The Simpsons (Season 23 Premiere: “The Falcon and the D’Ohman”)
Fox, Sundays 8/7 Central
Sep 25, 2011
The Simpsons have been in a critical tailspin for quite some time now. The season premiere of the 23rd season doesn't change much. "The Falcon and the D'Ohman" finds 24 action star Kiefer Sutherland guest starring yet again. This time he plays Wayne, the new security guard at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant where Homer works. They become fast friends and run into some trouble with a Ukrainian terrorist. Of course, Wayne is a former CIA agent, haunted by his buried memories. Longtime fans of this eternal show will remember Sutherland also played a colonel in the 2006 episode "G.I. (Annoyed Grunt)" and his 24 character Jack Bauer in the 2007 episode "24 Minutes." Fox is going back to the same well again.
This new episode is rarely grounded in any kind of reality. The best examples of The Simpsons center the situational humor in somewhat plausible scenarios within the town. I guess after so many years, they've completely run out of ideas. I guess it's understandable. The premiere's Sutherland through-line is OK, but the subplot featuring Marge dreaming about being a contestant on the cooking reality show Top Chef sloppily parodies the actual show. Host Tom Colicchio plays himself. Ho-hum.
One thing that obsessive fans will find somewhat appealing is the big reveal of whether or not Edna Krabappel and Ned Flanders will continue dating each other. During the outro to the 22nd season finale, "The Ned-Liest Catch," Homer and Marge gave a link to the official The Simpsons website, and encouraged fans to vote over the summer on whether Edna and Ned should stay together. The "Nedna" results are revealed this week in a sly way. It's an old gimmick to retain viewers, but fans will snatch a scrap of meat when the rest of dinner is pretty spoiled. (www.thesimpsons.com)
Author rating: 3/10
Average reader rating: 7/10