Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dead Putting Society

Episode 7F08 (#19)
Created by Matt Groening; Developed by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon
Written by Jeff Martin
Directed by Rich Moore
Executive Producers James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon
Starring Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, and Harry Shearer
Also Starring Maggie Roswell

Things get heated when Ned Flanders invites Homer over for a quick swig of beer while the guys were doing some yard work. Homer gets upset that Flanders has a nicer house than him but also that his children are nicer and love him more and that Ned has a loving, caring, and perfect wife whose butt is also higher than Marge's. Ned tells Homer to leave but feels guilty about it later and, after consulting Reverend Lovejoy, writes Homer a letter apologizing. Homer, and the rest of the Simpsons family, end up mocking the letter. Homer decides to take the family mini-golfing where Flanders has also taken Todd. Flanders tries to buddy up but Homer sees an opportunity to show Flanders up by signing Bart up for a golf tournament. Flanders also signs up Todd, who is the vastly superior golfer.

Bart, who is no good at golf, goes to Lisa to get some coaching and, using math and the art of zen, is able to turn Bart into a pretty good golf player. Unfortunately, Homer really wants Bart to win and even bets Flanders that the father of the boy who doesn't win has to mow the father of the winner's yard in their wife's Sunday dress. As Bart and Todd face off, both boys don't like the pressure their fathers have placed on them and decide, on the last hole, that they are equally good and the tournament ends in a tie. Homer holds Flanders to the bet and since neither boy technically won...

Random Observations
  • Bart doing his science project instead of mowing the lawn: "Still just a potato."
  • Homer: "There's nothing wrong with crabgrass. It just has a bad name. Everyone would love it if it were called...'elfgrass.'"
  • Who are those people in the old-timey picture in Flanders' rumpus room? Is it one of those novelty photos or do all the Flandereses marry each other?
  • The closing of Flanders' letter: "...and yet, I feel a great sadness in my bosom." Great line and my first introduction to the word 'bosom.'
  • First place in the golf tournament is $50; fourth place is a half price snow cone.
  •  Lisa: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
  • I have always found these zen questions intriguing because it really makes you realize how much of our world is a lie. Sound doesn't exist unless we hear it. Color doesn't exist because it is based on what is reflected back at us. It's all really fascinating.
  • Flanders' first idea for who wins the bet is what their wives can make.
  • Flanders makes Marge change the contract from "loser" to "the boy who doesn't win."
  • Flanders is a good foil for Homer. Flanders is everything that Homer isn't. When the series first began, Homer was a decent father--he loved his family, his kids, and was a decent human being. Flanders was Homer times ten. He loves his family and his kids more and is more of a decent human and he barely had to try. That's where, I believe, the competition and dislike came from that Flanders could be better than Homer without even trying while Homer being like Flanders would be very hard for him. As the years went on, they became begrudgingly friends or at least close neighbors. Today, they act like best friends despite their vast differences of Homer being an ass and Flanders being way too conservative and religious.
  • "Ye Olde First Annual Mini-Golf Tournament"
  • Homer, trying to encourage Bart: "Remember what Vince Lombardi said, 'If you lose, you're out of the family.'"