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33 Short Films About Springfield...

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12) "King-Size Homer" Disability. To Homer this word is like the light at the end of the tunnel. Sick of the power plantís new employee exorcise program Homer tries his hardest to hit a heavy goal weight in order to qualify for disability and work out of his home. He accomplished his goal, but not without a little help from Dr. Nick Riviera ("If you are unsure about a certain food, simply rub it on a piece of paper. If the paper turns clear, then it is your window to weight gain!"), a lot of food, and a little bit of Play-doh. Clad in moo-moo and large hat Homer quickly becomes the laughing stock of the neighborhood. Some of the better parts of this episode have to be the Drinking Bird sequence, Homer trying to teach himself to use a surprisingly simple computer system, Bartís grotesque vision of his bedridden self in the future, and the once again ironic ending that Simpsons have rightfully become known for.

11) "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" I have heard some say that this episode was overrated. Iíve heard some say it was the best they have ever seen. I side with neither of them. I feel that this two-parter was amazingly hilarious for a plot idea that somehow seemed forced. The sundial thing was a bit pushed, but the rest of it was really wonderful. Great jokes, and the perfect setup so that one really has to wonder who did it (my guess was wrong, by the way). Take away the humor and you have a really great mystery. Leave it in and you have a really great Simpsons episode. You win either way with "Who Shot Mr. Burns?"

Please note that once we hit the top ten, I am listing my all-time favorites. It was really hard to number them up here, as they were all so great. Please note that many of them can be flopped around within these final ten spaces but, when it comes down to it, I really believe I got them sorted correctly.

10) "A Fish Called Selma" The ultimate Troy McClure episode also comes very close to becoming the ultimate Simpsons episode. One finally learns what shattered Troyís flat-lining acting career ("Thereís Troy McClure! I thought you said he was dead!" "No, what I said was he sleeps with the fishes. You see-") and we all get to watch and enjoy ourselves as he finally raises it up once more, quintessential Hollywood style. A lot of a great bit character, more than enough comedy to gag you on your own sense of humor, and a "Planet of the Apes" sequence that needs to be seen to be believed makes "A Fish Called Selma" more than worthy of its admirable position in the top ten.

9) "Team Homer" Commonly known as "The Bowling Episode," "Teem Homer" sees Homer Simpson, Apu Nehasapeemapetilon, Moe, and even Mr. Burns on a bowling teem headed for the top. This episode has some of the best sequences The Simpsons has ever seen, such as Mr. Burns after a dosage of ether, his hilarious visions of Homer and Hans Moleman, Otto going for his lobster harmonica, Moeís attempt at a Tonya Harding-type maneuver, Smithers "helping" Mr. Burns to bowl better, and Burnsís misplaced pride in his bowling skill ("Look! It made it all the way to the end with only one push!"). This episode, I must admit, probably made me laugh harder, louder, and longer than any other, and it is very worthy of a spot in the record books.

8) "Homer the Heretic" When God comes to Homer in a dream, he understands exactly what he must do. Never go to church again. Instead, while the rest of his family (and indeed the town) is suffering (literally) through a Lovejoy sermon, Homer is at home, enjoying plenty of time to himself. And his patented Moon Waffles. Again, another serious subject (religion) is taken lightheartedly, yet in a very serious manner. The fire sequence is nothing shot of hilarious, as is Flandersís attempt as rescuing his neighbor, and the actions of the Springfield Volunteer Fire Department. This is definitely not an episode to overlook!

7) "Marge vs. The Monorail" A new character is introduced, even if for only one episode. His name is Lyle Lanley, heís sold monorails to many other towns, and arrives at the Springfield Town Hall to propose a similar idea to the town. Marge suggest fixing up Main Street, which is in desperate need of it, to say the least, but, as Bart says, "The mob has spoken." Before she knows what hit her Springfield is conned out of millions of dollars and the monorail is on its maiden voyage, ready to kill everybody on board. The things that push this episode over the top are such things as Lyle Lanley, another great but character that, sadly, we never see again. Also Margeís traveling from town to town, collecting clues and advice about Lyle Lanley and his monorails. This episode, perhaps better than any other, clearly shows off the idea that Marge is a very careful person, who takes care of her family and sees that no bad befalls them. But thatís not all. She also does it for all of Springfield, becoming none other than the only voice of wisdom and reason the town has to offer. Is it any wonder they stifle her?

6) "Krusty Gets Kancelled" Thereís a new show in Springfield, and its name is Gabbo. Gabbo is a wooden puppet who steals Krustyís jokes, and his audience. Krusty is left with literally nothing, until Bart gets the Gabbo show canceled by turning on the camera at a very inopportune moment. Now all that remains is rounding up celebrities for Krustyís Komeback Special. This really is a great performance episode. Really one to be admired. Great little situations like firing Sideshow Luke Perry out of a cannon, a visit to the Playboy Mansion, and Krusty and Sideshow Mel in a "tear-jerking" duet of "Send in the Clowns." Another episode that really has to be seen to be believed.

All reviews (c) 7-28-97 Phil J. Reed

The third section of the puzzle revealed:

To the top five

Have you seen your favorite episode yet? No? Why not write and ask me to add it?

Phil Reed
United States