The Fight Before Christmas
Directors: Bob Anderson and Matthew Scofield
Martha Stewart as herself
Katy Perry as herself
Synopsis: Each of the Simpsons dream a Christmas dream.
Discussion: …I’m not really sure what to think about this episode. It was a very different format to regular episodes in that it was split into four segments, all of which were fully developed and not lacking in storyline. This makes a refreshing change because other 3 or 4 segmented episodes sometimes feel like they’ve been rushed.
Bart’s Dream is a parody of The Polar Express, which is so boring that I inevitably fall asleep within the first hour. I managed to stay away during this part though, and more-or-less enjoyed it. Some parts were a little dark, like Milhouse and Nelson wrapping presents as other elves had been laid off. As a whole, the segment was pretty good.
Lisa’s Dream is a parody of Inglourious Basterds, which I also found quite boring because I’m neither a Tarantino nor war fan. Marge is in Nazi-occupied Germany, battling Hitler on her own while Homer is at home because he’s too fat to fit into a foxhole. Lisa’s complaining about Christmas trees as they remind her of the day her mother was taken away. The Dumbo parody was in poor taste, as was Lisa eating meat. Even in a dream state, Lisa’s strong animal values would not disappear.
Marge’s Dream involved her writing a letter to Martha Stewart to help her save Christmas. What transpires is a Martha dominated segment in typical Martha fashion: taking ordinary objects and turning them into useful and decorative pieces. It was a cute segment, but as I typically find Martha really annoying at the best of times, this inflated version of herself irritated me quite a bit.
Maggie’s Dream was the pinnacle of the episode. Anything out of the ordinary is usually a huge asset to the show, and this is no exception. Maggie dreams the family are puppets, parodying both Sesame Street and The Muppets. Some of the jokes are adult-themed, but amusing nonetheless. Katy Perry is herself, apparently parodying her own (cancelled) appearance on Sesame Street. The segment is fun, bright, colourful and not suitable for children. I was happy to see characters other than the Simpson family being turned into puppets. Overall, it was a lot of fun although Mr Burns’ rendition of the “original” 39 Days of Christmas got a bit tired very quickly.