The Simpsons started with a Christmas episode. Now we have another one. It’s not quite the tradition Halloween is, is it?
Before we go too far, let’s take a minute to discuss this episode’s guest star, Lawrence Tierney. The tough guy actor had…a reputation. He may have gotten into a fistfight with Quentin Tarantino on the set of Reservoir Dogs. He terrorized the set of Seinfeld in his only appearance on that show as Elaine’s father, and so traumatized everyone Larry David used the threat of bringing him back as a way for keeping everyone in line for a long time. And, apparently, he gave the writers and producers of The Simpsons nothing but trouble. He wanted to do everything in a bad Southern accent. He didn’t want to record any line if he didn’t get the joke. And he was a pain in the butt. The only way they got the performance they wanted out of the guy was basically to trick him into doing a practice run in his normal voice and then used that one on the air.
So, with that out of the way, let’s look at this episode.
Yes, it’s Christmas time again, and Bart wants the latest fighting game Bonestorm. Buy him Bonestorm, or go to Hell, just like the commercial says. Milhouse has one, and Milhouse for some reason won’t share. Bart’s only option is to go to the local story, the Try-N-Save, and look pitiful at the game and hope someone buys it for him. Like that’ll work.
Then Nelson and Jimbo show off their shoplifting stashes and Bart decides to just swipe a copy. Bart gets caught by the story detective Don Brodka (Tierney). Though Brodka does call Bart’s house to tell Homer and Marge what Bart did, all he really did was leave a detailed message on the family answering machine, and Bart was home fast enough to hide that tape.
Remember when answering machines had tapes?
That might have worked had Marge not scheduled a family Christmas portrait be taken at the Try-N-Save the next day. The truth comes out there.
But rather than get angry at Bart, like Homer does, Marge just shuts down and realizes her special little guy isn’t a little kid anymore, and this makes her sad and distant. And while Homer’s proposed punishment of no stealing for a month may or may not happen, Bart soon realizes he misses Marge’s mothering. So much so that he’d take to spending time with Milhouse’s mom for that fix.
Can Bart fix things? Well, yes. All he has to do is go down to the Try-N-Save and get a new picture of himself taken, one that Marge can find touching. And for his reward, Bart got a new video game. Yes, it’s a putting challenge game, but it was still Marge buying that gift.
Let’s hope Marge likes Homer’s gift of a new ironing board cover.