REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS – SEASON 29

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CAST

Dan Castellaneta (Super 8)
Julie Kavner (Dr. Dolittle)
Yeardley Smith (Dead Like Me)
Nancy Cartwright (Kim Possible)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Pamela Hayden (Recess)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Russi Taylor (Babe)

The Simpsons (1989)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Billy Boyd (Seed of Chucky)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Martin Short (Galaxy Quest)
Valerie Harper (A Friend To Die For)
Joe Mantegna (Redbelt)
Ben Daniels (Doom)
Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Jon Lovitz (The Wedding Singer)
Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)
Shaquille O’Neal (Steel)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Bill Hadar (Power Rangers)
Cecily Strong (The Boss)
Kevin Pollak (Mom)
Andy Daly (Reno 911!)
J.K Simmons (Spider-Man)
Dawnn Lewis (Izombie)
Jackie Mason (Caddyshack II)
Danielle Radcliffe (Imperium)
Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley)
Ray Liotta (Hannibal)
Debi Mazar (Goodfellas)
Jonathan Schmock (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
Glenn Close (Damages)
Marcia Wallace (Full House)
Sidse Babett Knudsen (Westworld)

The Simpsons (1989)What more can I possibly say about a TV show that has already been praised to death? I was 8 when the Simpsons first aired and I’m 37 now. I’ve seen every single episode, and I’d have to say it’s a rare combination of factors that come together to make The Simpsons the best show ever.The Simpsons (1989)It’s a very clever and intelligent show – they never dumb anything down – and as creator Matt Groening has remarked, “The Simpsons is a show that rewards paying attention.” There are always enough obscure pop-culture references or subtle background gags to ensure that the second, third, or tenth viewing of an episode will find you noticing something you hadn’t before.
The Simpsons (1989)In the early days of The Simpsons, they derived a large part of their popularity from the everyday, down-to-earth, unglamorous, average-blue-collar-slob aspect of the Simpson family. Homer is lazy and doesn’t like his job, Bart doesn’t excel at school, the plastic ketchup bottle they use at the dinner table makes that farting sound, and so on. This aspect of the program contrasts it with popular 80’s family sitcoms such as The Cosby Show which always featured impossibly well-functioning families who got along a little too perfectly and usually learned a neat little lesson at the end of each episode. An early tag-line for The Simpsons said that they “put the Fun back in Dysfunctional.”The Simpsons (1989)Perhaps this blue-collar-slobness by itself is nothing shockingly original – think of previous TV shows such as Roseanne, Married with Children, All in the Family, The Honeymooners – but the Simpsons doesn’t stop there. This show is extremely densely packed with jokes – everything from cerebral witticisms and sly satire to Homer falling down and going “D’oh!” Because it’s a cartoon, the writers can get away with surreal gags such as the time Homer tells a joke which falls flat, after which a long silence happens which is punctuated by a single tumbleweed rolling through the Simpson’s living room.
Julie Kavner in The Simpsons (1989)There are just too many things to mention about The Simpsons. It can be touching occasionally; more often the viewers are treated to an unequalled cavalcade of obscure references, surreal sight gags, wacky adventures, self-mocking irony… The list goes on and on. Just watch it, else you’re missing out on one of the most important elements of  popular culture. Season 29 continues the trend of excellent humor and some very fun moments for our favorite family and shows The Simpsons has strong legs to continue on with 30th season airing in the winter of  2018.

 

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CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

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CAST
Dan Castellaneta (Fantastic Four)
Julia Kavner (Dr. Dolittle)
Nancy Cartwright (All Grown Up!)
Yeardley Smith (As Good As It gets)
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Marge is in the kitchen and tries to wish the British people a Merry Christmas. However, Bart comes and tells the viewers that they are really in a TV studio, and the kitchen is just a copy. Then Lisa comes, screaming “UK out of Cornwall!” Homer appears dressed as Santa Claus and wishes the viewers his own Christmas message. Finally, the whole family, including Santa’s Little Helper and Snowball II, come to the kitchen and drink a traditional British tea. However, when the camera is off, they all spit it out, including the pets. Bart says it tastes like hurl.
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Aired in 2004 on Channel 4 as an alternate to The Queens Speech, I personally would rather watch the Simpsons do a speech each ear than the Queens as this is far more entertaining. sadly they only did this in 2004 and never did another one, it’s viewable on YouTube if you wish to check it out.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS CHRISTMAS EPISODES – PART 5

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Dan Castellaneta (Fantastic Four)
Julie Kavner (Dr. Dolittle 2)
Nancy Cartwright (Rugrats)
Yeardley Smith (Jingle ALl The Way)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)

GONE BOY

GUEST STARS

Kelsey Grammer (Frasier)

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Sideshow Bob and Himself are collecting trash for community service with other men, but when they finishes the work, the Simpson family runs over it with a rental car. After finishing up the rental time and fuel, Homer goes with Bart to play, but Bart needs to pee and goes in the forest, falling down a manhole.  The family and cops start searching the forest, but the cops fail as usual. Bart finds himself in some kind of bunker, where he finds electronic equipment, which appears to be a military installment. People start looking for him, including Sideshow Bob, Shaquielle O’Neal and the other detenees.The-simpsons-season-29-episode-9-gone-boyBart tries to escape, but the ladder gives up, he finds a phone but instead of calling for help he calls Moe for a prank. Milhouse finds the entrance, but fails to help him. The news gives up hope saying he’s dead, but Milhouse fails to bring the good news, in favour of Lisa’s affection. Sideshow Bob is having issues accepting it, and Bart phones Marge confirming he’s alive. When Milhouse leaves the house, Bob appears, convincing him to bring him to Bart, with the family right behind. Bob shoves Milhouse down the manhole and then following immediatly. Homer and Grampa fail to find them once again, while Bob ties them up to a missile and tries to launch them and kill both, but he’s having regrets, and saves them, before retiring to a lighthouse, to still go crazy over killing Bart, even after saving him.JTYUJYTJTYJTYJTYAlthough not much of a Christmas episode this year, It is till fun and great to see Sideshow Bob back again. Good to add to the other Simpsons christmas episodes to marathon watch over the holidays.

