I watch, and blog, and watch and blog and watch. It's the Simpsons every day!

Posts tagged ‘the Beatles’

Thanks to television, I can’t remember what happened 8 minutes ago

Homer’s Barbershop Quartet

I will never win an Emmy

couch gag: In three takes, the Simpsons shatter, mould together and explode

Director: Mark Kirkland

Guest voices:
David Crosby as himself
George Harrison as himself
The Dapper Dans as the singing voices of the Be Sharps

Synopsis: At a swap meet, Bart and Lisa find an old copy of Homer’s album featuring his barbershop quartet.

Discussion: As with most Simpsons musical episodes, this one has a catchy song that stays in your head and everyone knows the words. In this case, it’s Baby on Board, inspired by a sign Marge bought after Lisa was born so people would stop intentionally ramming their car.

There are multiple references to The Beatles within this ep. Even a casual observer can pick up most of them, but a true fan will be quite delighted with picking out all of them. It skips the controversial breaking up of the group and Barney’s girlfriend is never mentioned as a possible cause, although it’s clear she and Barney want to move into a different direction with their “music”.

One continuity error I picked up is their name. On the sign outside the church, the Be Sharps are advertised as performing that day, with original group member Chief Wiggum. However it’s not until he is replaced by Barney that the group decide on the name The Be Sharps.

As previously mentioned, I’m a big fan of the musical numbers in the show, and this one delivers. Barbershop isn’t a huge genre with the younger generation, certainly not anyone who has grown up with The Simpsons. I’m not a fan of barbershop myself, I find it quite monotonous, but I find myself humming Baby on Board even as I type this. This is the sign of a great ep. It’s a great start to season 5.

Dental plan! Lisa needs braces

Last Exit to Springfield

Mud is not one of the 4 food groups

couch gag: The couch turns into a monster and eats the family

Director: Mark Kirkland

Guest Voice: Dr Joyce Brothers as herself

Synopsis: The power plant’s union leader has gone missing so Homer fills the role. Lisa needs braces, but a dental plan has been scrapped so the workers strike until the issue is resolved.

Discussion: I think much of this episode‘s meaning is lost on younger kids (except maybe Paul Howes…) so the writers have done a good job in making a couple of memorable line in order to get kids understanding what’s going on. Hence the “Dental plan! Lisa needs braces” line which everyone know has stuck in their heads (sorry about that).

The real standout of the episode is Lisa’s dream while under gas to get her braces. Lisa in the sky (no diamonds though) has obvious references to a certain Beatles film, and is whacky and colourful and breaks up the density of the union strike. Lisa’s protest song as the workers are striking is also a highlight, then Lenny requests Classical Gas just for something different.

One last point: mud may not be one of the “four” food groups, but chocolate is so Happy Easter!

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