September 27, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “Podcast News”

In which a popular podcast gets everybody thinking Grampa is a murderer.

As someone who runs a podcast (long on hiatus because of the pandemic), you would think that a Simpsons episode about podcasting would be a big draw for me.

You’d be wrong, but it was actually a good episode by late-stage Simpsons standards.

Maybe because she didn’t get much to do last time, but this time Lisa gets things rolling when she seems to be missing sleep over something bothering her.  This is Lisa, and Marge wonders if it’s because the climate changed again (prompting Homer to note a blizzard going on outside one window of his house while another shows everything on fire), but that’s not it.  Lisa has always been obsessed with justice, but this time it goes a little more directly as she’s obsessed with true crime podcasts.

Marge, thinking she may need to do something about this, listens to one and is likewise hooked.  With the Simpson women engrossed in the whole thing, that means Homer and Bart go by themselves to visit Grampa.  That said, Grampa has a new girlfriend, former TV star Vivienne St. Charmaine (guest star Morgan Fairchild).  Vivienne loves how Grampa tells long rambling stories that never go anywhere, so draw your own conclusions.  The two are making out when Homer and Bart show up, and they have a cruise planned for later.  That all sounds nice.

Now, this whole true crime podcast thing is picking up steam enough for Kent Brockman to realize no one cares what he has to say anymore.  That always sucks for him, so he needs a juicy crime to turn into his own popular true crime podcast.  So, when an old TV star disappears off a cruise ship, the husband or boyfriend is always the top suspect, so he has something there with a show called Guilty Grampa.

Yes, Vivienne disappeared on the cruise.

Yes, Grampa is the top suspect.

And yes, Kent’s new podcast is popular enough to convince most of the town it’s true.  The Simpson family mostly thinks Grampa is innocent at least.  Well, Homer doesn’t, but he doesn’t listen to podcasts.  Homer is just a jerkass.

How good is Brockman’s show?  It convinces Grampa that he did it, turning himself into the police with Chief Wiggum mad Grampa spoiled the ending.

However, there’s some pushback from, among others in the most clever casting the show has done in ages, from actress Yeardley Smith, here referred to as a popular podcaster and “nothing else” despite the fact that she sounds exactly like Lisa.  She advises Kent not to go too crazy in case an innocent man gets hurt.  Heck, by this point even Lisa and Marge think Grampa did it because they’re just the typical family members in denial a lot of these shows have.

Then Dr. Hibbert shows up with proof that Grampa is innocent because of some devise he stuck in both Grampa and Vivienne during a medical exam that actually proves Vivienne is still alive.  Will Kent admit as much in front of a live audience even as his show becomes successful enough to get turned into a streaming service show starring guest star Stellan Skarsgard?

Um, sure.  Why wouldn’t he?  He still has some journalistic integrity.

Oh, and it turned out Vivienne faked her own death so she and Grampa could run off together with the insurance money, but Grampa forgot, and so they’ll have to settle for more make-out sessions in the one place no one will notice either of them, namely the Retirement Home.

So, yay?