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS CHRISTMAS EPISODES – PART 4

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CAST
Dan Castellaneta (Fantastic Four)
Julia Kavner (Dr. Dolittle)
Nancy Cartwright (All Grown Up!)
Yeardley Smith (As Good As It gets)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Pamela Hayden (Hey Arnold!)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)

GUEST CAST

Natasha Lyonne (Ameircan Pie)
Jackie Mason (Caddyshack II)

THE NIGHTMARE AFTER KRUSTMAS

4x17-a-very-crappy-christmas-south-park-21651796-500-375 At the First Church of Springfield, very few people are present at Reverend Lovejoy’s service at the fourth Sunday of Advent, and Helen calls him afterwards to meet a “fanclub”, comprised of Ned, Agnes, Sideshow Mel and The Parson, Lovejoy’s boss, that introduces him to the Patriarch, and they tell Lovejoy of summoning more people to the church, he assures them he’s going to bring people since Springfield people are a good Christian community.  Meanwhile, a pagan festival is held in town, with the Simpson family and the others attending, where Theo Jansen shows his feature attraction, the Strandbeest, wind-powered. However the Strandbeest goes wild due to the stronger winds and tramples Krusty that was skating with Sophie. At Springfield General Hospital, Krusty tries to bond with his daughter but finds out she’s Christian and she wants to celebrate Christmas. Seeing the discomfort, Marge invites the pair to spend Christmas with them.
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Back at home, Marge brings Maggie a Gnome in Your Home, a gnome that is supposed to watch over her all the time and tell Santa Claus what she’ve been doing, he doesn’t sleep and never shuts his eyes, and Homer tells her that if she isn’t good, he’ll nibble on her fingers. Krusty arrives at the home but brings in a tv troupe to record it, angering Sophie to the point of sending him away. Meanwhile, Reverend Lovejoy tries to convince Dewey Largo and Apu to convert but fails, so he goes to Moe’s Tavern and manages to convert Krusty, who does so after seeing a tased Snake that looked like Jesus through the windows. That night, the Gnome attacks Maggie, after Homer moves her crib closer to him. He talks to her, spits out finger tips and scaring her so much she finds herself at the North Pole, where she meets Santa Claus with Jack Frost, The Abominable Snowman and Wayne Gretzky, that tells her they’ll defeat the Gnome, but he has a gun and they all run off. Maggie enters a cave which turn into the Gnome’s head and eats her.
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It was all a nightmare, as Maggie gets woken up by Marge to find it was Christmas. Marge says the Gnome told her she has been good, to her surprise, and, to her horror, she says they’ll leave him in her room all year around. At the church, Lovejoy introduces the newly converted Krusty, and Sophie, seeing the change, is happy. Back at home, Maggie opens her present, and finds out its a Mrs. Gnome in Your Home. In their bedroom that night, Marge surprises Homer with a sexy santa costume, and as they get ready to get on the bed, they find that under the covers it’s full of parts from Mr. and Mrs. Gnome in Your Home, all cut, while Maggie finally goes to sleep happy. Next, Sideshow Mel introduces the Krusty the Clown Sober Contemplation Hour, where Krusty shows how much the conversion changed him, and his show, including Itchy and Scratchy to the surprise of the other kids.  Krusty gets ready for his baptismal, and while approaching Lovejoy, he cracks the ice and fells under. In the hallucination due to his suffocating brain underwater, he visits his dad in an ice castle, and talks with him about his conversion and his role of dad. He’s brought out of the water by Lovejoy, who is praised as a savior, and many people returns to church for his service. Everyone is happy, except Sideshow Mel whose girlfriend left him, and Maggie destroys more Gnomes. At the end, the Gods bicker over if Krusty, by going underwater, recieved the baptismal, while Krusty and Sophie are singing while being carried by the Strandbeest on the snow.

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The Simpsons come alive around Christmas, or “Krustmas” in this case, as this episode confirms that the show still has plenty relevant to say about the holiday.  The latest Christams episode is a heartwarming episode just what fans expect from the show this time of year.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS CHRISTMAS EPISODES – PART 3

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CAST
Dan Castellaneta (Fantastic Four)
Julia Kavner (Dr. Dolittle)
Nancy Cartwright (All Grown Up!)
Yeardley Smith (As Good As It gets)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Pamela Hayden (Hey Arnold!)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)

KILL GILL VOLUME I & II

The Simpson family is enjoying “Krusty’s Kristmas on Ice” (in an indoor ice rink), starring Elvis Stojko. The main act features a reindeer, a candy cane, and a snowman who are all fretting over a green monster named Grumple, who advances upon the other Christmas characters, threatening to steal their Holiday Cheer (Grumple references the “Grinch” from Dr. Seuss’ book), the characters mistakenly stumble backward over a wooden basketball court setup crew led by The Sarcastic Middle-Aged Clerk. All the Christmas characters are enraged that their show is being cut short and they begin brawling with the Utah Jazz as they try to warm up for a basketball game. Marge and the kids decide to get up and leave, and Homer is spotted down on the ice grappling with the Grumple and demanding back the Holiday Cheer. The Grumple repeatedly returns throughout the episode, wanting to kill Homer.
On Christmas Eve, the Simpsons go to Costington’s department store where a sad Lisa sits on Santa’s lap and explains the one true present she wants is the Malibu Stacy Pony Beach Party Set, which is sold out everywhere. Santa Claus, who is really Gil Gunderson (this episode reveals his last name), pities Lisa and goes back to the stockroom and finds an extra play set he had seen earlier. An overjoyed Lisa thanks Gil as a cashier rings up the sale. As Marge and the kids exit the store, an angry Mr. Costington comes out of his office and scolds at Gil for selling the Malibu Stacy play set that he had set aside for his daughter. Then When Gil refuses to take the present away from Lisa, Mr. Costington fires him. Marge and the kids witness the scene and feeling sorry for Gil, Marge invites him over for Christmas Eve dinner.
After dinner at home, Gil and the rest of the Simpson family gather around the piano and sing songs. Finishing, Gil gets up to leave; however, Marge insists he stay the night, citing how late and cold it is outside. Gil accepts Marge’s offer. On Christmas morning, Gil retrieves items from his bus locker, assuming he had a permanent spot in 742 Evergreen Terrace. Indeed, Gil’s weak demeanor and lack of job allows Marge to let him move in, and Homer is too distracted by the Grumple’s presence outside the home (where it rhymes about putting Homer’s blood in his stew) to pay much notice to Gil.
Gil begins to ruin their every holiday. However, Marge continually allows him to stay out of guilt, due to a childhood memory when Patty and Selma stuffed her in her own dollhouse when she refused to hide their cigarettes. Homer’s patience wears thin after Marge’s inability to say “no” causes Gil to walk in on Homer and Marge’s “snuggling” on Valentine’s Day, and bring his friends to sing and drink on St. Patrick’s Day. After eleven months, Marge finally agrees to say no to Gil and kick him out, only to learn from Bart and Lisa that Gil got a job in Scottsdale, Arizona, packed up his things and left that morning. Gil ends up becoming a very successful Realtor in Scottsdale. Despite the fact the Gil has already left for good, Marge wishes to go there and finally get the pleasure of saying “no” to him. After Marge’s display of anger towards him and Gil’s cowering display of weakness, the other salespeople are amused by Gil’s cowardice and Gil’s boss charges out of his office and fires Gil on the spot. Marge is horrified when she realizes that her pleasure of saying “no” just cost Gil another job.
Cut to a new home in a suburb of Scottsdale at Christmas time, the mailbox reads The Simpsons and a Jackpot Realty sold sign sits out front. Christmas carols can be heard playing inside the house. Inside on the piano, Gil leads the family in song. The episode ends with a family of Grumples arriving at the doorstep. Homer lets them in and Gil, the Simpsons and the Grumples continue happily singing their carols

