‘The Simpsons’ Season 27 Finale Review: “Orange is the New Yellow”

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On the twenty-seventh season finale of “The Simpsons,” Marge had a run-in with the law that landed her in jail- and she found she didn’t mind the time away from the family- in the aptly-titled “Orange is the New Yellow.”

The drama ensued after Bart was caught unsupervised at a local playground, which is a big no-no these days, apparently. Spoken like someone without kids, I know, but admittedly when I was a kid I used to walk places alone all the time and no one really cared, so you could say that my parents were perhaps under-protective, but you could also say that parents these days are perhaps a tad overprotective as well. Or maybe I just was lucky not to get messed with, I suppose.

Either way, a concerned parent called the cops on Marge for being a negligent mother and it was off to the hoosegow for Marge, much to her shock. Even crazier, it turned out that jail fit Marge like a glove, as she not only laid a smackdown on someone who tried to snag her copy of the latest James Patterson, but essentially became the ringleader of her own gang!

She also found that she enjoyed the comparatively more relaxing atmosphere and lowered expectations of her there as opposed to that of her role at home, which was decidedly more demanding. So, even after Homer offered her a way out, she opted to stay, even going so far as to grab a guard’s gun and fire it so she’d get more jail time!

Meanwhile, Homer himself crumbled under the pressure of trying to do what Marge did in her absence, failing miserably at the single parenting thing. To help ease his pain, his neighbors and co-workers brought over some food and the like, hilariously dubbing themselves N.W.A.- that would be “Neighbors with Appetizers.”

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Trouble struck when the kids found themselves having plenty of unsupervised fun at the aforementioned playground, only to be faced with a genuine threat- a tornado. While this was going on, the prisoners at the jail staged a jailbreak, albeit one inadvertently started by Marge when they misinterpreted her simply saying the words “prison break.”

Homer arrives, dressed as a prison guard and helped Marge escape and all was well that ends well- though I’m not sure how escaping prison would have gone over better than waiting out her sentence- or that it would go unnoticed in such a small town, so I’m not sure that would do anything but add onto her sentence. (Yes, I’m aware it’s a cartoon and doesn’t have to make logical sense, but still.)

That was about it. I did enjoy a few things about this episode, notably some of the dialogue- see my fave quotes below- but also a few of the sight gags throughout, as per usual, including: Lisa rocking a theremin in the opening credits; the title of her presentation (“The Seahorse Chronicles: A Multimedia Lamentation”) and the janky costume she wore; and Homer imagining Marge with Flanders’ face (nightmare fuel, to be sure).

There was also Ralph & a bobcat locked in mortal combat inside a twister; Marge’s hair proving to be bullet-proof during the prison break; and the wacky Homer-as-drunken-housewife bit, as he poured gin into the kids’ lunch-bags, gave Maggie a gin baby bottle to drink and passed out cold while Marge went to have an affair with Flanders! (Cue the fan-fiction in 3,2,1…)

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Fave quotes:

Bart’s chalkboard message: “Milhouse does not live below the puberty line.”

The Judge, after Bart declared his father stinky and overweight: “It is not within the purview of this court to determine how fat and smelly your father may or may not be.”

Mr Milhouse: “I could have married a woman that didn’t look just like me, but that would have been crazy!”

Marge, after pummeling a fellow prisoner: “Anyone else want a taste of Blue Thunder?”

Bart, on the phone to Marge in prison: “Can you send me a shiv for ‘Show and Tell’? Preferably with blood stains still on it?”

Line of the evening: Lisa, after Marge gets 90 days in prison: “This is Kafkaesque!”
The Judge: “I’ve got my eye on you.”
Lisa: “This is Orwellian!”

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Summation of the Season

Overall, this was a bit of a soft season on the whole. It wasn’t bad exactly, but “The Simpsons” is clearly coasting on it’s laurels at this point. I don’t know if it’s a dire as things over on “Family Guy,” despite that being the “younger show” but it’s definitely a long way away from the classic era “Simpsons” of yore.”

On the other hand, as “South Park” famously noted, if there’s a plot to be done, you can bet “The Simpsons did it.” By virtue of that, it makes it tough to come up with winning and funny new episodes, so you have to give the show a little leeway, especially considering it’s been on the air for a whopping 27 seasons!

As such, it almost has no right to be as funny as it still is, even if it isn’t as funny as it once was. Honestly, if it were up to me, “The Simpsons” could run as long as it damn well wants to: it’s a national treasure at this point. At the same time, you don’t want it to become a hollow shell of what it used to be, either.

Thankfully, we’re not there yet, but I do feel the show’s days of being relevant are somewhat numbered. Who can say when is the right time to pull the plug? Hard to say, but the show can still get off enough good ones to ensure a few great laughs per episode, even in the so-so ones.

It can occasionally pull off a great one, too- witness “Barthood” (the show’s take on the movie “Boyhood”), “Much Apu About Something” (where Sanjay’s son turned the Kwik-E-Mart into a “Whole Foods”-like store, leading to some pointed Millennial-type commentary), “Lisa the Veterinarian,” “The Burns Cage” (in which Smithers finally came out of the closet), and “To Courier, With Love” (in which the family went to Paris).

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We also got not one, but two Halloween episodes, including the first-ever non “Treehouse” one, which was a nice treat to go along with Bart’s usual tricks. The “Treehouse” ones have always been my faves as a long-time horror fan, and this was no exception, as we saw Sideshow Bob finally get his revenge on Bart, and the appearance of “Homerzilla.”

So, yeah, the show’s not completely running on fumes just yet. Even the worst episode of “The Simpsons” is easily better than the best episode of the likes of “Bob’s Burgers” and it remains infinitely superior to “Family Guy,” which can still be moderately funny as well, but lacks the socio-political commentary and intelligence of “The Simpsons,” typically going for the easy- and often sleazy- joke over the smart one.

All in all, the show is still worthwhile, it’s just a bit long in the tooth. It happens, when a show has been on this long. I mean, if you think about it, it’s amazing that it’s still watchable at all, but I must say whenever I watch it, I am typically entertained more than I am disappointed. Perhaps to expect a complete return to form is unreasonable, but delivering a steadfast and fairly reliable show time and again is something, at least. I can live with that.

The Simpsons Mathlete Feat Season 26 Finale 2015

What did you think of the latest season of “The Simpsons”? What was your favorite episode? How about your least favorite? Did you have a favorite moment and/or line? Is there anything you’d like to see in the future? How about a guest star you’d like to see- or hear, as it were? Do you think the show should wrap it up or keep going indefinitely? Sound off down below and see you next season!