I created this blog for a graduate class and didn’t really expect to continue it after my class. But after noticing the amount of people who view my blog, I decided that I should probably update to include the past 3 or 4 seasons. There have been some really great episodes that deal mostly with literature, so I’m going to include them. With winter break around the corner, I should have these updates real soon.
Probably not on the same deep, spiritual level, but the similarities cannot be denied – Tuesdays with Morrie
Abe meets a young journalist named Marshall Goldman, whom Abe shares many of his anecdotes with. Fascinated by his stories, Goldman prints Abe’s stories in the local newspaper. Homer becomes jealous that Abe’s stories are becoming famous and goes to visit with his dad. Abe rejects Homer, saying that he only wants his attention now that he is famous. Homer decides to get back at his father by writing down Mr. Burns’ anecdotes; however, the stories are shredded because they are boring. While at the newspaper, Homer discovers that Goldman is planning on killing Abe, to produce a script that might win a Pulitzer Prize. Homer thwarts Goldman’s plans and Homer and Abe make up.
The second Mark Twain work to be parodied : The Prince and the Pauper
After causing trouble at a party, many of Bart’s privileges are taken away. While he is ranting about his family, Bart’s exact look-alike, Simon Woosterfield, shares his own hatred for his family. The two decide to switch places and trade families. Bart enjoys his new, wealthy life-style; whereas, Simon enjoys Marge’s loving and comforting tendencies. Bart soon discovers that is “older siblings” are planning on killing him to gain his share of the inheritance. After this discovery, Bart knows that Simon set him up to be killed. Lisa discovers that Simon is pretending to be Bart and the family rushes to save Bart before it is too late. Homer rescues Bart and the family is reunited. Bart now has a new-found appreciation for his family.
In this segment, Homer and Marge’s (Edmund and Mercedes) marriage is destroyed when Moe accuses Homer of treason. While in prison, Homer swears revenge against those who conspired against him. His cell-mate, Burns, tells Homer of a treasure and helps him escape through a tunnel. After Homer finds the treasure, he becomes the Count of Monte Cristo and begins his revenge. Homer invites Moe and Marge to his mansion, where he kills Moe in an elaborate revenge trap. Instead of being happy, Marge is devastated because now no one will help her raise her three children.
There have been many reproductions of Shakespeare’s work in our culture today: 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s the Man, O – to name a few. This episode uses Twelfth Night for inspiration as Lisa disguises herself as a boy to access a better education.After Springfield Elementary is split up into a boy’s school and a girl’s school, Lisa feels that she is not being challenged on on the girl’s side. With Marge’s help, Lisa disguises herself as a boy to get the education she needs. After Bart discovers Lisa’s disguise, he decides to help her become more like a boy so she will not get picked on as much. After receiving an award for the highest grade in math, Lisa reveals her true identity – stating that women can be just as successful in math as boys.
The guys of Springfield go to Burns’ mansion for a hunting trip. Only, they don’t realize that they are going to be hunted. The hunt is televised and Marge watches from home. Homer manages to last the night, whereas all of his friends have been killed. Right before Homer is shot, Marge saves the day and knocks Burns and Smithers out with a frying pan.
The Halloween episodes never disappoint – parody of H.G. Wells – The Island of Dr. Moreau
On a trip to the Island of Lost Souls, the Simpsons stay at a hotel operated by Dr. Hibbert. Marge senses things are not quite right and sets out to investigate, only to be captured by Dr. Hibbert. Marge is transformed into a mountain lion and Homer seeks out a cure. With the help of Flanders, who has become a cow, Homer discovers that many Springfieldians have been transformed into mutants. Homer is at first terrified, but soon accepts that being a mutant animal would fit his lazy lifestyle. Homer is transformed into a walrus and everyone relaxes and spends the rest of their days poolside at Dr. Hibbert’s resort.
Another 3 part episode – our heroes include Odysseus, Joan of Arc, and Hamlet.
D’Oh, Brother Where Art Thou – Homer is Odysseus in this segment. Homer and his crew destroy Troy and all the people living there. However, Homer angers the gods when he refuses to sacrifice a sheep. Homer and his crew are forced to the island of the sirens (Patty and Selma) and then to Circe’s island. It is on this island that Homer’s crew are turned to pigs, but instead of saving his friends, he accidentally eats them all. After traveling through Hades, Homer arrives at Ithaca to be reunited with Penelope (Marge) and Telemachus (Bart). He destroys all of her suitors and retires to Moe’s.
Hot Child in the City – In this segment, Lisa is Joan of Arc. Lisa leads the French against the English in the Hundred Years war. Lisa is captured by the the English and put on trial. Lisa is declared a witch and sentenced to death. She exclaims that she was following God’s will, just as Groundskeeper Willie claims he was chosen to lead the English to victory.
Do the Bard, Man – In this segment, Bart is Hamlet. With the help of his dead father, Bart must stop his mother, Gertrude (Marge) from marrying Claudius (Moe), his uncle. Bart stages a play to out his uncle; however, Bart is seen as crazy. Ophelia (Lisa) decides she can be the only crazy one and dancing out the window to her death. Claudius knows that Bart know what he did and tries to kill him. In defense, Bart accidentally kills Polonius (Wiggum). Laertes (Ralph) challenges Bart to a duel, but kills himself in a practice stab. Bart goes to leave after killing Claudius, but slips on blood and dies. Gertrude comes in and sees everyone dead and kills herself because she does not want to clean up the mess.
Stephen King’s works are constantly referenced throughout the show. This episode parodies The Body, or more commonly known as Stand by Me.
After Homer is hypnotized, he flashes back to a time when he was 12 years old. Homer, Lenny, and Carl witness an almost-meltdown at the nuclear plant. The boys decide to go swimming in the lake, only to find that the lake is dry. The boys go to check the water drain and discover a corpse.
Back in present day, the Simpson family goes to search for the remains of the corpse (considering Homer and his friends just left it there). After draining the lake, they discover that the water drain leads to Burns’ office. Burns explains that the corpse belonged to Smithers’ father, who died saving the plant from it’s almost-meltdown years before.
In this episode, Bart and Lisa (Ron and Hermione) attend Springwart’s School of Magicry. There they meet Harry (as himself), Neville (Millhouse) and Malfoy (Nelson). While the children are practicing spells, Lord Montymort and Slithers (Nagini) decide to capture Lisa, so he can become more powerful. Montymort acquires Bart’s help and Bart switches Lisa’s wand with a candy stick. Once Lisa’s spell fails during a magical recital, Montemort captures Lisa and begins to draw out her power. Bart uses his wand and sticks Montemort in his shin – the source of all his power. Montemort dies and Lisa and Bart are safe.
Several of the books are referenced in this segment. Bart goes to Montemort’s lair through a hand dryer – like the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets was through drain pipes. The candy wand Lisa is given is reminiscent of Fred and George’s trick items. Homer has a wandering eye, much like Mad-Eye Moody.