View Poll Results: "When Flanders Failed"

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  • 5/5

    84 49.41%
  • 4/5

    56 32.94%
  • 3/5

    24 14.12%
  • 2/5

    5 2.94%
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Thread: Rate and Review "When Flanders Failed"



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  1. #61
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    I can't say I thought Homer was annoying or extremely "jerkish" in this episode. It's weak in comparison to other classic episodes but I think it's underrated to a degree. 5/5, 9/10, A-

  2. #62
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    5/5

    One of the few Simpsons Episodes that can pull at my heart strings.

  3. #63
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    Good and emotional episode loved the ending . 4/5

  4. #64
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    homer went way too far

  5. #65
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    no he didn't. wishing he was dead was too far. he didn't wish that. did you even pay attention to the episode

  6. #66
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    A realistic view of a very sad real life scenario. One of the defining Ned episodes.
    A classic, albeit with not many jokes.
    The ending is heart-warming too.
    5/5.

    Quick note, it's these kinds of episode ideas that the Modern Era would do but just would never pull it off so well. Saddening.
    Last edited by Elliot76; 01-08-2014 at 10:30 AM.
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  7. #67


    I honestly don't think Homer hates/hated Flanders, more a case of searing jealousy of how much more financially successful Flanders is and how insufferably upbeat and friendly Ned is all the time.

    According to Homer, Ned is the perfect person in the eyes of everyone, including Marge, and Homer just wanted Flanders to drop down a peg, and fail for once, when he made that chicken bone wish.

    I think it was more of a childish and insecure Homer, then a spiteful/jerkass one, in this episode


  8. #68


    Features one of my favourite shoutouts to Canada, with Homer sitting at home and watching the CFL draft while the commentator talks about how Saskatchewan didn't score many rouges. Also a brilliant bit of Simpsons philosophy: "It's funny how two wrongs sometimes make a right." Definitely a classic from the first solid Simpsons season.

    4/5

  9. #69
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    Solid episode. Many hate how Homer acts in this episode but he's really not a bad person. He's just incredibly jealous and immature of Flanders' seemingly perfect lifestyle. He doesn't wish the guy any particular harm, just to fail at something so Homer can feel better about himself. Yes the stuff Homer does in this episode seem a little too cruel at times, but honestly its kind of funny because of it. Him manically laughing after making his wish and then choking on his food is just hilarious. Him scamming Flanders out of his possessions for $75 is pretty cruel but its another case of Homer just not getting it. To him, Flanders is just trying to make a bit more money, so Homer again tries to punish him. When he realizes the gravity of his action like watching Flanders crying or when the tax man shows up, he finally begins to feel guilty. He may be an ass at times, but he still has a heart and he never intended to put Flanders in financial trouble. The conclusion is the perfect finale with Homer calling up everyone to help out Flanders, the guy he's been abusing throughout the majority of the show. I even like how he first tries to give Flanders his stuff back like that would really help Ned out. I imagine if they did this kind of episode today, Homer would have had no remorse and it would only be thanks to some bad writing that Flanders gets to keep his house.

    The B-plot with Bart skipping karate lessons has some fun gags but the main plot is where the gold is. This is just brilliant writing from start to finish with a ton of laughs and a heartwarming ending. Is it a little convenient that most of Springfield is left-handed? Sure but it works for the story and doesn't feel forced. The reason its satisfying is because Homer wished for Flanders to fail but ended up making him a success. He may be selfish, immature and simple minded but deep down, Homer's got a big heart and that's why the episode works so well. 5/5
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  10. #70
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    what i like:

    -homer doing the right thing in the end

    -Ned's comment on how the "good book" can't help him now because he sold it to Homer

    -all of Bart's sub plot, including the ending of it

    really the only thing that saves this episode is bart's plot. homer is a bit mean in this one, even if he does learn his lesson{kudos for that}. still, it's not an overall strong episode. 3.5/5

  11. #71


    5/5 all day

  12. #72


    7/10: A good episode that gets more into depth into the relationship between him and homer and homers dislike for him. The whole wishbone gag was funny as was homer's refusal to inform the left handed community about flanders store.

