The Husband:

Ahhh…the first Sunday in months where we got a new episode for each of Animation Domination’s four shows. How’d they stack up? Quite well, actually, and I’m all the happier for it.

The Simpsons 20.12 “No Loan Again, Naturally”

I guess the showrunners of King Of The Hill are either more prescient than those behind The Simpsons, or their episodes get made more quickly, because the former beat the latter into getting an episode about the housing crisis to air by quite a few months. It doesn’t really matter, because while both shows concern the plight of the middle class in fly-over America (yes, I know we don’t know technically where The Simpsons takes place, but it’s always felt Midwestern to me), they took somewhat different approaches.

After throwing yet another Mardi Gras party and putting the finances through their already poorly mortgaged house…

“Oh Mardi Gras, oh Mardi Gras, you see a lot of boobies.” — Homer singing to the tune of “Oh, Christmas Tree”

…742 Evergreen Terrace now has no choice but to be foreclosed and then sold to the highest bidder during an auction, thus putting the Simpson family out on their ass. But as a last minute reprieve, Flanders listens to his Protestant (but not Baptist) heart and buys the house, letting the Simpsons stay there and letting them pay him back the $101,000 whenever they get a chance. But now that Flanders is the landlord, it is his duty to fix every single one of the house’s problems at the beck and call of the Simpsons, something they abuse almost immediately.

Sorry, Homer!

Sorry, Homer!

Fed up, Flanders tries to kick them out of the house in order to sell it to somebody more worthy and less deadbeat-y, but Homer has a trick up his sleeve. Since you can’t evict anybody from a house over a certain age (65, was it?), Homer lets Grandpa live in the house. Grandpa is very happy to be used, but when the Simpsons go out for a good time, they come back to find all their crap on their lawn. (Grandpa had succumbed to living next-door with Flanders, who fed him “people food.”) But Flanders, in his great big googlyooogly heart, knows that no matter how horrible the family is, he just can’t be the one to kick them out, so he accepts them back, warts and all.

Like I said, this episode was a little late to the gate, but I also think it might have been their best story so far this season. It was more relatable than most of the shenanigans they’ve recently been put through, and while I don’t demand that The Simpsons always be more down-to-earth, I’m thankful when they are.

Some other good bits from the episode:

  • “Boy, where are my zydeco records?!” — Homer (I know it’s not meant to be that funny of a line, but coming out of Homer’s mouth it kind of is)
  • Woman: What are you, some kind of talking dog?
    Moe: Uhh…yeah.
  • “Learn to make soup from rocks and grass.” — Mortgage Broker to Marge
  • Homer: he’s nailing something to our door.
    Lisa: Is it theses?
  • The DVD that Homer puts in to distract his grandfather: Dwight D. Eisenhower talking about golf

King Of The Hill 13. 11 “Bwah My Nose”

It seems that for Hank, he has been the shame of Arlen for decades now. But why? Well, back in high school during the big football game against their rivals the Mustangs, Hank let his fellow Longhorns down by getting injured and thus losing the game. And ever since that day, the former Mustang team has come around time and again to harass their archenemies with taunts and teases (even though, technically, they won entirely on field goals). Hank, no longer willing to be mocked, decides to get the gang together for one final, deciding game – although it’s going to be flag football, as each member of the team is well into middle age.

He goes far and wide to find his fellow teammates, including one who was so shamed that he moved to Phoenix (where it’s even hotter than Texas!). Now that the team is together, seemingly nothing can stop them. Even Bill is feeling some of his former glory as a ball player.

“Stay out of the Bill-dozer’s way!” – Bill

But when Bill gets a little too into a practice scrimmage, he accidentally breaks Hank’s nose, and his bloody appearance shocks his family.

“I don’t have to beat up someone’s son, do I?” – Bobby

This leads Hank to do something completely against his belief system – go to a plastic surgeon. But he is amazed to find that, with the surgery, he can also correct something he felt was always wrong with his nose – one of his nostrils. And his new nose, as he considers it, is beautiful.

“I don’t care if they had to use part of your butt. You look great.” – Bobby

But for perhaps the first time ever, Hank is now obsessed with his looks, and so he finds himself avoiding the football at practice, simply to protect his glorious new nez. He decides that to save face, he pretends that his nose is still sensitive, and that he can no longer play in the game. But Peggy knows when her husband is lying, and Bobby (who claims that he uses “I have the cramps” as an excuse to get out of gym class) knows a faker when he sees one. They bring him into the plastic surgeon to get him to fess up, but Hank throws a hissy.

“I love my perfect, perfect nose. Is it so wrong to be beautiful?” – Hank

But that sentence is enough to make Hank realize that he’s being a namby-pamby, and so he rejoins the team, and even breaks out of a vicious tackle to score the winning touchdown. Finally victors after all these years, the gang decides to give the Mustangs a taste of their own medicine and taunt them at work, because even if they are successful businessmen, they are losers in the eyes of the football gods.

A funny, decades-later look at the same general concepts behind the brilliant show Friday Night Lights. And it’s always fun to see Hank turn into something so stereotypical, as whenever he says anything like “is it so wrong to be beautiful” as if a teenage girl would say it, I fall down laughing. I’ve been with his character so long that I guess it comes with the territory.

