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23-10: "Politcally Inept, with Homer Simpson" 2012.01.08


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#1

InvaderNorbert

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Posted Jan 8, 2012 @ 7:48 PM

It's back! From SNPP:

When Homer's complaints about how he was treated at the airport become an online sensation, and his subsequent political talk show, Gut Check with Homer Simpson, becomes equally as popular nationwide, Homer is asked who should run against Obama in 2012 - and he suggests Ted Nugent

Hmm, an all-too-late satire of Glenn Beck and the Tea Party movement. While Ted Nugent is awesome in his own right and seems appropriate for Homer to nominate for president, he just seems like the laziest choice possible. Yes Ted's nuts, Republican, and has been endorsed by such figures before, but you know what would be more clever? ANYONE ELSE.

Yeah, sorry for the duplicate episode entry, I hit "Start Topic" before I could type in the episode name.

ETA: "Tintin did not sucksuck." That couch gag was great, too. Victorian Clue? Springfieldton Abbey?

Oh look, airline jokes. Homer pushing his suitcase so hard it slid out of the plane was a great visual gag. "I have to go to the bathroom." "Well, you should have thought of that before consuming the fluids you need to live."

I liked the tags Bart used to tag his videos of Homer: "Fat," "Stupid," "Classic Simpsons," and "Baby Riding Kitten Riding Penguin."

Loved the Fox News ticker: "Satan tweets support to Rick Santorum." "Derek Jeter, George Clooney Divide up World's Women." "Biden to Congress: Compared to you, me am smart."

I actually liked Homer's rants on his new show. How the hell do Glenn Beck's rants make rational sense when spoken by Homer? Loved that the heads on his Mount Rushmore of Evil include Patty & Selma.

Ahh, good to see the Republican HQ again. Liked how they crossed out Cain and Bachmann, which managed to fit in with Burns' "Pick which white male you'd like to see as president" line.

Lisa: "Ted Nugent? He's a right wing nut job who likes everything I hate."
Bart: "Is there anyone more awesomer?"

Ted Nugent, while the lazy/cliche choice, was still freaking awesome. "Antlers aint meat." Of course Ned's a fan, as long as he isn't a Mormon.

I really liked the dream with Mozart, er, James Madison. I thought the "lesson" that he thought Homer was reaching on the preachy side...until we found out it was a ruse by the family. Dick move, yes, but it got Homer to realize that this was a bad idea

"This episode really meandered with a plot that was done better by South Park!" Screw you, rational voice in my head, it was Ted Nugent.

Edited by InvaderNorbert, Jan 8, 2012 @ 8:36 PM.


#2

AimingforYoko

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Posted Jan 8, 2012 @ 8:30 PM

I'm sorry, did Homer say "Bicentennial lemon party"?
The 'Nuge' was definitely a good sport.

#3

CantThinkUpName

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Posted Jan 8, 2012 @ 8:51 PM

I liked the episode more than most topical political episodes, though I think I preferred E Pluribus Wiggum.

Nugent was such a good sport that I thought it was someone doing Nugent.

I hate self righteous Lisa, especially when it comes to political issues. Maybe I differentiate between having a cause and picking a side.

How come Sideshow Bob Roberts still comes across as so clever while this felt so weak?

And yes, The South Park Did It Already (and better).

I also liked "Obama calls mulligan on first term."

Edited by CantThinkUpName, Jan 8, 2012 @ 8:57 PM.


#4

InvaderNorbert

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Posted Jan 8, 2012 @ 10:03 PM

How come Sideshow Bob Roberts still comes across as so clever while this felt so weak?

I've got a few reasons:

1) The episode didn't pick a side. Sure, it mostly went after Republicans, but Democrats weren't spared one bit.
2) Lisa, believing that Sideshow Bob ended up winning despite all of his faults, had righteous cause for investigation.
3) The writing was really, really fantastic.

ETA: Self-Righteous Lisa could've been resolved by her and Nugent, you know, actually talking to each other. Ted was completely fine with her vegetarianism ("Antler's aint meat!"), but Lisa just kept away from him. They could've had a conversation where they could've learned to respect each other despite different ideologies, but...nope, we spent too much time in Act 1 with Homer going nuts in the airport.

Edited by InvaderNorbert, Jan 8, 2012 @ 10:16 PM.


#5

Paron Xanthis

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Posted Jan 8, 2012 @ 10:49 PM

Eh. I just waited for this one to be over.

When Lisa goes into this mode, it really does drag an episode down.

Random question, though. Homer's strangled Bart numerous times. Has he ever done it to Lisa? My brother told me he did at least once, but I didn't believe him. Has he?

