This week The Simpsons tries its hand at politics and declares “I’m with hair!”
That’s the slogan that Marge employs in her quest to become mayor. After a disaster occurs with the re-purposing of the monorail into a sky-park Marge runs for mayor and when she wins she finds that its not all that its cracked up to be.
The first scene with the sky-park recalls one of the funnier older Simpsons episodes: ‘Marge vs The Monorail’; The cast even recreate some of the song from that episode. Unfortunately, the old monorail begins working again and destroys everything in its path. This includes a statue of Leonard Nemoy whose epitaph reads “He saved Springfield from the monorail.” If you recall Leonard Nemoy proclaimed his work done in that earlier episode with Barney calling him out saying he hadn’t, to which Nemoy coyly replies: “didn’t I”, said as he disappears (to my mind one of the funnier cameos to date).
In ‘The Old Blue Mayor’, Marge takes this opportunity to run for Mayor after Quimby decides not to do anything about the disaster and for belittling her as a woman. The funniest bits come from the short campaign that Marge whips up with the help of Professor Frink and Lindsey Neagle (the town’s resident businesswoman). She targets colourful sectors of the electorate such as the yokel objectivists and exotic pet owners while a campaign song plays in the background.
The debate also serves up some funny bits, in particular after Marge falls upon the platform of Springfielders eating their vegetables, Kent Brockman states, “As moderator, it’s my duty to fact-check that many of them are yucky.” Then in the crowd Moe and Martin get into a silly argument about similes versus metaphors, with Moe finally threatening, “Put in a ‘like’ or an ‘as’ or, so help me, you’re goin’ down.”
Marge eventually wins but finds that political life is not as easy as it looks especially after failing to fulfill her campaign promise of putting out the burning tire yard. She then lashes out at Bart at Homer when they wreck the furniture by saying they should be more like Lisa. Homer then imitates Lisa by saying: “my boyfriend is broccoli.” Problems get worse for Marge as she sees her approval ratings go way down.
The remedy, oddly enough, is Homer. After she delivers some zingers to him on live TV (“Marge do we have any bread?” “Check your chest”) her ratings go back up. After Lindsey checks with Frink if this strategy could work (apparently the math adds up) Marge uses Homer as the butt of every joke in her official duties. This is seen quite literally by the towns Homer parade balloon shooting confetti out of its butt.
In the end Marge can’t take it anymore and realizes that its not worth sacrificing her relationship with Homer for the sake of political gain. So there’s a happy ending until we get a flash forward eight years later. In it we see a library with an exhibit dedicated to Marge’s time as mayor. She and Homer unfortunately have to walk through the ‘impeachment and disgrace’ section to get to the cafeteria. In it we find that there was a scandal that got Marge impeached. But just prior to that exhibit we find out that Marge was responsible for making first contact with the aliens Kodos and Kang so it wasn’t all bad.
All in all this was a good episode. It wasn’t overly funny but the focus on Marge made for a cohesive and easy to follow storyline, which after last week’s crowded episode is much appreciated.
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