I think this has been the longest period of time that it has taken to watch a series. Obviously, I have to be careful not to OD on the The Simpsons, but the best use for it, is either multiple-episodes-while-ironing or a quick-episode when eating dinner. But I was torn when choosing a best for this season. It was either “Homer-Phobia”, “You Only Move Twice” or “Homer’s Enemy”. Though I love the James Bond references in “You Only Move Twice” and, at the same time I love the moral centre to “Homer-Phobia”, the character of Frank Grimes is simply incredible.
I’m not on my own here – it is the favourite episode of Matt Groening himself and Ricky Gervais. The genius behind the character is how he despises Homer because Homer is a complete dumb-ass – and yet has achieved so much in life. Opposed to Frank Grimes, who has struggled for everything and rarely has anything go his way.
Simply a great story – but also a great tale about attitude. As someone who is Irish (Attitude is: Any bad things happen you just laugh it off – it “happens”) and yet has spent the majority of my life in England (Attitude is: Cynical and sarcastic towards things), my attitude to life is very different to Americans – whom I have always considered see’s things always in a positive light. I know these are huge generalisations but this episode, I believe, taps into these approaches. Homer’s contentness and mixture of all of these attitudes are what is to be admired – opposed to Frank Grimes, who simply cannot stand the sheer luck of Homer. Frank’s negative attitude is the problem – but luck really doesn’t run in his favour in fairness. Based originally on Michael Douglas’ character in Falling Down, Hank Azaria channeled William H. Macy (Possible his nervousness in films like Fargo?) to create the character who is more like us than the characters in Springfield.
Okay, favourite lines? Seriously, another favourite – this time from Wiggum (
I’m laughing just writing it down!) …
Mr Burns: … and the bold new ideas these tiny tykes unveil for us today could
make thousands of jobs like yours — obsolete!
[The first contestant, Ralph Wiggum, unveils a “power plant” that is really just a relabeled Malibu Stacey Dream House. Smithers likes it, but Burns eyes the hot tub and media room and dismisses it.]
Mr Burns: “It’s supposed to be a power plant, not Aunt Beaulah’s bordello,”
[Ralph remains on the stage…]
Chief Wiggum: [From the audience] Eh, Ralphie, get off the stage sweetheart.
[Ralph exits the stage]