  13. #73
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    fantastic episode. the leftorium is a brilliant invention of the show and homer is just tops in this one. he's a little jerky but he completely redeems himself at the end. A

  14. #74
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    I don't know why, but I have always liked this one and it's one of the best Homer& Flanders episodes.

    5/5


  15. #75
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    Sorry, double post

  16. #76
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    5/5
    This was a really great episode. It was very very funny and I admit to getting a bit teary eyed at the end. I'm not sure weather or not to give this the full 5/5, but I can't think of any reason to subtract any points. One of my favorite episodes of the whole show.

  17. #77
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    Hmm, I never posted a review for this episode. Anyway, while there are many worse characterizations of Homer, it isn't great here. Watching Homer be so sadistic can be uncomfortable, especially when he takes advantage of Ned when he is desperate (i.e. at Ned's garage sale). On the other hand, he does learn a lesson and make things right. The ending alone almost makes up for everything else Homer did. 7/10

  18. #78


    It did not hit me until recently that “When Flanders Failed” was one of the first…if not the first one, to have a story that focused solely on Ned Flanders, one of my personal favorite characters from the show. It makes perfect sense when you think about it because of all the secondary characters on the show Flanders is the one that elicits the most sympathy from all of us. He may be a goodie to shoe, but he is a sincerely good guy at heart who walks the talk which can’t be said for anyone from the religious to the secular in a small town like Springfield. Who couldn’t like the man? Well, Homer Simpson for one thing who hates anything related to Flanders...but at what cost? I always liked this episode because of the question it poses. When push comes to shove it shows how even Homer himself has his limits when it comes to his jealousy for his neighbor just as there’s only so much optimism Flanders can project in the face of dire circumstances.

    Now on paper the plot could have ended up being a mean spirited exercise in Homer’s jackassery attitude towards Flanders and thus been rendered as a waste of time. But writer Jon Vitti and showrunners Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and the late great Sam Simon understood how to explore Homer’s dark side without having to sacrifice his humanity. One scene in particular that emphasizes this cool approach is when Homer is selfishly fantasizing Flanders losing his business. The comedy then segues way to the very dark thought of Flander’s death as a consequence of Homer’s cruel wish. But Homer quickly realizes that the thought itself is crossing the fine line in the sand so he goes back to the sight of seeing Flanders fail. The brief moment works very well because it was able to effectively balance out both the dark and lighter side of Homer’s personality in the same scene without making us feel too uncomfortable with the situation.

    The animators don’t let up on the opportunity to visually emphasize the absurdity of Homer’s desire to see Flanders fail. The first thing that comes to mind is a close shot of Homer wishing Flanders well while his food is coming out of his mouth. This is then followed by a wide shot of him laughing evilly for an awkwardly long period of time as the Flanders clan walks away. I love the way the whole scene plays out with those visuals. Again this could have been done in an overly heavy handed manner as it was in the years following the ninth season, but the writers and animators of the time knew how to exploit it to their advantage which was why it often turned out to be hilarious in the end.

    Another great thing about this episode is that it shows how Flanders can lose his self-confidence to the point that not even his faith can help him out. The wide shot of Homer and Flanders talking outside the latter's foreclosed home as his family sings “Put on a Happy Face” illustrates that point perfectly. It’s really sad when you see his family still hoping for the best while Flanders has already accepted the reality that it’s the end of the road for them. It revealed for the first time that there was a lot more to his character than simply being the do gooder neighbor from next door. That behind his public show of positivity laid self-doubts and anxieties that weighed heavily on his mind.

    I always liked how the episode contrasted Lisa and Marge’s concern for Flanders to Homer’s lack of sympathy for the poor guy. They think it’s a serious situation whereas Homers laughs it off as a big joke. And that’s where it all comes down to, for all Homer really cared about was to see Flanders lose for once. He never thought of the consequences that would come about from his failure. Even when the thought of helping Flanders was in the back of his mind he simply ignored it and moved on with his life. Its only when Homer actually sees Flanders lose everything does the magnitude of the failure truly hit him. He can take delight in seeing Flanders being owned by his naiveté, but he can’t take any joy from seeing a man at the end of his ropes. His gradual realization and redemption revealed that his hatred for Flanders has its limits because he actually can’t see him fail.


