Before you ask, someone else here covers Bob’s Burgers so that’s why it is not here.
BLESS THE HARTS – “Big Pimpin'” Review
Episode summary (spoilers): Louise’s husband Daniel dies on a cruise ship, so she makes a pillow version of him to remember him. When Wayne goes to comfort her, she becomes obsessed with Wayne, he agrees to be her surrogate boyfriend. Louise becomes so happy that she has someone in her life, so she surprises Jenny with huge bonuses. Wayne gets tired of this after a while, but Jenny allows Louise to continue “dating” Wayne. When Wayne finds out that Jenny continues to sell him out so she can have fun, he gets mad. What’s gonna happen next?
Meanwhile Betty thinks Louise murdered Daniel, so Violet and David decide to make a podcast to learn more. Betty claims she solved more murders, so they try to cash in for clout. Unfortunately, the townspeople get upset when Betty makes false murder accusations.
My thoughts: Bless the Harts continues to shake things up on Animation Domination with more, out there episodes, and “Big Pimpin'” is no exception. The second season of the show is taking more risks and isn’t afraid to dig into more darker themes than the other shows on the block. This episode marks a pretty big continuity change for the show, with a recurring character (Louise’s husband Daniel) being killed off (let’s hope they remember to keep him dead).
First off, Betty’s accusations just come out of nowhere and are just silly and nonsensical to the point where it gets her in trouble. Violet and David have some good lines here too and I really enjoyed their podcast and how it became a quick hit. I really enjoyed Betty’s conspiracy theory that Louise killed Daniel, and how Violet and David continue to cash in on Betty’s rambling “murder stories”. It’s good that Betty, Violet, and David face consequences because it’s not okay to falsely accuse people of murder, and I really appreciated when Violet and David just quit when Betty wouldn’t give up her charade.
The main’s plot surprisingly is pretty dark, dealing with the hardships of being a widow, but also comical at the same time. Louise gets some good character development here, and seems to be pretty mature about the situation when Wayne gets upset. We learn here that she gets very clingy when a man spends time with her. The first Black Friday special seems to implicate that, but I wasn’t sure if it was just Daniel. I’m very curious to see what she continues to be throughout the rest of the season.
The episode did start off a bit slow, but really got interesting by the second act with the characters facing their consequences. I liked seeing Brenda and Jenny enjoy their luxuries with their bonuses due to Louise’s good mood. I would have liked to see more of the podcast, because I felt there wasn’t enough. This is a show that could really benefit with a 25 minute run time to let the plots breathe and ease into the next part naturally. I truly advocate for Hulu to pick up this show as a Hulu original if Fox cancels it. This show would work a lot better with an overarching story, although I wouldn’t mind if they did some “sitcom” stuff.
As for funny things, it’s not the funniest episode, far from it; but I would be lying if there were not any funny moments. I liked seeing Brenda drinking tequila at 10am. The reference to Disney Pixar’s Up was great, and this show is also owned by Disney, don’t forget. I also just laughed when Louise was swimming in the mud. And as for a joke I really digged, Betty claims that there are more dead people than plastic, but really it’s the other way around. Seriously guys, recycle.
“Big Pimpin'” is a good example of the second season of Bless the Harts continuing to take more risks. Although it did take a while to get going, both plots kept me hooked, and there were some good montages and funny jokes. I’ve just appreciated how consistent this season is compared to the last. With 13 more episodes left, I’m stoked to see how this second season’s second half will be able to close out. I think we’re only a bit away from approaching one of the show’s best gems.
Overall rating: 7.5/10
THE SIMPSONS – “Wad Goals” Review
Episode summary: (spoilers) While hanging out, Bart and Milhouse spy on Jimbo, who tells them that caddies earn a lot of money. So, Bart becomes a golf caddy to a man named Barry (who is voiced by King of the Hill alum Stephen Root) and earns a lot of money. Marge spies on Bart while talking to the golfers and finds out that he’s saying false compliments to get money. Marge is worried that he is doing it to “suck up”. So she starts a campaign to shut down the country club. When Barry dismisses Bart as his caddy after finding out about Marge’s campaign, Bart learns that he’s not really “appreciated” after all.
My thoughts: The Simpsons continues into 2021 with a surprisingly a pretty solid episode. The entire concept of caddies is pretty well done. However, I think the episode took a little too long to get started, a typical problem for many Simpsons episodes recently. The ending is a little rushed and I would want to see what happened to Barry at the end.
Marge’s reasoning for shutting down the golf course isn’t really justified. Many people suck up to their bosses to keep their job. It’s part of life. I don’t think her reasoning was because of that, but more because Bart would spend less time with her. The SJW stuff was very irrelevant and was not necessary at all. The ending is pretty nice though.
Ralph doing that dance at the end was really funny. I wish they showed that during the whole credits.
“Wad Goals” is pretty good. I did like the concept of using tackling how people selling out, but some jokes were pretty boring, and Marge’s reason for not liking Bart being a caddy isn’t executed very well. Still though, with the show on a good sign for 2021, I’m anticipated to see how this season ends.
