The Simpsons Season 31 Episode 15 Review: Screenless


Marge takes all the fun of baby sign language by angsting over a fun week of repetitive drills. Maggie can express to Marge that she doesn’t want to see Star Wars because she used to be baby Yoda. Maggie signs “fire, “monster garbage smell” at Patty and Selma’s place but she always sleeps so well there. Maggie’s lessons are so successful Marge is looking at educational forums which only ask for students’ brains when they die. But just as she makes the connection, social commentary throws red tape on it. The educational forum lost its government funding and the family stopped paying attention.

Marge demands the family give up their phones. Lisa’s suggestion the family have a conversation gets a big laugh, from the family who has no intention of missing a single Tik Tok post. Marge points out Steve Jobs never gave his kids an iPad. The family shoots back a reminder of Marge’s own social media presence. “Cake fails are important,” she pleads. “If people fail at cake they need to be told.” This is so perfectly Marge. It is completely relatable to how she’s taken on the reality of homemaker and yet it adds the twinge of her addictive personality. She’s the one with the gambling problem.

I was very impressed by Marge’s covert tech. We all know how much she can hide in her hair, but the Apple Watch she keeps on her shin spans two investigative gadgetry classics. It is basically a Dick Tracy watch you wear on your shin, which is much more convenient than Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone on Get Smart. The CONTROL spies had to have all their conversations in one place, ostensibly while standing on one foot.

Like most of Marge’s ideas, going all the way back the earliest seasons, the demand is successful. It not only works, but the idea spreads, which also happens a lot with Marge’s ideas. Bart finds an old toy spaceship and throws all his voices into playing it. The fun is so infectious the bullies not only talk back to Bart’s “”Jupiter One,” but build one. The best part of theirs is it can fire photon torpedoes at nerds. Lisa rediscovers the tactile pleasures of Library card stock and hand written notes. Homer masters newspaper puzzles. It is very funny when he says he’d always assumed the Daily Jumble proofreader had a stroke. Everyone is happier. But, as is also the case with Marge’s ideas, she is her own worst enemy. So when she can’t look up a recipe on the internet, she goes that one extra step which will push the family back to the status quo.

Marge is the enabler of the family. She is America’s national enabler. When she’s the one with the problem, she is the queen of denial. She books the family at the “Commitments” rehab center where they have Dr. Drew on call at all times. To paraphrase Homer’s assessment of Dr. Joyce Brothers, I find Pinsky’s credentials highly questionable. But the place has a zen garden for Lisa, real guns for Bart, which lets him take a shot for and at the Second Amendment, and the notion that fornicating is better than listening to braiding podcasts. Homer agrees to live in a world without online solitaire. Marge gives up her Instagram, but as we all know, has to retain her Facebook page because those accounts cannot be deleted.

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