They’re mumbling about a sequel – well, I should say, a second movie – so the time seems ripe to review this one, right? We’re quarantined and we’ve been binging The Simpsons since the day Disney+came out (do you know how many seasons those guys have???). Like most episodes, the movies are meant to be stand-alone and self-contained, meaning little if anything that happens during them will affect the series as a whole. Poor Maude Flanders: hers is one of the few deaths that actually took. The characters have remained the same age though more than 30 years have passed since they were introduced. They used to be older than me and now I’m older than Homer and Marge. How did that happen?
At the end of each 22 minute episode or 90 minute movie, everything resets…well, almost everything. Now that we’re catching up on the decade’s worth of shows we missed, we’ve seen Spider Pig pop up more than once – and he’s from the movie!
As you might have guessed (or likely know, this movie being more than a decade old – I had a different husband when we saw it in theatres!), the movie plays much like an episode, with all of the same characters and gags, a little more saltiness than network television usually permits, and a slightly more involved plot.
Basically, Homer adopts a pig and he shovels the pig’s droppings into the local water reservoir, raising Springfield’s pollution level to near-extinction. In response, the EPA lowers a giant dome over the town and leaves the residents to rot. Of course, the Simpsons have managed to escape, and the fugitives flee to Alaska to start over/ lie low. Except then Marge hears that all their friends, neighbours, pets, and Grandpa (!) have been domed and intends to…do something…while Homer plans to do nothing. So she leaves him.
Anyway, if you like the show, you like the movie. It doesn’t do anything differently at all. No risks, no stretches even, just the same old, tripled. It doesn’t astonish and it doesn’t aim to. It’s pretty comfortable with the status quo, and after 3 decades on the air, so is its audience.