May 27, 2024

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Simpsons Did It!: “The Great Phatsby Parts 1 and 2”

In which the show goes double length to parody F Scott Fitzgerald and Empire. Empire being that TV series about the rap recording mogul and his vicious family, not a shorted parlance for the best Star Wars movie. It doesn't matter since I've never seen that Empire anyway.

So, The Simpsons decided to do a double-length episode that somehow parodied both The Great Gatsby and the Fox hit show Empire.

I guess that could theoretically be a good idea.

See, Mr. Burns wants to have a big shindig like he used to see all the time back in the Roaring 20s, and that meant throwing it himself.  He sent Smithers off for ice…from a frozen lake in Canada and Smithers as a result misses all the action of the main plot while occasionally being seen trying to get a giant block of ice back to Springfield while avoiding wild animals and wild Canadians.  That also means Homer is in charge of inviting people, but Burns is so cheap he has a cash bar, a band made up of two guys who are just about dead, and he makes everyone wear plastic over their shoes so as not to scuff the dance floor.  He’s so cheap, even Moe says he’s cheap and Moe wore a xerox copy of a real suit to this thing.

Feeling despondent, Burns sees another party across the bay and goes with Homer to investigate.  They find a big thing like the kind Burns used to see all the time in his younger days, all hosted by the mysterious rap mogul Jay-G.  Jay-G it turns out is a big fan of Burns, using Burns’ book on ruthlessness to rise to the top.  Homer, meanwhile, is a big fan of Jay-G’s pet goose despite the fact it keeps biting him.

Now, if you’re wondering what the other Simpsons are up to for this episode as the family starts hanging out in this rich part of Springfield, Lisa acts as the conscience to a rich boy until ponies get involved but that’s only for part one, Marge somehow opens a store and closes it again but that’s only for part two, and Bart, well, Bart hangs out a lot.

Now, Jay-G seems like a true friend to Burns and even encourages the old man to use a special credit card that…ends up bankrupting Burns.  The card company was owned by Jay-G, so now that guy has all of Burns’ stuff.  If only there was a way to get it back…

Oh yeah!  A diss track!  That’ll work!  That idea came from Milhouse because no one knows rap better than a white nerd.

To that end, Burns and Homer first recruit one of Jay-G’s old bandmates, Jazzy James (guest star Keegan-Michael Key).  He’s very agreeable if you dangle him upside down from a window.  And it turns out being a powerful rap mogul makes a lot of enemies, like his ex-wife Praline (guest star Taraji P. Henson) as well as real life rappers RZA, Common, and Snoop Dogg (all playing themselves and yes, Homer got a contact high from Snoop).

But then Jay-G bribes them all to give up the diss track.

There’s some more stuff in there about how Burns threatened to eat the goose, and how Jay-G was really following the advise from Burns’ book about crushing the person that matters most to you, but then Jay-G and Burns make up, Burns gets his stuff back, and the only reason those two guys didn’t die from a plunge from Burns’ ceiling is Smithers got back with the ice, now melted into a soft pile of slush.

Did we need a two parter for this one?  Eh, probably not.  We got one anyway.