655. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

Original airdate: March 10, 2019

The premise:
After taking a tumble down the stairs, Homer and Marge are told to take it easy in their middle age. But while Marge takes up kitesurfing after getting better, Homer has taken to being as immobile as possible out of fear of getting injured again.

The reaction: The last two entries I talked about how much I wished the series would take a chance on devoting episodes to the secondary cast, and episodes like these are why. Another Homer-Marge tiff? Can’t get enough of ’em! I will say that the beginning I did kind of enjoy, where Homer and Marge sneak into a wedding expo wearing someone else’s name tags and have a great time. Later, Homer as “Dr. Heffernan” is whisked away to deliver a keynote, but rather than be an elongated scene of him making a fool of himself, we cut to see him and Marge bluffing their way through the presentation to the crowd’s enthusiasm. That was pretty adorable. Getting home, Homer almost carries Marge all the way up the stairs before he cracks his back, sending them both all the way down. Marge is left with a light ankle sprain, and Homer a herniated disc. The ensuing episode then turns into Marge, after healing quickly, taking up an extreme sport and being annoyed that Homer would rather sit around and do nothing while he heals. This is all the “fault” of Homer’s hallucinated personification of his hernia (voiced by Wallace Shawn), who urges him to listen to doctor’s urges to rest and why bother getting up if you’re just going to risk getting hurt again. This second element muddies the waters a bit of Homer’s motivations; beyond the fact I don’t know how long it takes for a hernia to heal, Homer is a lazy sloth, but also appears to be genuinely concerned about this happening to him again. Or is that just his internal excuse to continue being a lazy blob? I’m not fully sure. Initially Marge takes up kite surfing specifically without Homer (“I’m not letting Homer drag me down this time!”), and later gets angry and annoyed at him for not wanting to go to the beach (“If you don’t come after me, there’s a big problem!”) Because I’m not sure the extent of Homer’s actual pain, or how much time has gone by since the accident, Marge comes off kind of terribly here. Homer is borderline agoraphobic thanks to his hernia vision pumping his head full of the dangers of the outside world, but Marge seems to not really give a shit. Eventually, Homer gets to the beach and wins back his wife… blah blah blah. The story wraps up by eighteen minutes in, so these scripts must be getting shorter and shorter. Just thinking about this, I would love an episode featuring Marge as an unintentional antagonist, where she has to choose between something new and fun and Homer, Homer doesn’t want to feel like he’s weighing her down and refuses to let Marge give up, Marge realizing she was lashing out at Homer to harshly, and then all coming up with a happy compromise… I dunno, something like that. But recent years have seen far too many instances of Marge being unnecessarily cold to Homer (or worse, Lisa) for very thin reasons. Not a good look.

Three items of note:
– In the first act, the kids are left in the responsible care of… Shauna? Oh dear God… Jimbo promptly sneaks in and they make out a bunch. I guess to the writers that’s excellent social satire on teenagers and a great scene punctuation. When Homer and Marge get home, Homer shoos Shauna, Jimbo and the other bullies out of his living room, and then he and Marge proceed to go upstairs without checking to see if the kids are even in the house (they’re not).
– Marge wheels into the TV room on a little trolley to elevate her injured ankle, but it also has a little tray in the front full of snack foods. It seems like she’s delivering them to Homer to eat on the couch, but then she just leaves the scene. All that food has to be for Homer, right? Who else would it be for? Did the scene get cut? And also, it kind of undercuts Marge’s utter frustration at Homer’s obesity in the very next scene if she was going to be delivering salty snacks directly to her husband’s fat face.
– The show gets its mileage out of Marge’s New Zealand kite surfing coach and his thick accent, which leads to the extended final scene featuring him to be outed as a spy interested in shadowing Homer at the nuclear power plant (“The Crepes of Wrath,” anyone?) The ending also features Wiggum in a life-like Homer suit and an outro styled after the Mission: Impossible TV show for no reason. Again, the script was very short.

One good line/moment: Again, I did enjoy Homer and Marge both having a good time at the wedding expo play-acting as husband-and-wife wedding planners (“Buy our book if we have one!”) The backseat of their car being chock full of free swag when they get home was also a nice touch.

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16 responses to “655. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

  1. I don’t have anything to say for this episode, it’s just a bunch of stuff that happened. But next episode is the one where Bart becomes a competitive gamer. This is the lone season 30 episode I’ve been looking forward to simply because it sounds so fucking bad being one of those “Simpson become instantly talented” episodes. But who knows? Maybe there will be the occasional funny bit. I can’t wait to see your reaction towards it.

