The Simpsons fans hail return of season one character – but complain about new plot hole
The Simpsons fans have praised the return of a first-season character after 33 years, but complained about an apparent error in the series’ continuity.
Sunday night’s (19 March) episode of the long-running cartoon saw actor and filmmaker Albert Brooks return in the role of bowling expert Jacques.
The character first appeared back in the season one episode “Life On the Fast Lane” in 1990.
Fans of the series enthused about Brooks’s performance on social media, with radio host Bret Saunders writing: “Nice to hear the voice of Albert Brooks on The Simpsons again tonight. The funniest, the best.”
However, many others commented that the episode created a frustrating new continuity error for the show.
During Jacques’ first appearance, Marge Simpson was seen considering a romantic affair – before ultimately deciding to remain loyal to Homer.
Though Homer was oblivious to this in the episode, he was later informed of this during the season six episode “Another Simpsons Clip Show”.
However, the new episode, titled “Pin Gal”, begins with Homer not knowing anything of the would-be affair.
Fans pointed out the inconsistency on Twitter.
“I don’t know if I like the idea of The Simpsons basically retconning Marge telling Homer how she almost cheated on him with Jacques in ‘Another Simpsons Clip Show’ and having it be that Marge never told Homer about it,” one fan wrote.
“The most substantial part, if any, of ‘Another Simpsons Clip Show’ was Marge and Homer sharing their moments of “almost-affairs” with each other,” another argued.
“Homer already learned about Jacques. I know there’s a flexibility with canon but... c’mon The Simpsons team! (Still love the reprisal!)”
Many people have senseless attachments to heavy, clumsy things... pic.twitter.com/bLdHgCyjqM
— The Simpsons (@TheSimpsons) March 20, 2023
“I don’t often catch the newer TheSimpsons episodes, but I watched this one because I heard Jacques was returning,” someone else commented.
“It was pretty good, but seemingly ignores the old ‘Another Simpsons Clip Show’ ep (unless Homer is just stupid/forgetful, which is a far more likely explanation).”
Series showrunner Al Jean appeared to respond to the complaints on Twitter, assuring fans that the lack of continuity was in fact deliberate.
“I think it goes without saying, but clip shows aren’t canon,” he wrote.
Though Brooks had not voiced Jacques since 1990, the Defending Your Life star had appeared on the series multiple other times, voicing one-off characters such as Hank Scorpio, Brad Goodman, and The Simpsons Movie villain Russ Cargill.