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now onto my review
I LOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVED this episode people are angry with grimeys death he was a scumbag in my opinion and he didn't deserve respect in his death
homer tried to be friends with him but he rejected he deserved what he got
"Look, Marge, you don't know what it's like. I'm the one out there every day putting his ass on the line. And i'm not out of order! You're out of order. The whole freaking system is out of order. You want the truth? You want the truth?! You can't handle the truth! Because when you reach over and put your hand into a pile of goo, that was your best friend's face, you'll know what to do! Forget it, Marge. It's Chinatown!" - Homer's rant.
I just thought of the perfect movie that corresponds to this episode. Has anyone ever seen 'Planes, Trains, and Automobiles'? It's a movie about a fat coat hanger salesman who ends up getting stuck with an uptight businessman in trying to return home for Thanksgiving. The fat guy is an annoying slob, but he's nice and well-meaning, whereas the businessman is a jerk and belittles the fat guy and ultimately finds out that the man is only really irritating and talks too much because he's been coping with a tragedy. Anyway, it's a great movie, but it's also a perfect parallel for Homer and Frank Grimes, and it shows perfectly well why Frank Grimes really is a mean character. No matter what bad things Homer does, he is well-intentioned and well-meaning. Frank is just a jerk.
Alright, fine. Here's everything I don't like and think is wrong with 'Homer's Enemy'. I'm hoping this will set things straight forever.
In 'Homer's Enemy', they turn Homer into a cardboard cut out whose only purpose is to prove to us, the audience, that stupid people often get more in return then smart people who work a lot harder. Homer has never been characterized like this before. Sure, he's stupid in virtually every episode, but name me one other classic era episode where not only is he completely oblivious to the situation he's in, but never shows even a shred of anger towards anything. Even in classic era episodes, Homer has never been completely oblivious to something so blatantly obvious, which in this case, is Frank Grimes' anger and frustration towards him. Virtually every single character was oblivious to what was going on. Now that just isn't believable. As Harleen said in another thread, how are we supposed to think an episode has truly brilliant satire when it's so unbelievably convenient in every way and is set up so poorly.
To me, the satire is set up so poorly in 'Homer's Enemy' that I, personally, cannot understand how it can be considered as brilliant as people are making it out to be, especially when you compare it to the brilliant satire of 'Homer Badman' or 'Itchy and Scratchy and Marge'.
There could have been more regular Simpsons humour in the episode. They could have characterized Mr. Burns normally, and far less of an ogre than he was in this episode. He's an evil man, but there wasn't a single gag or joke in his scenes like there always have been before and it just made him seem charmless and cold, and contributed to the episode's overall charmless and cold tone. They could've maybe written Bart's sub plot with a bit more realism or at least did something productive with it. And among the only scenes in the show's history that I would truly like to cut from the video and well and truly bury in a landfill, the pointless and cold-hearted final scene where they laugh at his funeral. It makes me sick that people consider an episode of The Simpsons with a scene like that in it one of, if not, the greatest in the entire series. Like, literally sick.
As far as I'm concerned, discussing why I don't like it is pointless busywork and it won't ever go anywhere, will be a waste or your time, my time, etc. The only further discussion I'd be willing to partake in concerning this episode is for people to explain, in full detail, why the terrible final scene was important in telling the story.
Whoa easy tiger. Take it easy or you'll give yourself a stroke.Originally Posted by Starman
lul. Only reason why you won't post more is because you don't want to confront these ridiculous assertions of yours. Man up!Originally Posted by Starman
No.Originally Posted by Starman
I'm puzzled as to how one can view Homer as being a cardboard cutout in this episode. So far as I can tell, Homer's a deep and complex character in the episode. He goes from the neutral Homer at the beggining to trying to help the new guy out, to liking him, to disliking him, to trying to impress him, to being scared of him blah blah blah. It's not as if any of these character swings are umprovoked either; each one of the character changes is driven by something that Grimes does, and what Grimes does is driven in turn by something else. Homer's dialogue and actions don't indicate a cardboard cutout or a grossly exaggerated characterisation like you assert either. He's not stupid for the sake of providing lolz to the audience, he's stupid because he's naive and comfortable and doesn't need to be any smarter in his life, and it's served him well. It's an exaggerated form of Homer's character, certainly, but it's not a cardboard cutout because it's not flimsy: It's backed up by the context of his life and by the way he lives.
