432. No Loan Again, Naturally

No Loan Again, Naturally(originally aired March 9, 2009)
We’ve seen many instances before of Homer being an aggressively unlikable protagonist, but here’s an example where it spills into Marge, and where we see the Simpson family are hated town-wide pariahs for some goddamn reason. We start annoyingly enough with Homer’s annual backyard Mardi Gras party, which is absolutely humungous, both in attendance, and the size of their frigging backyard. This is just another exorbitant expenditure that Homer thinks he can get away with his home equity, but when he finds his mortgage rate has gone through the roof, he’s forced to give up the house. Immediately it’s hard to feel bad for him despite his gross ignorance because he was so smug and self-righteous about seemingly pulling a fast one on the bank. Also, Marge appears to be out of the picture, or just an idiot. We see her worry about the cost of the party, then proceed to get drunk anyway. Lovely. At the auction for 742 Evergreen Terrace, a guilty Flanders buys the house, offering to rent it out to the Simpsons.

With Ned as her new landlord, Marge uses this opportunity to take advantage of his good will by putting him to work on numerous odd jobs around the house. She even gossips to her sisters about having her own little personal assistant. Ned understandably gets worn out, leading to an angry phone call from Homer (“Landlords like you are the scum of the Earth! You lounge around in your egg McMansions and we never see you unless the rent check’s late!” “The rent check is late!”) They then proceed to get a news piece on Channel 6 vilifying Ned. Infuriated, Ned wants the Simpsons out of the house by the end of the month. Looking for a loophole, Homer finds he can’t be evicted if there is a senior living in the house, so he carts Grampa over, and of course openly shoves it and laughs in Ned’s face. Ned retaliates by inviting Abe to live at his house, and the Simpsons are out on the street. Again, am I supposed to feel any sympathy toward them given how both Homer and Marge are completely responsible for all of their hardships? Ned nearly signs the house to two new perfect tenants, but I guess because he’s an eternal push-over, invites the Simpsons to move back in. What fucking garbage.

Tidbits and Quotes
– I hate their stupid Mardi Gras party. Marge and Lisa apparently can build a gigantic metallic float on their own. And the backyard is big enough that Homer can ride around in that huge thing. And Marge is such a responsible parent for not only allowing the entire town to get drunk and party all night, but we see her dancing wildly all boozed up herself. Remember how horrified she was at Homer’s drunken antics in “War of the Simpsons”? That and she of course never questions how Homer can afford such an exorbitant event. And the ending features everyone on the block deciding to move now that the Simpsons are back, yet they seem to be a pretty big hit with this party. I could be leaving stuff out, but my teeth have ground into dust so I should probably stop.
– I’m confused why Gil works at the mortgage company and is in a bit of a position of power over the Simpsons. It’s not as bad as “Cross Words,” but it still betrays him being a put-upon loser. Why are they using him like this?
–  The evening before the auction, Homer tries to hang himself from a tree in the front yard in front of his children. I can’t fucking believe it… I mean, we’ve never seen trees on their front lawn before! And we’ve never see them since! Come on… But seriously, I’m glad the show thinks this is funny and acceptable, just like all the other incredibly tasteful jokes they’ve done about suicide. Class act, guys.
– Homer yells at Ned on the phone holding a cigar has got to be amongst his most jerkass-iest moments. I just can’t see how the writers, throughout the entire process of making he episode, didn’t realize how unlikable this paints the Simpsons through the whole thing.
– Should I even comment on Bart’s hair color being naturally red? Nah.
– Ned’s only rationale for getting the Simpsons back, I guess, is, “You can’t be a saint unless you live amongst the lepers.” As in, let me invite back this horrible, horrible family who abused my kindness and good will so I can feel better about myself. And that family are our lovable main characters. The first three HD episodes out of the box and all of them make my skin fucking crawl.

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15 responses to “432. No Loan Again, Naturally

  1. Once again the “satire” on the news report failed and they decided to (once again) beat us over the head with it and the gas leak making a flame like that defies physics completely.

  2. Isn’t this the one where Marge asks if Homer invited Ned Flanders to the backyard party? Why would Marge refer to Ned by his full name like they’re strangers? They’ve lived next to his family for almost a decade (in the show’s timeline, I mean). Besides, Springfield is a fairly small town; what other Ned could she be referring to?

