Crumbs: Reviews » Comedies » The Simpsons » Season 23 » Replaceable You
Critical reviews of U.S. TV shows
and analysis of what makes them
good, bad, irritating and enlightening.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons is an animated comedy about a family in the fictional town of Springfield. The family is made up of selfish father Homer, fretting mother Marge, precocious daughter Lisa, rebellious son Bart and silent daughter Maggie. FOX 1989-???


Episode 4 - Replaceable You

23 February 2012

Synopsis: Homer gets a new assistant at work, Roz, who soon gets him demoted. Lisa pushes Bart into designing a good science project for once and so he seeks out Martin's assistance. They build mechanical toy seals which win the prize. Bart shows one off to Grandpa and Jasper and it gives the old folks some much needed affection.

The Good: I kind of liked the couch gag for once. Although they can often be entertaining, I feel like the creative team put more effort into them sometimes than the actual episode. This week saw the Simpsons breaking into the Smithsonian in order to get to their couch which had been put in there. Considering the original purpose of the couch gag was just to show a different way for the family to get to the couch each week this one felt appropriate given the show's stature in American culture.

I don't have a category in this review for pointless trivia but old Alice Glick actually dies here which doesn't happen often. And we learn that Martin might be gay. To be fair I may have missed signs of that before but this was fairly explicit.  

The Bad: Neither plot had any effort put into them.

The science project to create a cute seal was fine although it was derivative. Both of Bart's hamster in an aircraft (416) which once won him the prize and the evil Krusty doll which could be made nice with the flick of a switch (405). This convenient fault in the seal design allowed an evil cabal of funeral operators to take away this source of joy from the old folks so that they would die sooner. It was just silly nonsense villainy and no real attempt was made to satirise the care for the elderly or those who profit from their demise. Then Bart gets Professor Frink to just magically fix all the seals and there you go, happy ending delivered. It all felt pointless.

Just as pointless as Homer's new co-worker Roz. She makes him run errands for her while threatening to tell Mr Burns of his incompetence. Then Ned tells Homer her one weakness and hey presto she is fired. Again, what was the point of that?

Neither story had any middle to them. They were pretty much just set up and then conclusion. Along the way the jokes didn't really connect to anything. Bart builds a Homer humiliating machine which Homer naturally walks right up to. Homer actually "learns" that he gets paid for going to work (so dumb it's insulting). Chief Wiggum calling 911 for help (again too stupid to be funny). The old folks asking for heroin (umm ok? Is that funny or a horrible exaggeration?). It was typically uninspiring stuff.

Best Joke: I smiled at Homer bowing down and recognising Ned as his personal saviour. Flanders' frown was a suitable response to Homer's blasphemous show of gratitude.

The Bottom Line: A lazy episode that you don't need to see.



Add your comments on this episode below. They may be included in the weekly podcasts.

Post your comment


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments