Season 6 Marathon: 26 episodes, 26 beers, 9h:49m:50s

 Bart vs. Australia1

“Hey, give me one of those famous giant beers I heard so much about.” – Homer Simpson
“Something wrong, Yank?” – Barkeep
“No, it’s pretty big, I guess.” – Homer Simpson

Welcome to the second Simpsons/Beer Marathon!  The people have spoken and this time around it’s Season 6.  Yeah, I know, Season 6 has only 25 episodes, but it ends with “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” and it’s impossible to watch one without wanting to watch the other.  Besides, I like beer.  Click here for an explanation of what this post is and how it works.  Otherwise, let’s get started.

1. Bart of Darkness

  • Awww, Maggie’s love of power tools (circular saw) always brings a smile to my face.
  • Now this is how you do a montage!  It’s short, Lisa gets a star turn (because she’s the center of attention now), and we see Homer as a beer fountain. 
  • This is maybe the goriest Itchy & Scratchy ever, the way Scratchy just crumples as he’s chopped to pieces always cracks me up. 
  • Yet another example of the aftermath of violence being funnier than the violence itself: Grampa being tarred and feathered. 
  • “You have selected regicide!”

2. Lisa’s Rival

  • I love the gay pirate. 
  • Yet another reason I loathe Zombie Simpsons: you can’t watch all the great Ralph Wiggum parts without knowing that they will soon be a badge of honor for idiots.
  • More life imitating Simpsons: now there is a Garfunkel & Oates.  But what happened to Messina?
  • I haven’t seen “The Fugitive” in a few years.  I wonder if it still holds up, especially since that was the role that made Tommy Lee Jones a star and then a caricature in the span of about eighteen months.
  • I’m known for my drunken rendition of Homer’s sugar rant. 
  • This episode is proof that the B plot doesn’t have to have anything to do with the A plot so long as it’s funny, moves fast, and doesn’t distract or detract from the main action.
  • Skinner’s bitterness about winding up in Elementary School is fantastic.  Even when this show is resolving its conflict it takes time out to make fun of one of its characters.

3. Another Simpsons Clip Show

  • Maybe next time I do this I’ll drink beer in a kiddie pool all day instead of my usual teevee chair. 
  • At least they still have the good sense to make fun of themselves for doing a clip show.  Also, they used to care about being relevant.  Now, not so much.
  • Meta alert: clip show showing clip from previous clip show.
  • It sort of underlines how tired the romance plotlines are that sixteen years ago they already had enough of them to do a clip show around the idea.

4. Itchy & Scratchy Land

  • Dave just got here.  Now I have someone to drink with while I waste this otherwise beautiful Saturday.
  • Vegetable smuggling pamphlet!
  • I don’t think Vanessa Williams has had a hit song in almost two decades but, if anything, AM radio has gotten worse.
  • Itchy & Scratchy land, as they fly into it in the Jurassic Park helicopter, is the most evil looking place in the history of evil looking places.
  • Look how haphazardly the mats at the end of the log ride are placed.  It’s the little touches.
  • “Pulp Fiction” was awesome, and “Get Shorty” was pretty good too, but on the whole movies would’ve been better off without the John Travolta comeback. 
  • Good storytelling alert: first they establish that the robots try to kill other robots, then they establish that flash photography hurts them, which means that by the time we get to the end both the robot malfunction and the solution are already in the audience’s mind.
  • Love the Aryan guards at an amusement park founded by a man who made a film called “Nazi Supermen Are Our Superiors”.
  • “What are you, the narrator?”, I use that all the time.

5. Sideshow Bob Roberts

  • Sideshow Bob not wanting the Republican Party associated with “George Bushes” is a joke that has gone through about four phases since this episode came out. 
  • Sideshow Bob Roberts2
  • I would pay serious money to see the real Birch Barlow ask questions at a candidate debate.
  • “Rosebud” wasn’t enough, they had to get in another “Citizen Kane” reference. 
  • Bats in the card catalog when they’re trying to find Edgar Neubauer is a wonderfully fast joke call back.
  • The movie spoiled the whole “Homer on Wrecking Ball” thing by making it go on for twenty seconds.
  • “Feculent” and “smarmy”, more words I learned from The Simpsons.