ETERNAL MOONSHINE OF THE SIMPSON MIND

During winter Duffman’s blimp comes down because of the snow, a squirrel resembling Scrat from the film Ice Age is hit and throw away by groundskeeper Wille and he himself is attacked, Homer wakes up in a pile of snow and does not remember the events of the previous day, commenting that he must have drunk heavily the night before. Homer goes home and finds his family absent. Santa’s Little Helper attacks him. Homer travels to Moe’s, where Moe informs him that he was there the previous night and wanted to forget an unpleasant memory. Moe explains he gave Homer a “Forget-Me-Shot”, which wiped out the last 24 hours of his memory; the ingredients of which include Jägermeister, sloe gin, triple and quadruple sec, gunk from a dog’s eye, Absolut Pickle, the red stripe from Aquafresh toothpaste and the venom of the Louisiana loboto-moth then stirred with a home pregnancy test. Moe also gives a dose of his drink to Krusty who has just triggered a riot at an awards show when a routine went from a “Don Rickles about Arabs” to a “Mel Gibson about Mexicans!” (the Hispanic people of Springfield later decided to use Krusty’s prejudice against himself by beating him while he is packed into a piñata, despite Krusty protesting that this only reinforces stereotypes, one of the Hispanic guys clarifies that he is not Mexican, he is from Costa Rica). Chief Wiggum tells Homer that there was a domestic disturbance at his house last night, which was reported by Ned Flanders. Homer instantly receives a flashback to the night before showing Wiggum questioning Marge about a black eye she had received, to which Marge nervously replies that she walked into a door.
A still confused Homer goes home, where a picture of Marge causes a flashback of her pleading Homer to stop, and then rubbing her eye in pain. Horrified, Homer goes to Grampa Simpson for help. Grampa tells Homer about Professor Frink’s new machine that helps people sort through their memories. With the help of this technology, Homer sees himself walking in on Marge and Duffman in an allegedly compromising position. In the flashback, Marge tells Homer that she did not want him to find out about it, and Homer assumes that Marge was cheating on him and that Homer beat his wife as payback. Homer now considers his life to be worthless and decides to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. He begins to reconsider, but is pushed off by his “guardian angels,” Patty and Selma. While falling, Homer’s life flashes before his eyes in the form of the YouTube video, “Noah Takes a Photo of Himself Every Day for 6 Years.” He then sees the full memory of the preceding night: Marge was planning a surprise party for Homer finishing his community service, and did not want Homer to find out about it. Duffman, who was hired by Marge to entertain at the party, brings out a bottle of Duff Champagne. Overjoyed, Homer tries to open the bottle, while Marge pleads with Homer to stop, as she wants to save it for the party. The cork flies off and hits Marge in the eye. The flashback ends and, instead of falling to his death, Homer lands on a moonbounce, which is at the surprise party on board a ship.
When Homer asks Marge why she lied to Chief Wiggum, she claims that she did not want him at the party, because he would bring Sarah Wiggum, whom Marge does not like. Lenny and Carl appear and cause a flashback which shows Homer telling his bar buddies that he felt very guilty for finding out about the party that Marge worked so hard on. When Moe offers the Forget-Me-Shot (which Moe spat in), Homer predicts exactly what is going to happen, and tells Lenny to make sure there is a moon bounce at the party. Finally, it is revealed that the dog attacked Homer because he does not take care of him.

THE FIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Guest Stars
Katy Perry (The Smurfs)
Martha Stewart (2 Broke Girls)
 The structure of the episode is similar to the structure of the Treehouse of Horror episodes, only that it is divided in four stories instead of three.

Bart’s Story

Bart stays up late on Christmas Eve to kill Santa Claus for not bringing him a dirt bike three Christmases ago. He eventually falls asleep and dreams that the Polar Express, driven by Otto Mann, lands in front of the house and flies him to the North Pole. Bart meets Santa (Krusty the Clown) only to find out that he has run out of money, since giving out presents in return for cookies every year is not a sustainable business model. Feeling pity, Bart decides that Santa no longer has to give him a dirt bike and leaves. As soon as Bart has left, Santa’s office suddenly reverts to a much more luxurious appearance, and Santa, revealing that his operation is far more lucrative than he made it seem, chuckles to himself that kids are easy to fool.

Lisa’s Story

 Lisa dreams that it is December 1944 and that Marge is a soldier in World War II. Due to Marge being taken suddenly for overseas deployment while buying a Christmas tree the previous year, Lisa has sworn to never see another Christmas tree until Marge returns home safely. However, during Christmas of 1944, the family gets a telegram saying that Marge is missing in action. After hearing the news, Lisa runs away to the place where she had last seen her mother, the Christmas Tree Farm. The owner of the place says that Marge paid for a tree the previous year but never picked it up. Lisa, believing the tree to be a symbol that Marge is alright, takes it home and decorates it together with Homer and Bart. Marge is then seen assassinating Adolf Hitler with an MP40 in a movie theater in France as he watches a propaganda film. When she walks away from the scene, the theater explodes behind her.

Marge’s Story

Marge dreams that she has sent a letter to Martha Stewart asking for her to help save the family’s Christmas. Martha promptly arrives and fills the house with the Christmas decorations Marge has always dreamed of, but the other family members end up as part of the decorations instead of being able to enjoy the holiday with her. Marge quickly realizes that it is Homer and the children that make Christmas special for her, so Martha gets rid of all the decorations with a magic wand. Marge then wakes up on Christmas Day to find that her family has brought her the ingredients for breakfast in bed. Their attempts to cook it go awry, so they go out for breakfast instead.

