Archive | Jul 15, 2014

S1, E4: “There’s No Disgrace Like Home”

“It’s not the money as much as the feeling we earned it.” – Lisa


Written by: Al Jean & Mike Reiss

For me, this is all about the set piece: the Simpson family shocking each other in front of an increasingly freaked-out Dr. Marvin Monroe is not just one of the highlights of the first season, but one of the greatest scenes in Simpsons history. 

And the ending, where we see the Simpsons to be so dysfunctional that they get double their money back – enough to buy a 21" TV. Presumably to watch more of the Itchy and Scratchy Show, which makes its first appearance.

That said,  the reason for the visit to Dr. Monroe – outside of the fact that Homer liked his commercial best – Marge, Lisa & Bart misbehaving during the picnic at stately Burns Manor, is at odds at what we later know about those characters. 

Well, not Brat, of course (or Maggie, who already is a silent comedic genius),  but Marge’s silly drunkeness, Lisa’s rambunctiousness and Homer’s concern are mostly in the service of getting them to the point where they think they need to see Dr. Monroe, as opposed who those characters end up being.

And so what? In 1990, none of that mattered when I was falling down laughing as the shock scene escalated.