The episode isn't only about what you indicate either. In fact, I struggle to accept that it's about proving that stupid people succeed over smarter people anyway. So far as I can see, if Grimes hadn't had been such an impertinent asshole at the power plant then his qualifications would have enabled him to excel right above Homer. That's pure speculation of course, but Burns's attitude towards high achievers (Grimes, the dog, Smithers) seems to indicate that smart people would follow the good life at the power plant. Nonono, far from proving that stupid people get far, I think it's more about showing that the fat and lazy American is in such a comfortable position that it's really, really hard for anyone to get to the top without acting like the fat and lazy American. That's an idea I stole right out of Planet Simpson, of course, but it's a fantastic look at what the episode is really about, imo. Grimes came into the power plant culture and attempted to do it his own way. He had the skills and the know how but because he was a dud, was so edgy and did it his own way he failed. If you want to fit in you act like everyone else! Second feature of the episode is to show how damn annoying Homer would be to any ordinary person, but that doesn't need much more elaboration. Remember though that the Homer in this episode is far from the cardboard cutout you make it out to be. Oh no no no, it's exaggerated, oh my yes, but it's far from a cardboard cutout.
I also don't believe that Homer's much dumber or even much more exaggerated in this episode than he is in any other. So he almost drunk a vial of acid. So what? He wasn't watching. He wanted elbow macaroni and glue on sparkles. And? He wanted the tools to make his thing look awesome! lol, yeah, he's dumber in this episode then he is in other episodes, surely, but he doesn't do anything in the episode that makes him seem like a braindead fool. I think the word you're looking for in place of stupid is naive. He's naive, not stupid, and so far as I can tell naivity fits Homer's character perfectly.
Oh, and he did show anger, like I said. See the car scene. He doesn't show much anger anywhere else because there's no demand for Homer to show anger. See that? It's called fantastic writing: Don't make Homer angry unless he needs to be. Furthermore, he knew that Grimes didn't like him so stfu.
Starman, one of the key features of this episode looks to be that Burns wasn't cast as an ogre...at all. He's borderline senile in this episode and appears uncharacteristically warm and charming. Cold towards Grimes, yes, but not because he's heartless but because he's senile. This is probably the weakest part of the episode and you saw it in the opposite way to near everyone else. That's kinda odd.Originally Posted by Starman
Bart's subplot didn't warrant realism or to have anything done with it. I don't understand what you're on about when you say it had to be realistic, because there weren't too many unrealistic things happening there when you compare it to the other stuff that happens in Springfield. Even so, like I said, there's no need for realism. The point of the subplot is to lighten the audiences mood after a pretty heavy major plot, Simpsonswise. You want something more productive done with it? What do you want? What exactly did you want to happen with a subplot that's meant purely for laughs and to take the heavyness of the episode away without stealing attention from the main plot. To make the subplot any heavier would have been ludicrous.
As for the funeral scene, it's a period. Puts an end to the little asshole runt that was bumming around the plant for a few weeks. He had to leave the power plant either way. He could have got up and left but that wouldn't pack quite as much of a punch. To me, the point is that Grimes was trying to fit in (superficially) at the end but couldn't pull it off because he didn't belong there and did it all wrong. His (superficial) attempts to fit in result in his death because he's an outsider. The guy that did it wrong in Springfield ends up dead. I like that coda. Like I've been saying pretty much the entire time I've been at the NHC, if you can't handle the extra punch or some hyperbole here or there to prove a point then you're probably watching the TV show. Go back to Full House or put up with the more extreme that The Simpsons has always provided.
The chip on Grimey's shoulder gave him a prejudice against people like Homer; he didn't just dislike him because he found him annoying, he disliked him because he didn't live up to the standard he seemingly judged people on. Just because he'd had a tough life, anyone who hadn't experienced a similar struggle or had gotten a lucky break was a lazy good-for-nothing, unworthy of their lot in life. When Homer became aware of the conflict and tried to make amends his attempts to do so, misguided and comical as they may have been, were rebuffed.
They did go overboard on making Homer annoy Grimes with his stupidity though. Pouring the bucket of water on the console was done to highlight Homer's luck at avoiding serious injury or worse during his career at the plant and to set up Grimes' eventual demise during his freak out/tantrum but it was admittedly overkill. However, for me those incidents represent Homer at his worst. Grimes was not looking for any good in Homer and I look it at as the audience only being shown the moments that serve to antagonise Frank. They did go a long way in driving that point home though and I can see how a lot of people wouldn't care for the way they went about it.
