Following last week's contrived mystery episode, this week sees the Simpsons take part in a story much more focused on the unit as a whole. Involving Abe however, In The Name of the Grandfather takes the family to the island of Ireland where Grandpa hopes to rekindle his love for the old, romantic ways of slums of Ire. Met with a sleek, modernised metropolis however, the Simpsons (that is, Homer and Abe, with the help of Moe) try to extort the people's need for certain forbidden luxuries.
It's a story that at times works and at times doesn't. The forced, stereotypical culture play on Ireland is tepid at best with jokes on the lazy, drunken, no-good Irish in abundance with little to no wit presented outside of the usual irksome banality that pollutes most of the show's recent episodes. Again, the outing works best when things get a little edgier and jokes are coming from the supporting characters rather than the obvious pens of rejected prospective Family Guy writers. As a whole, it's nothing as bad as we witnessed last week, offering some decent character humour and tighter focus on much more tangible plotting, but the laughs are still few and far between. The promise that was glimmering at the start of the series' year is now dimming in the wake of these two poor-to-mediocre outings.