Maggie’s Story

Maggie dreams that the entire family has become puppets in a theater. As the Simpsons prepare for a trip to Hawaii and ask Moe to house-sit for them, Homer’s boss Mr. Burns pays a surprise visit. He soon learns that Homer has feigned a neck injury to get time off work for the trip and calls his attack hounds on him. However, only one arrives (represented by a crude sock puppet), since the show has spent its budget on Katy Perry, who appears as herself and Moe’s girlfriend. Noticing that Burns is disappointed by the lack of his attack hounds, Katy gives him a kiss. Touched by this, Burns decides to forgive the Simpsons and allows them to enjoy their trip in Hawaii, and then everyone sings a parody of “Twelve Days of Christmas” which plays during the credits. At the end of the credits, Moe attempts to kiss Katy but is not tall enough to reach her mouth, so he instead opts to kiss her bellybutton through her dress. Katy retorts that he is not kissing her bellybutton, meaning that he is actually kissing her vulva, but also says she does not want Moe to stop.

 HOLIDAYS OF FUTURE PASSED

After stuffing themselves with turkey on Thanksgiving, it is time to take the annual Christmas card family photo, and when Bart and Lisa complain about it, Marge notes that they will grow to appreciate the photos when they become older and have children of their own. Lisa questions why Marge would assume they will even have children in the first place, and the episode jumps thirty years into the future via a series of Simpsons Christmas cards. The photos finally settle on a future where Bart is a jobless, divorced dad with two sons whom he does not see often; Lisa is a successful businesswoman who is married to Milhouse and has a rebellious daughter named Zia; and Maggie is the lead singer of a famous band and in the late stages of pregnancy. In his apartment, Bart is visited by his sons, who inform him that their mother Jenda teleported them to his place because she wants him to act like a proper father by having him spend time with them. However, he plans on dropping them off at his parents’ house instead. Meanwhile, Lisa fears that Zia is spending too much of her time going into the “Ultranet”, a digital world that people enter with their consciousness by plugging themselves into a laptop. Milhouse suggests to Lisa that she spend time with Zia in order for them to have a better connection, so Lisa decides to take Zia to her parents’ house. Meanwhile, Maggie flies home from London to Springfield to celebrate Christmas with her parents.
When Bart and Lisa arrive at their parents’ home, they stay there with their children. Unfortunately for Lisa, she only gets unhelpful advice from Marge on how to be a better parent, while Zia continues to go into the Ultranet. A furious Lisa ignores it and accuses Marge of being a bad parent. She tells her belief that it’s the parents right to butt in their children’s lives regardless. Marge gets mad at Lisa for her accusations and their conflicting styles of parenting causes a rift in their relationship. Meanwhile, Bart is heartbroken to find out that Jenda has remarried while he has not found anyone new. Feeling depressed, he tells Homer to take his grandsons out. The boys become angry with their father for not spending time with them, but the two have a great time with their grandfather. Bart and Lisa then encounter each other in their old treehouse, where they become slightly drunk and talk about how difficult parenting is. Lisa admitted she had an affair with Nelson a couple of times when Milhouse was away. After exchanging inspirational advice, they realize that they need to try harder to connect with their children. Lisa comes into Marge’s room to apologize for her earlier behavior that made both of them get angry with each other. Marge understands how stressed out Lisa’s been with a lack of communication she has with Zia and finally offers her some helpful advice. Meanwhile, upon arriving in Springfield, Maggie starts experiencing contractions and Kearney, now a taxi driver, drives her to the hospital.
Homer takes Bart’s sons to a cryonics facility where Grampa has been frozen alive to prevent a disease from killing him. Although a cure has now been discovered, he is kept frozen by Homer because it is cheaper than paying for a nursing home and because Grampa has constantly been rude to him. Homer says to the boys that they should give their father another chance, since he knows Bart loves them. At that point, Bart arrives and apologizes to his sons, admitting how much he treasures them. Touched, the two boys forgive him for not having included them in his life much, while an inspired Homer decides to unfreeze Grampa and forgive him as well. Meanwhile, Lisa goes into the Ultranet to find Zia and discovers a door leading into Zia’s private world. Entering it, Lisa is overjoyed to find that Zia has hung a poster of her next to a series of posters depicting historical women who have made a difference in the world. When Zia arrives, Lisa thanks her for looking up to her and the two reconcile at last, and secretly hides her life as a party poser. With the conflicts resolved, Bart and Lisa gather their children in preparation for a new Christmas family photo. Marge arrives with Maggie, who has given birth to a baby girl. The Simpsons gather into a group just as the family pets (who have evolved greatly over the past thirty years) take the new photo.

WHITE CHRISTMAS BLUES

As Marge scolds Homer for hanging up the house’s Christmas decorations before taking down the ones for Halloween, a bored Bart and Lisa watch a television news broadcast in which Kent Brockman announces that all of America will have no snow at Christmas due to global warming. Soon, however, snow does begin to fall in Springfield; Professor Frink explains that due to the combination of radioactive steam from the nuclear power plant and airborne particulates from the city’s tire fire, it is the only location in America with snow. Mayor Quimby declares the town a tourist attraction, and the residents quickly get into the holiday spirit as out-of-town travelers quickly converge on Springfield.
Overwhelmed by the sudden crowds at the Kwik-E-Mart, and seeing the money spent by the tourists, Marge begins to feel like a failure since she cannot afford to spend lavishly on her family. As she returns to the house, a family drives past and offers to pay $300 per night to stay there. She hesitantly accepts the offer; Homer is surprised to find this other family in the house, but Marge explains the situation and persuades him to turn the house into a bed-and-breakfast for the duration of the holiday season. They take in more guests as Christmas approaches, but Marge becomes irritated at their constant requests and complaints over shoddy service and activities. On Christmas Day, Marge finds the guests gathered in the living room and thinks they are going to confront her, but instead they surprise her by singing Christmas carols.
Meanwhile, Lisa buys gifts for the family that are intended to make her feel good about herself – such as a bag of radish seeds for Homer, and a book for Bart – rather than to be something the recipients can use. She is appalled to find Bart burning the book soon afterward, but their argument leads her to see that her gift-giving effort was misguided. She sells the gift Bart gave her and buys him a tablet pre-loaded with books and apps he can enjoy, and he gives her some money to donate to charity.

