Whenever The Simpsons go for a full-on parody of another property its usually hit or miss in my books, sometimes pretty decent but oftentimes kinda bad. I, Carumbus skews more towards the latter but it has the benefit from once again (following the season premiere) committing to one storyline. The benefit is that there is a focus on story instead of cheap side quests which offer little to the episode. In recent years the show has fallen victim to that which has produced some pretty bad content.
I, Carumbus starts at the museum where Marge and Homer have a discussion about career prospects and ambition. Marge wants Homer to move on from his entry level job at the plant and level up to a more senior position. Homer on the other hand see comfort in his station but mostly he doesn’t want to be part of unnecessary conference calls. In walks a museum curator who tells them the story of Obeseus.
Here, we’re transported back to ancient Rome for a blended retelling of Spartacus and I, Claudius. Homer plays the part of Obeseus who is sold into slavery and later becomes a gladiator. Lady Majora (Marge) takes a liking to him and the two hookup eventually having a baby and getting married. Fast forward ten years later and Obeseus runs a small ammonia shop (whose main ingredient is urine) which becomes successful.
But Lady Majora wants more and coaxes Obeseus to become Senator and later install their son as Emperor. However, much like Homer, he would rather enjoy his station and live in relative luxury without the hassle that a higher position would bring. The new Rome becomes tyrannical under Bartigula and Obeseus puts it on himself to stop him. In the end though he learns, too late, that he was not a great father, was horrible to his friends and failed Rome. When we get back to the museum the family argues over the meaning of the story and the curator laments that the they should stop letting stupid people in.
There were some nice Easter eggs, some obvious and others not so. An El Barto graffiti can be seen near the Emperor’s palace, Obeseus is referred to as Mr. Plow during his gladiator days and even Frink makes a cameo appearance. Some other funny parts include Obeseus referring to ‘crowdfunding for a streaming service’ when talking about getting more urine for his business and the ongoing gag of Obeseus not releasing his friend slaves. This was otherwise not a very funny episode but good enough as a novelty to retain some interest.
It was kind of curious to put an episode like this so early in the season. In my opinion these episodes are better left for later and in particular after Treehouse of Horror.
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