After a typical Simpsons random intro involving a peach you pick it farm with a guest voice by Jack McBrayer, the second act naturally involved Lisa stumbling into a foreclosed house of magic.
From there, "The Great Simpsina" because a typical Lisa episode of The Simpsons. You know you're in for a clever storyline with plenty of heart, but not so much in the humor department.
Academy Award winning actor Martin Landau lent his very distinct voice as The Great Raymondo and he and Lisa had plenty of cute, funny visuals bits as they parodied various magic tricks. "Prepare to have everything you knew about milk cans challenged!"
There were also some fun bits by the various guest starring magicians, Ricky Jay, David Copperfield and Penn & Teller, during the third act. Especially Penn and Teller's supposed witch curse. Good stuff. But my favorite bit? The sweet ending where Raymondo got to dance with his deceased wife thanks to a little too much Ether.
Overall, the episode was entertaining and flowed nicely throughout, but just lacked the funnier moments I've become accustomed to during this strong season. We'll leave you with our favorite Simpsons quotes from magic-filled half hour:
Homer: First I work? Then I pay? Then I have to eat fruit? Why was I ever born? | permalink
Grampa: In 1957 I saw him turn turn the Secretary of Agriculture into the Secretary of the Interior. It was hell on their wives, but it sure brought down corn prices. Built a house out of corn. It was the worst home I ever owed? when it got really hot it smelled like Frito's. | permalink
Nelson: God, if you don't bring my Lisa home safe, ants will burn tonight! | permalink
Lisa: You're as pure as the ether that puts you to sleep. | permalink
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.