May 23, 2006

Finale Report: The Simpsons - "Homer and Marge Turn a Couple Play"

Can you believe that The Simpsons has just completed it's 17th season? I can't. There is no way that I can believe that this show has lasted this long. Personally, I think it should have ended some years ago, after it peaked around season 6 or so. The series has been in a decline for some years, with only sporadic bouts of humor, at least to this viewer. There were a number of times this season when I thought about dropping it from my weekly viewing rotation. For that matter, it may be dropped come next season.

The finale opens with animated furniture taking over the town rather than the usual opening. Humorous, but probably not necessary. The episode opens with the family watching a television show, a lame cop drama. The reason for watching the show is revealed as it is announced that the local minor league baseball team is winning, bringing out the fairweather fans. Who does that label apply to? Our title characters, of course.

The Simpson family heads out to the park to catch a glimpse of the latest home run hitting sensation, Buck Mitchell. This trip allows Grampa to relay another story of how he disguised himself as a woman and played baseball. The game opens with pop star Tabitha Vixx(voiced by Mandy Moore), and Buck's wife, sings the National Anthem, along with a sexy number from her own album. Buck feels terribly embarrassed, and feels that his marriage is in trouble. Buck plays terribly, committing error after error and not delivering at the plate.

In between innings they have a kiss cam which captures the Marge and Homer. They share a comedically passionate kiss,witnessed by Buck. The troubled ballplayer seeks marriage counseling from the Simpsons, which we all know is probably not well advised.

Marge reads up on marriage counseling, while Homer shows up trying to look smart. Their advice, as expected, is comedically ineffective. Homer turns the session into an autograph session, dumping a large bag of balls in front of the ballplayer. Marge and Homer then pay a visit to the high profile couple's home for another session.

Initially, the counselling helps. Buck starts playing better, and Tabitha performs better. Then the misunderstandings start. Homer shares some chicken with Tabitha, only to be interrupted by Buck who, obviously, misinterprets the situation. Buck blows up, and Tabitha wants to leave Buck.

Homer, needing Buck to play better, plots a lie to make him think his marriage is working, while Marge does the real work. The episode ends with everyone getting back together and being happy.

I don't know, the show has just lost a lot of its funny over the past few years. This episode was not all that funny. I can only think of too brief moments that were funny. The first was during Tabitha's opening number, Moe gets up and asks Buck how it feels to have a weird guy being turned on by his wife. The other funny was when the blimp crashes, and the announcer speaks of of it as a dirgible disaster, a voice calls out "Too Soon!" Outside of those two moments, this didn't do much for me.

Earlier this year I rewatched the first few seasons of the show. Doing this really hit home just how much better those early years were. Those episodes were so much funnier than the workmanlike output that we have been getting. I can only hope it gets cancelled, or it has a turn around in the funny department.

There's always next year.

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Anonymous said...

wow, a blog with the word "musings" in the title. how original.

Chris said...

And your point.....?

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