  3. As much as the simpsons has always shirked continuity, to be completely fair as bad as drunk homer was in war of the simpsons, Marge was shit faced first in season 1, episode 4. Marge likes getting wasted outdoors, basically.

    (the actual answer is the writers don’t care where her character has ended up or was before it was just convenient for them to write her that way in this episode.)

  4. no one wants to comment on the recyling of the title? just goes to show how little creativity the writers these days have, and how little effort goes into the making of any of thes episodes. shame shame

    and these people get paid for this. if i was this bad at my job i’d have been canned long ago. but these people just getting more money. yeah thats fair.

    • Jerry Seinfeld once said that the reason nearly all the titles for his series began with “The” was because he didn’t want the writing room wasting time on the title when they should be focusing on the script. That’s darn good advice.

  5. I like the concept of this episode — found it interesting — 1) since I was a landlord at one point [and it was a horrible experience! I was getting nonstop calls and letters from the tenants and random-ass times, night and day, about mostly trivial bullshit] and 2) it potentially puts Flanders in charge of the Simpsons for once, though they don’t really explore that concept too much. Pretty boring episode.

    ” I’m confused why Gil works at the mortgage company ” … well, he WAS a real estate agent so maybe this is the next step? I get your point, that he’s supposed to be a loser and not have any power of the Simpsons, but eh… he has it more over the Simpsons’ HOUSE, not them… it would’ve been so much cooler if Rafael had been working at the mortgage company, though… *in Charles Bronson voice* “hey pally I’m here to take your house.” and so on.

    “we’ve never seen trees on their front lawn before” … are you sure about this? I seem to remember an X-Mas episode you reviewed somewhat recently that also had a tree in their front yard. Kind of a minor point but eh.

  6. It wasn’t a bad episode. Things I liked:
    – the Channel 6 news report on the Simpsons was kinda funny (“the man whose side of the story we didn’t even bother to get”). They didn’t care about the story itself, so they just portrayed Flanders like a devil to have a good story. good satire i thought.
    – Thought the last line by Homer (“I really hate this neighbourhood”) was good at the end, it was a good closure
    – I laughed at loud after Homer’s line after his go at Flanders on the phone. He sees Bart making poptarts on the fire: “BART!!! Don’t forget to turn the chicken.”
    – Homer pretending to be Jesus
    – Homer about his ‘surprise’ he left to the new neighbours; I really expected to see something ridiculous like a bear trao in the toilet or something. The flowers with the card was a good gag
    – Homers comment about the tours, none being exactly alike, “though many of them are very similar.”
    – Easy joke but funny was Flanders looking to see what else was on TV. Blocked, bloced, blocked, blocked, Oh this is good. (channel blocking instructions)
    – “hihihi, kadiddlehopper!”
    – “Will you kids knock it off, I’m trying to watch badminton!”

    What I didn’t like:
    I really hated the suicide attempt (sounds disgusting) by Homer.
    I never really hated Moe’s attempted suicides i guess, probably because he is not a main character and it kinda grows with him.
    I know Homer tried to kill himself before in Eternal moonshine…(maybe more times i don’t remember), but there it kinda had purpose in the story (he had to fall off for the party boat). Plus, he didn’t wanna jump himself, he got pushed at the end. Now, it’s just a gag about him failing at this. This ‘joke’ wouldn’t even be in FG. This isn’t funny and it really shocked me.

  7. Good episode. I liked the “At least it’s not raining” bit especially.

  8. Regarding the tree in the front yard: Five seconds later, we see a shot of the auction in the front yard. No trees. FIVE FUCKING SECONDS.

  9. I wanna say there was a tree in the front yard in Two Bad Neighbours. Homer is in a hammock in the front yard when Bush Sr. and others run past, then SLH joins them.

    Mind you, that’s one episode out of hundreds and heck, even during that episode it didn’t reappear again.

    • My view has always been that you can get away with that kind of disregard for consistency from time to time when your jokes are actually funny. “Two Bad Neighbors” is frickin’ hilarious, so if Homer has a heretofore unseen tree in his front yard for the sake of a joke, sure.

      But this? ::shudders::

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