I WON’T BE HOME THIS CHRISTMAS

The episode begins with Comic Book Guy and Kumiko Albertson watching the Cosmic Wars Special, with CBG expressing shock and outrage that the special actually gets worse the more he watches it, and Kumiko stating he has every right to be angry.
Homer plans to fulfill Marge’s wishes by leaving work on time and arriving home to celebrate Christmas with his family. However, he stops on the way home for a drink at Moe’s, and when he says it’s time for him to get home Moe convinces him to stay out all night on Christmas Eve at his bar when Moe admits to being lonely and depressed. Homer loses track of time and when he finally gets home, Marge is enraged at him and kicks him out, saying she does not want him in the house on Christmas. Homer then leaves on an odyssey through a deserted and chilly Springfield, with Moe compounding his sadness by avoiding him when Homer shows up to try and talk to him (and to add insult to injury, Homer’s car gets towed with his cell phone frozen inside it). Meanwhile, Marge becomes depressed without Homer, but tells Bart and Lisa that she is disinclined to forgive him. At that point, Moe climbs down the 742 Evergreen Terrace chimney for some reason and tells Marge the truth about why Homer was out late on Christmas Eve. Marge immediately tries to call Homer, but as he lost his phone, she ends up going out to look for him. Homer ends up at the miserable local movie theatre to watch a depressing Life is Beautiful-type of film about other lost souls like Kirk Van Houten, the Crazy Cat Lady, and of course Gil.
After Marge searches through the city and Homer ends up at a depressing party for mall workers, they each have epiphanies: Homer says that being without his family at Christmas is much worse than being with them, and Marge says that she shouldn’t always assume Homer is doing stupid things for no reasons. The two finally reconcile and look forward to a happy new year.
More seasons of The Simpsons means more Christmas episodes, this batch are all good in there own way, the best being the Fight Before Christmas where you meet to see Katy Perry interacting with puppet versions of the Simpsons. I won’t be Home for Christmas is a heart warming tale. The Simpsons Christmas episodes are always good to watch around Xmas and with so many to watch you can have hours of fun.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS CHRISTMAS EPISODES – PART 2

CAST
Dan Castellaneta (Fantastic Four)
Julia Kavner (Dr. Dolittle)
Nancy Cartwright (All Grown Up!)
Yeardley Smith (As Good As It gets)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Pamela Hayden (Hey Arnold!)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)

SKINNER’S SENSE OF SNOW

While the Simpsons attend a French Canadian circus called “Cirque de Purée”, a wild blizzard hits Springfield, turning it into a snowsquall overnight. However, Springfield Elementary School stays open regardless of the storm, even though every other local school closes. Only some students, including the classmates of Bart and Lisa, show up while Skinner and Willie are the only faculty members at the school that day. To pass the time, Skinner plays his professed favourite film, a very low-budget, long-running, 1938 holiday movie called “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t, But Then Was”. When the kids try to leave school, however, snow has piled up, trapping the kids inside with Skinner and Groundskeeper Willie, much to their horror.
Skinner tries to keep the children under control, forcing them to stay together in the cafeteria and eat apples, relish and (only if they behave well enough) mayonnaise and will not let them go home until the snow melts. After Nelson tries to escape, Skinner unearths his U.S. Army memorabilia and is reminded of the days when he commanded respect from his troops. Skinner tries to command respect from the students, and briefly succeeds after threatening to hang them in their clothes on hooks on the wall if they rebel. Bart tries to tunnel his way out, but Skinner stops him, and after Willie refuses to destroy the tunnel, Skinner tries to, but is stuck in the resulting cave-in. The students rebel and eventually tie Skinner up in a dodge ball bag. They then set about ‘going nuts’ such as racing trolleys in the school hallway, even burning numerous books in the school’s library.
Meanwhile, Homer, with the help of Ned Flanders, sets out to rescue the children but crashes Flanders’ car into a fire hydrant, which sprays water that freezes the car in place. Homer’s repeated gunning of the accelerator causes carbon monoxide to flood the front of the car. Flanders and Homer get high from the fumes and wildly hallucinate. While the trapped children go wild with power, Skinner uses the school hamster, named Nibbles, to get a message to the outside world. Nibbles makes it to Ned and Homer, breaking the window and reviving them: they crash into a salt silo, melting the snow around the school and badly rusting the car but freeing the kids in the process.
Superintendent Chalmers appears and is ready to blame Skinner for the school’s current poor state when Bart takes the place, amending things with Skinner. As he and Lisa leave with Homer and Ned, Homer starts hallucinating again making him see Lisa as a camel and Bart as a dancing girl. Homer tries to kiss Bart, who tries his best to escape, causing the car to lose control and crash, and camel Lisa, then says “Merry Christmas from the Simpsons”!

SHE OF LITTLE FAITH

 GUEST CAST
Richard Gere (Pretty Woman)
While watching a 1950s science fiction movie, Bart and Lisa see a commercial for a model rocket kit and Bart orders it by using Homer’s credit card number. Homer helps Bart and Milhouse build it, but it blows up before launching. Jealous that Ned Flanders built a superior rocket, Homer enlists the help of his former nerdy college roommates, Gary, Doug, and Benjamin, to build a rocket piloted by the hamster Nibbles. The rocket lifts off successfully, but it develops complications and Nibbles bails out. However, Homer makes an attempt to shoot down the rocket with a 12 gauge shotgun, but the rocket crashes into the church. The church council meets up to decide how to come up with money to fund the repairs to the church, and with no other aid available they accept help from Mr. Burns and Lindsay Naegle. The two rebuild the church as a commercial monstrosity, complete with advertising signs, a Lard Lad statue, and a Jumbotron. Lisa is appalled at this and abandons the church, feeling her religion has lost its soul.
That night, Lisa prays to God and assures him she has not turned her back on him, but plans to seek a new path to him. While on a walk around town passing many sacrilegious signs, she finds Springfield’s Buddhist temple. Inside she sees Lenny and Carl meditating, and Hollywood actor Richard Gere teaches the core concepts of Buddhism to her. An intrigued Lisa takes a pamphlet on Buddhism and studies it at home. It convinces her of the virtues of the faith, and Lisa announces out her window she has become, and forever will be, a Buddhist. Lisa plants her own bodhi tree in the back yard and begins to meditate, but Marge grows increasingly worried about Lisa’s soul and tries to convince her to come back to Christianity.
At the church council, Reverend Lovejoy tells Marge to use Christmas to bribe her back. Marge bakes cookies, decorates the home, and has Ralph and Milhouse dress as a pony in wrapping paper to tempt her, but Lisa runs from the home when she realizes what is happening. At the Buddhist temple she tells Richard Gere her family tried to trick her, but Gere informs her that while Buddhism is about one finding inner peace, it is also about respecting the diversity of other religions based on love and compassion – thus, Lisa is free to celebrate any holiday with her family including Christmas. Lisa goes back home, falling asleep beside the Christmas tree and tells everyone that she will be celebrating Christmas with them and continue paying lip service to Christianity while practicing Buddhism for the rest of her life. As Marge takes her to the kitchen to get some cookies for her, Lisa asks about her pony, and Marge tries unsuccessfully to change the subject as Lisa calls out for her gift.


DUDE, WHERES MY RANCH ?

