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Posts tagged ‘Betty White’

Weeeeeeeeee I’m sorta rich



Global warming did not eat my homework

Couch gag: Homer goes through the process of evolution, beginning from a unicellular organism to his present-day self. After the 1 min 30 seconds sequence, Homer plops himself on the couch and Marge asks him why he took so long.

Director: Matthew Nastuk

Guest voices:
Betty White as herself
Jon Lovitz as Enrico Irritazio
JK Simmons as the tabloid editor

Synopsis: Whilst recreating family photos, Homer snaps a celebrity in a compromising situation, leading to a new career being a paparazzo.

Discussion: Homer has yet another career, this time as a paparazzo. Homer has had contact with a lot of celebrities yet he’s kinda turned on them, prodding them into situations which can earn him a small fortune from a tabloid.

This ep has the foundation of a good episode, but never quite pulls it off. From the title, I already guessed the ep was about paparazzi but from the first few minutes, I was hoping it would be another ep about Homer’s health (my fave ep of all time is ‘Homer’s Triple Bypass‘ from season 4). Maybe the two concepts could have been meshed together with Homer is hospital and reporting the plastic surgery of Springfield’s rich and famous?

There are still plenty of celebs to be seen, only a few of which have speaking parts. That’s still OK, the visual humour is the main thing although it’s only outside a dry cleaning store. Jon Lovitz makes his ninth appearance on the show, this time as a fellow paparazzi promising to take compromising photos of Homer. I just don’t get that part- it’s completely nonsensical without the usual social commentary otherwise seen in the ep (By that I mean the constant fight between the paps and celebs). Enrico Irritazio doesn’t add anything to the episode although he’s a lot less annoying than other Jon Lovitz characters. It may work in the small town of Springfield where everyone knows Homer, but translated into a real-world scenario doesn’t work and doesn’t have that associated humour either.

I must mention fellow Australian Kylie Minogue, whose song ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head‘ features in the episode. Always great to see Aussies doing well on the international stage and to have a song played prominently within a Simpsons episode is a fantastic showcase of Kylie’s talent.

Overall, it’s a good commentary on the culture of celebrity and how the public eat up whatever gossip they can get. The execution of the episode leaves room to improve but I’m happy to give it a slighty-above-average rating.

Save me, Jebus!


Missionary: Impossible

A belch is not an oral report

Couch gag: The couch is in a subway station and the family catch the train that arrives.

Director: Steven Dean Moore

Guest voice:
Betty White as herself

Synopsis: Homer becomes a missionary in an attempt to escape Betty White and PBS after giving a fake pledge.

Discussion: It’s one of those episodes where the beginning marries perfectly with the premise. Homer wouldn’t voluntarily become a missionary, so being hunted down by PBS’ Pledge Enforcement Team seems perfectly reasonable. I’m also reminded about the Australian vernacular and how it’s a mix between UK English and American English. I forget that Americans don’t use the term “wanker” (or “fortnight”). But anyhoo…

This isn’t a brilliant ep but it does have its moments. Betty White is always popular, Lisa Jr is just the cutest and Homer’s attempts at creating a casino for the “savages” is pretty funny too. It could quite easily become another Lord of the Flies but the subtext is that Homer is trying to recreate a society based on what the white people did to Native Americans, because that’s all Homer knows. In fact, it goes deeper than that: Craig and Amy have been brainwashing the natives in order to Westernise them: when Homer asks about the naked chicks from magazines, the tribal leader replies that Craig and Amy have given them the gift of shame. There’s a whole dynamic about native peoples and Westerners that is explored very well within the time constraints. Not so sure about the toad licking though…

The ending is deliberate. Homer and Lisa Jr are trapped in a burning, falling turret when it cuts back to Betty White asking for donations for the “struggling” Fox network. A panel of Fox celebrities are seen waiting by the phones, including owner Rupert Murdoch (again with the crappy Aussie accents!) who answers a call with a $10k pledge from Bart, who cheekily adds it’s not the first time they’ve saved the network. It’s the sort of comment you can only make when your show is the cash cow for the network…

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