GameOn’s Steve Johnson has been a fan of Simpsons for the entirety of its run. He started watching Simpsons when he was younger than Bart and is still watching Simpsons when he is almost as old as Homer. Steve has seen every episode of the Simpsons on multiple occasions and was pleased to have the opportunity of reviewing the episodes of Season 25.
Last year, GameOn Host Jeff Johnson called out the Simpsons’ creators, saying the show had lasted much longer than it should have and should call it quits. But Steve found some merit in Season 25 and is looking forward to a 26th season.
To celebrate the start of Season 26 today, Steve has taken the time to give his thoughts on every episode of Season 25, along with a score for each one.
#1 Homerland: An FBI agent helps Lisa solve the mystery of why Homer’s personality has changed after attending a nuclear plant convention. M’eh. Weird and barely a few chuckles. 2.5/ 5
#2 Treehouse of Horror XXIV: The twenty-fourth annual Simpsons Halloween episode features an opening directed by Guillermo del Toro and the following segments:
“Oh, the Places You’ll D’oh!”: In this twisted parody of Dr. Seuss’s children’s books, Homer abducts Bart, Lisa, and Maggie and rides around Springfield wreaking havoc as “The Fat in the Hat”.
“Dead and Shoulders”: In this parody of The Thing with Two Heads, after Bart is decapitated during a kite accident, his head is attached to Lisa’s body and the two must live together as one — until Bart discovers that he can fully function whenever Lisa is asleep, and sets out to incapacitate her so he can have her body.
“Freaks, No Geeks”: In this parody to the 1932 horror film, Freaks, Homer and Marge are circus performers (a strong man and a trapeze artist respectively) with Burnsum and Bailey, and Homer has a plan to marry Marge off to a circus freak (Moe) so he can rob him of an emerald ring. Very good. Hilarious, clever, creative. But why Cat in the Hat? 5/5
#3 Four Regrettings and a Funeral: At the funeral of a beloved Springfielder, four residents remember events in their lives they would like to do over.
Homer regrets selling a tech stock in order to buy a bowling ball.
Marge blames her taste in music for Bart’s rebelliousness.
Mr. Burns remembers his relationship with a Parisian.
Kent Brockman regrets not taking a job as a cable news anchor. A real groaner. Barely funny at all. But the acknowledgement of Marcia Wallace’s death was subtle and touching. 2.5/5
#4 YOLO: Marge invites an old pen pal to stay with Homer and cross items off his “to-do” list from when he was 10 years old, so that Homer can embrace his “You-Only-Live-Once” spirit. Meanwhile, Lisa starts an honor code for the school to combat cheating. Getting better. Was very funny in some spots and had a good B story. 3/5
#5 Labor Pains: After a night of playing poker with Moe, Lenny, and Carl, Homer finds himself in an elevator with a young mother named Gretchen, who is in labor and needs someone to help her keep calm. Meanwhile, Lisa helps the local football cheerleading team unionize and negotiate for better wages and working conditions. Good not great. But had some moments. 3/5
#6 The Kid is all Right: Lisa makes friends with a new girl in school, who turns out to be a conservative Republican (a George W. Bush one rather than an Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan one) with connections to Springfield’s Republican party. A Lisa-centric episode. Ok, but not too much Homer. 3.5/5
#7 Yellow Subterfuge: When Principal Skinner promises that the most well-behaved at Springfield Elementary will get to ride in a submarine, Bart does everything possible to become a model student. Meanwhile, Krusty, on Lisa’s advice, sells the foreign rights to his show in order to rake in more money, but the international Krustys soon become more popular than the domestic ones. Not bad because of the B story, but Skinner episodes aren’t special. 3.5/5
#8 White Christmas Blues: Springfield becomes a tourist hotspot after an accident involving the nuclear plant and the Springfield tire fire causes snow to fall for the first time in a long time — and when Springfield’s stores raise their prices, Marge turns their house into a bed and breakfast for the out-of-towners. Christmas Show. A good one too. Not as funny as some but adequate. 4.5/5
#9 Steal this Episode: To combat the poor quality of today’s movie theaters, Homer and Bart team up to illegally download movies and exhibit them in a makeshift theater in the backyard, but Homer ends up arrested when Marge sends the FBI a check and an apology note. Tries to be preachy but fails. Some funny moments, but ultimately m’eh. 2.5/5
#10 Married to the Blob: The Comic Book Guy falls for a Japanese manga artist, but Homer’s advice and the woman’s father may ruin his chances at true love. Comic Book Guy episode. Creative, visually interesting. And pretty good all-in-all. 4/5
