Lifetime of Simpsons

S18 E16 – Homerazzi

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This has certainly been a rough week here on Lifetime of Simpsons. We had one really solid episode, and a lot of mediocre to actively bad ones. So what better way to send this week off than with a super weird episode where Homer becomes a paparazzi? I could think of several way, but this is what we’re given.

The episode starts off with a very long and drawn out couch gag that’s the evolution of Homer, which was kind of fun, but mostly just made me assume that the episode was running super short. Which was correct! And once the episode actually begins we see that it’s Homer’s birthday and the family are celebrating at the house. They’ve just given Homer his cake, and it’s time for him to blow out the candles.

Unfortunately Homer does terribly at this, and can’t seem to blow out any of the candles. They imply that this is because he’s out of shape, but that seems really weird. Whatever, Homer spends the whole night trying to blow out candles, despite the massive chest pains that this is causing, and just keeps trucking. All the way into the wee hours of the night, when he ends up causing a fire from the candles, which results in the fire department being called to save them.

This fire was a wake-up call for the family though, and they decide that they need to get a fire-proof safe in order to keep their most precious belongings safe, no matter what. Each family member is allowed to pick one item to keep in the safe, once they get it, and they hold a little ceremony to put their chosen item in it. Marge picks a photo album, Lisa picks a Malibu Stacy car, Bart gets a walking Krusty doll, and Homer gets a bottle of the Wookie-themed cologne that he wore on he and Marge’s first date. So they cram all that garbage into the safe, and stand around, waiting for nothing to happen I guess.

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But something does happen. The Krusty doll ends up walking around inside the safe, it turns on the headlights of the Malibu Stacy car, which heats up the bottle of cologne until it explodes, burning the family photos, inside the fire-proof safe. So, all of their junk is ruined. But the main problem is the family photos being destroyed. Which means that Marge is going to have to do something insane. Recreate the all!

So Marge quickly becomes obsessed with recreating these photos, making Homer and the kids do all sorts of ridiculous poses. And after quite some time they actually manage to recreate all of the photos that were lost in the fire, and they sit back to enjoy their accomplishment. However, as they’re looking at the photos they notice something odd in the background of one. Duffman and Boobarella on a date at the restaurant that they took a picture in.

After a moment of marveling at catching some candid celebrity photos, they decide that they should try and sell the picture to the local tabloid, the Springfield Inquisitor. So Homer heads down to the Springfield Inquisitor headquarters, and manages to sell the photo to the sleazy editor. And the editor likes the picture so much that he offers Homer a position as a paparazzi for the Inquisitor. Homer obviously accepts.

And he’s not that good at first. He just kind of marches right up to celebrities that are in Springfield and tries to take their pictures. Which isn’t that great of a strategy. But Homer starts to go down the right path when he and Bart go to some snooty grocery store for rich people and see the Rich Texan and his daughter Paris. He has Bart go an insult Paris, and takes some great pictures of her beating up a commoner.

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From there things start going pretty smoothly for Homer’s new career, as he continues to get more and more photos. He even finds some dry cleaners that all sorts of previous guest stars use, and has a confrontational conversation with Betty White. Homer just starts traveling all around the town, getting more and more pictures while turning Lisa’s bedroom into a darkroom. And eventually things reach the point that Homer becomes the Inquisitor’s star photographer.

Which means Homer’s going to need a big score to stay on top. And he accomplishes this by having Barney fly him in a helicopter to some secluded island where Ranier Wolfcastle is having a wedding. Homer flies right into the wedding, get the photos, and flies off, earning Wolfcastle’s ire. So Wolfcastle calls a summit of celebrities where they discuss what to do about Homer. And their decision is to hire the world’s greatest paparazzi to go to war with Homer.

So the paparazzi heads off into Springfield with the quest of finding embarrassing photos of Homer. Which isn’t hard at all, because he’s always doing stupid things. And after a while of stalking Homer the paparazzi acquires enough embarrassing photos of Homer to fill a whole magazine that gets released and destroys Homer’s reputation. Which means the celebrities are free to be horrible once again, without repercussions. That is until Homer storms into a nightclub that they’re all in celebrating, and reminds them that he has the ability to ruin them whenever he wants, and tells them all to act decent or else he’ll come out of retirement.

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I’ve had some really bad episodes this week, but this episode is just kind of nothing. Like, this write-up took so long for me, because I just kept losing interest while writing it. There’s just nothing too this episode, and you kind of forget everything about it ten minutes after watching it. Everything about it is just so dull, and leaves almost no impression on me. Plus, there’s like no connective tissue to the episode. We start off acting like this is going to be an episode about Homer’s failing health, but then we focus on fires, to then focus on remaking family photos, before landing on a paparazzi plot. It’s just all over the place, and combined with the length of the couch gag I really feel like they just couldn’t figure out this episode, and just were spinning their wheels until they had an episode that was just long enough to air. Not the strongest effort.

Take Away: Celebrities fight dirty, so if you go to war with them, be prepared.

“Homerazzi” was written by J Stewart Burns and directed by Matthew Nastuk, 2007.

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