6. Treehouse of Horror V

  • Recently, someone wrote a great breakdown of this episode, but I can’t remember a) where it is or b) if I’ve already linked to it – and I’m only five beers in, not a good sign.  (Second note to self of the day: look this up when you’re sober and have more time.)
  • I miss Scatman Crothers.
  • “Teacher, mother, secret lover!”
  • Joke I never got (from SNPP):
    Mark Johnson’s best guess is that Homer was referring to Carlos Castaneda, "a Brazilian who wrote about his chemical-induced `adventures’ about twenty years ago. A rather trendy (for the college crowd) set of books from the late-60’s, early 70’s."

    Dave finds this at Wikipedia:
    The first time Homer travels back in time, he was originally supposed to state "I’m the first non-fictional character to travel backwards through time".[4] The line was later changed from "non-fictional" to "non-Brazilian". Groening was confused as to the reason for the change, since he liked the original so much. In fact, he didn’t even understand what the new line meant.

  • I miss Doris Grau too.
  • The callback for “A Chorus Line” rules.

7. Bart’s Girlfriend

  • Jessica Lovejoy had a brief non-speaking part in that awful episode last week.
  • Again with the implied/aftermath of violence with the shivering hamster.
  • “What’s prodigal mean?”
  • Scotchtoberfest!
  • This episode has the John Travolta strut and the surfer guitar from “Pulp Fiction”.  Excellent.
  • This episode has completely ruined Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” for me.  It’s very disturbing.

8. Lisa on Ice

  • This show’s take on the relentless stupidity of local news (bleeds it leads, and all that) are amongst it’s best qualities.
  • Gotta love how much Homer’s behavior toward Bart (threatening him, the turtle) reinforces Lisa’s point about parents’ failed dreams of glory.
  • Crazy Zombie Homer is a lot less funny than dimwitted regular Homer who turns on his kids at the slightest sign of athletic failure.
  • Moe calls Marge “Blanche”, classic.
  • “Conserve your previous hatred for the game.”
  • How great was this show?  Even when both of his kids win, Homer still loses. 

9. Homer Badman

  • Titmouse.
  • Cartoon nudity is a necessity.
  • “Dramatization, may not have happened.”
  • I also sleep nude in an oxygen tent, no sexual powers so far.
  • Dennis Franz’s guest voice is what these are supposed to be. 
  • In contrast to Zombie Simpsons where all the recurring characters are friends and look out for each other, there’s Homer’s friends (led by the real Moe) selling him to the highest bidder.
  • Downside of the flat television: you can’t hug it as easily.

10. Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy

  • According to the tag cloud on our WordPress dashboard, this is our most quoted episode.  I’m not really sure why, but I have no objections.
  • Speaking of awesome nudity: this episode.
  • “See you the next time we need your signature.” 
  • Once again, life imitates The Simpsons: this predates Viagra by years.
  • Proper use of Comic Book Guy: at the stock footage festival.
  • Serious “drinking” is the order of the day.

11. Fear of Flying

  • It’s great that Homer goes to a lesbian bar because all he cares about is getting a drink, and the only thing about it that bothers him is the lack of a fire exit.
  • It’s not even directly mentioned but – yes – the airline looks for substitute pilots in a bar. 

12. Homer the Great

  • Based on the sheer awesomeness of Homer’s list, Mad Jon has been maintaining one for well over a decade now.
  • Remember when Burns said that eggs had gotten a bad rep?  Here’s the payoff.
  • Animation note: love the glee in the eyes of #1 when he orders the Stone of Triumph to be attached.
  • And herein, No Homers, a proud internet tradition, is born.
  • When I was a kid I had a ring that made a “whee” noise when you blew on it.