I've always like the Bart subplot as I think it's exactly the kind of thing a ten year old kid like Bart would do if he'd managed to get an abandoned factory for a dollar; mess around and smash things. It's a bit unlikely he'd come to own a factory like that but it doesn't require the viewer to suspend too much disbelief. Not when we're also meant to accept that Homer survived a terrible fall down a gorge or a group of physicians and scientists were unable to tell whether he was a human or an ape.
"How could this have happened?
We started out like Romeo & Juliet but it ended up in tragedy..."
- Milhouse Van Houten
I'm not surprised that people seem to love this ep, it was brilliant to see how a real person thinks of homer and frank grimes is right, homer does not deserve such a big house, such a nice wife or a space trip, grammy or ford-meeting. But life is not fair, that's what this episode is all about.
Let me just say that this episode did have flaws. Homer WAS a little too dumb and oblivious, I would think that the writers had enough brains to make him infuriating to Grimes without dumbing him down. I also think that Lenny and Carl could've been a little more critical of Homer, especially at the beginning.
However, the pure, deep, philosophical, and savagely satirical brilliance of this episode is so great and overwhelming that griping about these flaws feels ridiculous and irrelevant to me.
I don't have the energy to put down a full-fledged review here, as I have already done so on numerous other threads. And besides, Generic and Nebuchanezzar took the words right out of my mouth, so I'll just say that this is one of my favorite episodes ever and among the most intelligent in the whole show. A very clever and dark social commentary of the idea of the ideal worker, the goodness of a person, and success in life. Grimes, though seeming to be pretty much an "American hero", evidently was not, as his hatred, jealousy, and inability to see the good in Homer became his downfall. And the great, culminative scene; the one that the whole 'gone crazy' sequence, heck, the whole episode, had been building up to; when Grimes grabs the live wires, with a triumphant "I'm Homer Simp--!" still remains one of my my top ten favorite moments of all time. That was black humor and artistic genius at it's most flawless and exquisite. A+, 5/5, top marks for sure.
Last edited by TerwilligerBob; 07-14-2008 at 04:20 PM.
"I live in an apartment above a bowling alley and underneath another bowling alley." Possibly my favorite episode.
Exactly what for though? Filler? For the sake of appeasing your demands?Originally Posted by TerwilligerBob
Also, it seems like some people are demonizing Grimes, and making him into a judgmental jerk who only hated Homer out of petty jealousy due to his own difficult background, couldn't chill out, and thus received a just death. Yet, I think most of us would be just as uptight and assholish as Frank Grimes if we were in his situation. So what if Homer is a likeable well-meaning guy? He was a constant danger to his co-workers, with a history of causing accidents that most likely resulted in serious injuries and deaths. Instead of simply ignoring Homer and minding his own business, it seemed pretty reasonable of Grimes to do everything in his power to get rid of Homer. Sure, Homer was nice to Grimes and tried to be his friend, but in the end, he's very much responsible for Grimes' death. He's the safety inspector. It's his job to prevent deathtraps like those high-voltage wires from just sitting around unprotected from fickle hands. This episode seems like a far harsher condemnation of fat lazy slobs like Homer and the people who accept him than it is of people who are kind of uptight.
Uh, no that's not what I meant at all. I actually agree with Neb's long and extremely intelligent..er...essay completely. One of the most well-thought-out posts I have ever seen on this site. I DEFINITELY do NOT want to stress the miniscule flaws, I shouldn't have mentioned them in the first place. Neb, please publish your post on a blog! More people should be able to read it.
That's not say he didn't have a point or his feelings were completely unjustified but I would say yes, at times he was acting like a judgmental jerk who disliked Homer out of pettiness because he held everyone to a certain standard because his life had been so difficult.
Well, ya'know if you stay positive and forget about trivial things like "proper characterization," "Satire," and "emotional depth" watching new Simpsons episodes can be a seemingly enjoyable lie.
^That's pretty hyperbolic. Even if Homer is exaggeratedly stupid, as Neb so kindly explained, he still acts pretty realistic and feels like a real character. I don't see how it's a bad thing if Homer's stupidity was exaggerated for the sake of the story, especially given Homer's stupidity here was pretty funny, unlike in later seasons when the writers exaggerate his stupidity for nonsensical reasons and for the purpose of poor jokes. As I've stressed multiple times, all throughout the classic era, Homer's stupidity has been exaggerated for the sake of humor. Here, at least, it's also done for satirical reasons.
