Diatribe of a Mad Housewife
couch gag: The family pop out of a slice of pie, Homer starts munching on it.
Director: Mark Kirkland
Thomas Pynchon as himself
Tom Clancy as himself
Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen as themselves
Synopsis: Marge writes a historical romance, which sends Homer into a fit of jealousy as he thinks the novel is about Marge’s love for Ned Flanders.
Discussion: Feeling inspired, Marge writes a steamy novel which sends the town’s rumour mill into overdrive. Is Marge and Homer’s marriage a sham? Is Marge really in love with Ned Flanders? Does snuggling really sell? (If you’re E.L. James, it does)
There’s a lot at play in this episode, and most of it is fantastic. Homer is fired by the power plant and becomes a used car salesman before resigning to become an ambulance driver. This sequence is rushed and pointless, but it does show Homer actually being fired as opposed to just rocking up with a random new job. Marge’s inspiration to become an author is a bit dodgy, but there’s little motivation for writers apart from we love writing, so anything that inspires Marge is gonna be lame. Marge is an artist though, so maybe that angle could have been worked; she’s a talented painter so why not use that background to segue into writing?
Anyhoo, her novel is cliched and steamy, but sends Springfield (and eventually, Homer) into thinking Marge is really in love with Flanders. Again, this could have been worked a little better but it’s not South Park, it would be hard to get the infatuation and fantasy a realistic feeling without alienating the audience: Marge and Flanders? Marge has had lustful thoughts before- waaay back in season one, she considered having a fling with debonair Frenchman Jacques (you know, the bowling guy). But Marge and Flanders? Luckily the rumours are untrue so Marge and Homer’s marriage can continue just as strong as ever.
The interesting bits are encased in Marge’s novel. Lisa’s segmentation of her brain is rather amusing but the depictions of Marge’s main characters are just hilarious and really well done. If for no other reason, watch the episode for these bits.