The Simpsons Gets Hacked in an Instant Classic


The PseudoAnonymous subverts the intended episode’s apparently scheduled message of gender equality, and then goes to work on itself, taking on a life and an arc of its own. Anna Faris plays the female hacker, and she is the first to show a crack in the revolutionary armor. The danger comes when The Simpsons bites the hands that feed them. The hackers can break the rule of Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and NatGeo with the mere threat that they can erase enough data that the only Hulk who exists will be Edward Norton. We cheer when they tell us they can make it like Mark Ruffalo never happened. We look forward to the day Baby Yoda will have nothing on the top-secret character baby Jeff Goldblum (Matthew Friend). They gain independent sympathy by threatening the Mouse’s secrets.

We begin to care for the hackers, even as they care for each other. But only until the free trial of their voice-recognition-masking apps run out and we hear and see them as they are. Then we know them enough to wish they’d go back to anonymity and get on with the clips. Disney doesn’t care about Lenny, and the hackers’ perfectly symmetrical faces lose empathy as they gain identity. All their talk of political enablers toppling the political system is almost as incomprehensible as their love affair.

The segment about Lisa only speaking French because of class requirements puts an entirely unique spin on the oldest of jokes. The “Field Goal of Dreams” Canadian football takeoff works like a MAD magazine scribble from Sergio Aragones. Homer’s apology is a mini-masterpiece, even it is conceivably drafted by a giant corporation with frightening lawyers from big firms. The people of Finland will forever be etched in South American consciousness.

The “great titles which went nowhere” is merely a series of classic alternative titles which go by so fast it makes us miss key episodes which were never good enough to be made. From “Snake on a Plane” through “Vest Side Story,” to “Moe Money Mo Problems,” the segment alone can be expanded like the “22 Short Films About Springfield” from season 7. Even a random talking Santa’s Little Helper is only a chew toy to the scenery munching of the irregularly featured players.

Every character gets a chance to be funny. The humor is spread out equally among all of the minor and major players, bringing the force of the entire town of Springfield as top troupe performers. The series should do things like this more often. Going into the episode, we are sure it’s diving into “everybody gets a trophy” backlash backwaters, but the cognitive dissonance of the intrusion is an undertow, and opens a blank canvas. The show’s social commentary is phenomenally lowkey, its political commentary is kept subversive, and the frightening predictions are all too accurate.

The lies stop here. DNA tests prove Milhouse is really a fallout boy, Moleman used to be a stud, and Marge’s family history has a twist as unsettling as the film Chinatown. This leads us back to the safety of the originally planned program, and the ultimate lesson. Bart and Lisa learn they never ever go outdoors again, and just want to stay home and watch TV, and their parents have never been prouder. As would happen in most of these routine episodes, we missed Marge and Homer almost getting divorced over something insignificant, and the routine conclusion of a rushed apology. The formula is better spilled.



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