Long running shows can occasionally be forgiven for a less than stellar episode, but “Specs and the City” seemed less like something that was written and more like something that was thrown together from a lot of random, and sometimes well-worn, gags. The Simpsons sometimes does this now, they create a comedy blender where a bunch of random ingredients are thrown together, chopped up and liquefied into an unappetizing paste that doesn’t taste quite as bad as it sounds. “Specs” takes on the Super Bowl, Google, Valentine’s Day and the paradoxical capacity for Marge and Homer’s marriage to endure, but none of it adds up to much.
This week’s elaborate couch gag found Homer missing the epic match-up between the Seahawks and the Broncos because Bart threw his six-pack over a hydro line like a beat up pair of sneakers. Watching it, I wondered if the game will come down to a last minute field goal as The Simpsons’ predicted, but before you know it, we were into the episode and back in time. An uncharacteristically generous Mr. Scrooge, I mean Burns, gives his power plant works each a brand new pair of “Oogle Goggles” (read: Google Glass). But it isn’t generosity that’s driving Burnsy, it’s the brand new $26 million surveillance system designed to curb the some $7,000 in office supply theft.
We then fast-forward to the eve of Valentine’s Day, and the Springfield School Board has mandated that every kid giving a valentine, must give a valentine to every kid. Bart isn’t pleased with this as he’d rather give a valentine to a girl than to Nelson. When he tries to go all Spartacus and deny Nelson a paper heart (even if it is a Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole card), Nelson gives Bart a week to make up for it because either way, “There’s going to be a heart in my hand.”