The Simpsons S32E11: “The Dad-Feelings Limited”

All images used in this review are from FOXFLASH, Fox’s press release site. The Simpsons ©2020 by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. They are used with their permission, as they are publicity images.

Episode summary (spoilers): After a long and tiring day of taking care of their kids, Marge and Homer want to go out to do something “adult”. They stumble into Moe’s bar, where he’s hosting a trivia night. Kumiko, Comic Book Guy’s wife, invites Homer and Marge to sit with them. Homer and Marge prove to be good at trivia, which gets the four of them to become friends.

One day Marge invites Kumiko and Comic Book Guy over to their house, but Maggie starts crying on the walkie talkie. Marge asks Kumiko to go watch her, and she instantly starts bonding with the baby. She asks Comic Book Guy back at home if they can have a baby. He refuses.

To get CBG to like kids, Marge and Homer decide to take the kids on a cemetery movie night. They leave the kids with CBG and Kumiko and wander off. At first, Bart and Lisa are glued to their phones and aren’t interested in the movie, but when CBG takes their screens away, the kids really enjoy the movie. And that makes CBG feel at ease with children. However, when Marge and Homer are nowhere to be found, Bart and Lisa turn to CBG for comfort. This makes him change his mind and he runs off. To solve his problem, he goes to the one place where his dislike for children started, his childhood home. But is that enough to get him back on track, or will he live a life of disdain and regret.

My thoughts: As one of my first publications on this site, I wanted to start talking about Fox AniDom episodes since I think they don’t get any coverage, especially their new comedies. If you want people to watch, then maybe someone should talk about them to get other people interested? And so, that’s what I’m doing. I’ll review each episode as long as it isn’t a boring nothing episode where I have the same things to say about them.

The Simpsons starts off 2021 with a pretty damn good episode, and while I may have preferred that Fox aired Bless the Harts‘ table read episode instead, since they’re behind one episode and were pushed back again to air the pilot of The Great North to lead out the NFL, I can say that I’m happy that we got a quality episode of The Simpsons to start off this year. Don’t forget, we still have a virus pandemic taking place, so starting 2021 off right made me feel better.

But Season 32, so far, in my opinion, has been very hit or miss. And most of the season so far is more of a miss, for me at least. However, I will have to say when it comes to the two long-running, but mostly nothing sitcoms of the AniDom block, that The Simpsons in its current state is better than Family Guy in its current state. And that’s simply because I think when the writers and producers try harder like they did here, they make some pretty, damn good stuff. Believe it or not, when more effort is put into something, it works. And when it doesn’t like some of the other ones this season, it’s lazy, it’s boring, it’s played out, and it’s especially unfunny and cringy. But after 31 years of constant airing, it’s not always going to hit, but I will always respect the staff on The Simpsons for trying their best. I was invited to be a guest on the 2020 Comic-Con panel and I really enjoyed being there, and I respect the staff on The Simpsons a lot for inviting me. They even gave me a gift, which I have yet to open.

And that’s what “Dad-Feelings Limited” does solidly at. For one, it’s not a rehash of older episodes. It’s different than the typical “Homer/Marge marriage crisis” or “Lisa meets a new friend” episodes. Episodes focusing on the family tend to be mostly boring and played out because we’ve had so many of them. But focusing on one of the minor characters, especially after 695 episodes, feels better because there are things fans have always wanted to know about them. And now the fans do, because the producers and writers decided to make an episode that’s not only different, but also interesting.

The plot direction with exploring CBG’s past and present life was interesting and never boring. I think we really needed an episode like this to dive into a minor character’s background, and move away from Homer/Marge episodes. ‘The Road to Cincinnati” did the same thing with an episode focused on Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers, and it proved to be decent as well, whereas episodes about marriage crisis rehashes like “The 7 Beer Itch”, or “Lisa meets a friend” episodes like “The Girl on the Bus”, or a “no one likes Mr. Burns” episode like “Undercover Burns” that’s been seen many times tend to be poor.

I liked seeing the two couples bond over trivia, even if it does feel a bit out of character for Homer. I think one of the best parts though was CBG confronting his dad, and how willingly his dad was to play with him. It ends a bit predictable, but nice to see someone get what we wanted them to get. I don’t like CBG sometimes, but there are times that I do feel bad for him, and this is one of those times. The new voice actress who played Kumiko did a great job, and so did the guest star for CBG’s dad.

“The Dad-Feelings Limited” does a solid job at diving into a minor character’s life, while also managing to keep me interested through the entire plot. And it was pretty funny as well. This episode was certainly a memorable one to start off 2021, and may be one of the best episodes of the season so far, along with “I, Carumbus”. I’m impressed with the quality of this episode, and this is an easy recommendation for a diehard Simpsons fan who may not have time to see all the clutter, but wants something new, yet fun. And I’ve seen all 695 episodes, some multiple times even. Although I’m skeptical because this is likely to be a “one of the more memorable ones” while most of the others come out just fine or eh, I am looking forward to many of the upcoming episodes in seasons 32 and 33, including the show’s milestone 700th episode, which is coming sometime in spring of 2021.

Overall rating: 8.5/10