Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"The Greatest Story Ever D'Ohed" Recap

My recap will be up later, but I will say I was underwhelmed by this episode. A big step down from last week, but as usual it did have its good points. Check back for the full recap soon.

I have to say this episode started out pretty well, but soon the problems started. But lets just get into it.  The episode starts with Ned hosting a Bible Study group.  In order to keep the youth (Jimbo) interested he is forced to use computer words like twitter and download.  But the group becomes distracted by Homer sliping and siding naked next door.  Ned tries to fix the naked problem by bringing a leaf (very Adam and Eve), but Homer just annoys Ned.  As a result, Ned is depressed by his inability to save Homer who along with Bart and Lisa is playfully worshipping Santa's Little Helper.  But with Reverend Lovejoy's encouragement, Ned decides to invite Homer and family on a trip to Holy Land. Homer ponders this invite by saying things like should I take my children to a war zone where they don't believe in eating pork? Based on that information you would think no, but Marge is humbled by Ned's generosity and agrees to go on and pay for the trip. 

Once they're in Jerusalem the episode quality quickly deteriorates. Krusty is on the trip, but once he learns there is no hell in Judaism he quickly heads to the Gaza Strip Club.  In  Jerusalem we see the typical scenery jokes. There is the fiddler playing the violin on the roof although he is supposed to be cleaning the gutters and they stay at the Wailing Waldorf.  Then we are introduced to their tour guide Jacob who was voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen. I was expecting great things from Cohen, but I can't say he delivered consistently.  He said some funny things like that his English was so good that he sounded like Hugh Grant (it was quite the opposite). He also said some things like "Please shut your face." These lines were funny because they were delivered under a strong accent that initially added to the humor, but after a while it got just annoyting.  For example, while starting the tour he started yelling and cursing at a random Israeli for listening to the tour for free.  At one point he was only yelling in Hebrew and there were some bleeps to let us know that he was cursing, but it still didn't make it very funny. 

Meanwhile, Homer and Bart were just acting crazy on the tour. Homer recorded Bart as he went for a handstand record and Flanders prayed.  Flanders asked Homer to have more reverence and so they prayed together. However, Homer ordered a falafel with extra chees and other condiments ("Yes I know what a falafel is") right afterwards.

The next stop on the tour was the Wailing Wall. There people write their prayers on pieces paper and put them in wall.  Krusty put a note in the wall asking to have his parking tickets fixed while Bart reads the prayers at random. Homer tells Bart that they need to behave "religousy."  But Bart doesn't care and decides skateboard on top of the wall. Jacob's, the tour guide, helper girl tries to stop Bart.  When he attempts to use his Karate against her, she uses her Israeli Karate against him and wins.  It turns out she works for the army and they know all about Bart.  I like when Bart is viewed as notorious, but not all the way in Jerusalem.  Also the scene was way too long and not funny.

So yeah, toward the end of the tour Ned finds Homer sleeping in the Tomb of the Savior (a very sacred place). This gets Ned so frustrated that he actually gets himself kicked.  Ned then declares that Homer is not worth saving.  Ned then storms out.  Homer goes to look for Ned in the desert not knowing that Ned went for tea and then went to watch the Reformers (it's kind of like the Clownomorphs and Transformerbots...oh yeah and exactly like the Transformers).  Meanwhile, Homer is having a Lawrence of Arabia like journey in the desert.  He gets lost, sings a thirsty song, and sees the vegetables of the Veggietales who call him the chosen one. However, it is all a hallucination from drinking salt water.  But when he is found, Homer genuinely believes that he is the Messiah.  Dr. Hibbert diagnoses Homer with Jerusalem syndrome or the tendency of people to think they are the messiah while on a trip to Jerusalem. 

Before they know it Homer has disappeared, but Lisa deduces he could be found at the the Dome of the Rock which is a place that is sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims.  They find Homer dressed in white robes at the Dome of the Rock as declares a new religion of Chrimajews. In this religion they would celebrate their commonality, like their love of chicken. Peace and Chickens. As they all leave on Israeli Air we see there are many Jerusalem Syndrome sufferers dressed in Messiah robes.

Overall, this was an odd episode. I don't know much about Jerusalem, so many of the locations none of the locations ring a bell. But then again I haven't heard much about many of the locations that the Simpsons have visited. I just guess they didn't do a really good job. Also, Cohen's accent was over the top and sometimes difficult to understand and the little subplot of Jacob's assistant just seemed unneccesary and long. Also, the plot was a little too similar to some past episodes. But it did have its moments. I love the Simpsons regardless, maybe it will be funnier when I watch it a second time. 

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