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Posts tagged ‘art’

Let’s get out of this gosh forsaken heck hole

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Pokey Mom

I will not “let the dogs out”

Couch gag: As the family sit down, the wall spins around to reveal Ned Flanders shackled upside down, chained by a laughing mad scientist.

Director: Bob Anderson

Guest Voices:
Michael Keaton as Jack Crowley
Bruce Vilanch as himself
Charles Napier as the warden
Robert Schimmel as a prisoner

Synopsis: Marge helps a prisoner explore his artistic side.

Discussion: This episode is reminiscent of the recent ep where Marge helps the bikie gang. She tries her hardest to let low-lifes have a fresh start, but it inevitably leads to disaster (it’s part of the narrative convention).

Anyhoo, Marge’s interest in art is explored a bit more here when she teaches an art class to prisoners and discovers a sensitive side to Jack Crowley (as an aside, I suddenly wanted to watch Beetlejuice after watching this ep…) who has been convicted of shooting Apu, and later released under parole into Marge’s care.

I like the ep. It shows Marge in the role she does best: mothering. She’s also shown as somewhat naive but in a good way as she believes the best of everyone even when the culprit is caught red-handed. Homer’s chiropractic subplot is beautifully done. Chiropractic is a controversial practice with some practitioners believing a lot of woo… and for some reason a lot of chiropractors are actually named Steve (my first job after I moved to Qld was receptionist to a chiro named Dr Steve!) I understand that the subplot caused controversy among the chiropractic community, but this is The Simpsons: they poke fun at everyone and everything. It’s only when you’re the target audience that you get upset! (Example: Bart vs Australia)

This episode is one of the best of season 12.

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You put the beer in the coconut and throw the can away

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Mom and Pop Art

A Trained ape could not teach gym

Couch gag: The Simpsons ride the couch a la Dr Strangelove

Director: Steven Dean Moore

Guest voices:
Isabella Rosselini as Astrid
Jasper Johns as himself

Synopsis: Homer’s attempts at building a BBQ pit go horribly wrong, but is seen as art by stereotypical pretentious artists. 

Discussion: I’m not arty at all, but I enjoy this episode. Homer’s failed BBQ pit becomes the centrepiece for his “outsider” art and he becomes an overnight success. 

It’s not fair that Marge is an artist yet her work has been long overlooked and Homer’s anger at the BBQ pit becomes an instant art success. But that’s life both in reality and in the Simpsons world- you don’t always get what you work so hard for. 

Isabella Rosellini is perfect as the hoity-toity Astrid, with famed artist jasper Johns appearing as himself. The beauty of working in animation means the guest stars don’t even need to be in the same country to record their lines. Wikipedia says Jasper recorded his lines over the phone. 

Again, this is a fresh look at a theme in the show: Homer being celebrated for doing stupid stuff but in a way that feels new and exciting. Overall, it’s a great episode and shows the superiority of season 10 over the disappointing and stale season 9. 

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