It's funny because I usually can't stand Homer when he's a jerk. As I tried to explain in my review there was just something unique about this particular episode that separates it from, say, Scully Homer.
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It's funny because I usually can't stand Homer when he's a jerk. As I tried to explain in my review there was just something unique about this particular episode that separates it from, say, Scully Homer.
To view various lists about my Simpsons opinions, click the link below.
Again, and this is pure speculation, I also acknowledge that Homer is something of a jerk here, but the fact that this episode is genuinely and consistently funny is likely why it's overlooked.
Last edited by CousinMerl; 06-20-2011 at 07:23 AM.
He obviously drove too fast for the prank to succeed. If you wanna do a prank like that, you're not gonna drive with a speed that catapults the victim into the air.
And when he did the apology, it missed some sincerity and he obviously didn't get the seriousness of the consequences for the dean.
The scene in question happened way too late in the episode for Homer to come off as anything other than a jerk, even when apologizing, but this episode really isn't one where you think of it in that way, instead it's a gag fest. It isn't some deep character study or something which resonates emotionally like "Lisa's Substitute." If you try and turn it into something like that you'll never enjoy it, but if you need closure for the dean one of the stills in the credits shows him and Homer jamming on guitars next to a clearly pissed Richard Nixon so I'd say they patched things up and became buds
EDIT: I also agree with what raspberry said above; let's not take this so far.
See that's probably why I buy into it. The humour is in Homer's obliviousness to how friendly the dean is and very much not like he sees in the movies. Somehow, I think it makes Homer's boorish behaviour go from unlikeable to amusing. It reminds me of the relationship of Homer being mean to Flanders despite how nice he is being treated in return, although jealousy may play a bit of a role in that case.Well, yeah. He still thinks the dean is evil and stuck up like in the movies! One could argue that Homer wouldn't really feel that way unless he realized how great the dean actually was, which he really didn't over the course of the episode.
Thinking of that moment at the table scene where we see Homer holding the piece of toast and is talking about the nerds, I have to agree with raspberry that that is a very poorly made shot and it instantly reminds me of that Grampa bit in 'Cape Feare' where he talks about Matlock and then about mashing corn into a paste (also a part mentioned by raspberry); those shots look so stiff and the characters' mouth movements don't match their words; I'd also like to point out that the latter looks awfully much like a looped clip and is considerably worse than the toast shot.
What is it really with the poor moments of animation in season five?; was it a turning point in the show when they started to get new animators or something?
Last edited by CousinMerl; 06-22-2011 at 10:24 AM.
When asked about it in the commentary for "Homer Goes to College" I believe Jim Reardon just says they were getting stuff like that back from Korea like too big pupils that just needed to be corrected and was obviously fixed by Season 6. Aside from that I don't really know but you can tell several episodes from Season 5 in particular stick out animation wise for the wrong reasons.
I'd say this toast scene is worse. At least Grandpa's corn scene is drawn properly.
Anyway, it's Thursday today and I wonder what episode Darren.Erg has in mind for this weekend. Here's the list again:
Financial Panther- Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious
Percy Wellington- The Lastest Gun In The West
D'ohmer- The Computer Wore Menace Shoes
Oh, that's raspberry- Treehouse Of Horror III
Squeaky Voiced Teen- Homer Goes To College
Zombies Rise from the Sea-
Last edited by CousinMerl; 06-23-2011 at 03:07 AM.
Ah. Homer Goes to College, one of the high points of the fourth season of the Simpsons.
I wrote a review for this episode a while back, that's the long version. The short version of this is that Homer + College + Conan + Mirkin = Instant Classic.
If Darren hasn't shown up in this thread and stated his choice in a post by tomorrow evening, I say we move on to the next member on the list, Comicshow Molemanbob; anyone else agree?
Yes, but calm down Zone I've already left him a message he'll give it eventually. Not everyone has to give the episode out Wednesday morning.
This is the third and last episode penned by the infamous Conan OíBrien . It sort of seems like a rather weak way to go out considering the first two episodes he wrote are both amazing. As I consider Marge vs. The Monorail the best episode ever. While I do agree that this episode has so funny moments I do find the plot rather thin and filled with many moments that were very jerkass Homer and the humour isnít strong enough to hold it up. This is probably in the bottom tier of Season 5 which is a phenomenal season so thatís not saying itís a bad episode.