GUEST CAST
Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Smallville)
Andy Serkis (Lord of The Rings)
David Byrne
It is Christmas time, and the Simpsons go caroling around Springfield. They sing to Snake (who is busy robbing the family he has gagged and tied up), Krusty and his dad, and Mr. Burns and Smithers. The Simpsons continue until they reach the Blue-Haired Lawyer’s house. He tells the family that they cannot sing Christmas carols, unless they pay a royalty. In response, Homer makes the lyrics for his own carol. Later, Ned Flanders comes in and tries to help Homer, until Homer kicks him out, but even then Flanders annoys him. Homer finds new inspiration in an anti-Flanders song, “Everybody Hates Ned Flanders”. He plays the song at Moe’s, and when David Byrne comes in, he likes the song so much, that he wants to produce and record the song. “Everybody Hates Ned Flanders” becomes so popular (even with Ned and his sons themselves) that even William Shatner does a cover of it. This leads to mass publicity, which annoys the Simpsons, who want to avoid it. They find a brochure for a dude ranch, the Lazy I Ranch, and go there.
The family arrives at the Lazy I Ranch, owned by the Rich Texan, who tells Lisa that the ranch was built on cruelty to animals and oppression of indigenous people, which annoys her. It makes her want to leave, until she meets a cowhand, named Luke Stetson, who stops her stepping on a rattlesnake egg, and shares her views on the ranch. The family meet a man called Cookie who shows them around and sets out some dinner. Homer and Bart also have their own adventure when they meet a tribe of Native Americans who want a dam removed so they can reclaim their land. Homer agrees to do so if they build a Casino on their land, which is accepted. They are confronted by beavers when trying to kick it apart and they start making Homer part of the dam, but Bart manages to tie a rope to Homer and drags him away on his horse, but the rope breaks and the beavers continue to bite Homer. They eventually destroy the dam after luring the beavers away with old wood and removing the master log, and give the land back to the Native Americans who include them in their tribe by giving them cups to drink from which contains bear urine (and then say it actually contains Fresca, at which point Homer and Bart spit it out). Meanwhile, Lisa thinks that Luke is off-limits, because she overhears him on the phone promising a last dance to a girl named Clara and telling her that he loves her; causing Lisa to think Clara is Luke’s girlfriend and she goes to her bed crying and jealous.
When Lisa encounters her, she deviously tricks her into going the wrong way. At the dance, Lisa finds out that Clara is Luke’s sister and runs to the beaver dam with Bart. They find Clara standing on a rock in the middle of a torrential river; she cries out to Lisa and Bart for help, explaining that she cannot swim. Bart taunts some beavers and runs up a tree; the beavers chew through the tree, causing it to fall and making a bridge that drowning Clara can go across. However, when Lisa comes clean about what happened to Clara, Luke is offended and they separate. As the Simpsons return to Springfield, they hear a self-deprecating cover version of the Andrea True Connection song “More, More, More”, (entitled “Moe, Moe, Moe”), on the radio, sung by Moe and produced by David Byrne (who Moe kidnaps earlier in the episode), and turn around to spend another week at the ranch.

‘TIS THE FIFTEENTH SEASON

For Christmas, Carl gives Homer a DVD player and the first season of Magnum, P.I. with commentary by John Hillerman. However, Homer forgets he is Lenny’s secret Santa and gives him a pack of Certs out of desperation. Instead of giving bonuses, Mr. Burns gives everyone a cafeteria voucher and Homer a Joe DiMaggio rookie baseball card for Bart. To get money for Christmas shopping, Homer gives the card to Comic Book Guy, who gives Homer everything in his cash register. With their small fortune, the Simpsons go shopping at the Springfield Heights Promenade. Homer promises to buy a massive Christmas tree that will cause mudslides and flooding when it is removed, but he instead spends the tree money on a Personalized Talking Astrolabe for himself.
Homer gets shunned by his family when they find out, and becomes even more depressed when he finds out that the Astrolabe cannot be exchanged, thus meaning that Homer cannot undo his mistake. While staying up late at night, Homer watches Mr. McGrew’s Christmas Carol. There, he realizes just how selfish he is. Homer decides to reform his ways and become the nicest guy in town. Homer’s acts include giving hobos his old clothes, giving Lenny a photo cube, giving Marge the last pork chop (causing her to break down in tears of joy) and building a skating rink in the Simpsons’ backyard (to the delight of Comic Book Guy). After Gil Gunderson’s comment of “Homer, you’re the nicest man in town!”, and Nelson Muntz’s comment of “Haha! Your position has been usurped!”, the actions cause jealousy to stir in Ned Flanders.
Flanders finds himself barely able to control his anger. He decides to buy everyone in town a Christmas present (and gets the money by renting out his house to a fraternity). Homer begins to think of beating Flanders by buying everyone a car. However, Lisa tells him not to and that, as a Buddhist, she believes people would be happier without presents. Homer gets the idea to do the ultimate good deed: steal Christmas. In the morning, an angry mob confronts Homer. The mob calms down when they see a star which they think is a sign from God; it is actually a flare from Hans Moleman. Homer gives everyone back their presents and the entire town sings Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. During the carol, however, Snake steals Homer’s Astrolabe.


SIMPSON CHRISTMAS STORIES

.1 The First Do’h-El

When Reverend Lovejoy can not attend the Christmas sermon due to a horrible train wreck (on his train set), Flanders immediately takes over. However, he gets a paper cut and faints. Homer decides to lead the sermon and tells the story of the first Christmas, with Marge as Mary, Homer as Joseph, Lisa as the angel Gabriel, Mr. Burns as King Herod, and Bart as Baby Jesus.
Mary tells Joseph that she is pregnant, even though she is a virgin. The angel Gabriel appears to them and explains that Mary is going to give birth to the Son of God. The three wise men (Dr. Hibbert, Principal Skinner, and Professor Frink) tell King Herod that they are going to give gold, frankincense, and myrrh (which Professor Frink is re-gifting) to the King of the Jews. When Herod thinks that the gifts are for him, the men explain to him that they are for the infant. Herod becomes angry and claims that he will kill the baby.
At the Bethlehem Inn, the innkeeper (Moe) tells Mary and Joseph that he has plenty of rooms available with brand new carpeting. However, when Mary’s water breaks, he forces them to stay in the barn. Mary successfully gives birth to the baby, and the three wise men, along with the two shepherds (Lenny and Carl) come to see Jesus. Joseph is upset because he is not Jesus’s father, and when he drinks some wine, the baby turns it into water.
When the infant keeps crying, Mary gives him to Joseph. He entertains him by hurting himself and one of the wise men (Skinner). When Baby Jesus finally falls asleep, Herod and his troops find the manger that they are staying in. They escape and trick the soldiers by putting Jesus’ halo on a duck. On top of the hill, Joseph cuts down a pine tree, and as it rolls down, the soldiers get caught in it. The soldiers, along with Herod, are arranged like ornaments on the tree, and the duck, still wearing the halo, stands on top of the tree. Mary calls it a Christmas tree, and Homer concludes his service by ending his story with “And did you know that that little baby Jesus grew up to be….Jesus?”.

