This was a middle-of-the-road episode that was livened up by having a steady stream of ancillary funny bits. The perfect sort of thing to round out the middle of a season, in other words. It didn't try too hard, but it also didn't seem to lose interest in itself the way many episodes have done recently.
I wanted to like this episode. Boy, I really did. The premise was golden: Homer gets sucked into the world of doomsday preppers. It's timely, it has a lot of comedic potential, and it's oddball enough to be interesting in and of itself.
- Hans Moleman
- Bumblebee Man
- Ned Flanders
- Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel
Ah, the Simpsons retcon. This has always been a show that played fast and loose with the facts and this episode is no exception OH WHO AM I KIDDING I BLUBBERED LIKE A BABY.
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein play an ultra-cool pair of hip parents with two sons, the elder of which (Bart's age) is named Tyrannosaur, and voiced by Patton Oswalt. Now I grant you, hipster bashing is not exactly a cutting-edge trend. (In fact, later that same night I caught a rerun of a hipster-bashing episode of King of the Hill which first aired in 2008.) But that doesn't make it any less funny when it's done right.
I'm not a genius or psychic by any stretch of the imagination. But I have been watching The Simpsons regularly for 23 years now, and you pick up a thing or two. That's my explanation for why, the instant I read the capsule description in the scheduling guide, I immediately knew what would turn out to be the origin of the mysterious appearance of the word "HOPE" on the tree in the Simpsons' back yard.
This is one of those mid-season episodes that just doesn't move me too much in one direction or the other. Steve Carell's character had a lot of potential as the accountant who is given the reins of a mob crew. But aside from making staff cutbacks, I didn't really feel like this went as far as it should have. Particularly given the extraordinary lengths to which Carell's character Michael Scott went, when confronted with the man that he thought was a mobster in an episode of The Office.