Wow, I can totally relate to Homer’s plight in last night’s episode. No, not the part about running away from the government for pirating media (although back in the day I did get a letter from Napster ordering me to cease illegally downloading Dr. Dre tunes on orders from the man himself. Gangster rapper complaining because I’m stealing… cute.) I am, in fact, referring to the bit that involved Homer trying to avoid seeing or hearing anything about the new Radioactive Man movie: Radioactive Man Re-Rises.
You see, my lady and I made a pact to avoid seeing any trailers – or hearing anything about – Anchorman 2, since the first was one of our all-time favorite movies. That way, if it turned out to be one of those “all the funny parts are in the trailer” films, we’d at least be seeing those scenes for the first time.
Surprisingly, we were successful. And trust me: it’s hard to avoid such a popular movie. Be it on TV, the internet, in trailers for other movies – wherever – you can only quickly cover your ears and hum loudly so many times. In the end it was totally worth it though.
Anyway, aside from the above reason, I really found a lot to like about this episode of The Simpsons. For starters, it relied on jokes that the series has always been excellent at executing – like topical humor, such as Homer’s exclamations at the movies: “If I wanted to pay for commercials I can’t skip, I’d get Hulu Plus!” and his comment about someone bringing a baby to a midnight screening.
Or satirical comments regarding other media, like the opening text of the Star Wars spoof Cosmic Wars claiming that Episodes I, II, and III don’t really count, and Sideshow Mel shouting, “My childhood was been un-ruined!”
This wasn’t the only text-based gag in the episode, as there were numerous other subtle background jokes, like the names of other films at the cinema (a classic source of past Simpsons laughs), the names of the Ask Body Spray (spoof of Axe) types, the Bond film entitled Yesterday Never Tomorrows, and the fact that Judd Apatow’s private plane is apparently called “Jet Apatow.”
In addition, the episode received help from a slew of guest stars, including Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Judd Apatow, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Channing Tatum, and Rob Halford – which is especially funny considering I was listening to Judas Priest just before watching this episode.
So although this installment didn’t provide non-stop laughs, it still got some big ones, and entertained throughout with it’s classic humor. Though it may not go down as a classic episode overall, I’ll take anything remotely classic-esque, considering it’s now 20-fucking-14.