Definitely back to basics. The first act started off "we're SOOOO WACKY!!" which annoyed the hell out of me, but the second and third acts were surprisingly great. The emotions are pretty much superficial at this point, but at least the pace was contained and the silliness restrained. It reminded me of seasons 6-8 where there would be a serious story with wacky jokes FROM TIME TO TIME. In this case, the wacky jokes were funny (the homeless person thinking he was Jesus, and Homer trying to scare Lisa (until the third time he did it)).
And a normal ending? Crazy.
I think it would have been better if:
- Santa's Little Helper were replaced by a certain slug from Futurama at the end.
- The Duff spokesperson were voiced by the VA who plays Duke Phillips (trust me, it wasn't him in this episode. I would know).