Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Simpsons: "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife, and Her Homer" Review

With The Simpsons embarking on their 18th season, many critics have said Our Favorite Yellow Family should be put out to pasture. I say The Simpsons are the most consistent show year in, year out. So what goodies did the season premiere brings us this week?

Well, with a series of events that can only unfold in Springfield, Lisa befriends Michael, Fat Tony's son. Fat Tony is, of course, the local Mob Boss, er, Waste Management guy. Tony is voiced by reoccuring Simpsons fave Joe Mantegna. Also joining Joe are two Sopranos, Joe Pantoliano and Michael Imperioli, who play Fat Tony's rivals. For no good reason other than to mock Otto, the school's bus driver, Metallica shows up. Strangely, although Lars Ulrich is credited as lending his voice, I don't remember the Metallica drummer with any actual dialogue.

With a plot that is mobcentric, you would think the Godfather movies would get played up. There are some great homages (the son's name is Michael, the last scene between Lisa and Michael directly mirrors Diane Keaton's and Al Pacino's when Pacino tells her not to ask about the family business), but The Simpsons does not beat you over the head with it.

In addition, if you only paid attention to the promos and the episode title, you would have thought this episode would be one of those "Homer becomes a blank" shows. Far from, Homer only shows up for the second act, and is effectively moved to the background by the third.

There were some great gags in this episode, from the afore mentioned Michael/Lisa scene, to Bart and Homer's more deadly weapon upgrades after the take over the Mob, briefly, after Fat Tony is injured. Being asked to leave the Mob, Homer pleads to be able to keep expressing himself through his hands, and when that is denied, through his ears. Again, great sight gags.

The Simpsons put a great foot forward with their 18th season premiere.

I give it 4 donuts out of 5.


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