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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Too much marathon, not enough time


    Courtesy of FXX Network

    If one were to watch all 552 episodes of the beloved animated series “The Simpsons,” it would take approximately 12 full days.

    No reasonably sane person would have the time to undertake such an endeavor, yet the FXX network has posed the challenge to fans of the yellow-skinned family by airing all 25 seasons non-stop starting Aug. 21.

    The marathon is presently in the middle of the show’s ninth season, which originally aired back in 1997 on Fox. The marathon is expected to end this coming Labor Day with the series’ most recently produced episode, “The Yellow Badge of Cowardice.”

    If you don’t have the stamina of digesting every antic of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, then here is a shortlist of some memorable moments from the episodes that have aired thus far:

    “I Married Marge” (Season 3, Episode 12)

    Dysfunction has always seemed to be the ingredient that has kept Homer and Marge’s marriage afloat for the last quarter of a century. In-between his impulsive drinking and her cautious nagging is a harmony that balances this odd couple. This harmony is uncovered for the first time in this flashback episode to the couple’s shotgun wedding at a casino chapel. The honeymoon is cut short when Homer leaves Marge, believing he’s not the man she deserves. It’s an emotional power punch for this slapstick satire of a series.

    “$pringfield (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)” (Season 5, Episode 10)

    When Springfield unanimously votes to stave off its economic debts by legalizing gambling, a giant casino is erected by the cantankerous tycoon Mr. Burns. This episode interestingly reverses the Simpson family dynamic by unleashing a dangerous gambling addiction on Marge, instead of the more gluttonous Homer. It’s a testament to the fact that every person, even a cartoon character, has their own flaws. Also, Mr. Burns’ descent into a Howard Hughes-like madness over his casino is a poignant commentary on the destructiveness of greed.

    “Bart’s Girlfriend” (Season 6, Episode 7)

    Of the plethora of celebrity talent that has guest starred on “The Simpsons,” few have left such an indelible impression as the marvelous Meryl Streep in this episode about the complexity of grade school romances. When troublemaker Bart resigns his devious ways to win the affection of Reverend Lovejoy’s dainty daughter Jessica (Streep), he is shocked to discover that she secretly has the malice of a femme fatale. Even when she’s playing a cartoon character, Streep manages to steal every scene with a catlike playfulness that underscores her schoolgirl voice. Do they give out Emmys for voice-over performances?

    “Treehouse of Horror VII” (Season 8, Episode 1)

    This ongoing Halloween staple has produced many great horror film parodies over the years, but this rendition from 1996 has perhaps the most versatile vignettes. The lineup includes a callback to the Clinton vs. Dole presidential campaign, a microcosmic society that Lisa accidentally creates from her science experiment and the discovery of Bart’s evil twin. What really tops the cake is the scene of Clinton and Dole walking hand in hand down a public sidewalk. Is their anything scarier than two politicians actually getting along?

    “Homer’s Enemy” (Season 8, Episode 23)

    Homer’s lazy, hoggish antics have always gone unchecked, if not enabled, by all of Springfield. The arrival of a hardworking man named Frank Grimes to the nuclear power plant finally offers an antagonist to highlight the lunacy of Homer’s position in the world: an uneducated buffoon with a full-time job living in a modest, two-story home. Grimes’ criticism of Homer’s behavior turns into an outright obsession that mistakenly leads to his death. The tragedy of this one-time character identifies the fact that sometimes life just isn’t fair.

    Follow Kevin Reagan @KevinReaganUA

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