But the best quote of the night?

“Come on, dad, you can do it. You may not be able to run, but you can flee.” – Joseph to Dale

Family Guy 7.8 “Family Gay”

FG takes on a controversial issue, whether homosexuality is nature or nurture and if it really is a choice, in a completely bonkers way and yet somehow does so with a weird mixture of vulgarity and understanding. (The answer: well, if you’ve ever actually treated gay people with any kind of respect and understanding, you’d know the answer. Now to get off my soapbox…)

When Peter is sent out to simply buy one can of beans, he comes back from Louisville having just bought a defective racehorse for the house. Why? No reason, really.

“Peter, I don’t think it’s wise to have a brain-damaged horse as a house pet.” — Lois

Just like The Simpsons, though, the first act of FG has progressed to be less and less about the actual story and simply acts as a catalyst, so when the brain-damaged horse ends up doing $100,000 of damage at the racetrack before dying, Peter has to pay off the family’s debts by being a guinea pig in some scientific experiments.

The Seth Rogan gene also makes you schlubby, but inexplicably attractive.

The Seth Rogen gene also makes you schlubby, but inexplicably attractive.

What kind of experiments? Why, genetic testing, of course. After receiving genes that turn him into a squirrel and then Seth Rogen (not at the same time, although I’d love to see that), he is injected with the “gay gene,” turning him into a ragingly effeminate and silly version of himself. While he goes overboard with the not-entirely-fair gay stereotypes (prancing, making muffins, being ridiculously sexualized), his family tolerates his new personality, until Lois is distraught to find that he just won’t have sex with her anymore. Brian decides to send him to a “straight camp” with very questionable tactics, until they all realize that they love their Peter, gay or not, because he clearly isn’t making the choice for himself.

But when the gay gene wears off after only 2.5 weeks (right in the middle of Peter having an 11-way), Peter comes running home to his family, who would love him no matter what.

I’m not sure if 100% of FG‘s audience is going to get some of the sarcasm of this episode, and some would say that its remarkably silly approach to the subject might actually do some damage within the brains of those not paying attention, but I’m just hazarding a guess, really. It was a particularly funny episode, and maybe I’m just underestimating some viewers. Prove me wrong, but if you came out of this episode simply thinking that gay sex was gross, brother, you missed the point.

A whole lot of random funny, comin’ at ya:

  • The Dragon’s Lair reference during the show’s first few minutes was excellent, so esoteric I had to explain to my wife what the hell it meant
  • “Is Paul Sorvino standing behind me?” — Stewie re: hard-breathing brain-damaged horse
  • How many times has Cleveland’s house been destroyed while he’s in the tub?
  • The racehorses all being named after canceled FOX shows is a recycled joke from FG‘s first episode back from cancellation, but it was still damn funny. (Especially the dig at still-on-television-for-no-discernable-reason ‘Til Death.)
  • “Penis for your thoughts.” — Peter
  • The Lifetime movie: Meredith Baxter in Raped By A Clown
  • “Take back your f@#&ing horse!” — Mort

American Dad 4.12 “Roy Rogers McFreely”

If we’ve learned anything from this show over the years, it’s that hell hath no fury like a Roger scorned. (Remember what he did to Steve when simply told, “You snooze, you lose?” I rest my case.) When forbidden from having him simple coke-and-grenadine concoction of a Roy Rogers, Roger takes on the persona of Roy Rogers McFreely, a cowboy-hat wearing son-of-a-gun, and becomes president of the Langley Falls homeowner’s council and proceeds to turn the monotone and rigidly structured community into a mess of self-expression, wild paints jobs, bight motion-sensor lights and…oh god…

“Oh no, Steve — non-native ornamental grass!” — Stan

For once in his life, Stan is being put down by The Man instead of simply being The Man, and can no longer take it. Finally able to relate to the plight of his daughter Hayley (although without the hippieness, the drugs or the shitty Ghostbusters II body paint), Stan bands together with Steve, Hayley, his gay newscaster neighbors, and old man and an agoraphobe communicating through a Charlie’s Angels speakerphone, to take to the streets and secretly do some “constructive vandalism” in order to return the community to its former glory.

It’s a battle amongst giants, and Roger won’t take this insubordination lying down, especially not with his band of fighting Mexicans, but he is no match for a backed-into-a-corner-while-wielding-a-firehose-from-the-newly-installed-hydrant, so Stan is ultimately the successor. Silliness abounds.

I have to agree with the AV Club that some of the episode’s points had already been covered just fine so far this season, but if it can make me laugh, I care far less. It was a good night from each show, and American Dad capped it off nicely.

Funny stuff! You know you wanna:

  • “Absolutely not. I’m zombie-dancing with my son.” — Stan
  • “Humans are talking!” — Francine to Klaus before breaking his fishbowl
  • “Sergei don’t need to go on another treasure hunt.” — Sergei
  • “To the bathroom, princess style!” — Roger
  • The elementary school Spanish-level lyrics of the Cilantro song that Stan hates so fervently.
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