In full disclosure, I'm probably the only TV Fanatic that has never seen Mad Men. Even still, it was easy enough to pick up that this week's episode, which featured John Slattery and was a clear parody of that AMC drama.
Slattery's appearance, unlike that of co-star Jon Hamm, basically played a version of his character on Mad Men, a 1960s style "Account Man," responsible for greasing politicians, landing contracts and drinking way too many martinis.
Homer gets introduced to the retiring executive shortly after throwing a Krusty Vodka-sponsored party for influential Springfield clientele that included such big names as Kent Brockman and Bumblebee Man.
Naturally, in traditional Simpsons-random-intro-style, Homer's party - highlighted by Burns singing a riveting karaoke rendition of some early 20th century song - leads to Homer getting a job as Robert Marlow's replacement.
Soon, Homer, much like Marlow before him, becomes discontent in his job, similar to The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, from which "The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants" gets its hilarious namesake.
Then, like so many episodes past, Homer is forced to choose between work and family. Conveniently, even when he chooses family, all is reset in Simpsons land as Homer is given back his safety job.
While aspects of the plot were fresh, I can't help but feel like the one-off promotions of Homer and his work storylines in general feel a little overdone. At least Slattery's episode was executed better than the Jane Lynch work episode of a few weeks prior.
Oh, and there was a B arc of Lisa teaching Bart to read Little Women and him then reading to the bullies. It was entirely forgettable other than Dolph naming his sister fists Pocahontas and Sacagawea.
No, it may not have been the strongest episodes in Simpsons history, and a bit of a disappointmentafter last week's amazing young adult novel satire, but this week still had plenty of great Simpsons quotes thanks to the ridiculous caricature of Marlow.
You just have to ask, which came first, the idea for the episode, or the idea to cast John Slattery? Because I can't help but feel like the episode was built around him. Thoughts?
Eric Hochberger is the programmer of TV Fanatic, so please forgive his mediocre writing. His programming is far better. Follow him on Twitter and/or email him. Just don't request threaded comments. They're coming.