So, Weird Al popped up for a cameo couch gag. Kerry Washington had another two or three lines as Ms. Peyton for some reason (nothing against the character but I’m not sure why she’s in this episode when other teachers aren’t), and despite Shaq being seen as a commercial pitchman throughout the episode, he’s being voiced by a member of the cast that, I suspect, would have used the real Shaq but he didn’t do it for some reason.
That covers this week’s guest stars.
No, the real problem here occurs when Groundskeeper Willie’s basement bunker shorts out due to too many devices plugged into sockets all at once, causing a really hold barrel of mayonnaise to explode and make the entire school smell of rotten eggs. Since it will take weeks to get the smell out, that means homeschooling.
It also means the B-plot kicks in when it turns out Homer keeps buying useless gizmos he sees on Shaq-hosted TV commercials on late night TV. He’s deep in debt for those things, and Marge isn’t happy.
Even less happy is Kirk VanHouten. See, Milhouse just learned about his great-great-grandpa, onetime mayor of Springfield. His big thing was a giant gazebo built to allow wooing. He had no accounted for all the ukulele acoustics, and the structure came down and with a lot of people inside, killing many. Kirk, seeing Milhouse has just realized every male relative he has is a bit of a disappointment, makes it his new mission to see to it that the school stops teaching this particular moment in Springfield history.
Yes, he is willing to deny, as Ms. Peyton points out, that his ancestor fully accepted responsibility on his deathbed and the structure’s braces were bad.
Kirk wants nothing of Critical Brace Theory!
Yes, he said that.
So, given the lead time for how long it takes to make an episode of this show, should I be impressed or depressed at just how relevant this episode is?
See, Kirk doesn’t want these bad things–specifically the gazebo–to be acknowledged by the school. That actually gets him some followers like Rainier Wolfcastle who want bad things covered up like what the Germans were doing in World War II…whoa, Wolfcastle hits that two appearances in a row.
Oh, Kirk also wants to ignore Hans Moleman despite the fact Moleman was actually orphaned at that gazebo collapse.
By the by, the episode attempts to satirize the other side in the debate over whether or not to teach history that includes the warts in the form of Martin’s parents who think history is there to embarrass and shame people in the present.
You know what? I’m not touching these ideas in this forum. Let’s get on with what might generously be called a review.
See, Kirk is continuing his crusade to remove the gazebo from the history books, and he’s actually successful. Mayor Quimby orders Superintendent Chalmers to remove that from the history books for the school. Marge, as a member of the school boards, tells a concerned Lisa that she can keep things from going off the rails.
She can’t. Kirk has what look like propaganda posters all town.
Oh, and Homer realized he could get out of debt and even move into a much nicer house by selling light up shirts with simple slogans for both sides. The copper wiring in them is…a problem for later. How later? Well, Kirk somehow has the power to build a bigger gazebo to act as a tribute to the earlier gazebo that, in Kirk’s words, never existed. And he’s rocking out there, but the electric guitars somehow connect to the copper wiring in all those shirts Homer sold, causing a blast of power that, unsurprisingly, topples the new gazebo. Homer, emerging from the rubble, points out the lesson that sure, you can ignore history, but you better not ignore science!
That, as pointed out by a mysterious narrator, is not the right lesson. And who is this mysterious narrator retelling this story in a Seussian style? He’s some teacher in the future reading a book to small children. Then an angry parent comes in and disintegrates him for the crime of reading that story to her child.
So, still in the future? I think I know now whether it’s impressive or depressing.