Homer gets an illegal hook-up to cable TV. Lisa is horrified
and boycotts the TV room. Homer invites his mates round to
see the Big Fight, where they are joined by the police and
the nuclear plant management. Under pressure from Lisa, Homer
finally caves in and cuts the cable...
that the Simpsons is a massive money spinner for Rupert Murdoch's
cable TV empire, Homer Vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment
has a lot of damming things to say about the quality of
the medium's output, with Bart and friends most interested
in the late night pornography. Ultimately of course, Homer
is shamed into cutting the illegal service, but the points
are well made.
Industrialist Mr Burns is caught dumping Toxic waste in
Springfield park. He is fined $3M and the town meets to decide
how to spend it, eventually being persuaded to build a monorail
by the promise of jobs and prestige. Homer gets a job as a
conductor and his quick thinking - for once - brings the train
to a halt after the brakes fail...
Vs the Monorail
is a nice little parable of gullibility and the dire consequences
of get rich quick capitalism. Springfield emerges as a town
unwilling to tackle basic problems of law & order, potholed
streets, illegal dumping, but gambling on the jobs and prestige
from the bizarre project of an obvious fraudster (political
lessons anybody?). Marge, Erin Brockovich-style, uncovers
a trail of disaster where the monorail has gone before, but
the lure of 'the project' is too strong. A delightful side
plot has a fight between politician and policeforce for authority
as the disaster unfolds around them.
To settle a bet with Lisa, Bart collect-calls an Australian
household and runs up a huge phone bill. The young Australian
lad's dad sues Bart, and to avoid a major international incident,
the US state department persuades Bart to make a public apology
before the Australian parliament or risk a 5-year jail stretch...
Vs Australia is
an episode which makes telling points about culture clashes.
The state department spook reminds Bart about the brief '80s
US infatuation with Oz culture. The Ozzies exhibit a strong
anti-American streak. Bart introduces an alien species (the
frog) which destroys the local fauna. The US embassy - sacred
ground - even has a device to make waste water flow the 'American
way' down the plug hole. A lot of nice touches including a
recreation of the panic evacuation of the US embassy in Saigon,
as the furious Ozzies batter down the doors of the embassy
compound. Endless repetition of stereotypical 'Ozzies' somewhat
Homer loses his money on a wrong-way bet on Pumpkin futures.
He is forced to borrow from his nemesis, Marge's two sisters,
who lose no opportunity to humiliate him. Taking a job as
a chauffeur, he takes a driving test - with the sisters as
subplot of Homer Vs Patty and Selma sees Bart also
wrestling to face down humiliation as he finds a hidden talent
for ballet dancing The despair of indebtedness in a consumer
culture run through this episode, symbolised by Homer's public
and private humiliation by Marge's sisters ("You can't
spell Obsequious without IOU"). Credit rating shot, and
face with the alternative of money lenders backed by extreme
violence, Homer is forced to come to terms with his demons.
A fine episode.
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