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Posts tagged ‘education’

Let’s watch the tape, Monkey Man

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Smart and Smarter

Couch gag: The family are delivered to the couch via dry cleaning bags

Director: Steve Dean Moore

Guest Voice:
Simon Cowell as Henry

Synopsis: When Maggie is found to be more intelligent than Lisa, Lisa struggles with her identity and role in the family.

Discussion: Another case of deja vu. Lisa struggles with identity and is jealous that someone is smarter than her. We’ve seen it before (click on the links for more info). The difference this time is that she’s competing against her own sister, which is surely much worse than anything she’s encountered before. Oh, to be eight again! So little to worry about…

Anyhoo, Lisa’s struggle with identity sees her trying to be different people in order to gain acceptance. I don’t know what the point is during this sequence, it’s quite obvious that she’s still Lisa and how her peers view her isn’t going to change if she’s wearing a cheerleader outfit. Realising that changing her outfits wasn’t going to cut it, Lisa decides to run away and live at the museum. An excellent choice, until she decided to sleep on a tongue of a giant, working model of the digestive system. Eww.

In the end (of the ep, not the digestive system), Henry and snobbish cohort inform the family that Maggie is not actually smart, she’s been coached by Lisa. I feel cheated by this ending. What’s wrong with having a smart baby and Lisa perpetually in her shadow? In true sitcom style, this doesn’t even have to be referenced ever again- Maggie could go on dancing to Sex Bomb and sucking her pacifier like always and maybe there’s a problem and the family turn to Maggie but she doesn’t speak so it’s a pointless exercise… And I’m rambling again. Instead, we’re left with Maggie as a regular baby with average intelligence and Lisa feeling like Queen Bee again. Cheated, I tell you. Cheated!

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It’s part of being a lowlife

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Take My Wife, Sleaze

I can’t see dead people

Couch gag: The family sit on the couch, which is a shredder. 

Director: Neil Affleck

Guest voices:
Jay North as himself
John Goodman as Meathook
Henry Winkler as Ramrod
Jan Hooks as Manjula
NRBQ as the band in the bar/closing credits

Synopsis: Homer builds a bikie gang, not knowing a rival gang has the same name. After they crash and trash the Simpson house, the rival gang kidnap Marge, who tries to teach them how to be upstanding citizens. 

Discussion: There’s a stereotype portrayed in the media of bikie gangs being rough, rude kidnappers. This episode reinforces that view. 

When I was a kid, there were stories of bikie gangs kidnapping children. I was terrified every time a gang of them passed our car- I’d worry they’d see me in the back, force my parents to pull over and I’d be kidnapped. 

Marge is the unlucky one facing those fears in this ep. She’s unwittingly become a mother to a gang who can’t work out how to get a patch onto a jacket or get puke stains out of a vest. The bikie gang move on, taking Marge with them, where she gives some good advice like not calling your employer a skank. Ohhh, you *don’t* call them a skank! 

These days I think of John Goodman as the voice of Sulley from Monsters Inc and Monsters University (even though he’s been on our screens for years e.g. Roseanne). So, it’s a little strange hearing him as a the rough Meathook after the kindly monster Sulley. On first viewing (in fact, every viewing) I never pick up on Henry Winkler but he’s a natural choice for Ramrod. 

I don’t think it’s a brilliant episode but it’s lots of fun. From the 50s style cafe to the Cycle Sluts magazine to marge giving them advice on landing a job, it brings together a bunch of stereotypes and fits them nicely within the Simpsons world. 

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