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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2012
I wouldn't exactly say that The Simpsons have jumped the shark. It's not like they've gone off in strange new directions that have caused the show to lose its original appeal. They haven't. In fact, the show itself is pretty much as it ever was. Maybe that's the problem. I don't know. But what I can tell you for certain is that these days I do have trouble making it through the whole episode. I mean that literally. Increasingly, I find myself just erasing these things half-watched. Often I find that I'd actually rather watch an old "classic" repeat.

Perhaps, after twenty-two seasons, it really is the sheer lack of change that's the problem. After keeping the main characters in what has essentially been a holding pattern for almost all of that time, we seem finally to have reached the point where each new episode is now _all_ about the wacky premise. "What if Homer... " or "How about if Krusty... ". You get the idea. This kind of thing is fine so far as it goes. But when that's truly all there is to a show, something's missing.

I remember back when Bart swore that "as God is my witness, I can pass the fourth grade!" I can't help but think that it's way past time to finally allow him to make good on that pledge. I also find that I can't help but think of Troy McClure's famous rhetorical question: "Who knows what adventures they'll have between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable?" My great fear is that that's really the way The Simpsons are going to end. Which would be genuinely very sad. Or at least, I certainly think so.

Fundamentally, to whoever's calling the shots here, I'd say simply this: I'm bored. I've had enough. Please quit while you're still at least respectably close to being on top, or else have the guts to take some real risks with this show. Let the core characters - the Simpsons themselves - actually develop a bit. Bring in some CHANGE for heaven's sake!

For the first time in a long, long while, you might even try surprising us.

As God is my witness, you can get past the fourth grade.

Theo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2012
This is one of my favorite Simpsons episodes. Why? It's a great story that's also a mystery with setups and payoffs. Just good, solid writing.

On the comedy side it contains a Nancy Drew bit that still makes me laugh out loud. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about. Just an absolute slapstick funny moment. There's also a funny gag with Chief Wiggum.

Plus this line from Lisa:

"I've discovered a mystery, wrapped in a riddle in the basement of a lousy school."

"500 Keys"

An excellent episode.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2012
I have to admit that I don't watch the Simpsons regularly but this one was recommended by others; in it, Millhouse plays a Theremin - so do I, and was excited to see an accurately depicted Moog Theremin in a cartoon. Admittedly the noise evident was not in sync with the movements but the sentiment was great.. Theremins will be better known for it.
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on June 25, 2014
I was a big fan of the Simpsons earlier seasons (up to season 12), but I stopped watching their new stuff. I recently checked out season 22, and it wasn't too bad. The episodes are definitely hit or miss, but when they hit they really shine. There were a couple very poignant moments that brought a tear to my eye.

When the episodes miss (which is often), it's often because they're switching between boring non sequiturs and just day to day stuff. In many scenes, it feels like we're just watching a Simpsons reality show where nothing really happens and we see the foreshadowing of events that never end up happening. It's as if the writers don't feel the need to be funny, and that it'll just be funny because we're watching the Simpsons do it. They've forgotten the reason that the Simpsons was funny in the first place was that you could relate to them on some level. Watching these later seasons is like listening to the new album by a jaded old rock band trying to recapture the magic of their hits.

They need to get some new writers in on this show and stop worrying trying to imitate Family Guy.

Don't hope for much from this season, and you might get a couple delightful surprises. Just don't expect anything wonderful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2012
Some funny episodes of the seasons. I wish they would put up all the treehouse episodes in one package. But thats just me.
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on November 11, 2011
My wife and I saw Moneyball but felt our 6 year old son was not quite old enough to sit through something like that. He loves baseball and was disappointed so I downloaded Moneybart.

It's great! It captures the essence of Moneyball in a format that's accessible to anyone over the age of 4 who knows something about baseball. The basic plot is that Bart's sister decides she needs to start resume building early in order to attend an Ivy League school, and she decides that managing Bart's baseball team with Moneyball principals is a great way to do it . . .

Note however that the beginning two minutes is a side cartoon depicting horrible factory conditions in China where Simpson toys are made. Made for some interesting discussion with my son.

Nobody in our family regularly watches Simpsons so I can't compare with other Simpson episodes.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 20, 2011
The difference between even standard-def DVD quality and download/stream is obvious. Jagged edges, less color definition, and while it might look "good enough" on a portable smartphone, the price should be 1/3rd what's being asked. Not the same price for lesser quality.
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on July 22, 2011
One of the things the Simpsons does really well is refer back to itself, or write new stories that fit in with the old ones. The problem with this episode is that is completely fails to do so. It refers back to past that completely fails to fit in with the rest of the Simpsons story. It was still funny in some respects, but not one of the greats, and definitely not one of my favorite episodes. It just felt too forced instead of effortlessly fun.
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on July 22, 2011
I don't know why, but I like the idea of a grey-haired Marge. I think it might be a reaction to the fact that the Simpsons never get older. Well, outside of the occasional episode or two. Otherwise, it's a decent episode, particularly in comparison with the last few seasons.
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on July 22, 2011
Decent, considering it's a newer season episode. I do appreciate that the Simpsons have been getting back to being the Simpsons (i.e. having stories) and away from Family Guy-style randomness.
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