July 4, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “Pixelated And Afraid”

In which Homer and Marge end up trapped in the wilderness with literally nothing.

Well, now that football and the Winter Olympics are over, I can finally get back to this animated series that is far past its prime.  And while it is another “Homer and Marge have marriage problems” episode, it is noteworthy that neither of them actually make things bad this time.

Yes, it’s all Lisa’s fault.

See, Lisa was watching a Thin Man knock-off and enjoying the romantic escapades of the Nick-and-Nora stand-ins when she sees, well, Homer and Marge just sitting around and watching TV.  Marge is sitting behind Homer with a dustbuster to suck up all the cheet-oh powder that Homer occasionally belches.  Lisa is horrified, seeing her parents after ten years of marriage are not romantic.  She gets Bart to agree soon after, and the two host an intervention to get Homer and Marge to stop watching reality TV survival shows and go to some retreat they won a year ago and never took to a place that doesn’t allow for technology and everything happens at sunrise.

OK, so, here’s the thing:  Homer and Marge themselves seem pretty happy with the way things are going.  Neither is complaining about anything.  They are letting their eight year old daughter tell them they have marital problems because they aren’t living up to an example from a very old movie.  What does Lisa know about a long term relationship?  Her parents say they’ve been married ten years and both of them seem OK with how things are.  And considering Homer and Marge’s age, they’ve been together for the better part of twenty years.  Cripes, let them watch TV with each other if it makes them happy, Lisa!  That’s what a good marriage looks like.  It’s not all glamour and romance.

Anyway, Homer and Marge head out, realize neither of them really wanted to go, and try to turn around, but their car slides off the road thanks to a lot of ice and lands in a frozen river.  They have to jump out.  Homer uses his faulty smartphone to start a fire to dry their clothes.  And yes, they are both pixelated, with Homer even having his chest pixelated in a nice, subtle joke.  They’re miles from anywhere, with no hope of their destination looking for them because the place doesn’t have phones.  There’s something off in the distance, but then Homer and Marge’s clothes fall into the fire and burns to ash.

Much of the rest of the episode shows the two finding the remains of an old honeymoon hideaway, making clothing out of carpeting and other leftover fabrics, building a shelter, catching a fish, and even working together to take out an angry wolverine.  Eventually, Homer sees a park ranger on a snowmobile, and the pair follow the tracks back to civilization.  They then enjoy a sunset together.  And all those survivalist TV shows they watched helped them stay alive.

And that’s it.

So, not a bad episode, but why Homer and Marge went in the first place doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.  They only went out because Lisa (with an assist from Bart) was judging their relationship from a naïve child’s perspective.  Seriously, her parents should have known better by now.  Or, at least, Marge should have.  But having the two of them go off to try and fix marital problems that they arguably did not have?  Cripes, how silly.

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