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Posts tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Let’s recycle the shards and get out of here

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Homer the Moe

A burp in a jar is not a science project

Couch gag: The Simpsons tackle each other for a football. Maggie is triumphant and scores a touchdown.

Director: Jen Kamerman

Guest Voices:
REM as themselves

Synopsis: Moe is disillusioned with the path his bartending is taking, so returns to college while Homer looks after the bar. When Moe returns, he changes the tavern into a hip nightclub, much to the chagrin of Lenny, Carl, Barney and Homer.

Discussion: Moe wanting to redesign his tavern isn’t a new idea. He’s previously transformed it into a swingin’ hotspot (featuring Red Hot Chilli Peppers) and a family restaurant. Now he turns his bar into a po-mo (post-modern) nightclub catering to snobs and Russian models of questionable gender. The regular barflies are unhappy, and for good reason.

So, Homer opens his own bar in his garage. It’s a reasonable plan… until he goes hunting. Then the episode turns into yet another WTF? moment.

What goes wrong in this ep? The premise isn’t original and it’s also quite dark at times. When Moe heads back to his old bartender’s college, he chats with an old professor who confesses he has cancer, then wades into a pond, essentially committing suicide. There’s also a half-finished robot which Homer throws onto the street. The robot asks his “father” to give him legs, Homer refuses, and the robot pulls himself along the road using only his makeshift arms. It’s very sad and adds to the dark tone of the ep. Then, of course, there’s Homer hunting a turkey to validate his hunting club.

REM appear as themselves, first singing in Homer’s garage bar (with Homer ad-libbing his own hilarious lyrics) and then being invited to Thanksgiving dinner, complete with tofurkey. They seem quite stiff in the ep, like they don’t really want to be there. Can’t blame them really, they’ve obviously read the script and probably shuddered like the rest of us…

This starts well but winds up being a below average episode. Yay for season 13…?

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Are we the most pathetic family in the universe?

Bart vs Thanksgiving

I will not do that thing with my tongue

couch gag: The family rush in to find Grandpa asleep on the couch.

Director: David Silverman

Synopsis: It’s Thanksgiving. Lisa has made a beautiful centrepiece for the table featuring heroines from America’s past. Trying to find room for the turkey, Bart flings the centrepiece into the fireplace, breaking Lisa’s heart. Bart is sent to his room, but he runs away with Santa’s Little Helper. When he returns, he has a heart-to-heart with Lisa and finally apologises to her.

Discussion: Ah, Bart! It’s a typical Bart stunt to make room for the “real” centrepiece of Thanksgiving, the turkey. But in a moment of a collective gasp, the centrepiece bursts into flames as does Lisa’s heart. It’s sibling rivalry at its finest, along with the touching moments on the roof when Bart finds that centre of guilt and truly apologises to Lisa. Aww!

Both the Bouvier and Simpson families are represented here. Marge’s sisters and mother have come for dinner as well as Grandpa Simpson. Mrs Bouvier has laryngitis but is willing to risk her voice to put Marge down at every opportunity. Patty and Selma are kind in comparison. It’s exactly the awkward family situations many people find themselves in over the holidays (obviously, here in Australia we don’t have Thanksgiving, but there are plenty of other holidays for awkward family moments).

As with any holiday-themed show, there’s the Real Meaning of Holiday scene, where various members of the show do some soul searching and find that special meaning. However, for the viewer, that scene is probably Kent Brockman’s broadcast from the homeless shelter where Bart found some free grub. At that moment, the viewer is to be grateful for family and food. Mr Burns’ wasted food is another example; be thankful for what you have. Let’s face it, holiday specials are supposed to be meaningful, and this episode pulls it off perfectly.

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