The Simpsons

Season 23 Episode 4

Replaceable You

4
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Nov 06, 2011 on FOX
6.7
out of 10
User Rating
110 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

Bart's science fair project, a mechanical baby seal, outshines Lisa's brainy asteroid model and becomes a popular pet among the retirement home patrons. Meanwhile, Homer gets a new and eager assistant Roz, but when Homer quickly loses his job to her and discovers her evil past, he and Flanders team up to reveal her true dark colors.

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  • Homer gets a new assistant but loses his job

    7.0
    Bart's science fair project, a mechanical baby seal, outshines Lisa's brainy asteroid model and becomes a popular pet among the retirement home patrons. Meanwhile, Homer gets a new and eager assistant Roz, but when Homer quickly loses his job to her and discovers her evil past, he and Flanders team up to reveal her true dark colors. Not the greatest/funniest episode ever but at least it was better that mediocre Treehouse of Horror episode from this season. I laughed a few times here like S.F. standing for Stupid Flanders, Chief Wiggum calling 911, Homer Humiliator, etc. I think the plots are equally good but cannot tell which one is better. Overall, this was a decent Simpsons episode. 7/10moreless
  • Great but not excellent

    8.0
    Bart's science fair project, a mechanical baby seal, outshines Lisa's brainy asteroid model and becomes a popular pet among the retirement home patrons. Meanwhile, Homer gets a new and eager assistant Roz, but when Homer quickly loses his job to her and discovers her evil past, he and Flanders team up to reveal her true dark colors. I thought that this was a great episode of "The Simpsons". It's definitely not the best of Season 23 so far but it was enjoyable. There really wasn't any humor tonight that was memorable. I did laugh a few times but not as much as I usually on a Simpsons episode most of the time. Bart and that nerd kid coming up with a science project with mechanical baby seal was pretty interesting but not that great. Jane Lynch guest starring in this episode was pretty good (I guess) but not Simpsons material... no offense to the GLEE fans. Not really a lot to say about this episode but I liked it... there were like maybe 4 or 5 funny parts and it wasn't terrible. It was at least at the "Great" range. The only laugh out loud moments I got from this episode was Chief Wiggum calling 911 and saying that they are always busy AND when Homer got the award stuck in his head and tries to get it out. The ending of the episode was pretty ridiculous to me though. Overall, definitely not the best Season 23 episode but it could've been worse and it definitely wasn't bad either... great score should be fair enough because while it didn't make me laugh a lot... there's something about this episode that didn't want to make me give it a "Good" score. 8/10moreless
  • Wow.

    2.5
    Wow. This was just a terrible episode. I liked the side plot with Bart and Milhouse better than the main plot. The writers knew the episode wasn't going to be funny so they hired a guest star( Jane Lynch).

    Homer is initially happy to get an organized, cheerful new SNPP assistant named Roz. However, after Roz says she will cover for Homer while he and Barney head out to see aPaul Blart: Mall Copparody film set at a water park, Roz then tattles to Mr. Burns, who then demotes Homer to Roz's job and gives Roz Homer's position. Roz proceeds to charm the regulars at Moe's while finding dozens of ways to make Homer's job miserable. After Ned Flanders sees Homer is depressed, Homer tells him about Roz, and is shocked to learn that Ned knew Roz back in Ohio; they were part of the same Christian group, and when Ned gave her a congratulatory hug for winning a "no-fun run" he learned that Roz cannot stand any physical contact. When Roz wins a Worker of Millennium award at the plant, Homer manipulates Mr. Burns into giving Roz a hug. She proceeds to beat the hell out of the boss, who fires her. Roz then compliments Homer for being much smarter than she expected, in terms Homer does not quite understand.

    Elsewhere, Bart is not ready for the upcoming SES Science Fair. He ends up working withMartin Princeand after Bart comes up with a general idea--cool robotics--Martin does all the work and constructs an adorable robot baby seal. Well, it is adorable when the wires are left alone, and a violent attacker when they are not. The seal wins 1st prize at the Fair, to Lisa's disdain, but after she goes to the Springfield Retirement Community to whine about the injustice to Grandpa, they see the seal visibly cheer up Jasper and its value becomes clear. All of the senior citizens then get their own seals, and they become happier and healthier, which angers a consortium of local businesses (led by the local funeral home) who want the oldsters to go back to being miserable and more rapidly dying. The group figures out the wiring secret and reworks the seals so their fury returns, even causing the death of Alice Glick, and Chief Wiggum has all the robots incarcerated. Professor Frink then enlists a group of nerds + Bart to remotely hack into the robot software and make them nice again. Chief Wiggum releases them all, they return to the nursing home, and all ends well. The only funny joke was the toupee detector and Wiggum calling 911 however two laughs an episode won't cut it.

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  • This week's Simpsons hurt.

    6.0
    While the writers lobbed joke after joke at the screen, not a single one landed. All of that flop sweat masquerading as zaniness was cringingly unfunny. The "Golden Years" dance party that capped it all off was like a surrender flag from a weary battalion after a long and bloody battle. They had tried their damnedest to make this premise funny and even remotely worthy of being a Simpsons episode, but they did not prevail. It was a stupid episode, and they had painted themselves into a stupid corner. Even in these, the latter days of The Simpsons, most episodes can find at least one funny thing to offer viewers in their 22-odd minutes of trying. This one did not meet even that low, low standard.