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  19. #79
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    Not one of my favourites if I'm being honest. This episode isn't a disappointment, but it has undeniable problems. First the animation, which I know isn't the writer's fault, but regardless, it still lets the episode down greatly. There are probably one or two season 1 episodes that looked worse, but the scenes which weren't fixed are immediately noticeable, with outlines missing and choppy frames. This is also the first example of Homer just being too unlikeable. As a character, Homer can be arrogant and selfish, but at heart he's meant to be a good man. I've understood his dislike of Flanders from the start, he's envious of his perfect life and irritated by Flanders' overtly upbeat demeanour, but Flanders has never done anything to Homer to deserve the level of cruelty he recieves from him in this episode. Granted, in Homer's defence, he mainly stands back and watches (albet with glee) as Flander's fails, and his life falls down around him. Homer isn't actively destroying Flanders' life (he blames himself for the wishbone, but come on, it's (mostly) Flanders' own fault), so I could accept it. It's the scene where Flanders' is selling his property and Homer takes advantage of his desperation to con him out of all his belongings. And this scene takes place AFTER the episode has established that Homer is beginning to feel sympathy for Flanders' situation. Homer taking delight in a man's life being ruined is a step too far for a protagonist we're meant to root for and like (he only draws the line at Flanders' death). At least, unlike some later season episodes *cough* Alone Again, Natura-Diddily *cough*, Homer realises he's been a bastard by the end of the episode and decides to help Ned instead. Homer goes back to treating Flanders like dirt in future episodes, but continuity gripes are a discussion for another episode.

    I'm moaning, this episode is by no means bad. The subplot is cute, but that's it. Cute. Overall this episode feels sitcom-y. More season one in style. Oh well.

    6.5/10

  20. #80
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    ah yes the leftorium, but after this episode the place only has moderate success and essentially dormant until at least a season ago. Flanders has had only one business venture, Homer has had several and no one ever wished him any ill will in them, heck Flanders inspired Homer to do the daycare. I didn't really care for this subplot, I took Karate for a week we never had to read any books, I do definitely recall counting in japanese though
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  21. #81
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    It’s not a bad episode. Some people think this is Jerkass Homer’s first appearance, but he doesn’t bother me too much here. I think he’s far worse in Dead Putting Society. In fact, the most bothersome thing about this episode is the number of left-handers in Springfield. It always bugged me that there are so many. I like the karate subplot too. 4/5
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  22. #82
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    my opinion on this seems to fluctuate, in many ways this is THE defining homer/ned episode, although DPS is a good rival candidate, and probably more solid overall. But this episode is remarkably predictable from the moment Homer makes the wish, and of course it does seem a tad mean even by Homer's standards to not feel he's gone too far by the time Ned is selling his entire lounge out on his lawn. What I do like is the fact that we see evidence that Homer has SOME human empathy for him at the end, and I do enjoy the Its a wonderful Life ending.

    not one of my favourites from season 3, but pre heavy hitting nonetheless
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  23. #83
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    To paraphrase TheRealJims, "When Flanders failed is the story of a man who opens a niche market, doesn't know how to run a business, doesn't advertise, and is somehow surprised when his business fails."


    Overall, it's a pretty great episode, even if the ending is a little shmaltzy. I like how Homer doesn't actually do anything against Ned (aside from a lack of helping him), but it still focuses on Homer's ill will against Ned.
    4/5

  24. #84


    This episode is the opposite of the last one in the sense that I don't find this episode very funny, but I really like the story. Homer is an ass, but I can't fault the episode for that since that's the point. And it does make Homer's redemption hit hard emotionally. The scene of Homer and Flanders talking after Flanders loses everything is definitely my favorite scene of the episode.

    But this episode is sadly stuck with a weak subplot and generally weak comedy. There are a couple funny lines and Bart's karate stuff has a good start, but his subplot isn't resolved and gets old quickly. Luckily, the subplot doesn't take up that much time. 7/10

  25. #85
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    When Flanders Failed was the second and last holdover of the second season and, consequently, the last episode of the Groening/Brooks/Simon era. Unfortunately, which was probably the strongest and the most focused era of the show, didn't finished in a high note.