#11 Specs and the City: Mr. Burns gives his workers Google Glass-style computer glasses so he can spy on them, but Homer gives the glasses to Marge, and discovers that Marge has been going to therapy to discuss her life. Meanwhile, Nelson bullies Bart into giving him the best Valentine’s Day gift ever. Very blah episode. Couple good sight gags, but very little else. 2.5/5
#12 Diggs: Bart makes friends with a transfer student named Diggs, an expert in falconry who saves Bart from the wrath of the Springfield Elementary bullies – and who intends to take to the sky himself, which makes Bart worry about Diggs’ sanity. Very boring. Not very funny. Watch only if you’re a fan of Daniel Radcliffe. 2.5/5
#13 The Man Who Grew Too Much: Lisa discovers that Sideshow Bob has become the chief scientist of a massive chemical engineering company, but the two of them bond over their appreciation for high-culture. Meanwhile, Marge ends up a church volunteer to help horny teenagers become abstinent. Probably the worst Sideshow Bob episode yet. He crosses the line from villain to cartoonish super-villain. Watch only the last 2 minutes where they show that Edna has died in the show. 3/5
#14 Winter of his Content: When the Retirement Castle is closed for health violations, Marge invites Grampa and two other old people to live at the Simpsons’ house, only to get frustrated with Homer embracing the “old person lifestyle”. Meanwhile, Bart defends Nelson’s decision to wear his mother’s underwear, and ends up part of a bully gathering a la The Warriors. Highly disappointing. 2/5
#15 The War of Art: After Lisa’s new pet guinea pig destroys the Simpsons’ living room art, Marge finds a beautiful painting at the Van Houten’s yard sale, which Homer snaps up for 20 bucks. M’eh, alright but nothing of real note. Would like to try Strupo though. 2.5/5
#16 You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee: Homer is recruited as a World Cup referee after Lisa extols his integrity on the youth soccer field in a Springfield Elementary speech contest. But when the Simpsons travel to Brazil (again), Homer finds his honesty tested by one of South America’s slickest gangsters in the soccer match-bribing business. Couple nice call backs to previous episodes. Plot is basically cobbled together from 2 old eps. But still has funny moments. 3/5
#17 Luca$: Marge thinks that Lisa is dating below her standards when she brings home a competitive eater-in-training named Lucas Bortner, so she enlists Homer to help Lisa explore other options. Meanwhile, Bart receives gifts from Snake Jailbird for helping him get out of a jam, but when a betrayal from Milhouse sends Snake back to prison, Bart hatches a plan to get him out. Not bad. 3/5
#18 Days of Future Future: A sequel to “Future-Drama” and a continuation of “Holidays of Future Passed,” set 30 years from now. In this futuristic installment, Bart goes to a clinic to rid himself of his feelings for his ex-wife Jenda (who is now dating a crab-like alien named Jerry), Lisa must choose whether or not to cure her zombie husband Milhouse after he gets bitten by a homeless zombie, and Marge (after putting up with years of Homer dying and being cloned back to life by Professor Frink) loads Homer onto a flatscreen monitor and throws him out of the house. An alright future episode. Not as good as “Holidays of Future Passed” but still pretty good. 3.5/5
#19 What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting: Bart makes a voodoo doll of his hippie art teacher when he gets sick of art class and cast a spell to make her sick, but when he inadvertently gets her pregnant, he becomes a savior to Springfield couples trying to conceive – and is subsequently kidnapped to help conceive a thoroughbred race horse. I wish I could say this was the strangest plot this series ever had. 3/5
#20 Brick Like Me: Homer wakes up to a world made out of LEGO bricks and grows to like this new world, where everything fits in and no one gets hurt — until he begins seeing flashes of a previous life and, with help from The Comic Book Guy, discovers how he ended up in the LEGO world. It may technically mirror The Lego Movie at times, but it was visually impressive and a pretty touching plot. 4/5
#21 Pay Pal: Marge swears off befriending any more couples when Homer offends their charming new British neighbors. But when Lisa declares that she, too, does not need friends, Marge realizes that she’s setting a bad example for her daughter. Drama heavy episode. Not much laughs. Not bad, but not especially funny. 3/5
#22 Yellow Badge of Cowardge: Bart feels guilty after he wins the annual “last day of school” race around Springfield Elementary School, with help from Nelson, who beats up the frontrunner, Milhouse. Meanwhile, Homer tries to bring back 4th of July fireworks after they are canceled due to budget cuts. Eh alright I suppose. 3/5