Fair enough. I also don't mean to say that Frank Grimes is innocent and perfect. He had flaws; he was human; tricking Homer into joining the contest obviously wasn't right. However, I do think Grimes, for all his pettiness, still comes off looking much better than Homer and everyone else in Springfield, especially when they're all laughing at his funeral.Originally Posted by Generic
The scene depicts Lenny and Carl as oblivious and too scared to acknowledge reality; it's a pretty damning picture. When Grimes makes a valid and disturbing point about the rise of accidents, criticizing Homer professionally, Lenny and Carl turn the conversation into an irrelevant personal discussion of Homer. And why wouldn't Grimes resent Homer personally, when Homer chooses to be in a profession where his incompetence becomes potentially dangerous?Possibly, but Grimes wasn't really trying to get rid of Homer. He didn't report him for anything, he didn't try to get him fired or improve safety for his new co-workers, he tried to humiliate him to prove a point to the rest of the plant. His beef went beyond Homer's work habits as well; consider the scene in which Lenny and Carl admitted that he was a subpar safety inspector but insisted that he was a decent guy, to which Grimes blurted out "No! Homer is not OK!" He resented Homer as a person, not just as a safety inspector at the plant.
Yeah, Grimes didn't actively report Homer or try to get him fired, but doing so wouldn't have helped. He became desperate and resorted to humiliating Homer. He clearly wanted Homer fired. ("Has he been fired? No. Has he been disciplined? Nono.")
Well, the high-voltage area seemed pretty dangerous. The thing was right in the open; anyone could have tripped and fell onto it, or touched it in an act of recklessnessness as Grimes did. It always seemed to me more than a coincidence that Grimes spent much of the episode complaining about the lack of safety in the power plant as a result of Homer's incompetence, and then ended up being killed in a safety-related accident.I don't agree here. While it's Homer's job to ensure safety at the plant there are obviously areas which are not going to be safe that people should stay away from. It's not really a deathtrap if someone goes up to something they know they shouldn't that's clearly marked as being dangerous and put their own lives at risk by doing something stupid. But let's say it is a failure on Homer's part; is it any worse than sleeping on the job in "Homer Defined" and causing a potential meltdown, only to avert it due to sheer luck, or failing to notice leaking pipes and what not in "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk"?
It's not really any worse than the examples in Homer Defined and Burns Verkaufen. But in Homer's Enemy, more than any other episode, you're really forced to think, "Holy shit; Grimes is right; Homer simply should not be working in the plant". Usually we just laugh at these jokes about Homer's incompetence at the power plant without thinking too much about the implications ("It's best not to think about it.").
Keep in mind, none of this is necessarily meant to be a negative criticism of the episode. Just explaining how brutally I think this episode really portrays the Simpsons universe relative to a relatively normal person like Grimes.
Oh I understood that you liked the episode mang, I was just puzzled by you wanting to see Lenny and Carl be a little more confrontational towards Homer because I didn't see the point. If that's the only issue you have with the episode though, it's all good.Originally Posted by TerwilligerBob
I agree. I hate myself. I bite the bullet.Originally Posted by Mike Scully
This is entering into the realms of hyper-nerdom. Since Homer works in front of a console, monitoring the reactor and whatever the hell else, I don't think that OH+S issues like that fall into his job description. :silly:Originally Posted by Mike Scully
"I don't see how it's a bad thing if Homer's stupidity was exaggerated for the sake of the story, especially given Homer's stupidity here was pretty funny, unlike in later seasons when the writers exaggerate his stupidity for nonsensical reasons and for the purpose of poor jokes. As I've stressed multiple times, all throughout the classic era, Homer's stupidity has been exaggerated for the sake of humor. Here, at least, it's also done for satirical reasons." - TheForbiddenDonut, 2008.Originally Posted by Jake
EDIT: I found this post which Starman and other "Enemy" haters ought to read. It's mostly quotes by Josh Weinstein and Chris Turner (planet simpson). READ IT PLZ!
Last edited by Nebuchanezzar; 07-14-2008 at 09:55 PM.
The rest of the town was incredibly callous but it wasn't so much about spite in my mind as almost forgetting where they were and why they were there. Once again, they were unwittingly entertained by the local loveable oaf. It's dark, but to me they come off as being weird/strange/slightly insane rather than malicious.
As far as Frank resenting Homer, he certainly had reason to have a bad impression of him as someone who took a very relaxed approach to a job that requires a lot more dedication and focus but it's always seemed to me that he takes a dislike to Homer from the moment he meets him, before he's even discovered what kind of worker he is. He's also a bit dismissive of Lenny and Carl, attempting to hurry them out of his office at which they seem slightly vexed.
