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Worldly Distractions: The Simpsons 25.15 - The War of Art





And that's another time they're ripped off their own ripoff titles. Way to go, guys. I guess it can only go up from here?

No opening credits, just a title card. Homer wakes up in the morning and heads to the bathroom, only to find a message written on the mirror: "Lisa wants a guinea pig". Wait, I thought they had one, or was that retconned? I definitely know they had a hamster at some point. Marge gets the same message in the shower, as does Homer at work. She even paid Lenny and Carl to advertise. Lisa's argument is that she never had a pet of her own. Um, what about Snowball I through V? Anyway, they let her get the animal, but only after signing a complicated contract. She is thrilled.

They go to a guinea pig rescue, where Lisa has trouble choosing. The entire family waits for hours - no, days - as she looks around. Finally she appears to have settled, but the lady stupidly informs her that they do better in pairs. Homer has had enough and drags Lisa away before the house is infested.

Little Pokey is provided with an obsessively-crafted Peruvian environment in the Simpsons' living room, but soon proves to be an escape artist. Bart and Lisa try to track him down, but it's too late - he flees to the walls. Eventually he's rescued, but the famous boat painting is destroyed in the process. Wait, wait, they were previously established to have a closet full of those. Wizard did it, I guess?

Marge immediately wants to replace the painting and suggests an art gallery. Homer prefers garage sales. Unexpectedly, she finds the perfect painting on the Van Houtens' lawn. For twenty dollars, it's theirs. Marge is enamored. However, she hates the frame, and removes it only to find a signature. Johan Oldenveldt, according to Lisa, is a legendary Dutch painter. They decide to have it appraised, though Homer scoffs because it wasn't painted by "Leonardo Da Vinci Code". Turns out Marge and Lisa are right, and it's valued in the hundreds of thousands. Homer is appropriately enthused. However, his good mood is immediately destroyed when Marge insists they split the money with the Van Houtens.

Homer argues that it's theirs, Marge argues that they can't destroy a good friendship - though Homer feels it's really a Bart-Milhouse friendship than a whole family thing. He also has several counter-arguments about what would happen if his friends struck it rich from one of his former possessions. Marge doesn't quite buy it. Frankly, they both have a point. Eventually, they decide to sell the painting and keep it a secret from the Van Houtens forever. This would work just great - if Milhouse hadn't been lurking up in the treehouse. Cue a trip to the toy store to buy his silence.

Milhouse immediately takes every opportunity to exploit the Simpsons possible, then turns around and spills to his parents anyway. They're furious. There's a long argument, and Luann is super catty. Marge blames Homer for the whole thing, but they seem to get over it pretty quickly in light of all the money they'll soon have.

The Van Houtens take their revenge by going to the press. Kent Brockman paints them as Average Joes and the Simpsons as fat cats, FOX news-style. Soon enough, townspeople are throwing rocks and threatening/supportive notes through the window. In front of the auction house, riots break out for both sides of the argument. The auction begins. Just as things seem to be going well, one of Kirk's trashy exes breaks in, claiming the painting belongs to her. Apparently, he stole it from her while they were dating, though Kirk claims he bought it. The auction is suspended, the Van Houtens' marriage is in trouble, Marge is furious with Homer for some reason, and the auctioneer hooks up with Kirk's ex.

Over some Canadian Duff (now with codeine!), Kirk and Homer work out their sorrows. Kirk insists that he bought the painting while dating this woman, during a vacation on a tropical island. Immediately, Homer hatches a harebrained scheme to find the gallery on said island. Marge, however, is tired of all the drama the picture has caused and wants no more to do with it. Of course, Homer completely ignores her, taking Lisa to the island - though he tells her to say they went to a wine tasting.

They find the cafe, where it's confirmed that Kirk bought the painting - and there are many other awesome-looking paintings on the walls, including one which totally reminds me of the Group of Seven. Someone scoffs at Homer's taste in art from the corner, and JESUS FUCKING CHRIST IT'S MAX VON SYDOW. Hear that thud? That was film fans everywhere, all hitting the floor. He reveals himself to be a legendary art forger, making fake paintings for an insane profit. In fact, the painting at the centre of this episode paid off his tab at the cafe. Lisa protests, but he cuts her argument down by pointing out that all her interest disappeared when she discovered the real artist wasn't famous. "Beauty is beauty," he says. In fact, he has more respect for Homer, who has been all about the money from the beginning.

Homer moans that Marge is going to kill him. The painter offers to make it up to him by making some nice, original paintings. The Van Houtens receive a beautiful family portrait, mollifying them. However, Marge gets a forgery of her own - the sailboat once again. Everything is back to normal, roll credits. Except for a pointless tag scene about the history of the drink "Strupo" (the art forger's drink of choice). I think they were going for a surrealist touch. It doesn't work. Hey, at least we get to hear more Von Sydow.

So, the episode was okay, which is a compliment these days. It wasn't particularly funny, but it wasn't bad exactly. The real gem was Von Sydow's few precious moments of screentime, but other than that, ehhh. Overall, it was filler. There were a few good gags here and there, but it felt shoehorned and ultimately didn't pull off anything substantial. Still, by this season's standards, it was okay. Oh, how the mighty have fallen...

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  • Posts

    • JermajestyDuggar


      2 hours ago, Red Hair, Black Dress said:

      Much of Kendra's uber strict uber trad Catholicism is exactly the same as the fundies we follow.

      Kendra definitely believes she holier than the pope. Her hubris about this knows no bounds.

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      Just imagine being Catholic and thinking you are a better Catholic than the pope. 

    • Father Son Holy Goat


      On 5/20/2024 at 12:26 PM, SassyPants said:

      Do we know where Anna and the M’s are living?

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    • Bluebirdbluebell


      3 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

      This is only because the Christian books are absolute crap. There are so many terrible Christian books out out every week. Many are terrible quality, boring, or just plain bad. She thinks this proves she is an amazing book writer. No. She’s just mediocre in a sea of garbage. Plus it’s on sale right now.


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      • Upvote 1
    • Red Hair, Black Dress


      Please Rufus, don't let her write another book. Please please, pretty please. She's smug and self-satisfied and self-centered as it is

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      • Upvote 1
    • thoughtful

      Posted (edited)

      On 5/18/2024 at 7:42 PM, SisterCupcake said:

      On the KJ Bible College page...I'm still trying to figure out what it means: 


      Screenshot 2024-05-18 at 7.41.03 PM.png

      "Quit you like men" is KJV-speak for "behave like a man and meet your obligations." It's from 1 Corinthians, 16:13.

      KJV: Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

      ESV and NIV: Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

      I've heard it explained that "quit" is an old form of "acquit," in the sense usually given as the second definitiion:


      to conduct (oneself) usually satisfactorily especially under stress

      The recruits acquitted themselves like veterans.

      I always want to punctuate it differently, just to aggravate them, when I hear these clods preaching against homosexuality:





      Edited by thoughtful

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