Overall rating: 6.5/10
THE GREAT NORTH “Romantic Meat-Based Adventure” Review
Episode summary: (spoilers) After a bad experience with her braces getting stuck to another boy, Judy backs out of kissing another boy after going out on a date. This leads her to be worried that her dad will never get out there again with a significant other. So Judy pushes her dad to get himself out there and get a date. When Beef finds a date, who actually shares the same interests as him, he actually shows interest in the lady. When he asks the lady out, he gets rejected. Now what?
My thoughts: Compared to mainstays like The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers, The Great North is still Fox’s newest animated series. As such, it’s not as predictable as the other shows on what it can bring out, and this is very refreshing. In addition to a lot of laughs, the plot is also very tight, and well paced. The biggest highlight of this episode is Beef and Judy’s dynamic. We’ve seen in the pilot how their dynamic truly could possibly be the next Bob and Louise, however, I also think it’s a little different, in a good way.
Both of them share the fear of getting back out there again, and for good reasons. Beef is still saddened that his wife Kathleen left him for another man, and is also worried that he will be rejected. And Judy is still reluctant to kiss another guy after what happened when a boy’s hair got stuck into her braces when they tries to kiss.
Moon’s plot about teaching a bird how to is a light, yet amusing. I like how inserted into nature he is, and it provides some pretty funny moments. I also appreciated how this show tackles continuity. Judy actually continues to work at the mall, and she acknowledged that her dad has been trying to move on from Kathleen (Beef’s ex-wife). It’s nice to see this show continue to hit right out of the gate. Unlike Duncanville and Bless the Harts, where they took a few episodes before finding their strides, this show will only continue to get better. I’m very impressed with what we’ve gotten so far out of these few episodes. It only gives me hope for the rest of season 1.
“Romantic Meat-Based Adventure” is a great episode of this new rookie show. I think The Great North will continue to be a mainstay on the Fox animated lineup. The show’s been renewed for a second season, so we will be seeing more of the Tobin’s for a while. The show’s only going to continue to get better, and hopefully, it can be of the same quality of Bob’s Burgers at its peak in its second season, and hopefully more.
Overall rating: 8/10
FAMILY GUY – “And Then There’s Fraud” Review
Episode summary: (spoilers) After a museum employee thinks Stewie is 3 years old, he thinks he’s getting old, so he gets plastic surgery.
On the side, Meg needs to be constantly supervised for an unknown reason.
Meanwhile, Peter and Chris go to watch a baseball game, and when Chris ends up on the jumbotron, a fan paid $300 for the baseball. So Peter and Chris decide to start a phony memorabilia business. But when Quagmire ends up on the scam, can Peter and Chris get away with it?
My thoughts: Family Guy is a pretty difficult show to review, mainly because it’s mostly a sketch comedy. This season of Family Guy has been very miss, in my opinion. And unfortunately, this is one of the worst episodes of the season. The cutaways are all terrible. The story is wafer-thin. The Meg abuse is just stupid and overdone. The part with Peter and Chris losing their heads was unfunny and just a way to insert pointless gore. Peter’s plot was fine, but was taken down by all the awful jokes. And the Stewie plot with him getting plastic surgery was really boring and lazy. Oh, and more pointless gore with Meg cutting her foot just to escape. The Meg abuse is just stupid, overdone, and painfully unfunny now. It was funny maybe the first or second time, then it got old and the writers have never let it go. And I don’t believe they can’t write for a teenage girl because they have female writers on the show. Emily Towers, for example, was the head writer for the terrible “Better off Meg”, a Meg focused episode that had a lot of potential to be good, but instead did a 180 and made Chris into one of the most unlikeable characters in animation and reinforced that the writers cannot accept change and character development.
And that Hudson brothers montage was basically a repetition of the infamous Conway Twitty gag and was solely used to fill time. The entire thing took almost 2 whole minutes. It makes no sense to me that the writers do stuff like this. It just proves they don’t have any original jokes to tell. At least with the other awful cutaways and jokes, they attempt to try something and it doesn’t click. But gags like these and Conway Twitty are just lazy writing at its finest.
I can recall a few moments I smiled at. Notice I said smiled, not laughed. I was amused by these and nothing more. The first moment was when Stewie thought he was old, because 3 years old is certainly not old. The second moment was when Joe trying to make Peter buy expensive gum to let Chris use the bathroom, although it got lame quickly when he had to repeat the numbers. The third moment was when Dr. Hartman thought plastic surgery Stewie was Daryl Hannah, and the fourth moment was when Stewie’s skin fell off during his portrait.
“And Then There’s Fraud” is not only a bad episode of modern Family Guy, it’s also one of the laziest episodes the show has ever done. The story is wafer-thin, there’s almost no jokes that work, and the writers even had to insert a lot of those jokes that take too long just to fill time, like the Hudson brothers performance. This entire season has been mostly a miss, and if it keeps going, this might be the worst season of the show since the terrible and controversial season 12. I really am a fan of Family Guy, and a true fan knows when the show is in decline, to the point where it becomes unwatchable.
Overall rating: 2/10