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September 4, 2015

'The Simpsons' - 'Postcards from the Wedge' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 15th 2010 8:15AM
The Simpsons(S21E14) I bet the newspaper industry was thrilled with this episode. While we're living in an era where the daily print newspaper is on the decline, we learned that in the future, people will get six daily editions of the newspaper -- and yet the fashions of the 1950s and early 1960s will still be all the rage, including dutiful wives and chain-smoking.

The opening and closing segments of this episode, which only tangentially had anything to do with the real plot of the episode, reminded me a lot of the old Warner Bros. shorts where they would take a look into a speculative future based on 1940s ideals and values. This interlude was every bit as fun as those, and I found myself disappointed when it ended as a video shown in Mrs. Krabappel's class that even she didn't understand.

Once we got into the meat of the episode, it actually touched on an issue that's pretty serious for most parents: what happens when the two of you disagree on how to deal with a child disciplinary issue.

Unfortunately for Marge and Homer, Bart knew exactly what to do: exploit their weakness for his own benefit. He was helped by their poor decision to just leave him to his own defenses when they tired of fighting with him, but he still took things way too far when he legitimately plotted to destroy the school. It was all fun and games with the water guns and Skinner. If only they hadn't stumbled into that overgrown (and incredibly out of place) subway entrance.

The subway scene and the moment at the end when the future parents flash-froze their kids for some alone time together were the only real connections I noticed between the two disparate sections of the episode. Not that 'The Simpsons' isn't pretty good for several non sequitors per episode.

It was surprising how grounded and uncomfortable the moments between Marge and Homer were in their debate on how to deal with Bart's homework issues. It reminded me a lot of the situations I'm facing as the parent of a ten-year old. Considering how farcical Homer tends to be most of the time, I was even more surprised to find that he was arguing the side I was more inclined to think the more appropriate one as a parent.

There were some fun moments in the episode, like the master-student sequence with Nelson and Bart on the swings, and the tender moment in the streets with Chief Wigham embracing the kissing Marge and Homer after they made up. All in all, while it was an unexpectedly serious episode, it was a pleasant enough one as well. No big guffaws, but enough smiles to go around.

[Find more family history with clips and full episodes of 'The Simpsons' over at SlashControl.]

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@Hank - Marge wasn't against the idea of doing homework, just against too much homework - an issue that's very relevant.

@alk02g - the lock was a spoof on briefcases with sensitive materials chained to couriers so they don't get stolen (not because they're not trustworthy)

March 15 2010 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought this was a good episode. I thought there were a lot of funny moments, like the need to lock the box onto Martin's hand was disturbing, and he's the most trustworthy kid in that class! And how rarely do they do outgoing mail if the sack was that full??!? LoL, I liked how Marge had thermometers in her robe. After twenty years, the school finally cares that Bart doesn't do homework? Nice House reference for Itchy & Scratchy.

I also hated the mutual apology in the middle of the road. But the episode redeemed itself in the end with Lisa pointing out how Bart wanted to get caught but she'd cover for him. A nice sibling moment.

March 15 2010 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The thing is, Homer had the right approach...no fun till the homework's done.

March 15 2010 at 10:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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