revive the “Sideshow Bob-A-Thon,” since I kind of got fatigued from the show since around January or something like that. So yeah. Anyway, as for the episode, Krusty decides to retire because he’s getting annoyed by studio executives telling him how to run his show, and Sideshow Bob, because Krusty erased all the tapes of the show from when he was in it, decides to hypnotize Bart to kill Krusty at the farewell show. I’ll probably talk more about this episode when I review it for the “Sideshow Bob-a-thon,” but for now, it was pretty good. I liked the humor the episode had with the executives, especially at the end where Mr. Teeny took the plastic explosives off of Bart and threw it into the executives’ room. That was awesome. So yeah, even though I’ll talk more about this episode later, I’ll say that this was a great episode.
New Kids on the Bleech (aired February 25, 2001): Oh boy, this episode. You know how with using pop culture references in your works tends to date them severely when people look at them in a few years, or more? Well, that’s kind of my feeling with this episode. Bart, Milhouse, Nelson, and Ralph get recruited to form a boy band and they become instantly popular, but Lisa discovers their producer is using them as a plot to get people to join the Navy. Yeah, I can tell you that this episode has aged poorly, reason being was this episode was a parody of boy bands bac when they were big, but because that was a very long time ago, I sort of feel that whatever humor this episode had seems incredibly archaic and dated by today’s perspective. So yeah, I’ll call this a weak episode, although the songs are strangely amusing to listen to, almost in a “So Bad, it’s Good” kind of way, so yeah, even though I find this episode weak, the songs are enough to call it a “Guilty Pleasure,” although this episode is still weak nonetheless, though.
Hungry, Hungry Homer (aired March 4, 2001): Homer decides to help out people in his everyday life, and then when he finds out the Springfield Isotopes are going to be sold to Albuquerque, he decides to stage a hunger strike until the Isotopes decide to stay. Yeah, this parodies things like hunger strikes and activism quite a bit, but presents it in a positive light, since Homer, despite basically being a total fat-ass, is able to go without food for 12 whole days before he is successful in his protest. So yeah, I like how determined Homer was, even while no one (at first) really took him seriously, and I like how he was eventually able to make a difference when at the end, he was able to reveal what the owner was planning to do. It’s sort of a little anvilicious with its whole “it only takes one man to make a difference,” message, but it doesn’t really matter; it’s still a decent message nonetheless, and a good episode overall.
Bye Bye Nerdie (aired March 11, 2001): Lisa gets beaten up by a new girl and she is trying to figure out what is trying to provoke the bully, whom only seems to be going after nerds. Yeah, apparently the only reason the bully is beating up nerds to because nerds “have some kind of pheromones that attract predators,” and not because of other kinds of stuff, so yeah. Clearly, this was intended to be played for laughs, but it sort of falls on its face, as there weren’t very many funny moments or exciting moments. Although I did like the beginning of the episode where Marge raced against Otto to the school, but aside from that, this was a pretty boring episode. Granted, the B-plot where Homer started up his own baby-proofing business was alright, but overall, this episode was pretty bland.
Simpson Safari (aired April 1, 2001): During a bag-boy strike, Homer wins a prize from an old box of animal crackers and the Simpsons go on a trip to Africa, where they happen upon a scientist who is researching chimps, but soon they discover that she is using the chimps to mine for diamonds. Yeah, it’s another “Simpsons go somewhere exotic/foreign,” episode, but unfortunately, it lacks what makes it stand out from other episodes like it, and while it doesn’t really do anything offensive, it also didn’t really do anything that make it stood out. I mean, yeah the humor was fairly decent, but aside from that, it’s just… there. So yeah, it’s an okay episode, not great, but not bad.
Trilogy of Error (aired April 29, 2001): Yeah, this was the first episode of the Simpsons I ever reviewed on deviantART and I still stand by my opinion in calling this a great episode, and if you want my full thoughts on it, check out my review on the ep, since I pretty much talked about it pretty decently there, and I don’t think I have much more to say about it. Yeah, I consider this an “Admirable,” but I only really need to review something once, so I’d like to consider this “admirable”-like.
I’m Goin’ to Praiseland (aired May 6, 2001): Ned realizes that he’s still not over his wife’s death, so he agrees to let the Simpsons help him get over Maude, but in the process, they discover that Maude dreamt of building a Christian amusement park, so the town helps Ned build the park, called “Praiseland.” However, the park is way too boring, and everyone leaves, but apparently, a miracle happens where a mask flies over a statue of Maude, and everyone starts having visions when they get nearthe statue, which turns out to be a gas leak, and at the end, the park closes down, but Ned is finally able to get over Maude. While this episode is light on humor, it does a good job on giving Ned closure over Maude’s death, and I really like it when shows not only have good stories with their main characters, but also the supporting characters, and I think this episode did a good job with that. So yeah, it’s a good episode.
Children of a Lesser Clod (aired May 13, 2001): Homer starts his own daycare center while recuperating from a broken leg, but while he’s paying attention to the children he’s looking after, he’s neglecting his own children. Yeah, there are a couple laughs, but the plot, especially in the later half of the episode, shows that Bart and Lisa are actually feeling neglected by Homer, and while it’s played for laughs in any other episode, the episode plays it pretty straight, and even though Homer learns that he should give his children more attention, it’s only at the very end of the episode, after it’s revealed to everyone that Homer is a terrible father, so yeah. It’s sort of a decent episode, but the plot could’ve had Bart and Lisa be more open with Homer about his neglect instead of their revenge near the end, but that’s just me talking.
Simpson Tall Tales (aired May 20, 2001): Okay, I was considering rating each section, but that seemed pretty tedious, so from now on, the only episodes that get more than one score are “Treehouse of Horror” episodes, okay? Anyway, the Simpsons are taking a trip to Delaware, but instead of flying (Homer threatened a worker at the airport instead of paying a small tax for the tickets), they decide to hop on a train, where they meet a hobo who tells stories. So, he tells stories, one for Homer, one for Lisa, and one for Bart. Homer’s story is about Paul Bunyan, Lisa’s story is about Johnny Appleseed (or Connie Appleseed), and Bart’s is about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (which was a book instead of a folk tale, but whatever). I really liked this episode because I like how they were able to take their own spin on these American folk stories, and I think it worked a quite a few levels. I laughed quite a bit at each of the stories, probably some of the funnier moments this season, but that’s just me. So, yeah, it’s a good episode, and almost a great episode, but not really. It’s still good, nonetheless.
So that’s all of season 12 of The Simpsons reviews, and overall, it’s a solid season. Yeah, there were a couple bland episodes, but despite that, there were far more good episodes than “meh” episodes, and some of the better episodes from this season, like “HOMR,” “Trilogy of Error,” “Day of the Jackanapes,” and a couple others were, in my opinion, just as great as many of the classic episodes, and hell, they might be able to rival those episodes. So far, the only bad episode I could find was “New Kids on the Blecch,” but even then, that’s only one, and also somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me, but whatever. So, yeah, season 12 was a good season, and to me, probably the last overall good season of the Simpsons. Now, this doesn’t mean that later seasons are bad, since they’re not bad, by any means. Some seasons after this have its fair share of some really good episodes, and hell, seasons 20 and 21 are my personal favorite modern (that is season 13 onwards, for me) seasons, but I digress. It’s been quite a while since I did a scorecard, but I had other things going on. Anyway, hope you guys look out for some new stuff I’m doing, like more game reviews, and probably some other projects I’m keeping under wraps for now, and see you guys later.