June 2, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “Tennis The Menace”

In which backyard tennis nearly tears a family apart.

Wikipedia tells me that guest star Andre Agassi was praised for his funny delivery in this episode.

Dude, he had two lines, consisting of a total of four words, and half of those words were his own name.

He still did a better job than Pete Sampras.

There’s a moment early on in this one where Grampa wonders aloud how he and Homer went from funeral shopping for the old man to Homer getting a backyard tennis court.  Homer responds about you can never see that sort of thing coming.  So, you know, even he’s aware the opening often has nothing to do with the rest of the episode.

But what a mess for Homer.  He didn’t even know what tennis was until he saw his two kids practicing.  He thought it was the sport where the two chicks whale on each other.  That being foxy boxing, he’s a bit out of luck.

But actually, having a backyard tennis court makes the Simpsons very popular.  They start having regular matches in the backyard with anyone who isn’t Ned Flanders.  But Homer rather sucks, and Marge resents that.  She wants to win once in a while, especially after she overhears other people in town mocking their tennis ability.  If Chief Wiggum has one over you, you must be terrible.

That’s too bad.  As awful a player as Homer was, he was enjoying himself all the same.  The whole win-loss thing didn’t matter as much as enjoying himself.  Marge decided she’d rather win and got a new partner for a tournament an upset Homer entered them into.  Yup, Marge wins a match or three…with Bart.  And poor Homer didn’t even see it as a threat to his masculinity until Marge apologized for possibly exposing a threat to his masculinity.

Sure, Homer tries his own luck by adding Lisa to his doubles team before going to compete against his wife and son in a charity tournament against balcony collapse, supported by Krusty of course, but Lisa’s more ambivalent attitude towards winning prompts Homer to quickly recruit the Williams sister that seems less outraged by the idea.  Then the other one goes in for Bart, Sampras jumps in for Marge, and the apparently hilarious Andre Agassi takes Homer’s spot.

Well, that was something.  And a quick looting of Sampras’ gym bag provides money for dinner, so Homer may have gotten out ahead anyway.

So, I’m guessing the tennis court is next to the Simpsons’ pool in future episodes, right?

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