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Posts tagged ‘brothers’

Does Obama know about this?

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O Brother, Where Bart Thou?

Couch gag: The Simpsons walk in to find the living room furniture dancing.

Director: Steven Dean Moore

Guest Voices:
Huell Howser as himself
Peyton Manning as himself
Eli Manning as himself
Cooper Manning as himself
The Smothers Brothers as themselves
Kim Cattrall as the imaginary third Simpsons sister
Jordan Nagai as Charlie

Synopsis: After seeing the sisterly bond between Lisa and Maggie, Bart wishes for a brother. An escapee from the orphanage becomes Bart’s brother for the day.

Discussion: It’s only taken 8 episodes, but finally we have a good episode from season 21! Hooray!

Everything about this episode works. There’s great lines, a good solid plot, some fantastic guest stars, hilarious cultural references and some old-fashioned father-son bonding over a scary movie.

When a blackout hits the Simpsons household on a snowy day, Lisa and Maggie hold a fashion show and Bart is envious that he doesn’t have a brother to do cool things with. So, he does what any normal Bart Simpson would do and tries to force his parents into making a baby brother, even going as far as switching Marge’s Pill with candy (the Pills, in the candy container, are found and eaten by Nelson haw haw!) When that doesn’t work, he goes to an orphanage and wakes up to find an escapee wants to be his new brother. Aww!

It’s a really great episode which examines the bonds between same sex siblings. Bart knows a lot about reproduction (and seduction) for a 10 year old, but I suppose he’s had to learn something in those 20-odd years (remember when he thought parents were reverse vampires in connection with the saucer people?) There’s a load of great lines, which shows that the writers still have tricks up their sleeves. Bart’s dream about having a brother is reminiscent of when he sold his soul but instead of Springfield characters with brothers, he’s dreaming of famous brothers (although Sideshow Bob and his brother Cecil appear in the dream). The Smothers Brothers didn’t air in Australia; the first I knew about them was when I was writing an essay about television’s response to youth culture. In that essay, which inspired me to watch The Simpsons every day, compared The Monkees to The Simpsons as TV tried to keep up with youth of the day. The Smothers Brothers were also part of that youth revolution.

But I digress. This ep references South Park, Barney as the Plow King and famous brothers from all walks of culture from the Wright Brothers to Mario & Luigi. Charlie is an adorable character and the perfect fit with Bart- he’s not too naughty, yet loves games but not scary movies.

Highly recommended viewing. Aren’t you glad I do the hard work for you so you don’t have to sit through all the shitty ones to find the gems?

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Shake it, madam. Capital knockers.

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The Brother From Another Series

Couch gag: The living room and couch are upside down, and when the family sit on it, they fall down. 

Director: Pete Michels

Guest voices:
Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob
David Hyde Pierce as Cecil

Synopsis: Sideshow Bob is released from prison on a work-for-parole scheme and is taken under the supervision of his brother, a noted hydro engineer. 

Discussion: Cue the obligatory Sideshow Bob episode for the season. We all know who Sideshow Bob is by now; he’s been featured in every season since season one. This time, we discover he has a brother who is also a homicidal maniac but really just wants to frame Bob for taking the coveted position of Krusty’s sidekick. In a twist, Bob actually ends up saving Bart’s life instead of trying to kill him. Don’t worry, I’m sure it won’t last long… 

As far as Bob episodes go, this one is OK. Cecil is played by David Hyde Pierce, who, at the time, was also playing Kelsey Grammer’s brother on Frasier. Admittedly, I’ve never seen  Frasier but I’m aware of the relationship of the characters. Hence the cute title of the episode. 

It must be hard coming up with ideas for Bob episodes, so this one contains a twist. However, like practically all other Bob episodes, it takes a long time to get to the point. When it does, well, personally I find it a bit anticlimactic but it is refreshing to see the change in homicidal characters.  

For me, the highlight of the ep is Krusty’s appearance at the Springfield State Prison a la Johnny Cash’s Folsom appearance. 

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