When I used to get the DVDs for this series, I took note that there are three episodes in season 11 (holy crap, I am halfway through an eleventh season) that could be considered a “jump the shark” episode. This is one of them.
I actually don’t mind it at all.
It’s time for the State Fair, and Lisa’s school band is going to be competing. Mr. Largo has a hard time understanding that not everything is by John Philip Sousa, but they play something else anyway. And they might have won had the Ogdenville band not come next and used…glowsticks!
Yeah, a visual aid works on everyone despite Lisa reminding everyone she can that this is against the rules. That’s no way to endear yourself to Comptroller Atkins, Lisa!
Homer, meanwhile, after harassing Bachman-Turner Overdrive into only playing his requests, is convinced by Bart to adopt a diving horse that would otherwise go to the dog food factory, where surely the horse would not eat any dog food. Should the Simpsons gets a horse? Comic Book Guy is quick to point out they owned one before, but nobody cares what he thinks.
There will be a similar reaction later when Lisa wonders if Marge might develop a gambling problem.
But what to do with the horse? He’s expensive, and pearl diving doesn’t seem that good an idea. Granted, Homer finds endless pearls funny enough to cause him to roll on the ground laughing uncontrollably. Oddly enough, Marge reacts the same way to the thought of Lynda Carter and George Foreman having a baby together.
But Bart notes that Duncan the horse (voiced by voice actor and guest star Jim Cummings) is rather fast, so why not enter him in the races? Though Duncan, with Bart as his jockey, loses his first race as badly as possible, Homer and Bart toughen him up into Furious D, and with his new badass attitude, he will go the distance and the speed and impress guest star Trevor Denman, some sports announcer I never heard of before. But that guy is deathly afraid of a Planet of the Horses scenario.
As it is, D wins so many races, Homer gets invited into the jockey’s clubhouse. Only they aren’t human. The jockeys are malevolent elves promising the kill Homer if Duncan wins another race.
This, apparently, was a bridge too far for fans of the show who forgot what a standard Halloween episode consisted of, or how Homer was once an astronaut, or even how the whole family went to Hell at one point. Point is, it wasn’t a deal breaker for me personally. It’s a freakin’ cartoon.
So, yeah, Duncan wins and then the jockeys try to kill Homer, but he has the family ready. Marge and Lisa take out the elves with a couple of garden hoses, and then they tie the lot of them up in a garbage bag to leave on the curb.
As for the contest, Lisa bugged President Clinton until he overturned the results. Can he actually do that? I dunno. Seems like a lousy way to end the episode.
But he does admit to being a lousy president.