I do find this episode to be the birth of jerkass Homer. Many of you will say he acted stupid in previous episodes but most of those are just common Homer traits. Him chasing the squirrels and making a stupid prank call are not good Homer jokes and donít really belong on the show. I do find the way he acts very seasons 9-12 esque. Everyone if forced to play as his straight man to his moronic antics and itís just too Homer centric. While I do love a good Homer episode I donít agree with vastly changing someoneís personality for an episode. I donít mind it for a good joke or two but not a whole episode. But I do think the episode couldíve worked if they didnít solely focus on Homerís twisted expectations of college life. I am well aware that it is somewhat Homer to think television provides the reality but in the case of this episode I feel they dragged it out for far too long and most of the scenes felt more like little skits and a fully fledged episode. I mean would the Homer we all love run someone over in his car or fantasize about throwing someone off a bridge? Also most of the great jokes revolved around characters that arenít Homer. Mr. Burns was undoubtedly the funniest character in this episode. He has many classic Burns moments including the Maltese Falcon and the Untouchables references as well as the beginning of the episode with the lets make a dead parody. I do think the episode goes up a bit when they go to the Simpsons house just because I think the nerds are actually funny here. The rock tumbler gag is probably the best gag involving the nerds. But the episode falters the most at the ending. I feel itís too rushed and it had to be extremely rushed because they wasted so much time on gags involving Homerís stupidity. Lastly the animation is probably the worst of the classic era sans season 1. The characters eyes are just way too distracting and many scenes looked weirdly done (Zartok does a much better job with animation than I do).
Overall I think there is enough humour to save this episode from being one of the worst of the classic era. But I do think there are many aspects of this episode that really falter. I donít know I just expect much more from the writers of this show. Its gag crazy Homer centric episode just canít hold up in comparison to some of season 5ís classic episodes (Cape Fear/Marge on the Lam/Rosebud/Sweet Seymour etc.) and I am surprised everyone has given this episode such high grades. I actually think I like Futuramaís attempt at making a college episode much more appealing.
P.S I'll pick my episode later today and I also never really cared for the I am so smrt joke. I think it's pretty quotable but i don't find it to be that strong of a gag.
Last edited by Old painty-can Ned; 06-23-2011 at 11:19 AM.
Interesting view Darren, and I agree for the most part. The only thing I think I'd disagree on is my enjoyment of a couple of more gags such as that squirrel joke for its simplicity, but I can see why it might not be for everyone. I definitely prefer Futurama's first college episode to this.
No need to get sarcastic I know, I was being half-hearted...
is it too late to toss together a review for this episode, or should I just wait until the next episode? Just been busy with life. I'd do it tonight prob.
Realistically you still have all of Friday so go for it. That's why I try to insist that we hold off discussing the next episode until Saturday.
Go ahead Squeaks, you chose the episode. It wouldn't be right for us to skip without your input.
Good review, DarrenErg. The birth of JerkAss Homer indeed. Me, I like the squirrels and telephone jokes, but they would be much better if they were the only borderline/out of character gags in the episode. If anything got dragged out, I'd say Homer laughing at the professor dropping his sheets was.
So, what episode is it going to be this weekend?
Last edited by zartok-35; 06-24-2011 at 10:08 AM.
The episode for this week is the classic episode Itchy & Scratchy & Marge
Past Midnight on the east coast and so I have updated the opening post to show that Itchy & Scratchy & Marge is now officially up for discussion. I will likely hold off my viewing/review until at least Saturday afternoon.
Good choice; will have my review up later this day or some time tomorrow as usual.
Itchy & Scratchy & Marge
Originally aired over 20 years ago, Itchy & Scratchy & Marge was both the first episode directed by Jim Reardon, and also the first episode to focus directly on the Itchy and Scratchy cartoons. Itchy & Scratchy themselves originally appeared on one of the Tracy Ullman Shorts and are an obvious parody of violent cat and mouse cartoons of old such as Tom and Jerry or Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinx, both Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the 1950s and 60s. The subject of this week's episode is censorship. The episode starts out innocently enough with Marge making pork chops. I almost miss Homer's obsession with pork chops as it was a nice little character trait that really never lasted long beyond the second season. The other thing which becomes obvious rather quickly here is that the characters all sound like their original forms, most notably Homer, Marge and even Milhouse. Almost everyone would sound just a little different just a year or so later.
