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#1: (long) A review of "Thank God It's Doomsday (GABF14)"

Posted on 2005-05-10 06:42:29 by bjr7

[The long of it]

Isaiah. Jeremiah. Nathaniel. Ezekiel. Homer. Well, the name
sounds antique enough, but I'm not quite ready to accept Homer as a
new prophet. And neither will anyone else, after they see "Thank God
It's Doomsday." At least Homer's good for a laugh.

Like the more traditional prophets, Homer doesn't set out to spread
the word, but rather the word comes to him. While fighting at the
mall barbershop, Bart and Lisa manage to lose most of their hair. To
avoid a school photography club bent on taking embarrassing pictures,
Homer and the kids duck into a movie theater. "Left Behind," a movie
about Armageddon, is playing, and it spooks Homer into thinking that
the End is Near. A few coincidences convince him, and he's off on a
mission to save as many people as possible.

Although the themes will be familiar to those who have watched the
series for a few years, "Thank God It's Doomsday" has some interesting
new ideas. His motivation into prophecy is one rarely seen in
organized religion: Homer figures he can't get into Heaven on his own
merits, but if he warns people about the Apocalypse, he might be able
to slide in on a technicality. (A literal saving grace, if you will.)
His earnest but half-baked approach is fun. When trying to use some
fancy math to pin down when the world will end, Homer at one point
subtracts the number of Filipinos mentioned in the Holy Scriptures.
That number is zero, as it turns out. Homer's salvation instinct
doesn't extend to the Flanders flock, though. When Ned shows up at
one of Homer's Rapture meetings, Homer tries to shoo him away by
claiming it's a meeting of gay witches for abortion.

Jokes like that are funny, but the most compelling part of the show
might be scenes in Heaven which dominate the third act. As Homer
envisions it, Heaven is like a particularly posh spa, with helpful
Eurotrash concierges, a concert hall, and even a waterslide (coming
soon). It speaks volumes about Homer that his Heaven is more about
material rather than spiritual comfort. Homer's audience with the
Almighty (one of the longest sequences with God that I can remember in
the series) is also good.

Occasionally, a scene will fall a little flat, like the ones featuring
Krusty's celebrity-filled blimp. Most of "Thank God" is strong humor-
wise, though, from the showdown between Bart and Lisa at the start of
the show, to the visual spoof in the closing scene.

I can't canonize it as an all-time great episode, but "Thank God It's
Doomsday" is a fine show that finds a creative spin on a somewhat
familiar situation. And that's something to be thankful for.


[The short of it]

Homer may not be much of a prophet, but at least he's good for a
laugh. I liked Homer's unusual motivation to warn folks about
Armageddon, and the half-baked way he went about doing it. The third
act has an interesting take on Heaven, as Homer sees it. Some of the
scenes are a little flat, but the majority of the humor here is
strong. I can't canonize this as one of the all-time greats, but this
is a fine show that finds a creative spin on a somewhat familiar
situation -- something I can be thankful for. (B+)


[DYNs]

.... the family in the "Left Below" movie is set up nearly the same
as Homer's family (husband, wife, older boy, middle sister, and
a baby)?
.... David Crosby, Bette Midler, and Ron Howard can be seen in the
background in the shots from Krusty's blimp?
.... Ned and his children manage to get seats on Homer's rapture bus
anyway? I'm surprised Homer didn't make them walk.
.... Lisa looks resentful for many of the scenes on the mesa?
.... Maggie can climb out of her crib and open her bedroom door
unassisted?
.... apparently, Los Lobos perished in the blimp crash?


[References]

Thank God It's Friday! (saying)
- episode title a spoof

"Peanuts" (comic strip)
- Ralph wants Charlie Brown's haircut

"Who Let the Dogs Out?" (song)
- sung with parody lyrics as Bart and Lisa fight

"Left Behind" (series of novels)
- "Left Below" parodies the popular, Christian-based novels about
the Apocalypse
- also, there's a "Left Behind" movie

Genesis 29 - 35
- Jacob and Rachel's relationship

iPod (MP3 player)
- Christian bookstore has an iGod poster
- the poster a dancing deity shown in silhouette, like in the iPod
TV commercials

"... for Dummies" books
- Homer consults "Rapture for Dummies"

"Black Sunday" (book and movie)
- I was too young to be in the target audience when this movie
came out, but the clips made it look like it involved a blimp
crashing into a football stadium
[OT bonus fact: The guy who wrote "Black Sunday" also wrote
"The Silence of the Lambs" and its related books]

Nostradamus (soothsayer)
- Jeff Albertson calls Homer "Nostra-dumb-ass"

Tokyo Rose (WWII propagandist)
- the name of Moe's sushi bar is "Tokyo Roe's"

"Chicken Soup for the Soul" (book)
- Homer throws out "Chicken Soup for the Damned Soul"

"Tuesdays with Morrie" (novel)
- Homer tosses "Tuesdays with Morrie in Hell"

Farah Fawcett (actress)
- her famous 70s pinup poster is one of the pictures in Homer's
Heavenly bedroom

"The Pope of Greenwich Village" (movie)
- there's a dining establishment in Heaven called, "The Pope of
Sandwich Village"

"Superman" (movie)
- Superman reversed time by flying around the Earth really fast,
causing it to rotate backwards

"The Last Supper" (painting)
- final scene at the restored Moe's Tavern staged to resemble this
famous DaVinci painting


[Previous Episode References]

[3F18] Lisa's hair mangled at a barbershop
[DABF18] Baha Men are on the soundtrack, and parodying their hit
song, "Who Let the Dogs Out?"
[AABF14] The Rapture is shown
[BABF22] Homer uses math for religious purposes (in this case to
disprove the existence of God)
[9F01] Homer extols a religious philosophy
[5F05] Everyone believes the world is coming to an end (well,
everyone but Lisa, who is skeptical)
[9F19] Bette Midler seen
[5F19], [BABF02] Ron Howard guest-stars


[FFF]

Cool mall barbershop:

Da Buzz Club

YOU
CAN'T
PUT A
PRICE
ON
COOL!

