I’m hard-pressed to find a 5 For Friday based on any movies being released this week, so I figured I would take this opportunity to dip back into well known as The Simpsons. In case you haven’t heard, FXX is going to start airing episodes of The Simpsons in August and to kick it off, they will be having a 12 day marathon (as well as launching a Simpsons-centric streaming app). This is exactly what the 10-year old version of me would do if he had to program a TV network, so I’m pretty excited about this.
A majority of the Simpsons’ lives revolve around their television, so I’m going to take the opportunity to pick my favorite moments from The Simpsons involving television.
5. Rock Bottom
Back in the 90s, sensationalist news programs were all the rage. Nowadays, we have sensationalist 24-hour news networks, so the idea of Hard Copy and A Current Affair almost seems kind of quaint in comparison.
In “Homer Bad Man”, Homer becomes a local yellow news headline all his own, as he’s accused of sexually harassing the kids’ babysitter. Any one of the faithful fans will know that that’s not Homer’s style. He was simply grabbing for the gummy Venus de Milo, of which he blew up an entire candy convention in order to take.
In an effort to clear his name, Homer goes on Rock Bottom, only to have his story butchered by the worst editor in television news. The clock jumping back and forth from each cut is a nice touch.
4. “Lisa, the dog is barking.”
For some reason, it seems like every single local news program needs a segment in which they shame people like shifty landlords and shyster repairmen. They have no legal precedent to show up and shove their cameras in the faces of these people, but I guess it makes for good television on a slow news day.
For Channel 6, this segment involves a dog that has to bark both the open and close of the segment, which is called Bite Back with Kent Brockman. The joke is that the barking goes on for waaaay to long and when Lisa tries to talk over it, Homer shushes her. It’s hilarious, I promise.
3. Homer Steals Cable
We’ve probably all thought about stealing cable (though, most of us probably don’t know how to go about doing that), especially after spending half your night fighting with the customer service department over at Comcast, but Homer actually lives the dream. Again, this is probably more of an artifact of the 90s; these days, people just share HBOGo passwords.
When Homer steals cable, it sets off a moral conundrum inside Lisa. She realizes that stealing is wrong, but she also knows that her father isn’t necessarily a bad person for doing so. Bart, on the other hand, takes the opportunity to become a smut peddler, which is exactly what you’d think he’d do in the situation.
2. The Mr. Plow Commercial
This episode is a classic among classics. Anyone with a marginal knowledge of The Simpsons can probably recite the Mr. Plow theme song, so it should come as no surprise that the commercial itself would place so high on the list.
It’s not just the song, though; it’s everything, especially Grandpa as Old Man Winter. Grandpa was an underrated homerun hitter in the heyday of this show and his unceremonious exit of the commercial is just the subtle joke that the show perfected.
1. Homer Voices Poochie
Poochie was an unmitigated disaster, but luckily, this later Golden Era episode was anything but a disaster.
The Simpsons have a tendency to be self-referential and, arguably, that’s the main point of this episode. Without knowing too much about the producers’ relationship with FOX, but I assume this episode was a call-to-action based on some notes given to them by some executives. Poochie is loud and totally in my face, but he prevents us from getting to the fireworks factory, which is an inexcusable sin.