December 7, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “Sideshow Bob Roberts”

In which we learn Mayor Quimby would probably vote for you if you ran for mayor.

What a star-studded episode of The Simpsons!  Kelsey Grammer!  Dr. Demento!  Larry King!  Henry Corden (the second Fred Flintstone)!  Archie!

Homer needs to stay out of Riverdale.

Truth be told, I’m not sure how I feel about this episode.  I do appreciate it when The Simpsons mocks the American governmental system, voters, culture, and, oh everything.  But this episode names specific real world political parties, and as much as there is some effort to mock the Democratic party in the form of Mayor Quimby, I’m not crazy about the way the show takes easy shots at the GOP.  It’s lazy.  There’s no need to say Sideshow Bob or Mr. Burns are Republicans alongside Dracula.  And, given Kelsey Grammer himself has stated he holds conservative political values, I do wonder how he feels about that sort of thing, and the general lack of creativity for the depiction of both political parties.

Then I look at the state of the current presidential election and think The Simpsons wasn’t going far enough.

Oh well.

It happens.

How can a convicted felon get so many votes when running for mayor, even after a campaign ad that mentions he himself was twice convicted of attempted murder.  I mean, it’s not a crime, is it?  It’s not like there’s a Nobel Prize for Attempted Chemistry.  But elected he is, and his first act is either to send Bart down to kindergarten (where he’s actually flourishing), or to demolish the Simpson house to build the new Matlock Expressway (Grandpa approves).

It’s a good thing Smithers is worried about his own lifestyle that he would actually go behind Mr. Burns’ back to lay some clues on who actually voted for Bob.

Yeah, it turns out it was dead people.  Some secret ballot.

Bob confesses in court after being goaded by Bart and Lisa, goes back to jail–minimum security this time–and Joe Quimby is mayor again for some reason.  That Rush Limbaugh-ish guy that apparently has his show running all damn day is still on the air, but it’s not like we’ll be seeing much of Birch Barlow in the future.  The whole episode takes time to reference such stuff as the Watergate scandal, Citizen KaneA Few Good MenAll the President’s Men, and all the singers who died in the plane crash that inspired the song “American Pie”.

But yeah, it wasn’t Quimby’s fault that the stadium collapsed.  So why not let him stay mayor?