REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

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REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by arpulver » Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:14 pm

If anyone remembers the first time this episode title was leaked, they may recall that I said that if the title was truly "Red Hat Mamas," I would be looking forward to this one. Yep... definitely worth the wait.

First off, Happy Easter to everybody! Seemed like only last week that it was Father's Day, but the time really does fly in this holiday season. Make sure to get a card and candies- Love Day is just around the corner! Despite the second straight week of bad timing, it was enjoyable getting to see the Quimby mansion and his ever-suffering wife (and if I had known about the secret buttons in his office, I would have run for mayor last week too!). Marge starts to make friends, but naturally Homer ruins it, yadda yadda yadda. Sounds like it's been done before, but it's rare to focus an episode on Marge's life outside the house (remember, "Bonfire of the Manatees" never happened), and while this does go in a similar direction than "Scenes From the Class Struggle in Springfield," it puts just enough of a twist on it to make it entertaining.

I was really looking forward to seeing the Red Hatters parodied, as my mother is a junior member and by all accounts they very well could commit robbery given enough margaritas. I like to think of it this way- geeks use sci-fi conventions as an excuse to take over a hotel and get crazy drunk; women over 50 use the Red Hatters as an excuse to do the same thing. That alone was fun to see, especially with Marge fitting in and having a good time while still being herself. Their plan to use Marge to help rob Mr. Burns was over-the-top, but one of those good over-the-tops that worked well. The resolution was serviceable, with Homer ruining it in an almost forgiveable fashion. Any flaws in the ending were made up for by some good stuff from Eddie and Lou.

Oh yeah, the subplot. I wouldn't go so far as to say this is the way Milhouse is meant to be written, but it's a huge breath of fresh air from his walking punchline persona. To see Milhouse using his apparent gift to charm Lisa, and for Lisa to be receptive to it, suggests a real innocence about both of them that is hard to find elsewhere, particularly in poorly-written episodes where Milhouse is a borderline stalker and Lisa is absolutely repulsed by him. The resolution to this, where Milhouse uses his Italian to charm some other little lady, was a bit of a stretch, but it was unexpected and really damn funny- worked a lot more than a predictable ending exposing Milhouse as some sort of fraud. Also, since the family does visit Italy in an upcoming episode, there may be a rare chance for some continuity here, as Lisa does apparently speak Italian now.

The main plot may not have been treading new ground, but it was a fresh take on Marge's social life and a fun one at that. The subplot was something completely original, and continues to return some respectablility to Milhouse's character. For the second time in three weeks, a Marge episode really clicked with me. It does lose a few points with the rushed ending forcing Marge to leave the Tomatoes (I'm still not quite sure why she was kicked out), and the writers blew a golden opportunity to give the t-shirt makers a new classic Ralph line. Aside from that, lucky number 17 is quickly shaping up to be a very strong season with this week's entry getting an A-.

Season 17 Grades
Marge's Son Poisoning: A
Last of the Red Hat Mamas: A-
The Girl Who Slept Too Little: B+
See Homer Run: B-
Treehouse of Horror XVI: C+
Milhouse of Sand and Fog: C+
Bonfire of the Manatees: D
Last edited by arpulver on Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: REVIEW- Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by Stretch_Dude » Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:19 pm

I basically agree with what Adam said. Another great episode.

Also, someone's gotta translate the chewing-out Lisa gave Milhouse. I command it!
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Re: REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by papa smurf » Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:59 pm

This was the worst episode of the year there where no funny parts in the entire thing it should be burned at crushed and hidden from the people of the world for  ever.
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Re: REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by Officer 1BDI » Tue Nov 29, 2005 3:19 pm

papa smurf wrote: This was the worst episode of the year
Actually... I kind of agree.  Kind of.  It wasn't the worst episode of the season, and I have to admit I found the Milhouse/Lisa sideplot highly enjoyable (I'm hoping the lack of closure means the story will tie in with "The Italian Bob"), but Marge's story didn't do anything for me.  It might be because I was working on homework at the time, but I didn't find her story nearly half as interesting as her daughter's.  The whole "let's steal Mr. Burns' ornament eggs" idea seemed to come out of nowhere; that may have been intentional, but it still annoyed me.  The only highlight of her story was seeing Mr. Burns back to his evil old self.

