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Four Great Women and a Manicure

Couch gag: The Simpsons and couch are carved from stone, but the artist is unhappy and sculptures a man on a horse instead.

Director: Raymond S. Persi

Guest Voice:
Jodie Foster as Maggie Simpson

Synopsis: While Lisa and Marge are getting mani-pedis, they tell four stories of great women who were smart, beautiful and powerful.

Discussion: Let me just say that cramming four stories into twenty minutes isn’t a brilliant idea. None of the stories have any time to fully develop, and the first story is completely marred by credits taking up the first 5 minutes. Not only is a fulfilling plot missing, so is Bart! What’s a Simpsons episode without Bart Simpson?

Queen Elizabeth I is portrayed by Selma, who is courted by several suitors, including the very camp King Julio of Spain. When she rejects him, he sets the Spanish Armada onto England’s shores. Meanwhile, Sir Walter Raleigh (Homer) is caught making out with Elizabeth’s Lady in Waiting (Marge) and is saved from execution by the arrival of the Armada, which Walter accidentally sets on fire.

There’s a lot going on in such a short space of time and if you’re suffering a head cold like me at the moment, you’ll be easily lost and confused. Also, I’m not sure why Ralph is a suitor to Selma. She ain’t no cougar (well, in Ralph’s case, it’s a bona fide crime). If this was drawn out by an extra couple of minutes, it could have been a lot better.

Snow White is portrayed by Lisa, who is being pursued by a jealous queen who wants her heart in a box, and finds herself in a house owned by dwarfs (BTW, dwarfs is the accepted correct spelling, not dwarves). The wicked queen, disguised as a witch, forces Snow White to eat the poisoned apple and then Snowy is resuscitated by a female doctor, not Prince Charming.

Again, not enough time for a fully fleshed out story to be told. Lisa’s ending is hasty and closes it off without any satisfaction to the viewer. Even though Doctor Hibbert is one of the dwarfs, Lisa specifically mentions a female doctor (unseen) who rescues her. Other than that, the story is suitably Disney-fied and appeals to fans of the Disney film. (As an aside, although I’m a huge Disney fan, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is one of my least favourite films. Snow White is an ungrateful bitch- she wanders uninvited into the dwarfs’ house, makes herself comfortable, the dwarfs tell her to be careful yet Snowy is welcoming to the first strange woman at the front door. When she falls into the coma, the dwarfs give up their jobs for over a year to keep vigil, but do they get any thanks when Prince Charming comes along? No! Snow White awakens, bids farewell to the dwarfs without any gratitude for a) building the glass casket, b) giving up their income to keep vigil and c) for not burying her! Disney’s Snow White character makes me very annoyed.)

Macbeth is the story of Marge, who tells Homer to kill the good actors so he can have the part of Macbeth to himself, but he earns horrible reviews, scoring less than the actors with no lines. Furious, Marge orders Homer to kill every actor in the play.

Is this segment the longest or does it just feel that way?

Finally, Maggie is the main character in The Fountainhead, which I admit I have never read. Maggie is a gifted student in a daycare where the teacher wants conformity and mediocrity in the students. When caught expressing herself, Maggie is placed on trial and years later, is shown as a successful architect who runs a daycare where babies can express themselves.

There’s only one highlight of this segment and that’s Jodie Foster.

This episode was then the least-watched episode of the series (currently, it’s the third least watched). Did people know it was going to be rubbish and that’s why they didn’t watch? Or was there a drawer of socks that needed to be folded? I concede it’s not the worst episode ever, but it’s not fantastic. There’s too much happening and the viewer is left unsatisfied by each segment and the overall ep. Maybe just pick three stories and lengthen those by a couple of minutes each to really give a full story with a satisfactory ending to each.

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