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

Posts tagged ‘writing’

It’s teatime in Buttercup Junction


Moe’N’a Lisa

Couch gag: A cursor places each Simpson on the couch before moving them to trash. 

Director: Mark Kirkland

Guest Voices:
J.K. Simmons as Jonah Jameson
Tom Wolfe as himself
Gore Vidal as himself
Jonathon Franzen as himself
Michael Chabon as himself

Synopsis: Lisa discovers Moe’s poetic ability and he’s invited to a prestigious writing event, where he takes all the credit and leaves Lisa feeling dejected. 

Discussion: Finally, an episode with a real plot! Moe, upset that Homer forgot to take him fishing for his birthday, scrambles his thoughts into a poetic view of the world, which Lisa finds endearing and enters him into a poetry magazine. Moe’s poem is published and he’s invited to a writing conference in Vermont, where he takes all the credit and Lisa’s not happy. 

We’ve seen Moe do this before- remember when Homer invented the Flaming Homer and Moe took all the credit? Lisa, being this episode’s moral conscience, tries to make Moe feel bad but he would rather be accepted into the prestigious writing group rather than be Lisa’s friend. Strangely, this doesn’t seem to bother Homer or Marge, who go “Vermonting”, leaving Lisa to work out her own problems. This is probably wise as anything Marge said would just be cliched and Lisa already knows how to get past this. On the other hand, Homer might promise to Lisa not to drink at Moe’s anymore but turn around and promise Moe that he’ll disown Lisa… or something. 

There are weak spots in the ep though: the senior Olympics at the beginning is as slow as Grampa’s race, while the fighting between Jonathon Franzen and Michael Chabon is childish. I’d also like to have seen some female authors at the event; maybe Lisa could turn to one of them for advice- female authors have long suffered the pains of not being able to take credit for their work. Or maybe Lisa could have a dream in which she meets the Bronte sisters, who each had to publish under male pseudonyms (Currer Bell was acknowledged as the author in the first printing of Jane Eyre). 

Overall, this episode is much, much better than yesterday’s travesty, and shows that the show isn’t quite dead yet. It’s not brilliant or original, but the guest authors lift the episode into something greater than it would have been without them. And, as always, I love a celebrity who can poke fun at themselves. 

He turned on the radio to cover the smell


Diatribe of a Mad Housewife

couch gag: The family pop out of a slice of pie, Homer starts munching on it.

Director: Mark Kirkland

Guest Voices:
Thomas Pynchon as himself
Tom Clancy as himself
Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen as themselves

Synopsis: Marge writes a historical romance, which sends Homer into a fit of jealousy as he thinks the novel is about Marge’s love for Ned Flanders.

Discussion: Feeling inspired, Marge writes a steamy novel which sends the town’s rumour mill into overdrive. Is Marge and Homer’s marriage a sham? Is Marge really in love with Ned Flanders? Does snuggling really sell? (If you’re E.L. James, it does)

There’s a lot at play in this episode, and most of it is fantastic. Homer is fired by the power plant and becomes a used car salesman before resigning to become an ambulance driver. This sequence is rushed and pointless, but it does show Homer actually being fired as opposed to just rocking up with a random new job. Marge’s inspiration to become an author is a bit dodgy, but there’s little motivation for writers apart from we love writing, so anything that inspires Marge is gonna be lame. Marge is an artist though, so maybe that angle could have been worked; she’s a talented painter so why not use that background to segue into writing?

Anyhoo, her novel is cliched and steamy, but sends Springfield (and eventually, Homer) into thinking Marge is really in love with Flanders. Again, this could have been worked a little better but it’s not South Park, it would be hard to get the infatuation and fantasy a realistic feeling without alienating the audience: Marge and Flanders? Marge has had lustful thoughts before- waaay back in season one, she considered having a fling with debonair Frenchman Jacques (you know, the bowling guy). But Marge and Flanders? Luckily the rumours are untrue so Marge and Homer’s marriage can continue just as strong as ever.

The interesting bits are encased in Marge’s novel. Lisa’s segmentation of her brain is rather amusing but the depictions of Marge’s main characters are just hilarious and really well done. If for no other reason, watch the episode for these bits.

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