13. And Maggie Makes Three

  • Life imitating Simpsons Part MCVII: Night Boat!
  • “They pave the way for this kind of filth in school.”
  • Hibbert’s era appropriate haircuts never get old.
  • For years I really thought “supplicant” meant someone who applied for a job a second time.
  • Homer’s ability to be human yet self centered in any situation really makes this.  Make your own comparisons to the zany automaton he is now.

14. Bart’s Comet

  • Another of Zombie Simpsons’ problems: Skinner has no bitterness towards Bart or any other student.  The astronomy scene is funny precisely because he hates his job and his students so very much.
  • Homer’s bit about elected officials taking care of problems is, and I am not exaggerating, the most insightful and widely viewed criticism of democracy ever.  And then there’s “Democracy simply doesn’t work”.
  • Much love to the guy who slides under the park bench.
  • Maude’s immediate abandonment of Ned, plus Rod’s shotgun thing, are just . . . “great” doesn’t describe it.  There are no words.
  • Another good storytelling note: not only does the comet puncture the Skinner balloon, but it’s also the same size as the chihuahua’s head.  See?  They care about they structure of the episode.

15. Homie the Clown

  • New billboard day!
  • Gotta love the giant bag of MSG.
  • Speaking of attention to detail, Homer squinting at the funny place names Krusty flashes.
  • Dick Cavett rules.
  • More conscientious storytelling: Krusty’s money trouble lead directly into the main plot.  And, of course, everything in between is funny as hell.
  • Flanders’ love of easily discredited Christian tchotchkes is perfect.

16. Bart vs. Australia

  • This is the episode that spawned about two dozen other “destination” episodes, it was worth it, but still.
  • There’s a certain kind of genius necessary to have a guy digging down out of his coffin.
  • Bart vs Australia2 
  • All props to the “Mad Max” guy who runs into the embassy gates.
  • “The closest vessel is the U.S.S. Walter Mondale, it’s a laundry ship.”

17. Homer vs. Patty and Selma

  • Homer’s dream of his invention is made by the whole “product in question” line.
  • Everything goes on your permanent record.  Fuck.
  • Belly fire!
  • Never before or since have Batman and Magellan been linked.
  • I wish my TV turned itself on and off to solve all my problems.
  • “Please ask me to kill for you.”

18. A Star Is Burns

  • “You suck, McBain!”
  • Hibbert looks good in red panties.
  • You knew it was coming: football in the groin.

19. Lisa’s Wedding

  • “Oh, it’s galloping away!”
  • I live in fear of the Happy Squirrel.
  • We live in the future, and though the specifics are different, the grotesquely inhuman cynicism that rules their world is the same as ours.  Or something. 
  • Gotta love the Star Trek communicator noise when Hugh talks into his wrist.
  • I’d like to have decently original thoughts on this episode, but I don’t.  So here.
  • This episode has one of the best end music remixes ever.

20. Two Dozen and One Greyhounds

  • My genitals are withered and useless, but I can’t blame teevee.  It’s done so much for me.
  • American grand on Snowball II smacking away the catnip.
  • “We could use a new pet over at the home, seeing how we accidentally killed that smart mouthed bird.”
  • Rory Calhoun.

21. The PTA Disbands

  • One must acknowledge both the comedy brilliance and the shock numbing value of a kid being violently  beaten by adults.
  • Play!  Play the forbidden music!
  • In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!
  • The finger thing means the taxes!
  • Canada’s always been tucked away down there.

22. Round Springfield

  • Man, you’d better not feed the bears.
  • Round Springfield1
  • Again with montages that are funny and make sense, Jazzman.
  • I had a few (potentially) insightful comments I wanted to make, but after a few hardly started sentences that I failed to complete all you really need to know is that I love this episode.  I’m too drunk to add even non-snarky comments to it.

23. The Springfield Connection

  • Series at its best: making fun of the fact that teevee women can’t seem to find the door through the wall.  Cliche alert.
  • Again with Homer as regular guy instead of invincible jerk, he just wants to be left alone.
  • They executed Hans Moleman, and it flickered the lights.  We were all complicit.

