“Homer, look, we’re invited to Otto’s wedding. Ooh, and such delicate tissue paper . . . huh, zigzag?” – Marge Simpson
For the fourth summer in a row, we here at the Dead Homer Society will be spending some time discussing twelve year old Simpsons episodes. This year we’re doing Season 11. Why Season 11? Because we’ve done Seasons 8, 9 and 10 already, and it’s time to take an unflinching look at the end of the show. Since Skype and podcasts didn’t exist in 1999, and we want to discuss these episodes the way the internet intended, we’re sticking with the UTF-8 world of chat rooms and instant messaging. This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (surprisingly enough, not on “Cyanide”).
Charlie Sweatpants: Once more unto the breach, dear friends?
Dave: Brothers in arms and all that.
Charlie Sweatpants: Or, in this case, the chat?
Mad Jon: Let’s do it.
It’s a Mad^4 Marge?
Charlie Sweatpants: Indeed.
This episode’s Wikipedia page says "The episode is notable for its poor reception among fans."
Mad Jon: Ha
Dave: That seems like a cute understatement.
Charlie Sweatpants: I’ve never thought of this one as particularly notorious, but it is pretty bad.
Mad Jon: Yeah, it’s poor, but boring enough that it’s not one of my "oh god that’s awful" episodes.
It doesn’t offend me as much as it makes me not want to be around it.
Charlie Sweatpants: Good way to put it. By this point it’s more often than not that the episode is about as bad as this one. It doesn’t stand out anymore.
Mad Jon: There are plenty of offensive parts, don’t get me wrong. But I find my self just sort of waiting for it to end, or whatever it does.
I can’t really tell if there is one plot, with two smaller partial plots, or if it is two plots with an aside, or all one fluid deally. It’s hard for me to discern.
Charlie Sweatpants: It’s more straightforward than most of the episodes at this point in that the opening isn’t wildly different and unrelated to the rest of it.
Mad Jon: I guess it doesn’t really matter.
I did like the ring that Otto gave Becky.
Charlie Sweatpants: There are a surprising amount of good jokes in this one. Though, for the most part, they’re nearer to the front than the end.
Mad Jon: Such as the fixing a marriage through gentle nagging?
Charlie Sweatpants: Sort of, that scene’s a bit of a mixed bag.
Mad Jon: Indeed it is.
Charlie Sweatpants: I don’t like Marge’s little wedding magazine thing, it just seems too out of character, like they had these wedding magazine jokes and they’ve got to cram them in somewhere.
But on the whole, yeah, that’s a good example of something that’s sort of okay, except for the weird packaging around it.
Mad Jon: You know, I only have a couple of + signs this week. Mostly my notes are summaries of the action so that when we did this I didn’t get lost in the crap.
I kind of think Wiggum was the highlight of the episode.
Charlie Sweatpants: The chase scene where Marge escapes from the uber stupid mental health hearing is very distracting.
But even amidst it, the sign on the library saying "We have books about TV" is fantastic.
Mad Jon: The chase scene does suck.
But Wiggum’s description of the powerlessness of the law makes me laugh. As well as the ice cream in his hand when he randomly shows up to arrest Marge.
Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, Wiggum’s good, I just wish he’d shown up ten seconds earlier when Marge broke the cone but before that weird part where she’s swinging the cone and the show is playing this off like it’s Hitchcock or something.
Mad Jon: Fair enough
Charlie Sweatpants: My favorite part from this one may be Cyanide.
They’ve only got two lines, and both of them are great.
Mad Jon: It was pretty funny
Charlie Sweatpants: At this point, I really appreciate a joke that doesn’t drag on.
Mad Jon: I have a hard time not busting out when the drummer asks for a ride.
Charlie Sweatpants: That one always gets me.
Mad Jon: The thing that I can’t believe I never noticed his how Homer is playing that knife game at the kitchen table in the very beginning for no apparent reason.
Dave: The episode is sort of a gentle, forgettable haze to me. Even as I’m watching it now.
Mad Jon: That’s a pretty good description
Charlie Sweatpants: I’d say that’s true up to the ice cream parlor or so. After that the craziness starts to take more time, get more serious, get stupider, and really aggravate me.
This is one I don’t even like to put on in the background when I’m doing something else.
Mad Jon: Why would you? There are 300 – odd other episodes that suck that are still better than this.
Charlie Sweatpants: That makes it like most of Season 11, though.
I wouldn’t say that many. There’s enough good jokes in here that I’d rank this one above pretty much anything from Season 12/13 or so.
Dave: That may be so, but it still doesn’t enter my regular rotation.
Charlie Sweatpants: Oh, not even close.
The next one, though, does sneak in every once and a while. Is there anything else here, or shall we move on to what coulda, woulda, shoulda, been the end of the show?
Mad Jon: I don’t have anything else productive to say. I am ready to put my back on the wall.
Charlie Sweatpants: Okay then, let’s do this one last time.