Crazy Noises: The Homer They Fall

Homer Goes to College2

“Those ‘crazy noises’ are computer signals.” – Skinny Nerd
“Yeah, some guys at MIT are sending us reasons why Captain Picard is better than Captain Kirk.” – Black Nerd
“Hah!  They’re out of their minds.” – Fat Nerd

In an attempt to fill the summer with love, hate and pointless Simpsons commentary we at the Dead Homer Society are going to spend some time overthinking Season 8.  Why Season 8?  Because Season 8 is when The Simpsons really began to deteriorate into Zombie Simpsons.  That’s why.  Because we’re cutting edge and ultra-modern we’re using a newfangled, information-superhighway fad called a “chatroom” to conduct our conversation.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “sphygmomanometer”).

Today’s episode is 803, “The Homer They Fall“, and we’ll be back tomorrow with 804, “Burns Baby, Burns“.

Mad Jon: Well, we can start by perhaps discussing the crapitude of the episodes in question, especially as they follow one my personal favorites [Editor’s Note: That would be “You Only Move Twice”, aka the Hank Scorpio episode.]

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, looking at my notes for “Homer They Fall” three things really struck me. The first is that this is one of the first whiffs we get of Homer being bipolar, weird, and ultra stupid.

The second is that there’re still a lot of good gags in there, it’s clearly not Zombie Simpsons, but it’s also clearly not real Simpsons.

Third, and far and away the biggest, is just how fucking lazy the story is. It’s just bad storytelling, through Homer’s improbable boxing career, fighting the champ for no reason, then it ends with Moe flying in on the fan guy thing?

Mad Jon: There are some pretty good sight gags too, and they don’t go too far like a zombie episode would, I cite Barney drinking varnish and the very brief description of the ‘stinger’

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, both of those struck me as something that would’ve been dragged on a lot longer these days. I was also a big fan of the entrance to the big fight with the sign that says “Tasteful Attire Prohibited” and then you notice all the weird shit people are wearing.

Mad Jon: but then there is that stupid montage of the train yard circuit or whatever

Dave: boxcar charlie or something like that?

Mad Jon: I think it was in black and white no less

Dave: the dude fighting for a sandwich?

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, they use the famous song from that one opera that’s been in about forty movies and TV shows before.


Mad Jon: too bad I’m not into opera

I feel they did a good job with the Don King impersonation

I also like his desire to have a fight go long enough so the fans have a chance to get drunk

Charlie Sweatpants: Lucious Sweet was right on the money, but the problem I had with him goes to what I was saying earlier about bad story telling. Lucious wants someone to fight Tatum, but then he acts surprised when Homer shows up at the fight and he’s fat and out of shape.

Mad Jon: Good point

I would also like to point out that Homer spends Zero (0) time in the plant, which is always a bad sign.

Charlie Sweatpants: Say what you will about Don King, but at least Peter McNeeley was in shape.

Mad Jon: And he got a Pizza Hut spot out of his 92 seconds

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, I remember watching this one the first time, and right at the beginning, Homer grabs Marge’s arm and drags her into the electronics store and then freaks out over the World’s Coolest Jacket or whatever. It’s very out of character.

Dave: the whole bonanza opening thing at the mall was off

Charlie Sweatpants: You think so?

I liked that part.

Dave: well, off might not be the right word

Mad Jon: I kinda liked the statement, “Weren’t there 3 Indians last year?”

Dave: I didn’t find it particularly funny though

Mad Jon: I must say my least favorite aspect of the episode is that there is any kind of character growth in Moe. Moe doesn’t grow, he stifles people’s growth. That’s his thing.

The real Moe would have let Homer take the last punch

Dave: agreed, Jon. The ending montage with Moe doing good deeds was more of that empty character growth

Charlie Sweatpants: The ending is a hot mess regardless. Just having Moe throw in the towel wouldn’t be enough, so in the eight seconds it takes Tatum to wind up his punch he runs away, gets the fan thing, picks up Homer, flies out of the ring, and then when they land in the parking lot Tatum and Lucious are both already there.

And that’s after we’ve put up with the idea that Homer can take lots of punches, but gets heavily winded by throwing even a single one. Oh yeah, and he doesn’t know who Tatum is.

I don’t think that last point is a nitpick, because a regular guy like Homer would absolutely know about a guy like Tatum. But SuperHomer can be sooooo dumb that he doesn’t know anything.

Mad Jon: Completely agreed. The real Homer would have made some comment about how he lost money on Tatum’s assault trial or something

Charlie Sweatpants: Bingo. Dave, anything Homer related that jumped out at you in this one?

Dave: nothing about the fight in particular, just some general carelessness that seemed out of character as when Marge says he’s hurting her arm, and he responds “no I’m not”

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, that bothered me too.

So, what’s the 1-2 sentence summary of what’s wrong with “Homer They Fall”?

Dave: Characters acting unexpectedly lead to situations that strain to exist even within the loose reality of “The Simpsons”

Mad Jon: In an attempt to needlessly flesh out the non family characters the writers failed to remember who the star was or involve the rest of his family at all.

Charlie Sweatpants: Homer ceases to be human yet they play it for tension and morality anyway. It makes so little sense that you don’t care what happens.

Mad Jon: That episode reminded me of the time I saw Buckethead perform with Guns and Roses, there were some good things, but in the end nobody won.

Dave: I just poured water all over my laptop. Carry on – I’ll be right back after I deal with this

Mad Jon: That’s what he gets for not drinking beer

Charlie Sweatpants: Amen, cans don’t spill easily.

So . . . Jon, Dave’s Wet Laptop, any final thoughts on Homer They Fall?

Mad Jon: Yes. Let it stay down, and I’ll hit the back scene button until “You only move twice” starts over.

Dave: crisis averted

Charlie Sweatpants: Good to hear.

Hehe, I will say, this does have one of the best Comic Book Guy scenes ever, when he’s away from his store and he has to endure the taunts of the other shopkeep. A fat sarcastic Star Trek fan, you must be a devil with the ladies? And then he calls him Casanova. That always cracks me up.

Mad Jon: Yeah the belt bit was funny, especially when Bart points out it has a sphygmomanometer

Charlie Sweatpants: Anything you want to add Dave, or should we go on to “Burns Baby Burns”?

Dave: Nothing else to add except I enjoyed the sphygmomanometer bit too

not many people would find that funny

ready to move on when you guys are

Charlie Sweatpants: Sure

Mad Jon: Ok

In an effort to milk two posts out of this discussion, and keep this from being a complete waterfall of text, Part 2 (“Burns Baby Burns”) will post tomorrow.

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