24. Lemon of Troy

  • “We can’t spare a single one!” the spirit lives on.
  • Remember, reactionary suburban counterinvasions are a part of our modern politics.
  • There’s a chase scene in this episode, but it makes sense, calls back earlier scenes, and helps reconcile the ends.  In other words, it’s the opposite of Zombie Simpsons.

25. Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)

  • “Why is it when I heard the word ‘school’ and the word ‘exploded’ I immediately thought of the word  ‘Skinner’.” – Chalmers
  • “Please don’t waste those.”  Any pretensions to greatness one has are undermined by the fact that you’re hassling a grade school.  The dichotomy of this makes it funny.  (I think, I’m kinda drunk.)
  • Burns Slat Drilling, for all its problems, its better insulated from lawsuits then British Petroleum (BP).  But what are you gonna do?

26. Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)

  • Fuck it.  I’m too drunk.  Even if you’ve seen this a dozen or more times this episode is funnier than anything I can say. 
  • Peace.

Dave, who has a far more capable camera than I, snapped this:

Season 6 Marathn (Dave)

7 Responses to “Season 6 Marathon: 26 episodes, 26 beers, 9h:49m:50s”

  1. 1 D.N.
    15 May 2010 at 11:25 pm

    In response to the first screencap, I feel obliged to state that while Foster’s Lager is popular internationally and is well-known around the world for its Australian connotations, it’s not particularly popular (or widely promoted, for that matter) down here. I think it’s safe to say that, to the average Aussie beer-guzzler, Foster’s is like swill (not that I personally would know the difference between good and bad beer, not being a beer-drinker myself. Mr P. Piggly Hogswine could perhaps shed more light on the notion that only a swine would drink Foster’s). Although I guess that being well-used to Duff, Homer would have no problem chugging down Foster’s.

    Anyway, congrats on making it through another kidney-clobbering, bladder-battering, witticism-whirling beer-and-Simpsons marathon for the team, Charlie. Damn good reading!

  2. 2 P. Piggly Hogswine
    16 May 2010 at 3:06 am

    Foster’s is cat’s piss, a painful and unendurable “beer.” I was never a huge fan of the Australia episode, although it did have some good bits.

    Fine work again. Quality line-up of episodes all the way through. Hope the head isn’t throbbing.

  3. 3 Shane
    16 May 2010 at 1:17 pm

    To respond to your nine-hour epic with a lazy two word comment, nice work!

    Speaking of season 6, you may be amused to know that Dick Cavett has a blog, and yes, he menntions Groucho: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/19/dont-move-if-you-know-whats-good-for-you/ Nothing about his churlish attitude however.

    • 4 D.N.
      16 May 2010 at 11:03 pm

      My favourite Dick Cavett TV moment, aside from his guest appearance in “Homie the Clown” and his front-page birth announcement in “Treehouse of Horror III”, is his interview with a skeletal, cane-grasping, constantly-sniffing David Bowie in 1974. Bowie’s clearly coked off his head and somehow the conversation turns into a discussion about noise-bombs which can wipe out entire cities with vibrations (full transcript: http://www.bowiegoldenyears.com/tv/1974-cavett.html).

      Also, in response to Charlie’s “Itchy & Scratchy Land” observation: “Love the Aryan guards at an amusement park founded by a man who made a film called “Nazi Supermen Are Our Superiors”.

      I’ve watched that episode a gazillion times and I have frequently uttered the Aryan guard’s “Okay, throw her in der hole!” line, but my God, I never made the connection between Roger Myers Senior’s Nazi affiliations and the Teutonic guards in the theme park. Maybe I would have needed to be in an advanced state of alcohol-induced intoxication before I drew the dots on that one…

  4. 17 May 2010 at 4:40 am

    An awesome run-through of an awesome season. Congrats on writing that coherently after that much beer. As for the recent breakdown of Treehouse of Horror V, may I humbly suggest my own as a possibility?


    I love this blog. Keep up the good work.

    • 6 D.N.
      17 May 2010 at 5:10 am

      That “Treehouse of Horror V” analysis is one of the best things I’ve read about The Simpsons ever.

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