    A few things are more representative of these years than a dramatic story with a sudden happy ending

    It's hard to define a fictitious character. Especially someone like Homer and especially in the earliest season: he alternated between a sweet dad and a strict one, between a submissive husband and an authoritarian one, he could be a good or bad neighbor. He is multidimensional because his personality comprises of different nuances. But never he should be exposed as a jerk, mean person like he was portrayed in this episode. He has received some spiritless characterizations (e.g. Bart's Dog Gets an "F" or "The War of the Simpsons") but in this situation, he surpassed all the limits. The comprehensible enviousness he has always felt for his next-door neighbor turned out to an irrational apathy. The indifference became excessive hate. The internal deficiency produced terrible damages on Ned and on his family. I am very sorry, but I can not empathize with a violent man whose desire is the failure of another person. I can accept that he tried to discourage him saying that The Leftorioum was a dumb idea and that it was not going to be funny. I can understand why he is jealous because of how Marge adores Ned. I can realize how much Homer dislikes Ned when he rejects the invitation to the barbecue. But I just can not defend his awful wish, his lack of remorseful during almost all the episode, the enjoyment he has visiting him every day and laughing on his back with his family and at Moe's. There was a worse scene where he takes his living room for a miserable, unfair amount. And yeah, I know, he has a moment of redemption at the end when he magically rebirth Ned's business. But since it was completely artificial and after the extreme characterization suffered by Homer, I just couldn't buy it.

    He is not yet what we know as "Jerkass Homer" but he could be a very unpleasant character already.

    The perjured by Homer's insane envy was Ned Flanders. Well, in a certain way. Actually, Ned was the principal responsible for his failure when he believed that a market restricted to a ninth of the population could be profitable. And then improved his fault when he shows that he is clearly terrible as a seller, attracting people just to validate the parking ticket, without generating a single cent. I like non-crazy-religious Ned Flanders. If the impact of Homer would be reduced, I'd be very interested in the idea of Ned carrying out a business. His slow-down into the ruin was represented very realistically, reaching the chilling point of living in the car because he has lost his house. Geez, reaching the point of humanizing the version of Homer that we knew throughout the imminent bankruptcy. That conversation they have after Homer finally realized the damage he generated was fantastically sincere. By far, one of the best moments of their relationship. Ned admitted that he feels like if he was cursed, Homer accepting his fault, both sobbing while the share a hug. That scene is so brilliant that I'd even understand if you forget everything that happened before that dialogue to enjoy it more. But I just couldn't. I appreciate that scene a lot, but I can not judge an episode for a single scene. Coming back to the behavior of the Flanders, I think it was nice every time Rod and Todd participated. Especially when you contrast it with Bart's behavior during this episode. So innocent, believing they were in camping, singing a motivating song. I guess it was another occasion where female characters were isolated. It would have been interesting to observe Maude in a serious situation like that beyond her role as a mother that she fulfills. An appearance more significant, I guess.

    What a lovely scene!

    The third and unexpected fundamental factor of this situation was the effectiveness of the wish of Homer. It's not the ideal for me that curses and maledictions are a valid option but the wishbone is there, even if making an enormous effort I can argue that it was just a big coincidence. The desire of Homer becoming reality was fine to represent the hate he felt but it would be clearly better without the supernatural element. Fortunately, it was also a miracle that made possible a coming back to a semi-status-quo –since Ned recovered his financial situation but now has a permanent job in The Leftorium–. Yeah, I always get a bit mad with that ending. It's true that the writers included as many scenes as they can where certain inhabitants are needing elements that Flanders was selling, including Moe asking for a new corkscrew, Burns begging for a can opener, and the own member of the IRS commented he was needing a ledger. Of course, it was done to illustrate the slow process of reflection of Homer. The resolution of the episode is still utopian, with the revelation that Springfield is plenty of left-handed, with the flashing publicity that Homer led along with that random guy whose image I attach below (he is a really charming one-shot character), with everyone happily singing in a toast to Ned Flanders, the new richest left-handed man of the city, apparently now richer than Mr. Burns. That is not how people behave! I feel they tried an epic ending when the situation didn't merit that. I think that a more closely ending with the Flanders and the Simpsons would have worked better. Maybe Homer organizing a barbecue for both families in a signal of reconciliation, making a wink to the beginning? I guess that could work perfectly.

