Much Apu About Nothing
Couch gag: Marge, Lisa, Bart and Maggie are mounted heads on the wall while Homer is a rug on the floor. A hunter sits on the couch smoking a cigar.
Director: Susie Dietter
Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony
Synopsis: Apu admits to being an illegal immigrant and tries to avoid being deported.
Discussion: The beginning of this episode is sheer brilliance, but then loses pace in the middle and later stages. There’s a bear wandering the street and Homer proposes a bear patrol to keep away other bears. However, he doesn’t like paying the tax to pay for the bear patrol. The mayor’s solution is to deport Springfield’s immigrants and Proposition 24 is up for public voting. Apu admits he is living in America illegally and it’s up to the Simpsons to find a way he can stay.
Firstly, the two catch cries in the start of the ep have become part of everyday vernacular: “Won’t somebody please think of the children?” and “We’re here, we’re queer, we don’t want any more bears!” (I encourage each of you to utter at least one of those phrases today in general conversation. Go on, you know you want to. It’s like homework, but way more fun.)
Then there’s Apu. He’s become a much loved character on the show and to the Simpson family. Apu’s attempts at becoming American are hilarious. Decorating his store with American gear is just plain funny, but Homer’s tutelage in American history for the citizenship test is hilarious. The 13 stripes on the flag are for good luck.
It is a strong episode all the way through, but I do feel it lacks originality seen in the bear scenes. Maybe originality is the wrong word. It lacks oomph, zest, funniness… Starts strong (and leaves the viewer wondering where this is going) and ends with a warm & fuzzy ending where Apu is a citizen and everyone’s happy… except Groundskeeper Willie.