Welcome to Welcome to Springfield, a OneOfUs column that re-examines The Simpsons series episode by episode to establish what made it a cultural icon, and to determine what went wrong. It’s a lofty goal, but Andrew is just the man to do it.
Homer attends a co-worker’s bachelor party at the Rusty Barnacle, the same restaurant where Marge and the kids have decided to have dinner that same evening. Bart snaps a pic of his dad dancing with an exotic dancer with his recently acquired spy-cam. The image goes viral across town, to Marge’s embarrassment. Marge then kicks Homer out of the house.
A few days later, Homer comes home and tries to apologize to Marge. Rather than accept it, Marge tells Homer that he has to find the woman he danced with and show Bart that she, like all women, is a real person and not an sexual object. After some searching, Homer finds her working at a lounge. As he talks with her, he ends up falling from the cage she’s in and joins in the show.
Before the situation can get any worse, Homer makes a speech about how women aren’t objects and how much his marriage means to him. Moved by his words, the crowd starts talking about the women in their lives. As the crowd departs, Marge runs up on stage and reunites with Homer.
While the episode is about Homer, Marge deserves some recognition for her role in the plot. She has stood up for Homer a number of times and is there for him, but that doesn’t mean she won’t kick him to the curb if he does something bad enough. She isn’t a pushover even if she is a mother, and that gave me a lot more respect for Marge.
Like Bart Goes To War, this episode contains an important message: Women are people, not objects, and many of them are the closest and most valued people in our lives. They, like all people, deserve to be treated with the respect we would like to receive ourselves. In the midst of the scandalous headline about how poorly men are treating women, especially in geek culture, this is a message I wish more people remembered and took to heart.
As much as I like this episode, I have one or two nitpicks with it. First, the opening sequence felt far too contrived in its effort to set up Homer going to the bachelor party and to also have Bart present with his camera. Second, it feels short when compared to other episodes.
What makes this episode a timeless classic however is how easily it could be replicated for a short film or movie today. Just replace Bart’s spy camera with a cellphone and the photocopier sequence with people texting it around and you have the same story.
Final Score: 4.0/5.0
We just keep going and going and we’ve reached the big ten. I’m Andrew Semkow, and welcome to Springfield.