Episode 5 - The Food Wife
16 November 2011
Synopsis: Homer takes Bart and Lisa out on 'Fun Dad' activities at the weekend and it makes Marge jealous. She tries to be the fun one for a day and accidentally succeeds by stumbling across an Ethiopian restaurant. The three of them become foodies and start their own blog. Now it is Homer who is left out.
The Good: The overall story was pretty solid. You can imagine Homer being a fun Dad when he is making the effort. It's also no stretch at all to imagine Marge being jealous of that. Then once the tables are turned Marge both feels sorry for Homer and fears that he will once again become the fun one. In the end they decide to do stuff as one big family, problem solved.
I did also like the idea of Homer confusing a meth lab with a chemistry-style restaurant.
The Bad: The details of the story were basic and adequate. The style of humour which the writers now lean heavily on is to list things. Homer takes the kids to a computer game convention and so we get lots of parody names and images of famous consoles and games. Then once the story shifts to food we get similar gags about celebrity chefs and the pretentious aspects of cuisine. In general this style of humour is pretty weak. It relies on recognition rather than real wit. I might know who Gordon Ramsay is or see a Grand Theft Auto pun that is clever but they don't make me laugh. They are like a friend pointing something out. You make the connection, you acknowledge their effort but only when something takes you by surprise do you actually laugh. At the end of the plot there was an homage to the end of Ratatouille which I recognised but didn't see much point to.
I don't think this was awful. I just feel the show should end. Songs about blogging or scenes where Homer randomly leads everyone on space hoppers are just silly and not funny. Homer dragging himself up the stairs (refusing to walk) or making baseball bats or bird houses are all just random nonsense. If you haven't sat through twenty three seasons of this stuff then maybe it will catch you by surprise but I'm beyond that now.
Best Joke: Marge is upset that the kids never call her fun mum. Homer tries to "console" her: "Look honey, a family's like a team. And on every team you have the slam dunking megastar (gesturing to himself)...and the referee (gesturing to her)."
The Bottom Line: Just fine for what it has become.
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