Kredit Kookies: FLYBY: Maggie atop a paper airplane. Couch Gag: The Simpsons sit on their couch before a banner reading ‘America: Most powerful country in the world’.A succession of years, from 1989 to 2012, clock by – measured by the appearance of various guest stars and in the tattering of the banner.In 2010, Homer and Bart take it down, turn it over and scrawl ‘too big to fail.We hope’ on the back of it and pin it back up.We end with Maggie holding a Russian flag in 2012.
To avoid paying hefty insurance fees, Mister Burns fires his entire workforce and replaces them with robots – everyone except for Homer, who quickly misses his co-workers.While the rest of Springfield deals with the dregs of unemployment, Homer tries to force his co-workers to develop emotions.
The best way to describe “” is to call it ‘cute’; cute, fairly inoffensive, and utterly average in every single respect.It wastes time on Homer’s desperate quest to avoid drinking alcohol for a drug test – a subplot that goes nowhere when the main focus of the plot is Burns being at fault for the negligence.The best thing about it is Brent Spiner’s voiceover work, which was a cute riff on his role as Data in the Star Trek franchise.Homer gets a few nice gags; my favorite involved him parking directly next to Burns’ roadster in an otherwise empty lot while complaining about his boss’ boxing him in.
Another positive: the fact that the show’s finally focusing on a different side to Mr. Burns’ personality after seasons of jokes about his age and senility.It’s nice to see the cruel, autocratic side of Monty come back to life.
Also amusing were the quick vignettes of Burns’ struggling ex-employees.Barney deciding to become a stripper just because it’s what happens in other movies about economic collapses proved particularly amusing.
But the key word in all of these vignettes is ‘nice’ – the show should be trying for transcendent.You’ll chuckle, you’ll smile a few times – and if you’re a TNG fan you’ll laugh aloud at Mister Spiner’s work – but it’s not a knee-slapper.Perhaps ‘amusing’ is enough for some, but the show needs just a little bit more to transcend average and become great.
Letter Grade: B+