So, the truth must be known… I love the Simpsons (and King of the Hill). I find that both these shows present some of the best social commentaries available anywhere. That being said, last nights Super Bowl Simpsons episode was amazing!!! Below is a synopsis of the show (thanks to simpsoncrazy.com) After that I have added some clarifying points and close with why I liked it so much:
The family goes to run down Springfield Park, where a carnival is being held to save it. Homer performs a wild crowd-pleasing dance at a local carnival, after beating Bart’s performance in a game. Ned Flanders has captured the performance on videotape and Comic Book Guy (Jeff Albertson) puts it up on the Internet. The video gets worldwide attention, much to Homer’s embarrassment but his tune changes then a football player wants to buy the rights to use his dance as his own end zone celebration. Homer turns the opportunity into a new lucrative occupation, which prospers as other athletes come to learn from him. Meanwhile Ned looks to create his own wholesome entertainment by creating his own versions of bible stories, which get the backing of Mr. Burns. Marge doesn’t like his approach, which eliminates the good aspects of the stories, and only concentrates on the violence. She threatens a boycott, which gets Burns to remove his financial backing, leaving Ned with no creative outlet. The commissioner of football (and all the owners) want to talk to Homer, his teaching of crazy antics to their players have increased their ratings. They want him to choreograph the Superbowl half-time show. Homer struggles for a show idea and on the night before the big show he still doesn’t have one. Homer looks for inspiration at the church, but instead finds Flanders, who is looking for an outlet for his ideas. Together they bring the story of Noah to the half-time show, but everyone boos as no one wanted to see such a “blatant display of
religion and decency.”
OK, so here is what was left out of the above synopsis. The professional athletes who hired homer were not simply hiring him to teach them how to dance, but it is actually a school where he teaches them to be self-absorbed athletes with no regard for anything above themselves. In his first lesson with his ‘students’ he says, “OK, first, take your ball and throw it at the closest authority figure.” (of course they all throw them at him)… but this underscores what the lessons are that he is teaching. There is then a montage of the different athletes celebrating in prideful and distasteful (aka. funny) ways. When the owners approach Homer about doing the show they are essentially saying that people enjoy watching selfish athletes parade around the field with excessive celebration and prideful arrogance. Because Homer taught this to the athletes, the owners want Homer to do the halftime show. As stated above the halftime show was ultimately Ned’s idea and it was a reenactment of Noah and the flood. The show depicted the events and concluded with Ned reading God’s promise to never flood the world again from the bible (reading from the bible on the SIMPSONS). The crowd erupted with BOOO’s. The quote at the end of the above synopsis was given by a mother with two children in a tv interview with Kent Brochman. The mother was appalled and said that no one wanted to see a “blatant display of religion and decency” Her son then pulls on her arm and says, “mommy, why haven’t I been water baptized.” Her reply to the camera was to the extent of, “see what you’ve done.”
The commentary is that it seems that America loves to see self serving pride and arrogance over and above “religion and decency.” WOW!!! Go SIMPSONS! I keep getting stuck on the decency part… that is amazing. We as a culture really do not like things that are decent… wow.
…and don’t even get me started on how the little boy who saw the story of Noah asked about water baptism (this is so subtle that I am certain there is a Christian writing for the simpsons… I mean, I would waager that hardely anyone caught that one…)
Any way, keep your eye out for the re-run… it is well worth the watch…