Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Simpsons "Every Man's Dream" Review

“Marge and Homer break-up in the premiere” was the lone tidbit I found about the 27th season while researching the season. I should clarify. It was the lone tidbit I found about an episode’s content. I knew the cast of Girls leant their voices to the role of Homer’s new girlfriend and the girlfriend’s group of friends. Marge and Homer breaking up has happened three dozen times in the series? I’m an annoying fan of The Simpsons. I don’t regularly follow the show. I haven’t regularly followed it since 2000. I watched a handful of episodes in the last 15 years. I remember previous break-ups between Homer and Marge. Homer referred to past break-up episodes, reminding himself and Lenny and Carl that he needn’t feel sad because him and Marge always end up together in the end. Homer’s right, though. The writers spoke of the newest break-up as final, for presumably no other reason other than a publicity boost. I wondered why Homer’s and Marge’s break-up will bring back fans to the series, why major entertainment news sites would run the news in big bold print, but in this year of the Kermit and Miss Piggy breakup, I know people deeply care for the romantic happiness of fictional characters made of felt and animated cartoons.

The reason? People deeply care about fiction. Fiction connects us with us. The wide world’s littered with social interactions, personal and professional, wherein people become the best version of themselves for the specific interaction. All the world’s a stage and we each play our parts, said a deranged, delusional, power hungry monarch once, and the mad king spoke correctly. Fiction doesn’t require playacting. Fiction lets me and you and everyone we know bring only ourselves to the occasion. I don’t need anyone else around me. I don’t need to modify my personality for the social situation. It’s only me and the page, or the episode, the movie, and the longer one spends with a fiction the more one becomes attached to it. Why do most writers want to write novels and not short stories? Readers live with novels longer. Short stories act as a passing thing. TV’s become more popular than movies for the same reasons (and also for quality).

People lived with Homer and Marge as a couple for a long time. Homer and Marge represent a faithful marriage. They’ve been through grime and muck, but they’ve been through happiness, births, and they always have each other. They show viewers loyalty and love. People feel the same connection to Kermit and Miss Piggy. For a lot of people, fiction lets people escape, experience worlds unknown to them, relationships, too, and it forms a connection. Perhaps part of the reason Marge and Homer apart would bring fans back involves taking away something they always knew existed and lasted because nothing in life lasts forever or always exists. Prince Andrei will always fall in love with Natasha Rostova when he hears her tell Sonia her desire to fly into the night sky. The Vane sisters will always that French literature professor a day perfect for him, and he’ll always be unable to perceive it.

Homer and Marge don’t break-up. “Every Man’s Dream” has four separate dreams shared between Homer and Marge. Homer and Marge meet new loves. Homer’s in love with a Girls offshoot, which gives the writers a chance to poke fun at millenials (they complain about problems they don’t have; they ironically like things). The dream structure makes possible one thing, the only thing that matters for the episode: sustaining the idea that Homer and Marge won’t reunite at the end. Homer dreams a dream about dreaming, which ultimately is a dream of Marge’s . Until Marge wakes-up, the viewer doesn’t know they haven’t broken up; however, it’s obvious the two won’t marry different people. “Every Man’s Dream” happens mostly while Homer’s asleep at a marriage counselor. The counselor, at the end of the episode, before she provides a clear and concise solution to marriages says she can’t really reduce marriage to a clear and concise answer. Marriage is complicated. Sure, Homer and Marge dream about their lives separate from each other. Homer’s subconscious, voiced by Lena Dunham, reminded him he married his first girlfriend—his first everything. I liked that even they don’t know why they together, but they do. No, the ending doesn’t repeat past endings in which they remembered their love for each other (I’m thinking of the movie). They endure. There’s nobility in endurance, too.

Other Thoughts:

-I meant to write about the last five premieres of the series. I didn’t, for various reasons. I finally wrote about a Simpsons season premiere. I really liked “Every Man’s Dream.” I dig multi-narratives happening on top of the story.

-Moe escaping via the side-door after Homer’s hipster girlfriend asked for a hipster drink was great. I love Moe. The episode featured a good chunk of Lenny and Carl. Carl noted that Homer’s still late to work despite sleeping in his office.

-When did Mr. Burns lose his edge and menace? I read the uncertainty about Harry Shearer’s future with the show reduced the role of Burns. Homer nearly murdered Burns by pushing him out the window using his domino chair arrangement, and, later, Burns meekly accepts Homer’s narcolepsy diagnosis as Homer’s reason for not wearing shoes to work.

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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.