Hey, do you guys remember the episode Gump Roast from Season 13? It was the clip show that ended with that silly song, “They’ll Never Stop the Simpsons?” Well, at the end of that song they list some terrible ideas of future episodes, like Moe getting a cellphone. They also mention a crazy wedding, and suggest Grandpa marrying Selma. Well, apparently by Season 18 they had completely run out of ideas, because here is that episode.
The episode starts off with Homer bringing the rest of the family, blindfolded, down to the basement to show them a surprise. And after some painful injuries caused by going down stairs while blindfolded, Homer reveals that he’s apparently been secretly transforming the basement into a pretty kickass rec room. There’s wood paneling, shag carpet, pinball, and air hockey. Everything a person needs. And the family is stoked.
However, there is one problem about the whole thing. The cost. But Homer has a brilliant idea about how to get out of that. He’s going to file for bankruptcy! Unfortunately when he goes to court to do so, he learns that some laws have been changed and now as part of bankruptcy he has to pay back all of his debts. So the court appoints him a CPA to go over the Simpson’s finances and give them a new budget. So they need to start cutting frivolous expenses.
Which obviously means that they’re going to take Grandpa out of the Retirement Castle and make him live in the basement, thus negating the whole reason that their finances are tight. Eh, whatever, Grandpa moves into the basement and everyone quickly starts to hate him. He’s driving Marge crazy constantly, and even drives Bart and Lisa out into the world, where they begin their truly ridiculous B-Plot, which begins with them learning that a local delivery company will give them free cardboard boxes if they pretend they’re a business.
But before we see what Bart and Lisa are going to get up to, let’s get the main plot going. It begins with Marge slowly going mad from having Grandpa around all the time, and going out on a date with Homer. They leave Grandpa behind to babysit Maggie, but also have Selma come over with Ling so that she can watch Grandpa. This results in Grandpa and Selma awkwardly sitting around while the babies play, struggling to make idle conversation.
The night starts off incredibly awkward, talking about Selma’s lack of a love life and Grandpa feeling depressed about being stuck in the Simpson’s house. This obviously leads to the two popping open a bottle of wine and getting shitfaced together. Which of course leads to them having a sloppy makeout session. Which is right when Homer and Marge come home, horrified at what they witness. Selma leaves, awkwardly, and Homer yells at Grandpa for kissing Selma.
Before we get into that bizarre plot though, let’s check in on Bart and Lisa. Turns out they’ve ordered an obscene amount of cardboard boxes, promising the delivery man that they’re a company and will be using them wisely. Instead the build a massive cardboard castle, and play around in it. Which is when the deliveryman shows up to check on them, and is aghast at the waste of boxes. He then promises to return with other deliverymen and conquer Bart and Lisa’s castle.
Well, that didn’t last long, back to Grandpa and Selma. Things have gotten weirder. Instead of writing off their encounter as a horrible drunken mistake, they actually decide to start dating. Selma is a little wishy washy about this, until Grandpa convinces her to settle for a while and just have fun. The two start actually having a good time, heading all over town and having dates. And Homer absolutely hates it, and is not shy about talking about it.
However, Homer does find an unexpected ally in his war against this relationship when Patty tells him she also hates it. So the two plot together, and come up with a plan to split them up. And it’s insane. They know that Grandpa will be walking by a certain place in the mall, and they decide to have Patty pretend to be Selma, and make out with Homer, who is dressed up as Zorro. Oddly enough, this works, and Grandpa gets furious. Until the real Selma shows up, and ruins it.
Grandpa and Selma are really mad about Homer and Selma trying to ruin their relationship, so with that anger they decide to do something stupid. They get married. They have a full ceremony and everything, and head off to a honeymoon. Yep. Aunt Selma just married Grandpa. Let’s just go with it, we’re pretty close to the end. So Selma and Grandpa move into a little house, and since Pan Am doesn’t exist anymore, Selma becomes the primary breadwinner and takes a promotion at the DMV.
Hey, let’s talk about Bart and Lisa real quick. Their plot has gotten insane. They’re still living in their cardboard castle, preparing for the deliveryman to return for this vengeance. And he doesn’t come alone. He arrives with a fleet of delivery trucks, and begin assaulting the castle with an army of deliverymen. The segment then becomes a Lord of the Rings parody, with a massive battle involving cardboard swords, arrows, Nelson, and a goddamn dragon. But in the end, Bart and Lisa are triumphant, and the deliverymen leave. At which point Bart and Lisa get bored and destroy the castle with a hose.
Well, now that that’s done let’s move onto the end of the main plot. Things aren’t going great. Selma’s new job is incredibly stressful, and she’s quickly falling apart. Plus, Grandpa is a terrible stay at home dad, and is basically setting fires in the house every day, endangering Ling. And, after very little time being married, the two decide that this isn’t working out, and just decide to get a divorce, reverting the show back to normal so that we can hopeful forget that this episode happened.
What the hell is up with this episode? It’s seriously an episode based on a joke from a previous episode, and the point of that joke was that this premise was a terrible idea. And yet they made it. And it was terrible. I don’t know why the show has decided that randomly giving Selma new husbands for an episode is still a good idea, but it sure doesn’t work when she’s marrying a member of her own family. The Bart and Lisa plot was super inconsequential and dumb, but it was fun. The rest of the episode? Not so fun. I don’t think I really have a real reason that I can articulate, but this episode just bugs the hell out of me. It just feels so lazy, and is such a terrible idea. It just seems to be mocking the sadness of these two characters. It’s just a turd, and the sooner I can forget about it the better.
Take Away: Don’t get frivolously married. Especially to a member of your extended family.
“Rome-Old and Julie-Eh” was written by Daneil Chun and directed by Nancy Kruse, 2007.