Our story begins in earnest when Homer suggests he build Marge a spice rack. Homer, not exactly being the most capable craftsman, fails miserably but hey, it's the thought that counts right? While still in the garage Homer is hit over the head with a mallet by Maggie as we get a brilliant shot by shot parody of the shower scene in Psycho. Marge finds Homer and manages to get him on the couch but wonders what could've possibly been the source of Maggie's violent outburst...before promptly putting her in front of the television.
How often has Hitchcock been parodied anyway?
I suppose now is as good a time as any to mention the dozen or so Itchy & Scratchy cartoons we get in this episode. They are all pretty great but my favorite is probably the one where Scratchy's eyes are replaced by bombs. Over the years Itchy & Scratchy were kind of forgotten to an extent, but over the past few years seem to have made something of a comeback. Their popularity during the early years of the show was such that people demanded a spinoff, but you almost never seem to hear them mentioned anymore. Anyway Maggie attempts to stab Homer after watching another cartoon and Marge finally puts two and two together to discover it is the violent cartoons that are to blame. She writes an angry protest letter to Krusty(who was still illiterate at this point) and Roger Myers Jr., a recurring character of the show's first decade usually voiced by Alex Rocco of The Godfather fame. He writes Marge back assuring her that her opinion alone can't possibly change anything. Determined to prove him wrong, Marge plans her own little crusade as we end act 1.
Per Swartzwelder, the eyes "sorta work."
This episode was one of the many written by John Swartzwelder. His personality is perhaps best exemplified during the next scene where Marge leads a picket outside Itchy & Scratchy studios. The sign being held up by Moe inexplicably demands they "Bring Back Wagon Train!" I sincerely doubt any viewer younger than 30, maybe 40 has any idea what Wagon Train was, I know I never got the reference in the past. Anyway in response we're given another great Itchy & Scratchy involving a squirrel Marge who is promptly decapitated. The best thing about this scene is that Homer clearly loves it and has no idea the squirrel is supposed to represent Marge despite the obvious blue hair. We next get I believe our first ever edition of SMARTLINE, the nightly show hosted by Kent Brockman that has also been lost to the years to an extent. My favorite joke here is Krusty who can't seem to stop acting goofy no matter what. Anyway Marge urges all the concerned citizens to write in and voice their disapproval with Itchy & Scratchy...which works!
Act 3 begins with Marge eager to allow the kids to watch the new Itchy & Scratchy. This new, warmer cartoon is just really fantastic. The lemonade cartoon specifically is so very funny, but the new opening is great too. Horrified by the new show the children of Springfield decide to go outside and play! I love the way the show flips our expectations here by implying that we would have a utopian society without those damn violent cartoons. The long scene, animated by then assistant director Bob Anderson, is just really great. At dinner we're given a throwaway line by Bart about building soapbox racers that would later become its own episode as well.
The eyes and voices help make this cartoon great.
The utopia doesn't last however as the writer's are quick to point out the dangers of and problems with censorship. They accomplish this through a protest of Michelangelo's David, a Renaissance masterpiece which Marge is quick to point out she likes. Unfortunately you can't really choose which forms of art you like and which you don't...well you can but can't force your opinions on the entire populace as Marge quickly realizes. She admits defeat and worries for her children but Homer cheers her up ensuring her that they will witness the kind of positive art she loves too as the school is forcing them as we end the episode.
This is perhaps one of the earliest examples of the masterful storytelling and sharp satire that classic Simpsons was known for. It was episode's like this that really separated the show from other cartoons and even sitcoms airing at the same time. It is a just a great episode with several solid gags and always pleasurable to watch. Solid 5/5
Directed by Jim Reardon, assistant director Bob Anderson. A new institution has been formed, one which will not be altered until the college follies we viewed last week. Animation by Ed Olivares, Paul Wee, Sarge Morton(His debut), Noah Miller, Emily Schwappach-Michels, Susie Dietter, Adriana Galvez, and Eric Keyes, among others.
Ed Olivares is all over this episode with conspicuous ears and tall upper lips.
“I’ll show them what one screwball can do!”, The family eating pea-laden TV dinners, and several scenes of Marge making pork chops.
Noah Miller does the scene with Bart, Nelson and Milhouse at the playground conceiving a plot that’s “Just crazy enough to work.”
Noah also does Marge’s attempt to catalogue cartoon violence. ‘Dogs tricked’.
Right from the start, Jim Reardon was already working to incorporate Paul Wee into his intelligent scheme! Paul animates most of the picket line scenes.
Also, “My baby beat me up!” and Krusty’s illiterate angry letter reading antics.