.2 I Saw Grampa Cussing Santa Claus

When Bart and Lisa find Grampa trying to stick a bear trap on top of the chimney, Grampa tells them that he is trying to get his revenge on Santa Claus. Bart asks why, and to their dismay, Grampa tells them one of his many stories. Back in World War II, Grampa and his brother Cyrus (not mentioned before or since this episode aired) were fighting off Japanese planes when Cyrus got shot down. Shortly after, Grampa, who was accompanied by Mr. Burns, have their plane’s wings shot off and are stranded on an island. After a few months, they see a plane in the sky, and Mr. Burns shoots it down. However, when they go over to investigate, they see that it is actually Santa Claus. They build him a new sleigh and gather up all the presents. When Santa is about to leave, Mr. Burns knocks him unconscious with a coconut and flies away in the sleigh and claims that he is going to keep all the presents.
Grampa catches up to him on Prancer, who has been left behind because Santa could not find him, and jumps on board the sleigh. After he beats Mr. Burns with a tricycle, he gives the sleigh back to Santa. As Santa leaves, he tells Grampa that he will be back in a few days. However, he never comes back, and Grampa has to get off using a jet ski he made out of coconuts. Bart and Lisa believe that it is just another one of Grampa’s far-fetched tales, but when they hear a thump in the den, they find that Santa is there. He tells them that Cyrus did not die, but instead crashed into Tahiti. Santa takes Grampa there, and they meet up with Cyrus and his fifteen wives. Santa explains to Grampa that he did not come back for him on the island due to his procrastination and eventually feeling embarrassed about it. When Abe comments on Cyrus’s fifteen wives and the sex he must have, Cyrus points out that they are wives, not girlfriends.

.3) The Nutcracker…Sweet

After the children of Springfield Elementary perform The Nutcracker, everyone begins to go about their business singing to the tune of the songs from the play. This is done after mentioning that these songs are in the public domain and thus can be (and are) played constantly for free. After the opening number (sung to the tune of “Marche”), Moe continues his holiday tradition (done to the tune of “Dance of the Flutes”) and attempts suicide thrice, first by hanging himself with popcorn string which breaks under his weight, next by riding a sleigh into open traffic only to have all the cars swerve and miss him, and then by shooting himself in the head with a revolver that sends a “Merry Christmas” flag out through his other ear. In a fourth attempt, Moe asks Barney to kill him instead of buying him a present, but Barney has already gotten him a wool hat and Moe gives up on the idea for now.
That evening, Marge tells Homer that he will like the present that she got him. Having forgotten to buy her anything and not wanting to upset her, Homer tells her that his present for her is outside; he then frantically rushes out to find a gift (sung to the tune of “Trepak”). Every store is closed, and all Apu has at the Kwik-E-Mart is some jerky made out of trout. Homer searches in garbage cans, gutters, trees, and he even chases down Milhouse, but he cannot find anything.
When he gets home, Marge gives Homer his present (done to “Pas De Deux”). He opens it and sees that it is another present with a tag that reads, “To Marge, From Homer.” Marge tells him that she knew that he would forget to give her a present, so she gave him one to give to her. He gives it to her and she unwraps it, and Homer sees that it is a picture of him dressed up as Santa with Marge on his lap. They hug and kiss, and Moe attempts suicide a fifth time by riding a sleigh toward a fully loaded tractor-trailer, without success (“Eighteen wheels and they all missed me!”).
 The next five episodes show a welcome return to Christmas, the best of the bunch would be Tis the Fifteenth season and has remained a favorite of mine over 10 years later. all the Christmas episodes are great to get out this time of year and just relax for some good decent laughs.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS CHRISTMAS EPISODES – PART 1

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CAST
Dan Castellaneta (Fantastic Four)
Julia Kavner (Dr. Dolittle)
Nancy Cartwright (All Grown Up!)
Yeardley Smith (As Good As It gets)
Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Pamela Hayden (Hey Arnold!)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)

SHORT – SIMPSON CHRISTMAS

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Bart tells a story of Christmas with the Simpson family in the style of The Night Before Christmas.

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SIMPSONS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE

After attending the Springfield Elementary School Christmas pageant, the Simpsons prepare for the holiday season. Marge asks Bart and Lisa for their letters to Santa. Lisa requests a pony, and Bart requests a tattoo. The latter enrages Homer and Marge and they forbid Bart from getting one. The next day, Marge takes the kids to the mall to go Christmas shopping. Bart slips away to the tattoo parlor and attempts to get a tattoo that reads “Mother”. With the tattoo partially completed, Marge bursts in and drags Bart two doors down to the dermatologist to have it removed. Counting on Homer’s Christmas bonus, Marge spends all of the family’s holiday money on the procedure. Meanwhile, at the power plant Homer’s very mean-spirited boss, Mr. Burns, announces that there will be no Christmas bonus this year.

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Homer, discovering there is no money for Christmas presents and not wanting to worry the family, takes a job as a shopping mall Santa Claus at the suggestion of his friend Barney Gumble. On Christmas Eve, Bart goes to the mall and harasses Santa, exposing Homer’s secret. Bart is apologetic for the prank and actually supportive of Homer’s moonlighting, remarking “You must really love us to sink so low”. After Homer is paid less than expected for his Department Store Santa work, he and Bart receive a dog racing tip from Barney.
At Springfield Downs, Homer, inspired by an announcement about a last-minute entry named Santa’s Little Helper, bets all his money on the 99-1 long shot. The greyhound finishes last. As Homer and Bart leave the track, they watch the dog’s owner angrily disowning him for losing the race. Bart pleads with Homer to keep the dog as a pet, and he reluctantly agrees. When Bart and Homer return home, Homer finally comes clean to the family that he did not get his bonus, however the family assumes Santa’s Little Helper is their present and are overjoyed by Homer’s gesture. The Simpsons family then celebrate by singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.
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MARGE BE NOT PROUD

GUEST STARS
Phil Hartman (Small Soldiers)
Lawrence Tierney (Armageddon)
Christmas is approaching, and Bart wants nothing more than the new, must-have video game Bonestorm. However, Marge refuses to buy it, due to the violence and potential distraction from Bart’s schoolwork. Discouraged, Bart visits the local Try-N-Save discount store where classic video game characters convince him to steal a copy of the game. On his way out of the store, Bart is caught by the store’s strict security guard, Don Brodka, who tells Bart to leave and never return or risk spending Christmas in juvenile hall.
Unaware of Bart’s shoplifting, Marge takes the family to the same store to get their annual Christmas picture taken. Bart tries to avoid detection and trouble, but is spotted by Brodka, who shows a disbelieving Marge and Homer the security tape of Bart shoplifting. Marge is disappointed by Bart’s actions and becomes distant with him. Bart is left out of family activities, such as decorating the Christmas tree and making snow statues. He fears he has lost her love, and decides he must regain it.
Bart then returns home with a bulge in his coat. Marge confronts him, believing he was shoplifting again, and she finds Bart has hidden a picture of himself bought as a Christmas present for her . Marge is overjoyed, and in gratitude for receiving this early Christmas gift, gives Bart his — the new game that a store salesman told her “all the kids want”, the golf simulator Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge. Though profoundly underwhelmed, Bart looks into his mother’s expectant face and thanks her.