    Did Ned sell wine and glasses adapted for left-handed? What a crazy ending.

    The episode includes a very little subplot, attempting and obtaining a shy oncoming of the martial arts universe. This time, Bart (didn't) start karate. It was okay for what it tried. It was nothing spectacular and, clearly, the only intention of this was to give an excuse for Homer to pass by The Leftorium, since Ned's entrepreneurship and the academy are both in the Mall. However, and against all predictions, this was fairly better than the main plot, even if it is simpler, shorter, and barely developed. I kinda enjoyed the few scenes of Akira. He is not close to being an outstanding character, but for some reason, he generates certain nostalgia for me. The commercial that shows random people breaking a block of ice with their head was kind of funny. Akira shared a great lesson about karate: "We learn karate so we need never use it". But Bart was not interested in reading books and left out the class, using the ten bucks that he receives for the classes in video games, which was actually the way that you expect Bart could act. When the family asked him what was he learning, he has a great inventive with the overlooked classic 'touch of death", which for some reason Lisa believes innocently. But Bart started to be a prisoner of his lies and he is obliged to use the touch of death against Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney... Ending hanged down from the basketball ring. Besides minor problems, like the predictable moral lesson and the convenient innocence of Lisa, this was a straightforward subplot that helps with the pacing of the episode and gives to Bart brief moments as a liar and prankster.

    Okay, that's a very intimidating movement!

    So, this one wasn't as bad as I remembered. However, it has serious problems with the characterization of Homer. Also, the curse, the absurd quantity of left-handed, and the ridiculous ending didn't help. It still has an unforgettable scene between Ned and Homer, a slightly enjoyable subplot, and it added a relatively important building as The Leftorium is. It was one of the least enjoyable experiences of the season and I am not a fan of this, but it is not the worst of the first eight seasons, as I thought.

    2/5
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  26. #86
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    This episode I would say is a pretty decent one despite being a pretty dark and mean one with Homer in an exaggerated role, having a fairly well handled main story about Ned Flanders, an okay subplot and some nice humor throughout. The plot about the family being invited to Ned's barbecue party and Ned announcing that he quit his old job and opened up a store for left handed individual (The Leftorium) and Homer being a thorn in his side with his ill-willed wish that seem to come true is not a bad one, giving a good story where ned is explored a little more than before (also having his long-running business introduced) and also the Homer-Ned relationship is touched upon a little more, with Homer's jelaous enmity towards his annoyingly perfect neighbor, but despite that, some solid humor and a bit of emotion towards the end it is not one of the strongest episodes of the season, rather one of the weakest.

    The episode started off well with Ned inviting Homer & the family to his barbecue and them going hthere (except for Homer, whom eventually relents due to the burgers) and we have Ned introduced his new business at Springfield Mall, with Homer not exactly wishing him all too well when he gets the big part of the wish bone from the chicken (wishing for the Leftorium to fail). Ned is great here, coming into his own nicely and getting a lot of good scenes (ranging from making his announcement to being a little too nice to potential customers, which doesn't exactly help his business; also we meet the fan favorite Just Stamp The Ticket Guy) but Homer was too extreme: Not only does he continiously work against Ned in every way (even mocking Marge for standing up for him), but he is almost constantly angry and mean, nearly to the point of becoming annoying. There is some good moments that comes out of it (such as his evil laugh getting cut short as he chokes on burger, a funny act break joke) but his meanness was overdone. This is not quite Jerkass Homer as he's not an irredeemably unlikeable piece of work but easily him at his meanest in the classic era.

