The second episode was right up there with the first for The Simpsons. Since animation is nine months behind regular TV, I was fearing that the Writers' Strike might affect things, but so far: AWESOME!
I'm not saying every aspect was a grand slam home run, but overall the episode was incredible. To be honest, the Denis Leary aspect felt forced. Leary is a very funny man, and I just think they could have used him more integrally, like the Mel Gibson or Ron Howard episodes. Still, it got to the cell-phone part, and as we all know, the first segment of The Simpsons rarely has anything to do with the rest, anyway.
(Bart gets the cell-phone at a celebrity golf-tournament, which leads him to tell Marge he got his phone the same way Marge got Bart, "By accident, from God, on a golf course.")
Children with cell-phones. What's up with that? My nine year old cousins (first-cousins once removed, but who's counting) have cell-phones, and I'm sure kids much younger than that do, too. Yeah, I get the argument that parents want to know where kids are, but it just seems like kids survived for generations without cellphones. Why do they suddenly "need them? (Perhaps a column on that one day.)
Poking at the cell-phone for kids phenomenon was genius, but equally so was Marge's obsession with where Bart was. (When Marge fools Bart into taking the cell-phone, and comes back and laughs with Homer all weird? One of the best Homer and Marge moments ever.)
I loved Marge spying on Bart as Moe spied on Marge ("Midge") as the FBI spied on Moe. I just wish they'd gone one further, but who spies on the FBI? Kodos?
I loved the chase to Machu-Pichu, although I must ask: how long would a laptop battery last?
Bart home alone was good. I especially liked the grilled Twizzlers (put in hot-dog buns with chocolate sauce for ketchup). I'll have to ask my chef-friend Dragon if that would be viable. Sure looked good.
Oh, I totally forgot! Bart calling bars all around the world! That stuff was hilarious. I wish I'd written down the fake names he used. I do remember the Sweden one being the funniest, as they had some great Ingmar Bergman jokes.
Overall a stupdendously entertaining episode. The Simpsons remains the best animation on TV. Look, I got nothing against South Park. They can be flat-out hysterical when they are on their game, and I appreciate them crossing any line in the search for comedy. But The Simpsons are just superior in every way. That's not a knock. It's just fact. I wish more people realized how great the quality still was.