Skinner’s Sense of Snow
Science class should not end in tragedy
Couch gag: The family are in a football tackle and Maggie emerges to make a touchdown.
Director: Lance Kramer
Synopsis: Bart, Lisa and the kids of Springfield are trapped by snow, and overthrow Skinner to run the school.
Discussion: This is a really good episode. It’s a little bit Lord of the Flies when Bart overthrows Skinner, but this is something fresh and quite original considering some of the rubbish we’ve been seeing from season 12.
There are moments of animated magic, so the ep is not quite down-to-earth, but still, there’s elements in there that fill me with hope that this isn’t the end of the good episodes. There are some classic, memorable lines such as “I’m tired of taking orders from G.I. Jerk” and “You’ve slapped your Willie for the last time!” as well as the quote chosen for the title of this post.
It’s also nice to see Homer and Ned bonding as they try to save the kids, as well as some good work by Nibbles the Hamster. In fact, this episode feels nothing like Christmas; if they hadn’t mentioned it at the end, I’d forget all about it.
A burp is not an answer
Couch gag: The couch is missing so the family crowd onto a footstool
Director: Jim Reardon
Phil Hartman as Troy McClure
Adam West as himself
Linda Ronstadt as herself
Synopsis: Homer buys a snow plow but has competition from Barney, who has bought his own plow.
Discussion: Firstly, in the interests of keeping things consistent, I’ll be using the American spelling of plow (UK/Australian spelling would be plough).
Secondly, this is one of those episodes that everyone remembers. For me, there was no other contender for the title of this post except Barney’s jingle, as sung by Linda Ronstadt. Who’s singing that jingle in their heads right now? There are a couple of other great lines from the episode, including Barney’s “Come back, diaper! Come back!” as he gave out flyers to passersby. “Kiss my asphalt” was another great line, muttered by Homer as a retort to someone telling him not to scratch her asphalt.
One of the great things about The Simpsons is that it doesn’t have to make sense. There are several scenes which break the laws of physics but are hell funny anyway, such as Homer balancing the truck by moving the radio needle. If you’ve read my first post about how the Simpsons is more “real” than other animated shows, this episode (and many others) harks back to ye olden days when animation did whatever the hell it felt like doing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that- one of the best things about the show is that the characters don’t age. As with so many other shows, when the kids start growing up, they become less cute so the producers pull in random cute kids to fill the void and it never works. Although ratings for the Simpsons have dropped significantly (check the ratings for this episode on Wikipedia as opposed to episodes from say, the twentieth season), it’s not because the kids have outgrown their cuteness. Well, that’s my theory anyway. (For the record, I am in complete agreement with Dead Homer Society that the show has long outlived its greatness and deserves cancellation. Of course, it would be very sad because this show now spans an entire generation (i.e. there are people who have never lived in a world without The Simpsons) but hey, let’s face it, if even diehard fans are over it, it’s time to pull the plug.
But, I digress. Mr Plow is a fantastic episode for many reasons. It has catchy music (and I am a sucker for musical episodes!) and a storyline about best friends who aren’t Bart and Milhouse. Win-win.