Following the massive preoccupation with the Mayan Apocalypse, this week's The Simpsons accomplished a kind of currency that most of the new episodes never achieve.
In "Homer Goes to Prep School," Homer becomes convinced that the end of the world is just around the corner. I must admit that after the countless Facebook posts, news articles and History Channel apocalyptic-themed-marathons in the last month, I found Homer's doomsday obsession quite amusing.
But it wasn't a perfect episode; the tempo was a bit slow and there didn't seem to be enough to Homer's storyline to carry the whole half-hour.
Tom Waits was the most entertaining as the gravelly-voiced leader of the Springfield preppers. His distinctive vocal stylings added the right amount of mania and (apparent) credibility to the character. In his serendipitous meeting with a disenfranchised Homer, his paranoia was infectious and Homer immediately began preparing for the end.
In true Simpsons' fashion, Homer's obsession TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) ironically led to a small disaster in Springfield. An EMP, caused by the power plant, knocks out all electronics in Springfield, leading to a particularly funny sight gag involving the citizens of Springfield adapting to the lack of electricity...except for poor Disco Stu.
Homer has a habit of going overboard with his schemes, but this time, he was actually a bit more rational than I would have expected. Watching disaster movies, stockpiling food and hiding supplies in the basement were the extent of his insanity. Plus, he quickly responded to Marge's prodding that he help the citizens of Springfield rather quickly. Maybe he is finally growing as a character??
But I think maybe not.
There quite a few amusing The Simpsons quotes to go along with the great sight gags and parodies of survivalist videos, but there wasn't much else new or exciting about the episode. Being topical can only make a show somewhat entertaining, so this episode only managed to be a little above average.