Sunday, February 20, 2005

Same-sex Springfield

The online gamblers were right: Marge's sister Patty was the character who revealed herself as gay on tonight's episode of The Simpsons, which boldly tackled the gay-marriage debate with a predictable mixture of poignance and hilarity.

It'll be interesting to see how fundamentalist Christians, some of whom have heaped praise on The Simpsons for being one of the few television programs to show the faithful in a positive light, react to an episode that was highly sympathetic to gay people and gay-marriage proponents. Maybe we'll come full circle back to the time when shrill critics warned that Bart would bring on the apocalypse by skateboarding and saying "eat my shorts."

Regardless, I'm impressed that the show is old enough to have a driver's license and yet has managed to remain both entertaining and relevant throughout its run. The Simpsons just continues to cement its place as the best cartoon program in television history.

8 Comments:

Blogger Nick Beadle said...

The writers might own have the keys, but remember who owns the car: Fox still put a "Viewer Discretion is Advised" tag on that episode.

I wonder what type of PSA they'll have to show for this sin since they had to show the Muslim one for 24.

"I am a crazed right-wing American."

On a far too related note, Gerald Allen vs. the UAB theater group on Fox 6 News at 10 made me laugh my ass off tonight. Fox 6 showing off it's credibility, of course, by portraying a bunch of 18-22-year-olds that think they can act as First Amendment experts instead of finding a legal expert for God's sake.

"It's totally a violation of First Amendment rights. I mean, it like has to be. Right?"

Television is making America stupider.

Roll Tide.

1:33 AM  
Blogger Nick Beadle said...

By the way, I didn't proof my post. If you didn't notice.

1:34 AM  
Blogger Rurality said...

We usually watch Simpsons but somehow managed to miss it last night... can't believe we missed all the excitement LOL.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Max said...

I didn't really even think it was all that good an episode, to be completely honest.

The New Democrat

1:19 PM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

It was far from the best episode in history -- pretty much any episode centered on Homer is better -- but I think this episode was as much about opening dialogue as eliciting laughter, and it had that effect. Besides, the idea that the town legalized gay marriage solely to make a quick buck was funny.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Patti being the one to come out was obvious, because if I remember correctly, she and Smithers were hidden inside an "In the Closet" float during a Gay Pride Parade on an episode a few seasons ago. Nevertheless, it was a pretty good story with a few belly laughs. I was also proud of the writers for at least mentioning the relationship of Lenny and Carl, as they are together most of the time, and Lenny once carved "Mt. Carlmore," a mountain in the shape of Carl's head. (And there are probably other hints.)

It seems as though the show writers are creating more episode-specific Web sites, as the one featured on tonight's episode was real. The Super Bowl episode also included a Web site with pictures and video from the episode.

Homer's map to the stars homes was an homage to the multiple gags that require a VCR to catch (or a DVD player if you have the episodes on DVD), as the map was on the screen longer than the usual "pause gag" and Homer asking if the audience had read it all yet.

Mark Pinsky's "The Gospel According to The Simpsons" is a good read, and even though it was written back in 2001, it highlights many of the religious references during the series. Pinsky could probably add a few more chapters covering the seasons since then to create a newer edition, but adding the additional religious references and discussions on such would not be a light task.

J.B.G.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Susan of LocalTint said...

"Gerald Allen vs. the UAB theater group on Fox 6 News at 10 made me laugh my ass off tonight. Fox 6 showing off it's credibility, of course, by portraying a bunch of 18-22-year-olds that think they can act as First Amendment experts instead of finding a legal expert for God's sake."Glad I'm not the only one amused/disgusted with local "news" broadcasts around here. I can't decide which is worst (which is to say: best at pandering to a conservative, Baptist, homophobic audience who check their kids out of school at the first sign of a tornado watch), but I think it's between FOX6 and NBC13.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

Surely I'm not the only one who remembers the finest hour of Birmingham television news: CBS 42's giant clock that filled the screen for 30 minutes every weeknight for months as the station changed its call letters and retooled its newscast a few years ago.

Then, finally, it was time for the big debut of the new broadcast. And when the Nielsen ratings came out shortly thereafer, what do you know? The clock got higher numbers than the newscast.

9:55 AM  

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