February 18th, 2008

wart

This place is no picnic, but it sure beats working for Disney!

When I hear that The Simpsons is doing another three-stories episode, I tend not to have very high hopes, but I'm often pleasantly surprised. I do think the sheer number of such episodes these days is a sign that the writers are running out of ideas (hey, when doing the three stories, they don't have to come up with a story that will fill the entire time-slot, devise an original plot (since they're almost always direct parodies), OR stay within the generally established rules of the show!), I don't mind so much as long as they're funny. And I actually liked this most recent one, which was a definite improvement over the two half-assed episodes preceding it. The Bonnie and Clyde segment was the least memorable, but still quite amusing. I was concerned that the Lady and the Tramp parody wouldn't break any new ground, since they already spoofed the famous spaghetti scene in "Two Dozen and One Greyhounds," but it worked better than I thought it would. I'm not sure why they put in a second Homer and Marge story instead of one centered around Bart, but hey, whatever works. bethje pointed out that Marge as Vamp looked very similar to the actual Lady, enough so that it's kind of surprising that Disney let them get away with it. Maybe it balanced out because Goofy looked totally off (intentionally so, I'm sure). I'm not sure why, but I got a kick out of Moe's canine equivalent. And am I wrong, or did all eleven of the puppies look like either Bart or Lisa? I would have thought there would be a Maggie in there, but I don't think she appeared in this episode in any form. The last segment ended pretty abruptly; the story of Sid and Nancy having a happy ending was kind of funny in and of itself, but it might have been nice if they'd acknowledged the bowdlerization, like they did with Joan of Arc back in "Tales from the Public Domain." I did like the way they made the Sex Pistols into kids, particularly the running gag of chocolate as drugs.

I think the Family Guy episode was also one of the better recent ones, but there have been so few new ones this season that I could be misremembering. James Woods was a good sport, and I like that this story followed up on his last appearance. I also felt that it had a coherent and consistent plot while still being funny, which is something the show seems to have been having trouble with as of late. The scene with Peter and his friends deciding to go to the Barry Manilow concert was great. And wasn't the thing about the window washer on September 11th from an actual movie, or at least a proposed one? I remember hearing about it some time ago, but not what came of it.

The new American Dad wasn't one of the best, but I think it was effective at taking a typical family sitcom and scenario and making it over-the-top. I think that's sort of the main thrust of the episodes centered around Stan and Francine, and I feel that they've done a good job at keeping the show different enough from FG, despite its many obvious similarities. And Roger playing a psychiatrist was amusing.

All right, those are all the reviews you get for now. Happy Presidents' Day, everybody!