All good points, Generic. It sounds like we don't disagree so much. I can see how there were a lot of flaws, irrationality, pettiness, and a bit of a dark side to Grimes. Ultimately, I just find his flaws very human and sympathetic, if not justifiable. It seems people can read this episode's message very differently depending on how much they're willing to identify with Grimes over everyone else in Springfield.
Though, if it sounds nerdy enough that a fellow poster on a cartoon message board says it's nerdy, then I suppose I may be reading into the episode beyond Swartzwelder's intention.
Okay, I finally got around to watching this one again, and now I totally understand the people in support of Frank Grimes. Throughout the episode, I was finding it hard to support either character. Homer was well-intentioned, but he was incredibly damn annoying, and Frank was perfectly reasonably frustrated, but he was also something of an ass. In a way, I sort of love the episode even more; as one person once told me, you know you've got a well-written story if you like both of the opposing characters, and I did. While many people still hate that ending, I think it just reaffirms everything we've learned perfectly: people like Homer, no one cares about Frank Grimes. It's really no different than the rest of the events of the episode.
By the way, I just thought of something else: Homer has done things as stupid as almost drinking acid, just not so many stupid things in one episode. However, since the Simpsons have a floating timeline, the incident could well be spaced just as far apart as the other dumb things he's done. I reiterate: it's all just Homer in Grimes' point of view.
No doubt this is a classic episode. With Frank Grimes having to work hard for everything he has, (not to mention his already tough childhood) and thus seeing Homer not working that hard if even working at all, it just creates this sad but hilarious feeling that Homer has no idea how good he has it. And of course, 'Grimey' can't stand it until he loses his mind. This is definitely one of my favorite episodes.
I think I know why I and some people don't like this episode (the ones who don't like it that is) it's metaphorically depressing.
What I mean is it can be hard watching a character like Frank Grimes who was said to be someone who has gone through adversity and endured everything to be thrown at him, only to meet his downfall in his polar opposite in Homer Simpson.
The people who I think hate this episode, are the ones who can relate to Frank Grimes. The ones who endure everything in life and work harder only to meet someone who has more but hasn't had to work very hard.
Sometimes we look to televison as form of escapism/a break from reality if you will. Why would we want to see the same bs we have to put up with in day to day life?
That's what I feel is wrong with this episode you can't get behind anybody's character in this episode.
You can't love or hate Homer, because he's only living by the rules of the Simpsons reality in his clumsiness. And he does make an effort to make himself better (well for him anyways), only for Grimes to dismiss his efforts.
You can't love or hate Grimes, because while he is the guest in the Simpsons universe, and comes off as a little annoying in his rants against Homer; he makes some valid points and also represents the kind of person who has to keep working harder, while the less hard working person gets more.
I think we as people like to think that are hard work will be rewarded later on. So what was Frank Grimes reward for enduring, a depressing demise.
And don't give me this meta bs stuff about this episode. If you don't have strong characters that are put in inspiring or interesting situations who cares what the metaphor is.
^^^Actually, I didn't like Grimes, or the whole point / satire of this episode, either. If anything, I'm actually like Homer's position at his job--I don't do shit, don't make a lot of money, couldn't get fired if my life depended on it, yet own two cars, and a remodled house that might as well be considered brand new.
The Simpsons is funnier when we actually like the characters, and even the silliest stories can offer enlightenment if we can recognize something of our own experience in their predicament. I did not like the 'story' nor did I like the characters because Homer's Enemy is the "Everybody loves Homer" show with Homer acting like a retard, before retard Homer yet existed and Frank Grimes being the human toilet.
Last edited by The Governor; 12-09-2008 at 03:52 AM.
When an episode this good has flaws, it doesn't matter.
Originally Posted by Company Picnic
This is my favourite episode EVER
i would give it 6/5 if i could !
With a lot of love/hate opinions of this, I suppose I fit snuggly into the "like" category. I get a little irritated at Homer, even if Homer being obnoxious is the entire point of this episode, but I do enjoy Frank Grimes as a character. The episode also follows sort of a reversal of what viewers would expect at the end, with Homer not learning a thing. It comes off as slapstick, sure, but at this stage in the show, that was still funny.
Homer the Whopper: C, Bart Gets a Z: C+, The Great Wife Hope: B-, Treehouse of Horror XX: B, The Devil Wears Nada: C-, Pranks & Greens: C, Rednecks & Broomsticks: D+, O Brother, Where Bart Thou?: B, Thursdays With Abie: D, Once Upon a Time in Springfield: C+, Million Dollar Maybe: C-
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