Posts Tagged ‘There’s No Disgrace Like Home

28
Jan
18

Quote of the Day

“Look at that, kids. No fighting. No yelling.” – Homer Simpson
“No belching.” – Bart Simpson
“The dad has a shirt on.” – Lisa Simpson
“Look! Napkins!” – Marge Simpson
“These people are obviously freaks.” – Bart Simpson

28
Jan
17

Quote of the Day

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“I don’t know who to love more, my son Joshua who’s captain of the football team, or my daughter Amber who got the lead in the school play. Usually I use their grades as a tie breaker. But they both got straight ‘A’s this term, so, what’s a mother to do?” – Humble Brag Mom
“Well, I sense greatness in my family.” – Marge Simpson
“Your family?” – Skeptical Mom
“Well, it’s a greatness that others can’t see. But it’s there. And if it’s not true greatness we have, we’re at least average. . . . I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I think there’s a little al-key-hol in this punch.” – Marge Simpson

28
Jan
16

Quote of the Day

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“Alright, time for a family meeting.” – Homer Simpson
“Why can’t we have a meeting when you’re watching TV?” – Lisa Simpson

28
Jan
15

Quote of the Day

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“Evening, Moe.” – Eddie
“Want some pretzels?” – Moe
“No, thanks, we’re on duty.  Couple beers’d be nice, though.” – Eddie
“That’ll be two bucks, boys. . . . Just kidding.” – Moe

09
Jan
14

Quote of the Day

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“Boy, someone’s really gobbling up the juice, sir.” – Mr. Smithers
“Excellent, excellent.  Perhaps this energy conservation fad is as dead as the dodo.” – C.M. Burns

Happy Birthday Al Jean!

28
Jan
13

Permanent Record: Burns Manor

There's No Disgrace Like Home13

“There it is, kids, stately Burns Manor, heaven on earth.” – Homer Simpson

Watching Season 1 episodes with the knowledge of what the show was going to become can often blur out just how well formed many of the show’s ideas were, even before the voices and the animation had developed.  Burns, and the palatial estate on which he lives, illustrate that well.  “There’s No Disgrace Like Home” is the first time we get to see Burns Manor, and while it would be revised and updated in Season 2 and later, the fundamental ideas of it are all right here.

The image at the top of this post is the establishing shot, and right away we know that a) it’s luxurious to the point of absurdity (note the string music in the background when the family walks in), and b) the Simpsons (and by extension, you) are not the least bit welcome.  On only one day per year does Burns allow regular people into his perfect world (the warning sign doesn’t say that “Trespassers” will be shot, it says “Poachers”), and even then it’s only so his employees can bow and scrape before him.  The sack race is mandatory (and Burns must be allowed to win), the father whose kid didn’t want to be there is not only getting promptly ejected from the party, he’s being fired permanently.

But the mansion itself is just as important, particularly vis-a-vis the rest of Springfield.  Besides the Simpson home, there are only three other real settings in this episode.  There’s Moe’s, a dingy bar that doesn’t even have a color television, the pawn shop, and Dr. Monroe’s clinic, which is hardly a top notch medical facility since, as Lisa points out, he advertises it during boxing:

Dumpy Springfield

The bar is dirty and dingy, the pawnshop is a pawnshop (and has cracks in its walls and ceiling), and the rather grandly named “Family Therapy Center” is just some rented office with a dumpster right where you can see it on your way in.  Burns Manor, on the other hand, is the only really nice place in the entire town:

Opulent Burns Manor

It’s got a foyer worthy of Versailles, classical architecture, and enormous grounds decorated with fountains and gazebos.  Unlike Springfield, which is kind of a mess, Burns Manor is polished and perfect.

We’re still years away from Bart having the train that disappears for hours and one time came back with snow on it, or the band shell where a captive Tom Jones performs for Marge and Homer, or the guards who sing that all they own they owe, but Burns Manor is already recognizable as a place that is both very rich and very cruel.  Moreover, it’s already a place that highlights all the things the Simpsons don’t have, and really can never have.  Homer’s place is at Moe’s with the passed out drunk on the bar; Marge has the house that Bart describes as a “dump” when he thinks its someone else’s.  Even the perfect family Homer sees leaving Burns Manor at the beginning is stuck at Dr. Marvin Monroe’s run down clinic.  Burns Manor, on the other hand, stands literally up on a hill, looking down on them all.

28
Jan
13

Quote of the Day

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“But now it’s time to say good bye.  Please get off my property until next year.  I suggest you don’t dawdle!  The hounds will be released in ten minutes.” – C.M. Burns




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