The Simpsons Season 24 Review “What Animated Women Want”

It’s a real feat for the late-era The Simpsons to feel even lazier than usual, but, alas, sometimes we still get episodes like “What Animated Women Want,” which rests largely on Lisa acting completely out of character, and a hacky Fifty Shades of Gray reference. It just all felt shapeless. Each side of the episode even got a guest star, neither of whom did much of anything.

Not that there weren’t hints of a better Simpsons in there from time to time; Milhouse getting visited in his thoughts by increasingly fatter Brandos was pretty great, even if the story surrounding it genuinely failed. The show does well when it remembers to treat its characters like actual people with personalities, and here it forgot who Lisa was. Because she’s definitely not a girl who would find being treated poorly attractive. Sure, it’s cartoon logic, and she’s back to where she started with Milhouse by the end of the episode, but that fact just threw the whole thing in the garbage for me.

Homer’s story is treading more familiar ground: no one could say that being a lousy husband to Marge was outside the realm of his character, and neither is sincerely trying his hardest to get back in her good graces once he falls out of them. It’s not the character beats that felt lackluster here, but rather, the actual jokes. Everything in the Fifty Shades portion was the worst kind of topical humor, where just pointing at a thing is subbed in for an actual joke about it.

The sushi restaurant portion of “What Animated Women Want” felt lazy too, mixing together Asian stereotypes and some vague notion of rude fancy restaurants into a less-than-hilarious mess, the only highlight being the alternate universe in which anime pieces of sushi go on an adventure in Santa’s Little Helper’s intestines, which I actually liked, one piece of something fun in the middle of an otherwise lackluster The Simpsons.