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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, it 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, I changed my mind. Serious candidate to be the worst of the season.

    Homer's suicide attempt is too tragic and exaggerated.

    The main problem appears in the plot. It is very disorganized. The first act is completely about the fourth-grade 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 because he has lost his job. It is even tragic how this develops. There is not a joke here, but not either emotion. Finally, in the third act, there is a new twist in the story, which leads Homer to be considered an idol by the town just for making warning signs, which allow him to make a boycott against Burns, but the boss avoids it reincorporating 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 resentment. But in this, he does not react until after almost losing his life – or even worse, 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 him 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 him, Marge takes up an old-and strenuous-job to get earnings (even if we just get a poor scene about it) and Bart calls him a hero, something that motivates him to fight for what he believes is right. There are another two 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 it 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 from the Simpson children. This is one of the most 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 lost opportunities 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; 05-03-2020 at 08:07 AM.

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  6. #155
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    In the corner
    Blog Entries

    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

  9. #158

    This one does not work for me. Maybe Homer trying to kill himself had some resonance when it first aired, but after over 30 seasons I can't buy it. And then the episode swerves into Homer getting into public safety, making me think Homer's suicide attempt was only there to kickstart the rest of the episode.

    And the rest of the episode isn't even that good. Season 1 in general is very light on jokes and this episode is no exception. There's something about the pacing, timing, and visuals that kill most of the jokes.

    Speaking of the visuals, this is the worst looking season 1 episode by far. Even Some Enchanted Evening looks better than this. Normally weak visuals wouldn't hurt an episode's quality that much, but this episode's visuals make me less engaged in the story and make the episode work less. I wouldn't call the episode bad since there are a few funny moments and I wasn't too bored (it's not even my least favorite episode of season 1), but it's still very weak. 4/10

  10. #159
    Stonecutter ComicBookGal's Avatar
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    Aug 2014

    ah yes the very first episode where Homer loses his job, but until I was old enough to understand this episode I didn't know that Homer wasn't originally a safety inspector.

    actually I think this was the first Homer centered wait I think that could have been Simpsons Roasting on an Open fire, I mean at least most of the special revolved around him
    Simpsons Comics 1993-2018

  11. #160
    Pin Pal Simpson's Fan's Avatar
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    Jun 2019
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    Thumbs Down Homer's Odyssey

    Homer's Odyssey-The Simpsons.png
    I have to be honest, " Homer's Odyssey " is my least favourite episode of season 1. They really could have done better! As I said in other posts, season 1 tends to have the characters experience so real things that could happen to everyone. As much as I liked Bart the Genius and only gave it a grade under, because of the animation, I can't say " Homer's Odyssey " was that great. It is a pity, because it was written by Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky. Let's analyse:

    ACT 1

    The first act did a fantastic job in demonstrating how Bart feels about his father and introducing to the point of the episode. Mrs Krabappel going for the first time on a field trip with her students is absolutely normal. We get the kids being bored going to school, Otto's first appearance and his role in Bart's life (as someone who Bart looks up), Wendell puking easily, when someone bounces and Sherri and Terri's first appearance. Sherri and Terri in particular have a big mouth and are very judgemental towards Bart and later on Lisa. They are kinda like the Helen Lovejoy of Lisa and sometimes Bart. I personally don't like them at all, but I have to say that they at least improve over the course of the series. The field trip is to the nuclear power plant and there we are introduced to BLACK Waylon Smithers, who shows them a video about Nuclear energy. Later on, we see Homer talking to a co-worker of his and he is reminded he has to work. Bart sees him and tries to catch his attention, only for Homer to break something and get fired. This is where act one ends.

    I didn't laugh to be honest, but it was a nice opening anyway. I don't think the writers intended to do a funny episode, because as we see, things could have ended differently in real life.

    ACT 2

    Act two is a little better as it has some jokes that actually worked for me. We see Homer depressed as his family tries to give him the courage to find a job. This is a heartwarming scene, which is another reference to the family staying together in difficult times. After a long day and being taken down by everyone, Marge consoles him by telling she is going to be the provider from now on and she goes to get her job back as a waitress the next morning. I really like Otto's quote! It makes me laugh! Then, it cuts to an emotionless Homer sitting on the couch without responding. This scene is so powerful and only season 1 Homer would be so depressed about it. We finally see Homer getting up from the couch and heading to Bart's room so he can find money. Money is a real concern in season 1 and it makes the episode feel more realistic than I thought it could be. Homer takes Bart's piggy bank, smashes it, only to find a few cents. Then, he realises his life wasn't worth anything and decides to take his own life. Hopefully, Marge and the kids stop him after a series of some good jokes.

    This feels sad. Homer committing suicide is something I didn't expect. They successfully demonstrate how much effect something can have to us and Bart's piggy bank was the last straw for Homer. I didn't like how dark this episode turned to be, but it wrapped everything up later.

    ACT 3

    This is a completely different story. Homer is suddenly worried about safety, but that doesn't solve his problem. It is a nice thing and I love how seriously he took it, isn't the same thing. Anyway, after filling the town with signs, Homer decides to close the power plant for the town's safety. Homer, however doesn't succeed and takes a promotion as a safety inspector.

    I don't know what to point out. The completely different story or the terrible animation. I give it a general 3/5. It wasn't a good episode, but at least it has a good first act and a strong feeling!
    Last edited by Simpson's Fan; 03-09-2020 at 12:25 PM.

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  13. #161
    Junior Camper erichoff's Avatar
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    Feb 2019
    California, Maryland

    Weak episode in general. I actually think some episodes in seasons 11/12 as bad as some of them can be aren't nearly as dull as this one.

  14. #162
    blocks your path CousinMerl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Spittle County

    This third episode of the series is not one of the stronger outings of the first season but rather one of the weakest, not because it is bad but because it falls short when compared to most of the rest of them, also coming in early on when the show had not found itself (it is easy to see that this was the first completed script). Still, it has a bunch of good moments and a pretty nice plot with some good humor.

    The plot of Homer being fired, spiraling into a depression and after nearly taking his life finding a will to live by starting a crusade for better road safety in town & eventually turning against his former job the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant is not a bad one and is in all honestly pretty decent, but I do think it could have been done better as it is at times a little clunky, the pacing is strange on occasion (such as the somewhat late and sudden turn for Homer from suicidal depression to championing for safety) & it doesn't really manage to grab me as much as most of the other season 1 episodes, though it is still an enjoyable episode with a lot of moments.

    The opening stuff with the elementary school's field trip to the power plant was a pretty solid start (mainly, I liked the foreshadowing to the character of Herman with Edna Krabappel's story about the child who lost his arm in the bus & the Smilin' Joe Fission informational video about nuclear power was great; maybe my favorite bit here). Dark-skinned Waylon Smither's is a bit odd, but understandable due to the goofs within the first season. Homer losing his job and being depressed at home, while kinda dark and sad especially with him intending to drown himself, also had a couple of nice little jokes even with the serious turn the story took.

    Homer's life as a crusading protestor (starting when he's almost run over by a car) had some decent stuff in there but I most really liked the finale with him leading a massive protest against the power plant and Mr. Burns being properly introduced (in an fairly memorable scene). With Burns stopping the protesting by offering Homer the job as the safety inspector (which the latter takes) the show is slowly starting to introduce some story aspects that are carried over to subsequent stories and seasons and it is a good end with Homer's speech where he tells his followers to fight on without him.

    So all in all, not a great episode but not so bad either as it still kept me entertained throughout. One of the weakest of the season (much by default) but it's still decent with some good things here and there. I'm giving this an 3/5.

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