After arguably the best episode of the season, The Simpsons decided to take a month-long break and come back with a bang on Valentine’s Day. The only question is, “was this an amazing bang like the dazzling explosion of a firework or did it end up more like the bang released by an old car that is trying to explain to its owner that it’s time is up?”. Well I’ll get to that but considering that the episode revolves around Professor Frink, we should all know that it will certainly involve a big bang and maybe not even the kind of big bang you would expect from Springfield’s most eligible scientist.
Love Is in the N2-O2-Ar-CO2-Ne-He-CH4
If you were to hear that The Simpsons was to air an episode on Valentine’s Day that revolved around Professor Frink it probably wouldn’t take you too long to predict the storyline. Frink is lonely because he is a nerd so he uses science to solve his problems, easy. Now while that is exactly what happens… that is exactly what happens. Even more clichéd is the beginning of Grandpa’s storyline, nobody wants to visit Grandpa. This joke has been rehashed so often on the show that I no longer laugh, feel sorry for Grandpa or even get annoyed by it, I just except my fate. Luckily this is only the beginning and the story gets a little bit more interesting when it turns out that the nurse is drugging her residents.
Ahhh Frink out! It’s nice to have a story revolve around Frink for a change, he is one of the characters on the show that often gets overlooked. Sure he’s great for a quick, little science gag every now and then but it’s interesting to get to see him do a bit more for a change. Unfortunately as it turned out, what he did on this week’s episode wasn’t particularly entertaining. His storyline felt a little bit rushed and it seemed as if the writers were trying to squeeze three ideas into one. An episode focusing just on Frink finding love, finding other people love or creating a robot wife would have had been much more entertaining than all three squashed into one.
Over on the Grandpa side of things, the story seemed a bit more hashed out and it was a bit surprising that the team didn’t go along with Grandpa’s story as the frontrunner. Having said that, I know I would have complained about that too so maybe they should have just come up with a better episode in general. Once we got away from the “Grandpa’s lonely” cliche, things were a little bit more interesting but this was only short lived and it too seemed a bit rushed. There wasn’t really an ending to the drugging debacle and if there was, the message seemed to be that people who are depressed should stay depressed rather than take drugs to help with their moods. If that was the message, I don’t know if I want to keep watching this show. The more I watch the twenty-seventh season of The Simpsons, the more I worry that they are still stuck in the past. Sure they try to keep some of the pop culture references fresh but a lot of them do seem outdated and their political views do not seem to have grown with society at all. I don’t know, maybe they need to get some younger writers but then again I’m biased when it comes to that topic.
Jokes were not gushing in this week but when they did manage to drip out of the tap, they were quite good. With Professor Frink hanging around the possibility for science jokes grows exponentially and the results did not disappoint. Even the jokes away from Frink were pretty solid and the quote of the week has to go to Cleetus the Slack-Jawed Yokel; “Oh Brandine, of all my cousins I coulda married, you was my sister.” Other gags of the couch variety were back along with Bart’s detention lines and they were even joined by what seems to be the new sky gag but unfortunately none of these really made much of an impression.
So as with most of the episodes this year, The Simpsons has returned with some undeveloped ideas and some not-so-bad jokes. This show is running like The Little Engine That Could’ve About Fifteen Years Ago But Now It’s Getting Old And The Steam Is Running Dry. It’s a shame since the last episode seemed like a returned to form but Love Is In The N2-O2-Ar-CO2-Ne-He-CH4 shot my expectations right back to average. Plus, Homer’s “sexy voice” will haunt my dreams for years to come. So it’s only fair for an average episode to recieve an average score of 2.5 out of 5 stars.