REVIEW: This is arguably the most well-crafted, compelling, and consistently funny episode of The simpsons in years.
A perfect pastiche of Fargo and modern prestige television that features a cast of top-notch guest voice talent. And yet, TVNZ chose to screen it with little fanfare, at a time unfamiliar to fans of the series and out of sequence with the rest of season 33.
Yes, the first part of the part in two A simple Flanders will screen tonight, Monday at 9:55 p.m., on TVNZ 2, four hours after a more recent episode from the final season (33 for those of you still counting) of the debut of the long-running beloved animated show ( and if this late night slot is because of the edgier content of this chapter, then why did they regularly play the infamous annual Treehouse of Horrors in the daily 5 p.m. slot recently?).
It’s just the latest example of the state broadcaster’s disregard for the series it retains first-run rights to (unlike most of its other shows, TVNZ can’t broadcast The simpsons on TVNZ OnDemand, so miss the free time slot – and you’re toast).
Inside the most ambitious episode of The Simpsons in years.
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* Why we’ll miss the infamous 600th episode of The Simpsons on Sunday
* Is it time for The Simpsons to end?
In recent years, new episodes have appeared, often without much warning like this, everywhere from Friday to Saturday until Sunday night, while their sometimes light-hearted treatment of the end credits has been appalling. TVNZ’s prime-time rush through them not only made it hard to understand celebrity voices, let alone end-credits Easter eggs, but they even had the audacity to plant a credits one which they then used for each episode. .
It’s become increasingly tempting to wait for the eventual arrival of a season on Disney+ (Season 32 has just arrived), but that would mean missing out on new material from what is still one of the hottest shows. funniest and most inspired on television. How many other cartoons have managed to predict so many world events, while making us laugh like a drain? And over 700 episodes in, create something as bravely and brilliantly written as A simple Flanders?
Opening with a gorgeous Netflix homepage parody that includes such fabulous titles as The Marvelous Mrs. Muntz, Kwik-E-Blinders, Carls House and Lisa Simpson with The preteen bet, we’re quickly drawn into a story of “graphic violence, gratuitous guest stars, and brief comedy.” After the shocking death of a semi-regular Springfield citizen, we’re told a certain classic Coen Brothers movie that “it’s a true story.” “The events depicted took place in a real bustling city. Out of respect for the dead, the whole thing was entirely made up. The rest has been said as pretentiously as possible.
We then join the action, as Homer and his long-suffering Evergreen Terrace neighbor Ned Flanders come across a Pan Am bag full of cash. While the former simply wishes to spend it, the latter prefers it to be used for a greater good.
“I would say it’s all part of God’s plan, but that usually only applies to horrible tragedies,” he muses as he donates it all on behalf of his grandfather Paw-Paw to the Springfield Orphanage.
However, he is unaware that the real owner of the money happens to be in town trying to settle his ledger. Spying on media coverage of the generosity of Ned, a ruthless debt collector (Succession‘s Brian Cox, using all his gravity and deep voice to chilling effect) acknowledges the exact amount offered as his very first job, one he never managed to raise. But despite sending his two best henchmen, Seamus (Chris O’Dowd) and Colette (Jessica Pare), to kidnap Flanders, they’re a bit distracted.
“Why does everything you play have to be so crazy and obscure.” Seamus opines on his colleagues’ choice of music: “For once, I’d like a little Taylor Swift before I commit an atrocity.”
This forces them to resort to guesswork as to their careers, which is when Homer’s propensity to borrow all of Flanders’ belongings comes back to haunt him.
Streaming service style told over six chapters across two episodes of The Simpsons, A simple Flanders also features a fabulous cameo from Justifiedby Timothy Olyphant and a terrific turn of Palm Springs‘ Cristin Milioti as Barbara Belfrey, an orphanage director with a voice to rival Fargoby Marge Gunderson and who Flanders may be falling for.
There will be shocking moments, stinging lines, and images you won’t easily forget. Far more laser-focused than most modern efforts, this will evoke memories of classic tales like Who shot Mr. Burns?, Cape Feare and Two Dozen and a Greyhound.
If you’re a fan of The Simpsons – outdated or still current – for two nights only, go old fashioned and make an appointment to watch – you won’t regret it.
The simpsons‘ episode A serious Flanders (Part 1) kicks off at 9:55 p.m. tonight, Monday, April 4, at 9:55 p.m.