Step aside Hamilton, Jebediah Springfield is here!
Marge finds herself in charge of directing the upcoming community theatre play. She wants to create a show that will be simple for the small budget to perform. Lisa helps out by creating a ‘Hamilton’ themed play about Jebediah Springfield. She even manages to get the original show televised. But, when her star leaves at the last minute, her only chance to come on top is in the hands of an unlikely performer, Professor Frink.
Homer, being in charge of Maggie attends a ‘daddy and me’ class which is extremely popular because of the sexually attractive host, Chloe. The family gets suspicious of why Homer has taken to spending time with the baby. As Chloe leaves her job the rest of the dads stop attending the class, but Homer finds he enjoys the bond he’s made with Maggie.
Get yourself ready for a cram packed episode of humour, guest stars, and music. This episode has a bit of everything for the fans. Written by old school Simpsons scribe Jeff Martin who crafted one of my personal favourite all-time episodes “Three Men and a Comic Book”. The classic Simpsons writer typically cooperates with his wife in his writing, but this time around the co-credit is given to his daughter, Jenna Martin. The team comes up with a memorable episode that features a spin on the Broadway sensation ‘Hamilton’. Something we should have expected to come out of this series for the last couple of years.
This episode also features a slew of guest stars, the most exciting being that of Jon Lovitz. Easily one of my favourite comedians and one of the most celebrated guests The Simpsons have ever had. In fact, this would be the 18th episode that Jon Lovitz has appeared in. Surprisingly, with yet another run at voicing the struggling director, Llewellyn Sinclair, may just outnumber the amount of times that he has returned to voice Artie Ziff – but, don’t hold me to that, I’m not keeping a scoreboard or anything. Funny enough though, writer Jeff Martin was the original creator of Sinclair. Almost twenty-six years after the release of “A Streetcar Named Marge” this writer and voice star have returned to collaborate on this similar project. That’s pretty neat and impressive, I thought it was worth a mention, okay? Either way, Jon Lovitz is brilliant, and I would take him in any episode of The Simpsons ever.
The real star of this episode is the reworked Simpsons version of ‘Hamilton’ that features Jebediah Springfield. The hip hop rhymes about Springfield’s founder were full of clever lines and was actually pretty good. What really got me into this was the full-on grizzly bear that starts to break down and do the robot in the background. Seriously, not something we see on The Simpsons very often, a bear doing the robot. Even more pleasing was finding out who was in that bear costume, the legendary comedian John Lithgow. Voicing himself, Lithgow takes this performance to another level. The only cameo that could have been better here would be Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of ‘Hamilton’. Though I don’t put it past Simpsons producers to try and get him in, and some outside circumstance kept it from happening.
It’s easy to forget that there was a secondary plot in this episode at all. Unlike a typical Simpsons show, the second story had minimal screen time and hardly had any connection to the main plot. Kind of like a Family Guy episode. There was a lot of promise in the idea of Homer attending a Daddy and Me class to check out the attractive daycare worker. A story that many dads could resonate with. And, let’s be honest, boys who grew up watching the show and are dads now are probably a significant portion of the series current viewers. However, this side-plot wraps up abruptly and without any follow through. It’s hard to call it a plot at all considering it doesn’t hit any marks of a story and is more like a side joke to the overall show. Though, I am grateful the screen time was not taken out of the much better main story.
“I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say D’oh” was a success that hit all of the right notes of a great episode. It was like a peek back in time to the glory days of this never-ending television series. The connections to an episode 20-something-years old is terrific, but this is what we should be expecting in this monumental 30th season. There was something about the whole intention behind this episode that felt like there was a significant effort put in to make it a great one. Not that the creators don’t work hard all season long, but more like this one was a favourite that everyone brought their A-game for. As much as all of the pieces and energy was put into this big episode, there was still something that fell flat. Try and try as they might to bring back the joy that the glory days of The Simpsons gave us, we are no longer in those glory days. For them to bring back the fans the way that they want they are going to have to deliver episodes like this consistently with some even bigger and better ones sprinkled I through a season. So, this may be one of the best of the year so far, but it’s an average episode in the grand scheme of everything The Simpsons has given us.