#6

CantThinkUpName

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Posted Jan 8, 2012 @ 10:49 PM

Good points re: SSBR Invader. I also think another benefit that episode had was not being about the politicians of the day. Sure it had a Rush Limbaugh-esque character but it didn't feel the need to load up the episode with constant references to whomever was on the political landscape at the moment. Because the show can't be timely, if it wants to be current it must rely on the broadest possible stereotype of the political candidate, which seems cheap and also costs the episode timelessness. The same problem happened with EPW and the horrendous Guantanamo Bay episode

I also liked what you said about Lisa and Nugent. One of the biggest issues I have with Self Righteous Lisa is that the show (especially in recent years) seems to side with her agenda exclusively. The vegetarianism and Buddhism episodes made Lisa's decision right for her, not for everyone else. Similarly, part of the reason I liked The Book Job was that Lisa ended up doing her switcharoo out of self-interest. She didn't stop the book from being printed because she didn't write it- she still tried to take credit as an author.

Another issue I have with this episode relates to Homer the Great. In both episodes, Lisa tries to play Homer's conscience as he becomes a God among men. But in the former episode, Homer loses his power because a) OTHERS turn against him and b) he finds life boring being able to do everything. In this it's because he learned a lesson about the founding fathers? That they were against pundits or something? Not buying it.

#7

InvaderNorbert

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Posted Jan 8, 2012 @ 11:21 PM

Good points re: SSBR Invader. I also think another benefit that episode had was not being about the politicians of the day. Sure it had a Rush Limbaugh-esque character but it didn't feel the need to load up the episode with constant references to whomever was on the political landscape at the moment.

Exactly. On that same topic, that episode had Birch Barlow, the perfect political pundit. He wasn't just some crazy guy on Fox News, he was a citizen of Springfield. He spoke about Sprinfieldian issues (Quimby, the giant compost heap, the bats in the library that was actually called back to), he ate donuts, and was fat. He may have been a blowhard, but he was able to genuinely speak to the common man, ie. Homer.

#8

CantThinkUpName

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Posted Jan 8, 2012 @ 11:57 PM

Returning to SSBR, one thing I always liked about it was that in Bob's final speech, the show places the blame on the fickle nature of the populace.

Because you need me, Springfield. Your guilty conscience may force you to vote Democratic, but deep down inside you long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king. That's why I did this: to protect you from yourselves.


It's not simply that the public is stupid, but that they are conflicted and like a pendulum. Everything goes in cycles, why not the public's want?

Since the Bush administration, it feels as though the show prefers to place the blame on the Republican Party, which I find kind of hacky and very sour grapes-y. It's low hanging fruit, and The Simpsons can (should) do better or at least do different. We're more than halfway through President Obama's first time and the best we've gotten was an episode declaring Michelle Obama to be super terrific awesome. And she wasn't even voicing the character!

Another problem I have with an episode like this is their willingness to turning people into zombies. In SSBR, we learned why people like Homer and Krusty voted for Bob, and it wasn't because "Radio Man says we should."

ETA: For another example of Lisa offering AN answer as opposed to Lisa offering THE answer, compare The Monkey Suit with Lisa The Skeptic. In the earlier episode, although Lisa was right, the key came from Marge commenting about how Lisa grasped her hand tighter as Doomsday approached. Science might provide answers, but faith offers its own intangible benefits. Whereas in The Monkey Suit it came down to Ned denying his faith not due to any decent argument or because he was actually forced to re-evaluate his thoughts on God, but because Homer was acting like an idiot. (I still consider that one of the laziest endings in the show's history.)

Edited by CantThinkUpName, Jan 9, 2012 @ 12:54 AM.


#9

Paron Xanthis

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Posted Jan 9, 2012 @ 1:04 AM

CantThinkUpName
In SSBR, we learned why people like Homer and Krusty voted for Bob, and it wasn't because "Radio Man says we should."

Just for a refresher, Homer did it because he approved of a new policy Bob would've had that would legalize murder only if committed on Selma, right? (Although I remember a policy about killing Bart, too, that Homer was opposed to.) And Krusty just wanted a tax cut, right?

Edited by Paron Xanthis, Jan 9, 2012 @ 8:00 AM.


#10

CantThinkUpName

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Posted Jan 9, 2012 @ 1:09 AM

Homer: "I don't approve of his Bart killing policy, but I do approve of his Selma killing policy."

Krusty: "He tried to frame me for armed robbery but man am I aching for that upper class tax cut."

#11

InvaderNorbert

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Posted Jan 9, 2012 @ 1:10 AM

In a stroke of subtle genius from the show's earlier days, I just now realize that Homer had mistaken Bob's criminal record for actual policies. Who in their right mind, even in this show, would write policies about killing two ordinary people?

And yes, Krusty wanted that upper class tax cut.