    Homer goes too far with his spitefulness (and cruel schaudenfreude, which is a term Lisa nicely explains) with not mentioning to left-handed people that there's a new store for them in town (like Moe and Mr. Burns; the latter being sarcastic to Homer after the latter having posted a complaint about apples in the vending machine was great, by the way) and scamming Ned out of his belongings at the latter's yard sale was awful, but I did like how Ned's failure wasn't really all on Homer but because of said nicety and spinelessness while running the store and Homer coming around once he found out that the Leftorium was closing and that Ned is in trouble with the IRS, going to tell the left-handed IRS guy about the store but the guy interrupting him (I had forgotten that moment; it showed that Homer still had a heart and only really wanted the store to fail just so that Ned would be brought down a notch, not that the man and his family would be ruined and started to back down on being such an asshole so he did have an decent arc despite being such an jackass to Ned throughout the episode).

    Homer having a change of heart and seeing Ned as the latter a his family are gonna leave town was a great one. Wonderful interaction of the two, juxtaposed with Ned's family happily singing in the car despite their uncertain future & the two men reconciling while hugging and tearfully hamming it up (Homer admitting he was a swine redeemed him). Then there's Homer forcing Ned to open the store the next morning as he has something planned. It could so easily have been an really sappy and forced scene but even though it goes over the top with their emotions it really does work, strangely enough. Homer calling around (and sending Mr. Burns a note in the complaint box, which was a nice callback) to make the town rally for Ned was a neat scene (I love the "Ned Flanders is in trouble?!" guy; he should've been brought back). The final scene with Ned being greeted with a miracle as the store is full of customers, as well as the Simpsons and his family, supporting him was a sweet one, albeit going a little far with the sappiness toward the end with the sing-along and all, but it did work as an ending).

    There was also an subplot about Bart watching too much TV and taking up a karate class (taught by Akira the sushi chef) to appease Marge's plea for him to get exercise, but a pretty meager and not very impressive one that I never quite liked that much. It has some nice humor with Akira and his "teaching karate so that the students won't have to use it" attitude, Bart skipping class to go watch TV as he blows off reading the introduction book & lying to his family he was taught the "Touch of Death" (which he utilizes on Lisa to make her change the channel), but it feels kinda like an throwaway plot and there to give a bit of a connection with the Leftorium plot (as both are located at the mall) & I never liked Bart being this lazy (I get it that Bart doesn't like to read, but I can just as well see classic era Bart quickly reading the book so that he could get to "the good stuff" since it is karate we're talking about). However, I did like his laziness and lying coming back to bite him in the behind once Lisa pits him against the three bullies as they took her saxophone from her (how Lisa believed he actually had learned karate I liked too).

    All in all, not the worst of episodes, actually having an great story about Ned which has a nice arc for fhim does develop him further, a number or solid scenes and some very good moments of humor, but Homer's cruelty to Ned was a little overwritten and verged on being annoying at times (even though he came aroiund in the end and repented), the very ending was a little over the top corny with how perfect it was and the subplot I'm not a huge fan of. There have been better Ned-centric episodes since (with a better characterization for Homer), but this one still had heart to it, a selection of good moments and an nicely dramatic penultimate scene with Ned & Homer (with the latter having leart a lesson and regretting everything), so not all too bad and having some real good stuff in it. Just not my perfect cup of tea.

    I'll give it an 3/5 for now (rounded down from a 3.5/5).
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 06-18-2020 at 02:04 PM.

  27. Thumbs Up To This Post by: Szyslak100

  28. #87


    Good Episode. Not the best of the Simon Era, but still good. The Bart plot is very solid; Karma’s a bitch.

    And this is not Jerkass Homer. Jerkass Homer is mean for no reason and doesn’t get punished for his actions. Here, Homer is driven by jealousy, and nothing more. He also gets punished….. by his conscience. By act three, he realizes the error of his ways and fixes the problem.

    In this episode, it’s clear that although Homer is very annoyed by Flanders, he doesn’t want him dead. Jerkass Homer, on the other hand, casually talks about his children’s graves and was totally fine leaving Maggie behind.

    Season 3:
    https://frinkiac.com/video/S03E03/GL...wtB0VB_w0=.gif

    Season 10:

    https://frinkiac.com/video/S10E11/Wu...LFUu-ldtE=.gif

    https://frinkiac.com/video/S10E09/U_...w6BTdvlj4=.gif

    What a world of difference….
    Last edited by 714MatchesFound; 06-19-2020 at 10:04 PM.



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