The Simpsons, Seasons 21-31. Season 21, Episode 5: “The Devil Wears Nada”

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We’re back, back in The Simpsons groove. If you missed last week’s “Treehouse of Horror” review you can check it out here.

“The Devil Wears Nada” (first aired November 4, 2009)

At the outset Homer floats by in a chair with balloons attached to it, drinking a beer. Okay, sure. Solid Duff billboard in the Futurama billboard shot. The chalkboard gag is the best one so far this season: “I do not have the hots for my mom,” although it begs the question, was Bart saying he did have the hots for her? Was this something he said about Mrs. Krabappel having the hots for her mom, who is having him write it in her voice? Okay I take it back. This is a confusing chalkboard gag. The couch gag is fine: prehistoric Simpsons sit on their couch log, which sinks into the tarpits. Present day, they’re on display in a museum.

On to Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Ted the supervisor is retiring. Who’s Ted? No idea. Lenny, Carl, and Homer are talking about how great it was that Ted didn’t really supervise them at all. Burns indicates that one of them will become the new supervisor. Carl does the only non-embarrassing thing in response, screwing in a lightbulb. “Congratulations, I dub thee king of the morons.”

Springfield Charity Chicks are trying to decide what they’re going to do for their next charity endeavor. One of them brings up the Springfield PD beefcake calendars (“You Have the Right to Remain Sexy.”) They decide to do the same. “We just need a theme.” Marge glances at Newsweekly cover, which is about genocide, so they go with “History.”

Marge is Babe Didrickson Zaharias for the calendar shoot. At first she is hesitant to show any skin, but then she gets trashed on wine and it’s sexy time. When the Charity Chicks calendar is released, every month is Marge.

Marge and the kids head to church, where “Today’s topic: Marge.” Everybody at church is very complimentary of Marge, which makes her feel sexy and wanted. She directs that energy towards Homer, except there’s only one problem, which comes in the form of the A plot. Homer has become Carl’s executive assistant and he’s being worked to the bone. Homer is so stressed out about the job that he’s unable to get in the mood while Marge is trying to seduce him. This produces visual representations of their libidos, Homer’s being the cover image to this review. After I paused it and snapped this picture this scene got dark. Marge keeps trying, but even when she flashes him all Homer sees is two Carls in place of her breasts, berating him.

Cut to Bart’s classroom, where all of the kids in class are making lewd comments about Marge and oh hey now the chalkboard gag from the intro makes sense, even though the POV of the writer still seems wrong to me. Nice foreshadowing job, Simpsons.

Marge is jealous of all of the attention Homer is paying to Carl instead of her, and it’s about to get worse because The Simpsons are Going to Paris or Homer is at least. With Carl. To a nuclear power convention. Marge is pissed, and in frustration she chucks a croquet mallet, hitting Flanders in the head.

Marge feels terrible about hurting Flanders so she invites him to dinner. He recovered form his injury thanks to “Christian prayer and Dr. Lowenstein.”

Thanks to Homer’s advance man work, Carl is the toast of the Parisian power scene. A woman immediately falls for him and they get it on following Homer’s seductive dance to get them in the mood.

“I love Paris. The women, the wine, everything except for their lame-o version of rock and roll.”

Carl decides that he wants them to stay in Paris indefinitely, selling Europe and the Middle East on Springfield nuclear power while as a result keeping Homer away from Marge. Homer walks through Paris, seeing reminders of Marge everywhere (plus a Moe gargoyle).

Bart and Lisa split and Rod and Todd are grounded after one of them saw a commercial for Grey’s Anatomy and the other one waited a whole day to tell on him, so dinner ends up just being Marge and Ned. Ned’s shirt gets all wet while washing lettuce and turns Marge on. They nearly kiss. Then they nearly kiss several more times during dessert, before Marge finally puts a stop to it because she loves Homer.

Homer flies back to Springfield. Carl tells him that if he doesn’t return to Paris he’s going to be fired, but Homer reveals that unbeknownst to Carl the woman he’s been sleeping with in Paris is French First Lady Carla Bruni. Homer calls up President Sarkozy, (“You’re getting cozy with Sarkozy”) but doesn’t reveal it after Carl lets him stay in Springfield.

Homer arrives at home just as Ned is leaving the house. He grabs Marge and runs her upstairs, where they have a lot of sex. The end.

I’ve been noting repeatedly in these reviews that it appears The Simpsons have abandoned the notion of B and C plots, so it was nice to see that this episode featured an A and a B plot, which came together in a satisfying way. I don’t really buy the idea of Homer becoming a workaholic, though it’s been used in the past when it’s convenient to the plot. As long as you ignore everything you know about Homer’s character it works.

Best Joke : (Homer rolling Snuggle Dice) “Whisper into Ass?! This game sucks.”

Worst Joke: Seriously, every episode has a gay joke in it. This one is Flanders telling the boys that he’d have them walk into the ocean with rocks in their pockets before letting their uncle and his “friend” raise them.

Rating (out of 5 D’ohs): 3.5. This is a very solid episode of The Simpsons. Decent amount good jokes, an A and B plot that intersect, pretty good stuff.

Stray Bits:

  • Ted: “And I’m learning to speak Mandarin Chinese (speaks Mandarin).” Chinese coworker to Homer: “That’s garbage. That’s total garbage.”
  • “I love this wine.” “It’s Andalusian.” “Seems real to me.” Puns are the highest form of comedy.
  • “The whole congregation has seen my Scandinavian regions.”
  • “I’d like to get quizzical with Bart’s mom.”

Stop by next Monday for Season 21, Episode 6 “Pranks and Greens.”

I don’t have much to promote but if you’ve got 3 bucks in your pocket and feel like reading an 80s pop culture nostalgia horror short story I wrote, you can get it here. You have to take the three dollars out of your pocket first. Or don’t and just use a linked credit or debit. card.

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