Oh man, my absolute FAVORITE episode of the latter ten seasons was most definitely "I Am Furious Yellow", so I went into this one with a lot of cautious optimism.
Naturally, this one can't touch the genius of that classic, but it did have its moments. Homer kicking down the cubicles, Luigi getting more screen time, and Bart getting threatened via Randy Newman were great. I also nearly lost it during Ricky Gervais' cameo when I saw the pic of him with the caption "DO NOT ALLOW THIS MAN TO HOST".
But again, this episodes has the same problem as most of the new episodes lately, in that the endings don't seem to pack any kind of punch. Maybe it's the way the ad breaks are spaced out. Who knows?
Either way, this episode was pretty good, but could have been better.
The Gervais sign gag and "Dam that's good!" quote from Angry Dad were the best parts of this episode. Thumbs down for this one, as way too much time was spent showing "clips" of the nominated short films that opposed Angry Dad. They did nothing for me.
Probably a little bit of both. I'm sure the producers have coaxed them into several things they wouldn't usually. And they might just think it's worth the hassle of Bam's adventures to have the really nice stuff he can buy them (trips, cars, etc.)