I came to a realization watching this most recent episode of The Simpsons and not a particularly good one. Despite this season (and the last few years in general) being a rebound of sorts for the show, there hasn’t been many good new C characters. By C characters I mean those that are not regularly on the show but only make sporadic appearances; think Troy McClure, Dr. Nick, Duffman.
I say this for 2 reasons. First, the show has decided to make Llewellyn Sinclair, the overly dedicated theater director (voiced by the talented Jon Lovitz) a C character. He just doesn’t quite do it for me though and in this episode he was really more of a pain to watch than anything. He doesn’t have an over the top shtick the way the above characters do and all he does is whine.
The second reason relates to the fact that we got a brief cameo from John Lithgow as a well trained actor playing a bear. He only had about 15 seconds on air and to be honest it was a waste of talent. Imagine what he and Jon Lovitz could do together given the right characters!
Anyway, I’ve digressed a fair bit but its worth mentioning as its a legitimate concern for a show that used to be famous for its lower level characters.
In I’m Just a Girl, Marge takes over directing from Sinclair after the cast revolt against him for treating them poorly. She gets help from Lisa and together they put together a Hamilton-like show about Jebediah Springfield complete with hip hop music (but not ‘real’ hip hop as Marge clarifies). Of course, the episode took its sweet time in getting there as it spent the first third focusing on how horrible Sinclair treated the cast.
When it did get going the story felt very rushed. The musical number at the end was pretty decent but the idea to have it outside with heavy rain eventually falling was an odd one to make. The last time Marge and Lisa teamed up to create something they delivered a very decent episode. So it was odd here that not enough time was devoted to both characters knack for artistry.
The B story line was worse as Homer attends a ‘daddy day care’ with Maggie only to stay (along with the other dad’s) for the pretty female instructor. The plot literally goes nowhere with the instructor eventually running off with one of the other dad’s. The worst part about this though is that Homer’s actions go unnoticed, unpunished and with no inner reflection. Homer has been tempted in this way before but the temptation always gets revealed which usually leads to some honest reflection but not here.
I’m Just a Girl had a good idea for the main story unfortunately the show left itself little time to explore it. The part at the end where Marge won a best new comer award was, however, a nice touch to stick it to Sinclair. The B story could have also been more thoughtful but it was another wasted opportunity.
Make sure to catch new episodes of The Simpsons Sunday’s on Fox and keep it locked on TGON for all your new, reviews and analysis.