Dude, Where’s My Ranch?
Couch gag: The Simpsons are mimes
Director: Chris Clements
David Byrne as himself
Andy Serkis as Cleanie
Jonathon Taylor Thomas as Luke
Synopsis: After Homer writes a popular song about Flanders, he and the family head to a ranch to get away from his success.
Discussion: This episode was controversial because it was claimed that Usher’s song ‘OMG’ was a lot like Homer’s Christmas carol. If you haven’t heard the comparison, you can find it here.
Unfortunately that’s pretty much the only bit worth talking about in this unfortunate episode. Threatened with legal action over the family singing Christmas carols, Homer decides to write his own and comes up with a song about how annoying Ned Flanders is. It’s a catchy song and it takes the world by storm, so much so that Homer & fam decided to skip town and stay at a ranch.
After this point, it’s safe to turn off. The ep descends into every cliche known to man with a token gust voice and some square dancing. Lisa falls for a cowboy named Luke and is jealous when another girl enters the picture. Naturally, the girl is Luke’s sister. Snore.
Everything after the first ad break is a shocker. Despite winter and Christmas in the first scene, it’s not mentioned nor seen again. I guess writing, recording and distributing songs does take a long time, which might account for the change in seasons… but really, continuity is not a strong point of the show so I shouldn’t really be criticising. It’s a weak episode, story-wise, but Homer’s song really is catchy and it’s a shame it’s not made more use of.