The Simpsons Review: “YOLO” (Season 25, Episode 4)

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As for Homer, there are some good classic bits in his childhood communiqués to his pen pal Eduardo, like his dream of becoming King of Cheeseburger Mountain and striking out Jesus in the World Series. There’s also a funny bit where Homer confuses Marge’s melancholy for a melon collie, as in a collie made of melons.

As for Eduardo, he didn’t make much an impression and was a little typically Spanish with his 8 wives, 200 kids and viva life attitude. It’s almost like the writers didn’t put in a lot of time coming up with a character and maybe just watched Vicki Christina Barcelona one too many times. In the end though, the whole YOLO set-up went somewhere seemingly insignificant. If one’s midlife disappointments were tantamount to childish silliness like being a fireman or a cartoon flying squirrel, there would be no “crisis” in midlife crisis.

On a sad note, the voice of Marcia Wallace as Mrs. Krabappel was featured this week, a bittersweet reminder of the actress’ recent passing, and the fact that there’s still lots of Mrs. Krabappel left (Wallace’s last episode is expected sometime later this season or the beginning of the next). Also, did Dr. Hibbert come out as a morphine addict there at the end? I’m starting to think that Canadian Medical Association Journal article joking that Dr. Nick Riveria is a better source of medical treatment in Springfield isn’t so jokey.

In other notes, I can’t remember when they built a copycat version of the Burj Khalifa in Springfield, but seeing Homer repeatedly fall down the side of it was a great gag. In fact, there were a couple of good gags in the episode, but they were really just chuckles and not outright laughs.

Still, I can take an episode that isn’t trying so hard to break the mould that it forgets to be funny (like last week’s “Four Regrets and a Funeral,”), and just enjoy a straight-up regular outing where Homer is dumb, Bart is incorrigible, and Lisa tries to single-handedly change education for the better.

Overall, “YOLO” was a solid episode. It wasn’t particularly creative, inventive, or original, but The Simpsons bat .500 this week without the benefit of any frills or celebrity voices. And that in and of itself is impressive.

Until next week, remember that there’s a lot of cabbage in betting on kickball.