MIRACLE ON EVERGREEN TERRACE

Homer and Marge go Christmas shopping at the Try-N-Save, where frenzied shoppers are quickly snatching the holiday season’s most popular toys. Homer, posing as a store cashier, buys toys that customers were attempting to buy from him.
At home, the family makes their last-minute Christmas preparations. At bedtime on Christmas Eve, Marge tells everyone nobody can open presents until 7 AM, and just to make sure there is no cheating, she confiscates all of the alarm clocks in each bedroom. However, Bart, relying on an old Indian trick, drinks 12 glasses of water in order to wake up early to use the bathroom and get an early look at his presents. He awakens at 5:04 AM and secretly unwraps his gifts. One of the presents is the coveted Inferno Buster 3000, a remote-controlled fire truck. Bart has fun playing with the truck, until it sprays water on an overloaded electrical socket, and the Christmas tree bursts into flames. The flames immediately engulf the plastic Christmas tree and all of the presents beneath it. Bart manages to extinguish the fire before it spreads, and hides the burned evidence outside beneath the snow in the front yard.
When the family come downstairs at 7:01 AM and discover that the Christmas tree and presents are gone, Marge asks Bart what happened. Bart lies to them. He makes up a story about how he caught a burglary in progress, and the suspect made off with the tree and all of the family’s presents. The police investigate, and Kent Brockman decides to do a human interest story on what he believes is the Simpsons’ yuletide misfortune. As a result of Brockman’s report, everyone in Springfield shows their community spirit by giving them a new Christmas tree and $15,000. With the donations, Homer buys a new car. Driving it home Homer gets impatient when he gets stuck behind the Plow King and decides to pass. He unknowingly drives the car onto a frozen lake. The ice cracks, causing the car to sink and blow up. The next morning, Bart’s conscience gets to him, and finally he admits the truth when he disobeyed his family, which prompts Homer and Lisa to choke him. Soon, Kent Brockman and the Channel 6 news crew arrive to do a follow-up story. Homer slaps on a plastic smile and says everyone should stop looking for the “burglar” but that he does exist. The story quickly unravels when a cameraman, with help from Santa’s Little Helper, finds the burned remains of the Christmas tree. The family is forced to explain, but it is too late for the viewers, who feel they have been scammed. The citizens shun and harass them until the family can pay back the $15,000.
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Marge decides the only alternative is to try and win money by becoming a contestant on Jeopardy!, but she performs very poorly and ends up with -$5,200. After the show, Alex Trebek and two men approach the Simpson family demanding that they pay the $5,200 that Marge was in the red (which doesn’t happen in real life), and the family runs away. When they get home, they find that everyone in Springfield (including Alex Trebek) has gathered on their lawn, and Marge thinks they have forgiven them. However, while everyone does forgive the Simpsons, they enter the family’s house and steal things from it, except all the curtains and the living room and dining room window sill cushion seats, in order to cover the $15,000 debt. In the end, the family playfully fight over a tattered washcloth, the only thing they have left.

GRIFT OF THE MAGI

GUEST STARS

Tim Robbins (Howard The Duck)
Clarence Clemons (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure)
Gary Coleman (Different Strokes)
Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds)

Bart and Milhouse have to remain inside the Simpsons’ house when an ozone hole moves over Springfield. The two dress up as ladies and jump on the bed, singing “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves”. When Homer comes in abruptly, Bart falls off of the bed and lands on one of Homer’s bowling balls and breaks his coccyx. Dr. Hibbert informs Homer and Marge that Bart will have to use a wheelchair until the bone has healed. When Bart arrives at Springfield Elementary School the following day, he finds that he cannot enter because the school lacks ramps for the disabled. As Principal Skinner considers a ramp for the school, mafia boss Fat Tony emerges and suggests that his construction company would be a good choice of company to build it. Although the new ramp system almost immediately collapses, Fat Tony informs Skinner that the construction supposedly cost US$200,000 and that the school will still have to pay. In response, Principal Skinner decides to close Springfield Elementary due to lack of funds (having used them to pay off Fat Tony and thus avoid brutal mob reprisals).All pleas for financial help are in vain, including a private school play performed in front of Mr. Burns at his mansion, until Jim Hope, the president of a company named Kid First Industries, buys the school and privatizes it. The school’s staff is replaced, and classes now focus on toys and marketing. Lisa soon discovers that the company that bought Springfield Elementary is a toy company, using students for research to make a new popular toy in time for the Christmas shopping season. She is then frightened by the appearance of a robotic figure. When Bart and Lisa are back at home, watching television, they see an advertisement for a toy named Funzo. It has many features suggested by Springfield Elementary students during a brainstorming session at the school. They visit Jim Hope’s office to complain, and he apologetically gives them a free Funzo toy. Bart and Lisa later discover that Funzo is programmed to destroy other toys.3696d4affd4b2e847380b40b0444a5deOn Christmas Eve, with Homer’s help, the two steal all the Funzo toys from underneath every Christmas tree in Springfield with the intention of burning them in the town’s long-running tire fire. However, Gary Coleman, who is a security guard at Kid First Industries, comes to stop them. The two parties argue all night until the next morning when they settle down into civilized discussion about the commercialization of Christmas. Coleman changes his opinion about the toy company and helps the Simpsons destroy the remaining functioning Funzo toys that were not destroyed in the tire fire. Afterwards, Homer invites Coleman to Christmas dinner at the Simpson family’s house, where Mr. Burns shows up after deciding to donate money to Springfield Elementary following an epiphany he had that night.

The first batch of Simpson Christmas episode each have there own unique quality to them, my favorite being Simpsons Roasting on An Open Fire as this was the first Simpson episode and the first one  I saw. Marge Be Not proud is also a classic and ranks highly upon the xmas episodes. Miracle on evergreen Terrace and Grift of the Magi are also good episode but the first two main episodes are the best out of the bunch.