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Posts tagged ‘Lurleen’

All I see is a gut with knees

Image

Papa Don’t Leech

Couch gag: An artist paints the Simpsons onto the couch

Director: Chris Clements

Guest Voices:
Beverley D’Angelo as Lurleen
The Dixie Chicks as themselves

Synopsis: When Springfield goes broke (again), Mayor Quimby calls on residents to pay their back taxes, including Lurleen Lumpkin. Discovering Lurleen has self esteem issues rising from her father’s abandonment, Marge tracks him down.

Discussion: We first met Lurleen waaaay back in season 3, when Homer was her manager. Lurleen hasn’t aged a day yet has been divorced three times (she married men who all look like Homer) and is haunted by her father’s abandonment when she was a child. Marge tracks him down, there’s a catchy song and Royce Lumpkin abandons his daughter again, selling her catchy song to the Dixie Chicks.

Lurleen was a memorable character and it’s been far too long between visits. I feel her appearance here is overshadowed by the Dixie Chicks’ apology song in which they claim they’re “patri-otter” (patriotic) again, but overall the episode is harking back to the original feel of the show. When the show first started, creator Matt Groening said he wanted the show to have a somewhat realistic theme around it (never mind their yellow skin). It was to contrast the happy families on TV at the time such as the Cosbys and the Keatons. The picture I chose to represent the episode shows this realism clearly: there’s a large crack in the wall behind Homer. (If I was doing some more analysis on the picture, I’d also point out the division between Homer and Lurleen, and their truce in the laundry which is traditionally Marge’s domain… but I digress).

God knows what attracts Lurleen to Homer, but Marge quietly threatens her at the end and tells her to never come near her husband again. I wonder what would happen if all Homer’s ladies got together? You’d have Lurleen, Mindy, Homer’s Vegas wife Amber (or Ginger, I never remember)… That could be very interesting!

Overall, this is a thoroughly enjoyable episode although the opening sequence of Homer and Grampa’s car crash is quite disturbing and doesn’t fit with the theme of the episode or the series. I did comment a few days ago about disturbing imagery creeping into the show. Maybe this a theme that will continue? I hope not.

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if you don’t watch violence, you’ll never get desensitised

Colonel Homer

I will not conduct my own fire drills

Director: Mark Kirkland

First appearance of:
Lurleen Lumpkin

Guest Voice:
Beverley D’Angelo as Lurleen

Synopsis: After fighting with Marge, Homer heads to a redneck bar and discovers a singing waitress named Lurleen. He agrees to be her manager, however her failure means the Simpson family is broke and her success means Homer is always away from his family. Lurleen asks Homer to “bunk with her” and Homer refuses, selling her contract and going home to Marge.

Discussion: Homer and Marge’s marriage isn’t perfect. This is one of those things that add to the show’s realism and lead it away from the cartoonish iconography we’re used to. In this episode, Homer manages a country singer who, amazingly, has the hots for him. Maybe she’s attracted to married men, maybe she’s attracted to power… or maybe she has a fetish for overweight and balding men. Who knows? In any case, she doesn’t hide this crush and Marge notices. Homer is 100% faithful to his wife and gives up his new career to be with his family. Lurleen is young, pretty and talented and has the goods to go a very long way with her career, but Homer chooses to be with his family instead.

You know, when this ep first aired, I had no idea Beverley D’Angelo was the voice. I knew her from the National Lampoon movies and here she’s (surprisingly) perfectly cast. Wikipedia tells me that she even wrote two of Lurleen’s songs and performed them herself! It’s really great to see this kind of diversity in a guest role and should be encouraged.

Country music isn’t really my thing, however the songs in the episode are catchy. I don’t find myself singing them to my bowling ball though…

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