"A Tree Grows in Springfield" is a perfectly serviceable episode of The Simpsons. The premise, at least in the first act, is the kind of overly-topical spoofing that can quickly get tiresome, but it didn’t stick around too long, and some of the jokes were funny regardless.
The extended dream sequence in the beginning, where a hot dog baseball announcer narrates Homer’s pleasant hammock-nap fantasy-turned-nightmare, is pleasingly silly, and Homer’s ensuing depressionturns out what may have been the funniest joke of the night, the quick visual gag when Moe tells him he has a "Charlie Brown wiggle-frown."
After winning a raffle at an inexplicably Western-themed school fundraiser, we’re introduced to the Mapple MyPad, the name of which is probably the most annoying thing about it. I know Mapple has been used in previous episodes, so it wasn’t something that could be solved here, but still, that name is so grating that it threatens to demolish any and all humor that comes after it. Read More...