Sarge Morton kicked off a 10 season career on this episode. A preliminary version of his stylings can be seen when Homer tells Marge that she has ushered in a new ‘golden age’ as the kids politely leave the dinner table.
I think Emily Michels handles the “I’m gonna build you a spice rack!” dialogue. Note Homer’s particularly angular head.
Last edited by zartok-35; 06-25-2011 at 10:35 PM.
Written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Jim Reardon, 'Itchy & Scratchy & Marge' is a really good episode from the first half of the second season. it isn't that chock full of jokes and gags, but that doesn't matter since it has a really good story about Marge crusading against the cartoon violence in the 'Itchy and Scratchy' cartoons after Homer gets hit in the head with a mallet by Maggie who got inspired by the violent cartoon show; the plot then escalates bit by bit until the violent cartoon gets ridiculously toned down to the point of the main audience, the children, losing interest in it. It is a pretty down to earth story like the plots of most early episodes of the show and the satire, which is there as well, is nicely incorporated and doesn't get in the way of the plot itself. The characterizations are solid, the plot flows on quite naturally and there are no problems with the pace so in the big picture, it is an solid episode with an interesting story.
The animation is rather simple and it is understanding since is this after all an episode of the second season of the show and the animation would later improve a lot, but the simplicity of the drawings doesn't at all pull this episode down; it has a lot of charm to it and there are some memorable well-animated bits, such as the panning shot of the many delivery cars with shining headlights lined up along the road all the way to the 'Itchy and Scratchy' studios building and one of my favorite parts of this episode, which is the scene of the kids playing outdoors - it is simply put such a great scene; it's not really funny, but the wibe it gives off is great and the effectful music and animation are surprisingly good and adds a lot to it. As for the follow up sequence near the end of the episode, where all the kids are gone and are back indoors is much simpler, but with that slow and more sad version of the effectful music set to those lonely visuals it is a perfect complement; great stuff. Another more minor thing I also liked is the sparking flames around Scratchy's skeleton when it is launched into the air as shown in the short played during the Smartline scene. As for new characters, this episode sees the first apperance of Roger Meyers Jr. who went on to be a somewhat recurring character, voiced by Alex Rocco in three of his apperances, this one being the first and I must say he did a great job as the voice of the character.
The fact that this episode is no gag-fest doesn't mean that there's a complete lack of fun gags and jokes; there's the spot-on and really funny 'Psycho' parody, Maggie approaching Homer with a pen causing him to scream ("She's got that crazy look in her eyes again!"), 'Stop me before I kill my father again', the executives' cartoonish ideas of how to stop Marge, the animator drawing Marge as a nagging cartoon squirrel whom is included in the I&S show ("Take that, you dumb squirrel!"), Krusty acting all-out goofy on 'Smartline' until Kent tells him off, The 'Porch Pals' cartoon (no explanation needed), the visual of Michelangelo's David wearing jeans and Maggie shooting at Homer's photo with the toy gun, implying that she might attack him again because of 'Itchy and Scratchy'. I have no problems that it is pretty light on the humor, mostly because it's an early episode and before the show peaked but also because the plot itself is so good, but as shown above, there are still some fun stuff in this episode.
The real turning point of the episode is of course when the sculpture Michelangelo's David is about to be displayed in town and while many of the people who supported Marge in her struggle against the cartoon violence now wants her to join the protesting against the the sculpture which they find offensive and indecent, but she can't because she sees no problem with it. This ultimately concludes the conflict with the Itchy and Scratcy Studios since Marge can't back up why she is against the violent cartoon and is for the sculpture, both of which are two forms of art, and 'Itchy and Scratchy' goes back to being violent and Marge is disappointed about the fact that she lost and that the kids are at home watching the violent cartoon and won't see the sculpture that ended up being displayed, but Homer cheers her up by saying that the kids will be forced to see the sculpture on their school trips to the museum; it's a great punchline to end the episode with.
Overall, I think it's a perfectly solid episode with a really good plot and biting satire that doesn't feel heavy handed (I would say it is one of the best satire efforts on the show). I don't think I would classify it as one of my definite top favorites of the show but I don't think bad of it either; it's a well-paced and enjoyable episode from the second season and it is definitely a really good first episode centered around the cartoon about the mouse named Itchy and the cat named Scratchy and the violence it contains and one more thing is sure: it paved the way for all of the future episodes centered around the cat and mouse duo.
I just thought of this and don't take it seriously, but maybe watching Itchy & Scratchy was what caused Maggie to shoot Mr. Burns
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