  2. To be honesty, after the “Stark Raving Dad” debacle this weekend, I found myself unable to even focus on this episode at all. I just don’t give a shit about these new episodes since the people in charge clearly don’t give a shit about their history. I think they finally gave me my reason to drop the show for good. I’ll continue to check out your review, but I think at this point, I’m done. Matt Groening can go fuck himself. James L Brooks can go fuck himself. Fox can go fuck themselves. Matt Selaman can go fuck himself. Al Jean can go fuck himself. The Simpsons can go fuck themselves.

    • Boy, I always considered you the biggest modern Simpsons apologist, so for you to go thermonuclear on this as your last straw with the show… kinda hard to believe.

      • Then I shall take over the role of best Modern Simpsons apologist and say I actually liked this episode. It was one of the more believable marriage crisis episodes that doesn’t feel like Marge has Stockhomer Syndrome or Homerline Personality Disorder. Probably because it only happened toward the last act.

        And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but… despite it being a bit uncomfortable with the violin and the Tunnel-Craft con last year, I actually kinda laughed at Bart torturing Homer with the beer. Maybe because he shouldn’t’ve had it anyway… and… shockingly…. I laughed at Homer’s attempt to strangle him despite the fact that he couldn’t, which may make this the first time I laughed at a strangling gag since “A Tale of Two Springfields”. Maybe because they didn’t draw too much attention to it or draw it out?

        While I usually am not fond of the use of Shauna, I think she served a good purpose here. I’d like to see her more in teen plots like babysitting, instead of writing Bart and Lisa as teens. Plus, I like how it came back around with Lisa asking Shauna and Jimbo about love.

        My favorite lines were probably the one with the wind farm (“We need to tell the hospital… they won’t get any wind!”) and the list of wedding trends. Also the hat on the nude beach.

    • Well, no sane person would defend the people behind the recent “Stark Raving Dad” censorship, but I would have not believed you to give up like this. Welcome to the club!

      • Jebus-Kwijbo

        I’m surprised he lasted this long. Then again, I’ve lasted this long too. True, it’s obvious that this is a very stupid move on Fox/Disney’s part (much like the whole Apu situation last year), but the show’s been going down its downward spiral for the better part of two decades. Why anyone would defend the show outside of observational purposes is beyond me.

      • +Jebus-Kwijbo
        I’ve always seen him as sincere die-hard fan, and the fact that such a awful move by Fox (okay, we know it’s the disgusting Disney co.) made him stop is a proof that he was actually sincere, somehow.
        But yeah, “Why anyone would defend the show outside of observational purposes is beyond me”. Couldn’t agree more. I actually think Mike and his blog keeps a lot of people in front of this show, even if only for masochism.

    • I still think this episode is very worth watching. More worth watching than most Season 30, 29 or 28 episodes anyway. For your sake, I hope something sways them to change their mind about removing Stark Raving Dad and realize they made a mistake by listening to the Finding Neverland documentary. I still liked the twist at the end concerning that lifeguard with the weird accent, especially since it gave the scenes of Chief Wiggum being at the beach a lot more purpose than I originally thought on my first viewing today.

  3. Is this just Jaws Wired Shut 2.0?

    • No, that would be “Kamp Krustier”. Here, Marge was upset that Homer was lazy, not that he wasn’t a livewire.

      • I found it funny when Ralph Wiggum was inexplicably in the lobster tank, but I think Venom did that joke way better.

      • Well, in that case, thank goodness this good episode is the opposite of those bad episodes.

  4. I was glad and relieved that Homer and Marge were able to work it out. I was concerned this might be the time they finally end things for real.

    • Sounds plausible when you think Season 30 should be the end of The Simpsons. I think this episode is what Every Man’s Dream should have been, and it doesn’t end with it being a dream. I actually found this Season 30 episode to be…on the level of your average, not great, not terrible, just good classic episode, but in the new seasons. And Wallace Shawn had a lot of material, unlike most modern The Simpsons guest voices.

  5. I always thought that the reason why Marge went kite surfing without Homer weighing her down, but had a problem with him not coming (“If you don’t come after me, there’s a big problem!”) was because she wanted to know if he still cared about her enough to follow her on his own.

  6. I found it funny when Ralph Wiggum was inexplicably in the lobster tank, but I think Venom did that joke way better.

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