The Way We Weren’t
couch gag: The Simpsons are on the couch and knives are thrown at them, but embed in the wall instead
Director: Mike B. Anderson
Synopsis: Homer and Marge recount the special person they each met at summer camp, only to find out it was each other
Discussion: We’ve seen flashbacks to Marge and Homer’s courtship before, plus a few flashbacks of their childhood as well (especially Homer’s). Today we find out that they actually met one fateful summer when they were ten.
It’s a really sweet episode- Homer and Marge share a special kiss, their first kiss with someone special, only Marge has her heart broken when Homer doesn’t turn up to their second date; he’s been falsely detained at fat camp. It’s a pain that Marge has carried for thirty years, a hurt so deep that Homer isn’t easily forgiven.
Everything about this episode is lovely. From the treehouse game of Spin the Bottle (the shot of Milhouse kissing Homer almost made it in this post) to the two rock pieces becoming one again… it’s really a very simple love story which harks back to the romantic episodes of Simpsons gone by. It’s a shame that this ep rated the lowest thus far in the series: had people tuned in they may have been converted to thinking that The Simpsons wasn’t quite dead yet.
This punishment is not boring and pointless
couch gag: The Flintstones are sitting on the couch
Director: Mark Kirkland
Synopsis: Bart and Lisa spend the summer at Kamp Krusty, which falls far below expectations (and safety standards).
Discussion: Welcome to season 4! We begin by taking a trip to Kamp Krusty for the summer. Prepare to be disappointed in both the camp and the episode.
Being from “south of the equator” (see what I did there?) we don’t have summer camps here. Our summer vacation is six weeks long and includes Christmas, new year and Australia Day, so there’s really not a lot of time to send kids away to camp. So the premise is pretty much lost on me to begin with. The idea that Kamp Krusty is a hellhole is amusing for about five minutes and gets boring very quickly. It’s predictable that they hate the camp and Bart would take things into his own hands.
Wikipedia tells me that this plot was considered for use in a Simpsons movie; I am very happy it wasn’t. Not that the plot they did go with was fantastic, but that’s another blog post for another time.
The whole episode is very dark for the show. Lisa writes of death marches and imitation gruel, sneaking a letter past the counselors before it can be censored. Given the opportunity, I probably wouldn’t have rushed this to open the season with, it’s quite dark and dampens the mood for the excitement of a brand new season. The eventual appearance of Krusty and the closing montage of him taking the kids to “the happiest place on Earth” (Tijuana, Mexico) is about the best thing of the episode, although Barney’s appearance as fake Krusty (“I am so Krunchy the Klown!”) is also very good.