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Posts tagged ‘camp’

Don’t you have a crotch to stuff?

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How I Spent My Strummer Vacation

Couch gag: The living room is water with sharks swimming. Homer, on waterskis, jumps over them.

Director: Mike B. Anderson

Guest voices:
Mick Jagger as himself
Keith Richards as himself
Elvis Costello as himself
Lenny Kravitz as himself
Brian Setzer as himself
Tom Petty as himself

Synopsis: Feeling down about his lost dreams since he started a family, Marge surprises him with a week at Rock n’ Roll Fantasy Camp.

Discussion: Welcome to season 14! My vote of confidence for a good season isn’t high; not because I’ve been musing that the show has jumped the shark since season 9, but that it’s self-referenced as the couch joke at the beginning of this episode! Hmm… In any case, this episode is probably going to be the best of the season (prove me wrong, season 14) and it’s all due to a bunch of awesome guest stars.

Maybe it’s the “camp” factor, but this ep reminds me of Kamp Krusty, but way more fun. Let’s start at the beginning. Something about Moe refusing to serve Homer, Homer gives blood, goes back to Moe’s, loses keys. Expectations are pretty low at this point. Then comes the parody of Taxicab Confessions, a show I used to love. Homer reveals his dreams of rockin’ n’ rollin’ were shattered when he married Marge and had some kids. They really cramp one’s style. Although the family are really angry with Homer, they agree to give him the chance to fulfill that dream anyway. Aww.

Cue the rock stars, who are the ones who make the ep shine. Who else but the Simpsons could attract stars of this calibre and treat them like this? It’s brilliant (I like one reviewer’s comments; “You’ve gotta admire a show that lands the greatest names in rock and then gives them as much respect as a brown M&M.”)

It’s not the greatest ep ever, and I really think it’s the guest stars making fun of themselves that lift it out of mediocrity, but it’s a strong start to the season and I really hope it continues… I have my fingers crossed.

Zzzzzzzzap

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Homer’s Phobia

couch gag: The family are downloaded from the internet, but the download takes too long and the unseen someone repeatedly presses ‘cancel’.

Director: Mike B. Anderson

Guest voice:
John Waters as John

Synopsis: Homer discovers his new friend John is gay and disassociates himself from John, believing he has a negative influence over Bart. 

Discussion: This is pretty much the first episode featuring an openly gay character. There was one ep back in season 2 in which Homer’s assistant Karl kisses Homer, but that could be construed as something similar to Smithers’ feelings for his boss; being attracted to power or whatever. Smithers’ own sexuality is only implied, not explicitly stated- he’s not openly gay. 

Anyhoo, for whatever reason, Homer is offended by John being gay and begins to worry that Bart will turn out “queer” as well. In an effort to straighten Bart, Homer, Barney and Moe take Bart deer hunting and when it goes awry, John rocks up to save the day. 

There’s no doubt whatsoever that Homer is a complete arse in this episode. Interestingly, it’s not based on religious reasons which makes this ep stand out from “real life” gay criticisms. I wonder if Homer would be shocked to learn Smithers is gay? Apart from Homer, no one else has an issue with homosexuality and it’s dealt with in a really supportive way with the Simpson family pointing out how moronic it is for Bart to “catch gay” or be turned straight by hunting deer. 

Having said that, I’m not entirely convinced by the ending in which Homer changes his mind when John saves his life. Maybe the point could have been stronger: despite Homer being a complete jerk to John, John was man enough to step up and save Homer’s life. 

In another scene, Moe asks Homer if they should take Lisa hunting and Homer replies she’s a vegetarian. Moe is concerned: “Oh geez Homer. Geez! You and Marge ain’t cousins, are ya?” Back in the mid 90s, vegetarianism was on the fringe of acceptance, much like being gay. I believe that both homosexuality and vegetarianism have made leaps and bounds in positive ways to complete acceptance… but if God wanted us to be vegos, He wouldn’t have made animals so tasty. 

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