440. Four Great Women and a Manicure

Four Great Women and a Manicure(originally aired May 10, 2009)
I thought I was done with these three story episodes… and I guess I was right. Now I’m stuck with one last four story episode, and it’s just as boring and lazy as anything else we’ve seen before it. It retells the stories, kind of, of four great women throughout history, both historical and fictional. First, Queen Elizabeth I (Selma) and her quest to find a suitable husband. Second is Snow White (Lisa) and the Seven Dwarfs, hilariously renamed to avoid a lawsuit from the Blue-Haired Lawyer. This follows along the lines of Disney style parodies we’ve seen in the past, where the only difference is the backgrounds and some characters have colored outlines. Third takes place in the “real world” where Homer is stuck playing a tree in a company theater version of MacBeth, and Marge, channeling the frustrated Lady MacBeth, urges her husband to murder his way to the top in the starring role, in a segment that feels like it would be more at home in a Treehouse of Horror. Lastly, Maggie portrays free-thinking architect Howard Roark, not a woman, from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. She’s voiced by Jodie Foster, and gives an eloquent speech about individualism, which I guess is supposed to be funny. It’s not. None of this is funny. And the stories feel even more rushed and fractured because there’s less time to tell them. But at least this is the last one of these shows I’ll ever have to watch, ever.

Tidbits and Quotes
– The wrap-around, as the title suggests, features Marge taking Lisa to get her first manicure. Lisa is as radically feminist as ever, staunchly against gussying herself up, and how women don’t need no men! Her telling the Snow White story ends with her being saved… by a lady doctor. Ugh.
– I’m usually not fond of when the exaggeratedly stereotypical Julio makes an appearance, but I did get a bit laugh out of Azaria’s performance of his final line (“Normally I love to see flaming dreamboats heading my way, but not like this, baby! Not like this!!”)
– Lots of “jokes” about bisexuality, with Selma remaining unclear of who she is professing her love to, Homer or Marge (!), and then the end with the dwarfs singing that they’re gonna make out with each other (“We’re bi, we’re bi, we’re bi!”) Because bisexuality is weird and we should make fun of it.
– Dwarf Moe steps forward to give a sleeping Lisa the kiss of life… and I’m very much creeped out.
– The third segment is incredibly uncomfortable. Nothing in it makes sense at all, why Marge would be so insane about Homer committing multiple homicides, why offing Mel would immediately give him the starring role, when everyone else in the play is a better actor than him. They even lampshade one of the dozens of logic lapses, where Homer questions why there’s a new review of the play printed every day listing the latest outstanding actors. Homer is apprehensive and reluctant about all of the killings, yet when he’s brutally doing so, he seems vicious and content about it. And the whole thing ends with him committing suicide rather than read. Great punchline.
– I guess if I had to pick, the fourth one is the best. It’s so hamfisted with the instructor (“Mediocrity rules!”) but the idea of this guy cutting Maggie down to the level of the other babies is kind of amusing (“Let’s see what your children have done, shall we? Don’t brace yourselves, you will believe your eyes.”)

20 thoughts on “440. Four Great Women and a Manicure

  1. Remember when this show satirised objectivism way back in A Streetcar Named Marge? Well, now they endorse it in the same context. I guess the show’s written by 16 year olds now.

    I’m not going to go into why I hate Objectivism and Libertarianism, I only want to point out the difference of ideology.

    1. I don’t think this episode is endorsing Objectivism. I think the writers at this point are too incompetent to endorse or satirize anything. They just state what Objectivism is, and assume we’ll laugh because it’s coming from a baby.

      1. What other times has Bart not spoken? I’d always thought that Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa had a line in every single episode, except that Marge doesn’t speak (and only has one scene) in Krusty Gets Kancelled.

      2. Strangely, while I knew that about Marge not having a line in Krusty Gets Kancelled, it’s caused me to watch closely in episodes to see if there are ones where Maggie doesn’t appear at all. However, she’s always there… even if it’s only for a “sucking” sound and a 5 second background shot, she’s in every episode…

      3. Interesting… the SNPP episode capsules of The Last Temptation of Homer, Team Homer, and Lisa’s Date With Density all say Maggie doesn’t appear in those episodes. The Maggie File at SNPP agrees and adds Das Bus, but that doesn’t seem to be true. I’m wondering if any of those are correct?

  2. I actually liked the third segment, because it was the least boring…unless I’m confusing it with Tales from the Public Domain’s Hamlet? You’re right about it belonging in a Treehouse of Horror, though. It requires that much suspension of disbelief.

    Marge’s comment before the last segment, about how they always stop after 3 stories, also got a small chuckle.

  3. 4 episodes left, Mike. It’s been quite the journey. Still planning on maybe watching the 20th Anniversary Special to get the bad taste of these ep’s out of your mouth? … or… Do you have a PS2 or a Wii or a 360? You might enjoy The Simpson Game …

    1. I’ll watch the anniversary special at the end as part of my wrap-up. I’ve played the Simpsons Game on DS, and a little bit on Xbox. The camera and control I’d pretty terrible. But I did enjoy the overall story of the family being conscious of being video game characters and wanting answers, from Matt Groening, all the way up to God Himself.

      1. I’d say Hit n Run is the best Simpsons game because it captured the world of Springfield. For those of you not sure which one I am referring to, this was the GTA type sandbox game and I had a blast playing through it.

      2. Hit N Run is the best one I’ve played, but I’ve always wondered how good Virtual Springfield was…

      1. I don’t remember Virtual Springfield being buggy, but it is rather small. You might find it enjoyable, but I think you can uncover all of its content within an hour or two, with the possible exception of the card-collecting minigame that takes you to a website that’s probably been gone since 1999 or so.

  4. Mike – great to see the first of your animation posts on DHS. Look forward to seeing what you do once this adventure-slash-ordeal is finally over for you.

    PS. The Simpsons Game plot is ripped off from Blade Runner / League Of Gentlemen Apocalypse / Red Dwarf: Back To Earth and about 20 other things, isn’t it?

  5. “Lots of “jokes” about bisexuality, with Selma remaining unclear of who she is professing her love to, Homer or Marge (!),”

    That wasn’t a bisexual joke. The joke with “I love you” was Homer/Raleigh cheating on Selma/Elizabeth with Marge, and her “I love you” could have been interpreted as a romantic love for Homer or a sisterly love for Marge. her being angry at both of them.

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