Simpsons Did It!: “A Star Is Born Again”

The Simpson family isn’t actually all that important this time around, so let’s look at their neighbor Ned Flanders.

It’s been a long time since Maude Flanders passed away, and while Ned has had some minor bits of luck on the dating scene, nothing has really stuck fast.  And when the red stinging jellyfish return to the Springfield as they do at the same time every year, it reminds poor Ned just how alone he still is.

The only thing left to do is head off to the Leftorium and do some tax paperwork.  While there, a gorgeous woman that sounds exactly like guest star Marisa Tomei comes in looking for a left-handed eyelash curler.  Ned’s old-fashioned ways, odd manner of speech, and his complete ignorance of whom this woman is prompts her to ask him out to dinner.  She then tells him to call her at a local hotel and gives him a pseudonym.  Ned accepts, and it’s only when he’s exiting his store for the evening that he spots a poster for a new movie.  The movie?  My Best Friend’s Gay Baby.  The woman?  She’s the star.  Her name?  Sara Sloane.

Yes, Ned Flanders of all people has a date with a movie star.

And actually, it works out well.  Sure, Ned is on-set to stop a sex scene for the movie she’s filming in Springfield, and he has to deal with her exes like Rainer Wolfcastle, but he’s doing well and Sara really likes him.

She likes him so much, she asks him to return to Hollywood with her.

That won’t work for Ned.  He pictures a nightmare realm where Simpsons head honcho James L. Brooks offers him cake with a bourbon glaze and tells him there’s no football team, and Rod and Tod are movie producers.  Oh, and they’re now Jewish.  That’s a nightmare for Ned.

But Sara decides she can stay in Springfield.  She does try to fit in.  Marge even invites Sara to her book club, only for Sara to arrive as not only the only person to have read Bridget Jones’ Diary, but also the only one able to invite author Helen Fielding along.  Fielding says Americans don’t get clever British humor anyway and runs off to “Yakety Sax”.

But the one thing Sara really wants that Ned isn’t sure he can deliver is sex.  Finally, Ned consults the Bible and finds a few verses saying it was OK and a small pile that said it wasn’t.  A handy gust of wind blows away all but one about wheat harvests and that’s good enough for Ned to give in to physical temptation.

And it was the best sex Sara’d had since she broke up with Bob Balaban!  Of course, Ned doesn’t do that all the time, and he says she can have more once they get married.  Sara’s not ready for that.  Neither of them are ready for the fact they did it outdoors and the Springfield Anti-Lupus Fun Run is coming through.

So, Sara goes back to Hollywood, and then marries and quickly divorces super-hunk Bob Balaban.

As for Ned, women like him now.  I guess he’ll be OK.

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