    It would be easy to blame the plot for this. In the A-plot, Bart teams up with Martin Prince to make a robotic seal for the science fair. The seals are adorable, but a little minor rewiring will make them vicious killers. A shadowy cabal of funeral home directors and flower shops are unhappy because the seals give the elderly some hope and a reason to live, so they switch the seals to their attack mode. Bart and Martin team up with Professor Frink and the nerds from "Homer Goes To College" to remotely reprogram the seals and return them to the retirement home. Yep, that was the A-plot.

    In the B-plot, Homer suddenly has an assistant named Roz who betrays him when he slacks off work to go see Paul Flart: Water Park Cop. Yes, they are bravely mocking a notoriously bad film from 2009. It's doubtful that Kevin James has a sense of shame in the first place, but even if he did, this is miles and miles from the sharp satire that would cause his ears to finally burn. Anyway, Roz becomes Homer's boss and proceeds to abuse her power with impunity. Fortunately, Ned Flanders knows that Roz hates hugs. Homer convinces Mr. Burns to try to hug her at an assembly, and Roz goes ballistic. Burns fires her, and order is presumably restored.

    These are both amazingly dumb plots, but the show has managed to eke some laughs out of dumber ones. The problem here is that the episode tries to do a lot with very little. Take the A-plot. There is some comic potential in having Bart team up with Martin for the science fair. The robot seals? Maybe not so much potential for the funny there. Having a cabal of funeral homes and flower shops could bring some laughs, but the way they presented this was just not good. It seemed like a mafia joke at first, but it didn't go anywhere. Professor Frink is often a funny character, but by having him be super-competent and an object of desire is a reversal of the way that he is usually presented, and it's not a particularly clever one.

    Similarly, there's some comic possibility and resonance in having Homer stabbed in the back at work. Many people have been stabbed in the back by an ambitious colleague. Unfortunately, Homer may not be the best character to give this sort of storyline a heart. Homer is a bad employee who deserves to be ratted out by his subordinate. The fact that she is selfish and mean doesn't add to this story. Yes, that is the sort of person who would stab someone in the back for their own gain, but yes, Homer also had it coming. Where is the joke?

    The episode tries to distract viewers from the missing jokes with a few appearances from beloved--or, at least, familiar--minor characters, like Dr. Nick, Itchy and Scratchy, Professor Frink, and Jasper. There's also a brief shot of Bender from Futurama and a number of DVR-friendly fly-by jokes. However, familiarity is not the same thing as funny, and these feeble attempts to generate goodwill just add to the desperation. If a Simpsons episode has no bite or laughs or discernible emotion, it is simply a lousy way to spend a half-hour.moreless
  • fair

    6.5
    what i liked- the toupee detector, "Who told you?" "I won't say his name, but his initials are S.F." "Stupid Flanders!", Milhouse having a picture of Bart sleeping on his shirt (also falls in the "what?!" category), Wiggum calling 911 and complaining that they are always busy, Homer telling Marge to get him his club, "the big one", and then her in the bathroom saying "They're all pretty big", etc.

    Eh, this was alright. It felt kind of average to me. 3/5 or so seems right, otherwise a C. Not a terrible episode but not really all that great either.moreless
Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others

Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others

Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch

Roz

Guest Star

Chris Edgerly

Chris Edgerly

Voice of Unknown

Recurring Role

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others

Recurring Role

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (1)

    • Show Title: Groundskeeper Willie flying with the aid of a leaf blower.
      Billboard Gag: 30 Lost Cats: Call Me (with the Crazy Old Cat Lady pictured holding two cats and several others' pictures in the background).
      Chalkboard Gag: It's November 6th--How come we're not airing a Halloween Show?
      Couch Gag: The family is outside the Smithsonian museum where they break in where various TV and movie props are on display, including their couch. Once inside, they sneak through various exhibits, changing into various guises to properly blend in to avoid security. When they reach the couch display, they have to avoid laser beams that will trigger the alarms, so they go in through the side of the display with gaps in the beams that enable them to pass through and finally sit on the couch.

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Paro:


      The Robopet seals Bart Simpson and Martin Prince designed is a parody of Paro, a similar robotic baby seal designed and made in Japan for therapeutic treatment in places such as hospitals and nursing homes (very much like the Robopet seals being placed in the Springfield Retirement Castle.)

    • The Jetsons
      When the mechanical baby seals are travelling to the retirement home, they passed a shop window with a TV that was airing a future-themed show similar to the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series featuring the family of tomorrow, which included a mechanical maid similar to Rosey, the Jetsons' robot maid.

    • Paul Blart: Mall Cop
      In one scene, Homer and Barney are seeing an advanced screening of a movie titled Paul Flart: Water Park Cop. This is a parody of the above-titled 2009 movie comedy that starred Kevin James as a goofball security guard at a mall seeking to catch a gang of crooks any way he can.

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