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  1. #1
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    What episode had a better political satire: Two Cars in Every Garage or Sideshow Bob Roberts?

    Today was an Election Day in Argentina. And for that reason, I've watched again both of those brilliant, terrific and still in force political satires. Two Cars in Every Garage adresses the perversity and selfishness of the billionarie candidates, the falsity of the publicities. Sideshow Bob Roberts centered the efforts in media's manipulation and electoral fraud. Both mocked about the misbelief of the poblation and how manipulable we are.

    I frankly can't choice one of them. What's your favorite? And a plus question: there are a third episode in discord?
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  2. #2
    Newbie EmployeeAMillion's Avatar
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    While I like Sideshow Bob Roberts more as an episode, I think Two Cars is a bolder piece of satire. It’s got a more recognisable hook with Blinky after all, how are people gonna forget what he’s an allegory for?

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  4. #3
    Junior Camper The B's Avatar
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    My vote for "Two Cars…". IMHO, it has enough satire, except of start of episode (before Burns decided to run for governator).
    IMHO the most and the least favourite episodes of each season (without trilogy episodes, upd. 30/10/19):
    1. There’s No Disgrace Like Home/Homer’s Night Out 2. Old Money/Simpson and Delilah 3. Bart the Lover/Homer Alone 4. Homer’s Triple Bypass/Marge in Chains 5. Secrets of a Successful Marriage/Burns’ Heir 6. Two Dozen and One Greyhounds/A Star Is Burns 7. Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily/Bart the Fink 8. Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious/The Springfield Files 9. Miracle on Evergreen Terrace/Das Bus 10. Maximum Homerdrive/Monty Can’t Buy Me Love 11. Grift of the Magi/Pygmoelian 12. Homer vs. Dignity/New Kids on the Blecch 13. Poppa’s Got a Brand New Badge/Weekend at Burnsie’s 14. Moe Baby Blues/Three Gays of the Condo 15. Fraudcast News/Co-Dependent’s Day 16. Sleeping with the Enemy/Pranksta Rap 17. Bonfire of the Manatees/Bart Has Two Mommies 18. The Wife Aquatic/The Haw-Hawed Couple 19. He Loves to Fly and He D’ohs/Smoke on the Daughter 20. Coming to Homerica/Lisa the Drama Queen 21. Chief of Hearts/Stealing First Base 22. The Ned-Liest Catch/Love Is a Many Strangled Thing 23. A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again/Moe Goes from Rags to Riches 24. The Saga of Carl/Penny-Wiseguys 25. Brick Like Me/The Man Who Grew Too Much 26. Bart’s New Friend/Simpsorama 27. Halloween of Horror/Every Man’s Dream 28. 22 for 30/Trust but Clarify 29. Flanders’ Ladder/Grampy Can Ya Hear Me 30. Baby You Can’t Drive My Car/101 Mitigations
    I think that thoughts may differ, because so many people, so many opinions.

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  6. #4
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    'Two Cars' definitely has the stronger plot and satire & still holds up, not only in regards to the political side of the story but when it comes to overall writing (the only thing about I don't like is Marge being kind of a coward in the end and not standing up for destroying Burns' campaign and letting Homer take the backlash while hiding in his shadow, which is something I've previously brought up).

    'Sideshow Bob Roberts' also has some very well handled satire that hit its mark and is maybe more fun in it's execution, it is maybe not as good overall even though the humor is much stronger (it's an Mirkin episode after all) and when it comes to picking favorites I'd choose it over the other, but still, 'Two Cars' has the more well written satire and has the storytelling to back it up; it's the better episode.
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 10-30-2019 at 12:28 AM.


  7. #5
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    Guys guys guys. I think we can all agree that Spongebob in China is the best political satire. (obvious sarcasm)

  8. #6
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    I'd say Trash of the Titans beats them both. People have called that episode prophetic of the current trend of populist government, and I tend to agree. It cuts incredibly close to the bone, showing the damage an ignorant and backwards electorate can cause when they lack the intelligence to actually vote on the issues. Homer has literally no experience in sanitation, and cobbles together a manifesto based on movie soundbites ("I'm the last angry man", old man Patterson with his "finger on the button", etc.) and actually wins - because the mob care more about how a person talks than what they actually say.

    A masterpiece of an episode, the only flaw being that the role Homer plays maybe should have been filled by another character entirely. He goes from being a kind-hearted oaf to a genuinely dangerous lunatic. It's a very jarring character shift.


  9. #7
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    I was going to mention 'Trash Of The Titans' as a third option, though opted against it as I deemed that my post would become too long and wanted to keep things short. Though, I have mentioned it before in another thread.

    I agree that the satire in that one aged well. It is pretty much a perfect mirror to the politics today with the rampant populism and whatnot & how a lot of gullible people and/or simple folks who are just angry and feel disappointed at society are lured into voting for the loudmouthed malcontent who has no history in politics, makes a lot of extreme promises, cruelly slanders his opponent & behaves very immaturely yet still wins in a landslide. It captures the 2016 US election and the prior campaign in an very prescient way. The satirical edge makes the episode and Steve Martin does a great job as Ray Patterson (his exit speech at the end is so good). It's a good piece of still actual satire and an fine episode for the most part.

    Most seem to dislike the episode almost solely because of Homer's portrayal but even I think that aside from that it has a lot of good stuff (and speaking of Homer, while the exaggeration of him as a brash, violent jerkass was extreme and I kind of agree that using another character could've been better, I think that looking at him as sort of an Trump-like stand-in does help).
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 10-30-2019 at 02:29 PM.

