The Simpsons gets hacked into an instant classic
The PseudoAnonymous subverts the intended episode’s seemingly intended message of equality, then goes off on its own, taking on a life and arc of its own. Anna Faris plays the female hacker, and she is the first to show a chink in the revolutionary armor. When will the father come The Simpsons bites the hands that feed them. The hackers can break Disney’s rule, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and NatGeo with only the threat that they can delete enough data that the only Hulk in existence will be Edward Norton. We cheer when they tell us they can make it happen as if Mark Ruffalo never happened. We look forward to the day Baby Yoda wants nothing on top secret character baby Jeff Goldblum (Matthew Friend). They gain independent sympathy by threatening the mouse’s secrets.
We start to care about the hackers, even as they care about each other. But only until the free trial of their voice recognition apps expires and we hear and see them for what they are. Then we know them enough to wish they would return to anonymity and get on with the clips. Disney doesn’t care about Lenny, and the hackers’ perfectly symmetrical faces lose empathy as they gain identity. All their talk of political enablers overthrowing the political system is almost as incomprehensible as their love affairs.
The feature that Lisa only speaks French due to class requirements puts a completely unique spin on the oldest jokes. “Field Goal of Dreams” Canadian football start works as a CRAZY magazine scribble from Sergio Aragones. Homer’s apology is a mini-masterpiece, even conceivably prepared by a giant conglomerate of terrifying lawyers from big firms. The people of Finland will forever be etched into the South American consciousness.
The “big titles that went nowhere” are just a series of classic alternate titles that go so fast that it makes us miss key episodes that were never good enough to be made. From “Snake on a Plane” through “Vest Side Story” to “Moe Money Mo Problems,” the segment alone could be extended like Season 7’s “22 Short Films About Springfield.” Even a random talking Santa’s little helper is just a chew toy to the landscape that munches to the irregular players.
Every character gets a chance to be funny. The humor is spread equally among all the minor and major players, bringing the power of the entire city of Springfield as top performers. The series should do things like this more often. Going into the episode, we’re sure it’s diving into the “everyone gets a trophy” backwater, but the cognitive dissonance of the intrusion is an undercurrent, opening up a blank canvas. The show’s social commentary is phenomenally low-key, its political commentary is kept subversive, and its terrifying predictions are all too accurate.
The lies stop here. DNA tests reveal that Milhouse really is a prodigal, Moleman used to be a stud, and Marge’s family history has a twist as disturbing as the movie Chinatown. This brings us back to the safety of the originally planned program, and the ultimate lesson. Bart and Lisa learn that they’ll never go outside again and just want to stay home and watch TV, and their parents have never been prouder. As would happen in most of these routine episodes, we missed Marge and Homer almost breaking up over something insignificant, and the routine conclusion of a hasty apology. The formula is better spilled.