#12

futurechemist

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Posted Jan 9, 2012 @ 6:50 AM

It seems like a bad sign when so many posts are talking about how earlier episodes were so much better.

This episode entertained me, but I didn't really love it. I thought the colonial brochure including "fake dreams" was hilarious as was Homer asking for (and getting) an airport pat down backrub. In the second half, I tried to not let my personal hatred of Ted Nugent spoil the episode, with mixed success. I enjoyed the crossbow references to his last appearance. Lisa did seem too preachy in this episode, if she was able to partner with Mr. Burns for recycling, she's able to see some shades of gray.

I will have to rewatch the episode to catch all of the Fox News ticker.

Liked how they crossed out Cain and Bachmann, which managed to fit in with Burns' "Pick which white male you'd like to see as president" line.

After reading that, I just realized that Saturday's Republican primary debate was entirely white men since all (and only) the minority candidates had already withdrawn.

#13

JTMacc99

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Posted Jan 9, 2012 @ 10:29 AM

I'm sorry, did Homer say "Bicentennial lemon party"?

I heard lemon party in there somewhere. Heh.

I definitely chuckled a few times during this episode. I have no problem with the show going to the places it went here, although I think they could have just integrated them into other plots rather than making it the whole plot.

I liked the random hunting related jokes with Ted Nugent (like he sleeps in a tree stand, or just uses the neighborhood kids as arrows.

#14

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Posted Jan 9, 2012 @ 12:51 PM

Not to come across as an ol' sourpuss, and I get that the Simpsons isn't exactly hard satire, but does anyone else find it problematic whenever they feature guest stars that they're supposed to be parodying from the world of politics? It basically amounts to an opportunity for self-promotion for the supposed "targets." I find it to be troublesome even when it's figures who are technically more in the mainstream of society, like Tony Blair or Rudy Guiliani. When it's a genuine fringe lunatic like Nugent, it just seems distasteful.

#15

CantThinkUpName

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Posted Jan 9, 2012 @ 2:21 PM

Distasteful to whom? The voice actors for making fun of themselves? The audience for "pushing" the VA's views? The founding fathers as per Homer's lesson from last night's episode, which, now that I think about it, by including Nugent kind of discounts the moral of the story? See I'd prefer someone like Nugent who goes all out with the role and takes his public persona to an extreme to someone who just exists to say a line.

I didn't really have a problem with it. I have a bigger problem with guest stars that get cast to say a line just because they're popular at the moment (e.g. Britney Spears, Dr. Phil- though luckily they've cut down on this type of cameo over recent years) and the FOX PRESENTS THE SIMPSONS cameos like the kids from Glee in the Flight of the Conchords episode and the American Idol judges from Judge me Tender.

Edited by CantThinkUpName, Jan 9, 2012 @ 2:21 PM.


#16

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Posted Jan 10, 2012 @ 11:43 AM

The points you bring up are as objectionable in their own way, Can'tThinkUpName. I don't particularly approve of FOX using the show to hype their other programs as was the case with Glee and (ugh!) American Idol, and I'm sure as hell no fan of the hot-at-the-moment cameos of the likes of Britney Spears and "Doctor" Phil. Though at least the bit Spears participated in was moderately amusing ("Don't give me your Kiss of Death, you Black Widow!") and Phil ends up being eaten in his ToH appearance.

As for the Nuge: Well, the man's an extraordinarily nasty piece of work in his own right, and he's one of the many, many bottom feeders who've crawled out of the woodworks to exploit (and to help expedite) the GOP essentially turning into America's version of the National Front. That's not cute or harmless, and it certainly doesn't merit him being rewarded with a guest spot (or two) on the Simpsons.

#17

JTMacc99

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Posted Jan 10, 2012 @ 12:28 PM

That's not cute or harmless, and it certainly doesn't merit him being rewarded with a guest spot (or two) on the Simpsons.

Being a guest star on a TV show is not a reward. It's an indication that your appearance might help generate positive cash flow. If more people are turned off by the casting decisions than are entertained, the show will stop making money and will go away.

I have no idea if Nugent's appearance in this episode will create some sort of negative feelings towards this show, but am going to assume it won't. The creative team of The Simpsons is like 95% Lisa and 5% Nugent (if that), and I personally felt like that came through in this episode. I mean, they had him sleeping in a tree stand attached to the chimney and shooting the neighborhood kids out of his bow into Flanders yard. Then they had Flanders essentially say that he agrees with everything the wack-job thinks, thus establishing that the religious right is as crazy as the guy who shoots little children out of his bow.

#18

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Posted Jan 10, 2012 @ 12:55 PM

I liked Homer choking Bart for using the fake dream to screw with him. "That's what a play within a play is for!!"