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  11. #8
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    I've never cared too much for Trash of Titans, but I have to agree the political satire is brilliant there. The debate between Ray and Homer was hilarious but pretty deep in the satire. Homer's promises are absurd, just as most of the real life politics. And how the people believed in him was so realistic... It's a good choice as the third great satire.

    Other episode to talk about is Mr. Lisa's Goes to Washington. It did a great commentary about corruption but sadly then they took the wrong way saying the system actually works. But it was interesting for a moment.

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  13. #9
    Junior Camper Frankbags's Avatar
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    Trash of Titans has some really strong moments but ultimately I think the story builds up to a rather mediocre last act.

  14. #10
    Doh and Donuts Shoskin's Avatar
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    Both episodes have their merit of satire. News shows, Facebook ads and anything that can smear your opponent when they were all bullshit but the idiots believe it. It is also a great example of just how a person like Mr. Burns can use his power and money to get people to vote for him. Just like Trump and most politicians on both sides in general don't have an idea what regular people want but they dangle a carrot and we all bite.

    I like Sideshow Bob Robert's more for the jokes. I'm sure that most people here at least in the states that the joke about having the dead rising to vote actually happen in 1960 Presidential Election.

    You also forgot Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington. The interview with the Democrat and Krusty and how they put him in a bad light was hilarious. Though Fox News has never put devil ears and called someone comrade that I know of. Another fun fact: The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 was added to US Patriot Act Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005. I think a paperclip was involved.

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  16. #11
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    Talking about a third great satire, I watched Citizen Kang today as part of my brief marathon of favorites Treehouse of Horror and I'd say there are a clever political satire besides the great gags and the horror atmosphere. The two-part system comments were fantastic:

    Random guy who is similar to Skinner: Well, I belive I'll vote for a third candidate.
    Kang: Go ahead. Throw your vote away.

  17. #12
    Doh and Donuts Shoskin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szyslak100 View Post
    Talking about a third great satire, I watched Citizen Kang today as part of my brief marathon of favorites Treehouse of Horror and I'd say there are a clever political satire besides the great gags and the horror atmosphere. The two-part system comments were fantastic:

    Random guy who is similar to Skinner: Well, I belive I'll vote for a third candidate.
    Kang: Go ahead. Throw your vote away.
    I don't have a political party and have voted third party. However, I would have voted for Kodos.


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  19. #13
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    'Citizen Kang' is a real good one, though somewhat unfortunately just an 'Treehouse Of Horror' segment. In hindsight it kinda feels like they should've saved the political satire for a normal episode but what they did in those short 6-7 minutes was great.

    The abeformentioned 'Mr. Spritz Goes To Washington' is a woefully underrated and overlooked one. It has a great take on political corruption and how many deciding politicans blatantly ignores important issues to focus on much lesser and inconsequential ones that they let pass (and that hypocritical solution with how blackmail and manipulation is used to solve the main issue was pretty much perfect).

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  21. #14
    Professional Teleporter Mícheál's Avatar
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    There's plenty to talk about when it comes to political satire in the show. Mr Lisa Goes to Washington is a pretty blunt take on corruption, Citizen Kang has become iconic with "don't blame me, I voted for Kodos," and Trash Of the Titans is somewhat overlooked, but has become possibly even more relevant nowadays.

    But Two Cars in every Garage and Sideshow Bob Roberts are undoubtedly the most famous of the Simpsons' political takes. Personally I prefer Two Cars in every Garage - I think it's more 'realistic,' and a lot bolder than the latter.
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  23. #15
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    I agree with you about Two Cars in Every Garage is more realistic than Sideshow Bob Roberts. The fact the votes aren't secret is a dull and senseless resource. Also, if Quimby only get 1%, the electoral fraud wouldn't be neccesary. I don't find those types of inconsistencies in Two Cars in Every Garage. But still the one of season 6 had a great parody (and is an hilarious episode too).

  24. #16
    Sub-mediocre artist Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    It might have just been 1% if by sheer numbers. We are vastly outnumbered by the dead and counting. Which probably means that every year before the zombie apocalypse things look worse and worse.
    Besides, they're Republicans, the cartoon-villains of real life. Dick Dastardly wouldn't need to cheat to win but he kept doing it anyway. Or at least Mr Burns would probably insist.

    Feel like Lisa's substitute is a good one too, the subplot anyway, really highlighting sensationalism over sense, what with Bart riding purely on catchy chants and making big statements that actually aren't saying anything useful... only difference to real life is the other kids (even the ones that nominated him) were thankfully too apathetic to bother voting in the end. I'd say that bit aged well except in that case voter apathy lead to the right person being picked. Suppose it'd be more topical if Bart and the gang voted, Martin and Wendell didn't on some sort of priciple and because nobody else bothered the wrong guy won.
    I need to rewatch Trash of the Titans, that probably did it more strongly. I do question how good the show was at satire rather than parody but when it comes to these kinds of subjects they often did hit the nail on the head.

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  26. #17
    Professional Teleporter Mícheál's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venomrabbit View Post
    Feel like Lisa's substitute is a good one too, the subplot anyway, really highlighting sensationalism over sense, what with Bart riding purely on catchy chants and making big statements that actually aren't saying anything useful... only difference to real life is the other kids (even the ones that nominated him) were thankfully too apathetic to bother voting in the end. I'd say that bit aged well except in that case voter apathy lead to the right person being picked. Suppose it'd be more topical if Bart and the gang voted, Martin and Wendell didn't on some sort of priciple and because nobody else bothered the wrong guy won.
    I need to rewatch Trash of the Titans, that probably did it more strongly. I do question how good the show was at satire rather than parody but when it comes to these kinds of subjects they often did hit the nail on the head.
    I'd forgotten about Bart's subplot in Lisa's Substitute. It's quite similar in principle to Trash of the Titans I guess, but done to a lesser extent.



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