Maybe this episode will grow on me after I rewatch it a few times, but I thought this was one of the less engrossing Marge plots.
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Re: REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by tommy » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:55 pm

Bad, just bad. I'm curious to know why they keep stuffing two complicated plotlines into one episode - each on its own could spawn its own episode, the Marge-gone-bad idea and the Lisa/Milhouse subplot. And those would be better episodes than the present one. Now you have one extremely unoriginal plotline and another, much more interesting, both being hurried through. Good ideas are scarce (specially in season 17...) and with the present inspirational crisis one would think that they'd cherish an idea instead of spoiling it...
1. The Marge part. Marge being lonely. Seen that. Marge trying to fit into some club. Seen it. Marge commiting a crime and being busted. Done and done. Burns being forgiveful. seen tha... wait, in fact that's something we haven't seen before. And why not? Because the producers apparently don't give a sh*t anymore and they just needed a quick fix-up of the plotline on the expense of believability and consistency.
2. Lisa/Milhouse. The idea wasn't bad, but to make it work they needed a whole episode, not just five minutes of filling. Some parts of it I actually liked, the scooter ride though Little Italy, the Godfather II parody... but it as all way too short and hurried. How about a parody of the fountain scene in "La Dolce Vita"? (Lisa as Anita Ekberg: "Milhouse! Come, it's wonderful!") A big treasure trove of Italian parodies could be opened, but alas, no time.
The resolution of the plotline really pissed me off. Why didn't they leave the ending open? (Lisa slowly falling in love with Milhouse, which could produce enough material for one or two future eps...) Instead, they showed us Milhouse, inexplicably gotten popular all of a sudden, with a never before seen babe giving him a lapdance (what about his never-dying love for Lisa??? And just minutes after she give him his first kiss! I find this hard to believe.)
Milhouse cheating on Lisa, last time we saw that was in "Lard of the Dance", and I guess dating the ugliest chick in the whole state doesn't count as cheating... Now suddenly he has a certain Angelica falling for him (Angelica? I thought she was a blonde? ;-))
And surprise - Lisa speaks fluent Italian. So, did she get the Rome trip? Or did she forget her new-gained vocabulary in her anger(?)
Pfff... I wonder why I still bother.
Last edited by tommy on Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by c_nordlander » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:02 am

tommy wrote:(what about his never-dying love for Lisa??? And just minutes after she give him his first kiss! I find this hard to believe.)
Actually, Samantha Stankey gave Milhouse his first kiss.
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Re: REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by papa smurf » Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:01 pm

   
    (I'm hoping the lack of closure means the story will tie in with "The Italian Bob"),           
tommy wrote:And surprise - Lisa speaks fluent Italian. So, did she get the Rome trip? Or did she forget her new-gained vocabulary in her anger(?)
Pfff... I wonder why I still bother.
Could her new Italian vocabulary and the openeded story line plus the fact the next episode is "The Italian Bob." have any relation maybe this was a "SHOULD BE COUNTINUED" episode and ties in with the next?
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Re: REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by Tony_Baritone » Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:09 pm

Yes.  Her newfound knowledge of Italian will be an ongoing plot point for the next episode.  I'll admit it's a little unusual to have direct refs like this in back-to-back eps, but since the episodes aren't exactly linked the way the "Who Shot Mr. Burns" episodes were, there wasn't really a need for a "To Be Continued" tag.

Heh, I was hoping Chris was going to comment on Sherri and Terri's appearance...seemed like a piece she could have written.
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Re: REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by c_nordlander » Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:47 pm

I haven't seen the episode yet, Tony. I just felt like standing up for Samantha.  :)
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Re: REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by Casper » Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:08 pm

Tommy, I couldnt agree more.
'The good plot lines are too short, and the crap is stretched' is the general impresion I got from what you said. And it seems to work with the newer episodes I've seen.

(Thanks Graham)
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Re: REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by Archonix » Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:18 pm

pappa_smurf, I've deleted your post. Please don't do that again.
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Re: REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by Vulgaris_Prime » Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:18 pm

Can't say I didn't enjoy this episode quite a bit.  This season's been better than the last few, and better than certain seasons (I'm lookin' at you, seasons 11 and 12).

As for more recent episodes and their pattern, I had that broken down by a member of my own forum:
Ive noticed a trend in newer episodes is to start off funny, change the topic entirely but still have some fairly good jokes (a few rubbish ones too) and then they go and cap it all off with a really rushed ending that anyone could have thought of.
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Re: REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by Officer 1BDI » Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:35 pm

papa smurf wrote: Could her new Italian vocabulary and the openeded story line plus the fact the next episode is "The Italian Bob." have any relation maybe this was a "SHOULD BE COUNTINUED" episode and ties in with the next?
Well, it was a nice thought.

Description for The Italian Bob (which airs this coming Sunday in the states):
Spoiler
So, Lisa learning Italian apparantly has nothing to do with the family going to Italy, and the lack of closure really was just sloppy writing?  How disappointing.
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Re: REVIEW: Last of the Red Hat Mamas (SPOILERS)

Post by arpulver » Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:11 pm

Officer 1BDI wrote:So, Lisa learning Italian apparantly has nothing to do with the family going to Italy, and the lack of closure really was just sloppy writing?  How disappointing.
I never expected it to be the reason the family goes. I'm hoping that her newfound knowledge of Italian comes into play Sunday. That's momentous enough.
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