Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Call of the Simpsons

Episode Number 7G09 (#107)
Created by Matt Groening; Developed by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon
Written by John Swartzwelder
Directed by Wesley Archer
Executive Producers: James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon
Starring Dan Castellanetta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, and Harry Shearer
Guest Star: A. Brooks

Flanders comes home with a massive RV to take his family camping. Wanting to keep up with the Flandereses, Homer goes to Bob's RV Round-Up and finds the Ultimate Behemoath, an RV that looks like it would take up both lanes of a highway. Not only does it have a satellite dish like Flanders' RV, it has it's own satellite.
Are we sure this thing is street legal?
Sadly, Homer's credit report, which is a discriminatory and lackluster determination of someone's ability to pay for something, is horrible so all he can afford is this thing:
Are we sure this thing is street legal?
Bob convinces Homer to buy the much smaller RV and the Simpsons immediately head out on the open road and into the woods. After driving way too fast through the forest, the RV ends up dangling over a cliff. The family is able to escape and watch as the RV tumbles over.
We hardly knew ye.
Now stranded, Homer and Bart take off to get help while Marge and Lisa stay behind and make camp. Maggie, unbeknownst to Homer and Bart, follows them and is adopted by a pack of bears. In a parallel to the RV going over the cliff, Homer and Bart soon fall over a waterfall, losing their clothes and having to cover their nudity with mud and leaves. In the short time, they are out there, Marge and Lisa are able to build a fire and a decent-looking shelter. Meanwhile, Homer and Bart, experienced woodsman that he claims to be, fall asleep, freezing, on a log.
The next day, the boys spot a bee's nest so Homer goes to get some honey, angering the bees. He runs away to a nearby swamp and jumps in. The emerges covered in slime and mud, babbling incoherently because of the honey. Someone spots Homer, takes a picture, and is immediately assumed to be Bigfoot because why not?
Due to the possibility of Bigfoot being on the loose, Marge and Lisa are found by a park ranger who says that a Bigfoot is wandering around the woods. She is shown a picture and says that the creature is her husband. Marge then becomes a tabloid star because she married Bigfoot. Homer and Bart stumble onto the bears' cave and find Maggie so the three of them are reunited and as they approach civilization, Homer is tranquilized and captured. After a series of tests, it is inconclusive whether or not Homer is or is not Bigfoot and he is released.

Random Observations

  • This episode is another example of how "kid-friendly" the show originally started out as. I can't remember, but somewhere I read that this was the worst episode of the season but that was just someone's opinion. Burger King toys were made of the Simpsons in their camping clothes and the episode was reportedly very popular. As the series continued, some critics wondered if this episode would even be made or even thought of in the later seasons.
  • This was my first experience with car salesmen and my opinion of them haven't really gotten any better.
  • I love Yeardley Smith's reading of "The Simpsons have entered the forest."
  • This is the first episode that has Maggie offer up her pacifier in order to satiate an angry animal.
  • The tabloid headlines about Marge are pretty good.
  • "The guys at work are going to have a field day over this." -Homer (to Marge, as they watch news about him being Bigfoot)
  • Even with substantial and invasive tests, the scientists still can't determine if Homer is human, a primate or something in-between.