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Thread: Homer's Odyssey

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  1. #151
    Grappling with Local Oaf Beggs's Avatar
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    Jul 2003

    It is indeed a significant episode in terms of the series' canon, establishing many character traits and details that have been seen ever since: Homer being the safety inspector of Sector 7G, Mr Burns not knowing who Homer is but being destined to cross paths with him time and time again, Mr Burns ruthlessness, and Smithers being his toady (heavy tan from a Caribbean vacation not withstanding). Chief Wiggum and Otto also make their first appearances.

    It serves as a good introductory story for Homer, not afraid to be serious and go to some dark places. At the same time, there's humour throughout the episode. Even as Homer writes his suicide note, that's one of the best dark jokes in the series, as Homer leaves his family with advice from his mother about never giving up. Things like the Smilin' Joe Fission film about nuclear power still hold up, and would become staples of the series.

    With that being said, it's not necessarily an episode I feel I could watch time and time again. The heavier subject material in parts of the episode are a factor there, but as an introductory episode that's meant to really flesh out Homer's character for the first time, it's not necessarily his most exciting or entertaining adventure. It's a solid episode and important to the series, but it doesn't have the rewatch value of later episodes, or even some of its Season 1 brethren. 3.5/5 feels appropriate.
    Last edited by Beggs; 05-09-2018 at 12:31 AM.
    A little less Generic than before.

  2. #152
    Always late to the party Whyyoubig's Avatar
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    Mar 2018

    This episode was OK, it had some good moments and introduced a lot of characters, although Homer attempting suicide was quite dark, considering that this was only the third episode in the series. Normally that’s ok but for this it’s not OK.

  3. #153
    Junior Camper
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    Jul 2018

    If anyone needs evidence as to how weird and un-Simpsons season 1 is, it's this episode (and 'There's No Disgrace Like Home'). I'm forgiving of season 1 episodes for their flaws, since the show was still a baby and was bound to make mistakes. It was learning what worked and what didn't. This: didn't.

    Probably the darkest episode of the show too, with Homer actually trying to commit suicide, and just because he lost his job. It was depressing to watch, and the old couple laughing at him was a step too far. It's so jarring to see him take it so seriously, considering he's been fired over 100 times now. The characterization of Homer is so different in season 1, which is odd, as Bart was already on track as seen in 'Bart the Genius'. Even ignoring the atrocious attempted suicide part, the plot is thin, stretched out by long scenes where nothing much happens.

    Still, I don't hate this episode. It's an important part of the show's history, established a lot of the status quo we take for granted, and has a few nice moments in the first and final act. "Wow, Dad's a hero." "What was that son?" "Nothing." "That's okay. I'll just assume you said what I thought I heard you say." But that suicide scene really drags it down for me. Season 1 can be dark. And not funny Frank Grimes death dark. Uncomfortably dark. 5/10

  4. #154
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    Jul 2017

    The first stumble came in the third step.

    Homer's Odyssey is the first episode of the show that left me unsatisfied. And, from what I can see in most reviews, he is often considered one of the weakest of the first season. I used to defend it against low grades, but seeing it under a critical eye made me change my mind. When analyzing each episode one by one, I'm not sure if this will be the worst of the season, but is a candidate for it.

    Homer's suicide attempt is too tragic and exaggerated.

    The main problem lies in the plot. It is very disorganized. The first act is completely about a fourth year trip to the Nuclear Plant. It is true that there is a sample of characters with whom Bart lives in school (Otto, Sherry / Terry, Wendell) but the time used in this part of the story is excessive. Then, in the second act, we have Homer extremely depressed about losing his job. It is even tragic how this develops. There is not a joke there. Finally, in the third act, there is a new twist in the story, which leads to Homer being considered an idol by the people just for making signs, which leads to him making a boycott of Burns, since this reincorporates him in a new position and with a better salary. Hmm...

    Homer got a promotion here. Have you noticed that in the first season it was common not to return to the status quo?

    Another problem I have in this episode is Homer. In the first episode he reacted to adversity with effort and perseverance. In the second, with anger and anger. But in this he does not react until after almost losing his life - or even worse, that of his entire family. There is a brief scene in which he looks for a new job and does not succeed, but after that we have to see him lying on the couch, stealing his son for a beer, and trying to commit suicide. As I said before, everything is too tragic, sad and miserable. There is also a serious problem in animation (Smithers is black?) And also in the Latin dubbing where the protagonist of the day is named "Homer" when we here know him by "Homero". That really bothered me.

    This is not the Homer Simpson that I like to see.

    But not everything is negative. Among the high points is Mr. Burns. I like how he presses and persuades Homer to come back to his side, and how he uses it to calm the crowd. I love how Marge, Lisa and especially Bart, support Homer in everything he does. In addition to all the expressions of affection that they give her, Marge takes up an old-and strenuous-job to support the family and Bart calls him a hero, something that motivates him to fight for what he believes is right. There are two other characters that I liked watching and that give the episode its most memorable scene. I refer to Mr. and Mrs. Winfield, whose acid commentary before the attempted suicide gave me the only laugh of this episode.

    He tries to commit suicide or takes a walk to his rock?

    On the other hand, this episode shows us the 'first time' of characters and gags that continued over the years. Otto's first appearance, the first time we see the three-eyed fish (was Blinky?), The first time Wendell vomits, the first time that Homer works as security chief and, a very special, first time that Moe receives a telephone joke Simpson children. This is one of the classic jokes of the show, and the first of them we had here. The dynamic between Sherry, Terry and Bart was pleasant and could have lasted over time, as well as the Winfield appearances. I guess they are part of the endless list of waste of the series.

    Eh, Is I.P. Freely here? Hey, everybody, I.P. Freely!

    Homer's Odyssey is an episode that sought the path of emotion, but found that of anguish. It is difficult to empathize with Homer for his absurd attempt at suicide, and it is not easy to admire him for his not so heroic acts. The final sensation is one of disappointment and not conformity.

    Last edited by Szyslak100; 11-10-2018 at 05:35 AM.

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  6. #155
    Getting carried away on you Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    The Mists of History
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    Personally, I kinda liked being fucked up like this episode does, at the very least it's not like a lot of later episodes that present a situation that's extremely depressing as a happy ending. There's quite a few episodes that left a horrible taste by doing just that. I guess I admire this one for at least not pretending otherwise until things finally started looking up again.

    But I think what hurts this episode the most is, as you mentioned, disorganized. Between the trip and Homer's unemployment, it does feel like two separate plots were mashed together without much time to balance things out. Like one episode where Bart's class goes on a field trip and has to deal with the twins harassing him at every turn and one about Homer losing his job and how he got his current position in the plant. It might have stood out less if almost all the characters from the first half didn't disappear from the story entirely after Homer gets fired.

    Also, I really like your review format. It's visually interesting but still simple and easy to get through. Just saying!

  7. #156
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    Jul 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Venomrabbit View Post
    Also, I really like your review format. It's visually interesting but still simple and easy to get through. Just saying!
    Hey, thanks for your words. I'm glad you like it.

  8. #157

    I dont get why most people find this episode average, i thought it was good. It was one of the more darker and serious episode which is my kind of style. The ending has heart and inspiration. Def in my Top 3 for Season 1. 5/5

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