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November 26, 2014

The Simpsons: Revenge is a Dish Best Served Three Times

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 28th 2007 9:36PM

simpsons(S18E11)

Marge: Revenge never solves anything!

Homer: Then what's America doing in Iraq?

I'm always somewhat underwhelmed by these "vignette" episodes, and I think I've figured out why: a full episode allows more room for the comedy to breathe and stretch out. There's more time to let gags simmer, to have better set-ups and thus bigger payoffs. Cramming three mini-episodes into a half-hour doesn't afford this luxury, and I think the episode suffers for it.

For example, the story about Milhouse going insane with revenge when he dons the super-powerful glove would have made a good full episode, I think. I don't mean an episode about Milhouse and a magic glove, but an episode centered on Milhouse wanting revenge and then wanting more and more for all the abuse he's endured over the years. My complaint isn't that the episode was terrible, because it had plenty of good laughs, but that it feels like a mere sampling, and I kept wanting more.

So I can approach this episode two different ways: A) I can dislike it for being constructed in a format I feel is detrimental to the Simpsons humor I still love after all these years, or B) I can take it for what it was and admit that, while not utterly fulfilling, it had its moments. I'm going to confer with my pastor and get back to you.

Great moments:

  • Homer telling the future Bartman: "Avenge me, in flamboyant, impractical fashion!"
  • Movie marquee: Abbot and Costello Meet Polio
  • Bart's summation of the episode: "So you see, revenge is great, and there's three ways to talk about it. Although, two of the ways were kinda the same, and even the third one might have worked better as a Halloween story...."

Also, the scroll at the end dedicated to all who died in Star Wars cracked me up, if only because it basically came out of nowhere. And yes, I understand the connection to the episode's theme of "revenge," but it still came from out of left field.

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braden

There are other clues amongst various episodes which also suggest that The Simpsons are in fact from Kentucky. Clue #1. In one of the episodes (I unfortunately can't remember which one it was, in the classroom somebody remarked that the state where Springfield is was the only state during the civil war to join the Union army, and then the Confederate army, and then rejoin the Union army. If you read about the civil war, or better yet just read Kentucky's involvement in the Civil War, you will see that Kentucky was in fact the state that kept changing sides during the civil war.
Clue #2. in the episode "Lisa The Iconoclast," during Lisa's dream, George Washington says to her, "We had quitters in the revolution too. We called them "Kentuckians." Now you may be saying so what? about that quote. However, that joke would not make any sense if in fact The Simpsons were not from Kentucky.
Clue #3. in the episode. "Marge Sweets and Sour." During this episode Mr. Burns tells Homer that "In order to get more sugar, we will have to go south of the border." To which Homer replies. "YOu mean Tennessee." The reason why this joke makes any sense is because if you look at a map of the United States, you will see that Tennessee is in fact directly south of Kentucky. So Tennessee is south of the border.
These are at least three more clues. If I missed any, or if I got the episodes or quotes wrong, please comment.

February 04 2007 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Finley

Repeats of that same episode are re-edit so it says they're from Missouri. Also, take into account it was the "Behind the Laughter," episode which, like the Halloween episodes, takes the family out of their "reality." It's just another way to mess with the viewers heads about where Springfield is exactly.

January 31 2007 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
braden

the simpsons are from Northern Kentucky. This was mentioned at the end of the show "Behind the Laughter." During season 11.

January 31 2007 at 11:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MustImpeachGWB

Yep, Lenny is always there for a good line. One of my all time favorites:

'Ow! My eye!! The doctor said I shouldn't get pudding in it!'

January 30 2007 at 8:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff

My only problem with these episodes is that they have to cram a story into 6 minutes. I would not be upset if they did one of these fantasy stories for an entire episode. A full half-hour of Bartman woudl be great, and not even half an hour could do the Count of Monte Cristo's 1500 pages justice.

Still, I dug this episode. Quite possibly my favorite non-halloween trilogy.

January 29 2007 at 7:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff

My only problem with these episodes is that they have to cram a story into 6 minutes. I would not be upset if they did one of these fantasy stories for an entire episode. A full half-hour of Bartman woudl be great, and not even half an hour could do the Count of Monte Cristo's 1500 pages justice.

Still, I dug this episode. Quite possibly my favorite non-halloween trilogy.

January 29 2007 at 7:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rich

My favorite was Poison Lenny:
"I'm not a villain! I'm a transvestite!"

January 29 2007 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lampbane

Have we finally learned where Springfield is?

No, because remember, Homer was supposedly born and raised on a farm.

January 29 2007 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TimUF

That quote on "why are we in iraq?" made me laugh hard enough for my brothers girlfriend to say we (my brother and i) sound fake when we laugh...

January 29 2007 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adrienne

Did anyone catch the little bit where that guy Homer was chasing said that they're both from Connecticut?
Have we finally learned where Springfield is?

January 29 2007 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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