COOL
HAIRCUTS
$30

Sign by the photo club:

SPRINGFIELD
ELEMENTARY
PHOTOGRAPHY
CLUB

Newspaper in "Left Below":

AMERICA TODAY

PERMISSIVE
LIFESTYLES
ON RISE

BIBLE MOCKED

Cake store:

IN'N'OUT
DEVIL'S FOOD CAKES

Outdated (but cheap!) Armageddon book:

1989
THE YEAR
OF
ARMAGEDDON

Homer's reading material (at the kitchen table):

RAPTURE
FOR ANY DAY NOW!
DUMMIES

Homer's end-times equation:

12 - 333 X 666 =
2
(a X b ) > 2 = 7
2
(2 + 2b ) = 144,000
- 0 = 3:15, 05/18

[Later, Homer replaces the 12 with a 13, and gets "5/19" as
the result]

Screen caption:

MAY 18TH ... JUDGEMENT DAY

Moe's bar:

TOKYO ROE'S
SUSHI BAR

Homer's reading material (at the garbage can):

Chicken tuesdays with
Soup for the Morrie
Damned in Hell
Soul

Interactive TV screen in Heaven:

Heaven

Welcome Dining
[Heaven's]
[ gates ]
Spa Entertainment

Desk paperweight:

I BELIEVE IN ME

Clock labels:

NEW YORK LONDON TOKYO HEAVEN


[Oops!]

The typeface for Da Buzz Club's sign changes when the kids run out of
the shop.


[Personal Comments & References]

>> Meta-Reference Corner

The Lord invokes the phrase "deux ex machina" to restore Moe's back to
normal. The phrase refers to an ending where things are "reset" back
to normal in a contrived or magical way. (Like by divine
intervention, for instance.) To make it extra fitting, the phrase
literally means, "God from the machine."

>> Personality Parade

Dean Martin -- Singer. He popular about the same time Sinatra was,
and in fact was a part of Sinatra's "Rat Pack." As he implied in this
episode, Martin was a prolific artist, recording many albums of music,
many in the smooth crooning style associated with Las Vegas
nightclubs.

Warren Harding -- America's 29th President, 1921 to 1923. Harding's
term in office was a troubled one, and he's most famous for his
association with the Teapot Dome scandal, which was a shady land deal.
Harding probably wasn't personally involved, but several of his top
officials were. Halfway through his term, Harding passed away,
leaving the Presidency to Calvin Coolidge.
--
Benjamin Robinson <a href="mailto:bjr7&#64;freenet.tlh.fl.us" target="_blank">bjr7&#64;freenet.tlh.fl.us</a>
This message may or may not contain sarcastic content; your burden to decide
&quot;I'm naked, clueless, and f-e-e-e-ling good!&quot; -- Ratbert

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#2: Re: (long) A review of "Thank God It's Doomsday (GABF14)"

Posted on 2005-05-10 10:02:31 by Steve Brown

Benjamin Robinson wrote:
&gt; ... David Crosby, Bette Midler, and Ron Howard can be seen in the
&gt; background in the shots from Krusty's blimp?

Also Rosie O'Donnell (from Treehouse of Horror X) and Jennifer Garner
(from Treehouse of Horror XIV).

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#3: Re: (long) A review of "Thank God It's Doomsday (GABF14)"

Posted on 2005-05-10 20:15:12 by Al Wesolowsky

Benjamin Robinson &lt;<a href="mailto:bjr7&#64;freenet.tlh.fl.us" target="_blank">bjr7&#64;freenet.tlh.fl.us</a>&gt; wrote:

:&quot;Black Sunday&quot; (book and movie)
:- I was too young to be in the target audience when this movie
: came out, but the clips made it look like it involved a blimp
: crashing into a football stadium

Sort of. The terrorists' plan was to rig the gondola of the Goodyear
blimp with explosives that would send the equivalent of canister shot
into the seated crowd at a Superbowl. Sort of a giant, airborne
Claymore if you've ever had an MOS.

During the climax the intrepid counter-terrorism agent makes the blimp
crash around the light standards of the stadium, panicking the crowd.

Oh, the humanity....
--
Al B. Wesolowsky o Unlike J. W. Hardin, my foolish moves
<a href="mailto:abw&#64;bu.edu" target="_blank">abw&#64;bu.edu</a> o have been many.
Boston University o ---Michael Murphey

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#4: Re: (long) A review of "Thank God It's Doomsday (GABF14)"

Posted on 2005-05-11 10:10:09 by Sparky Spartacus

Benjamin Robinson wrote:

&lt;snip&gt;

&gt; Tokyo Rose (WWII propagandist)
&gt; - the name of Moe's sushi bar is &quot;Tokyo Roe's&quot;

I took this as a double joke in that roe is fish eggs and used in some
sushi.

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