Simpsons Did It!: “The Way We Was”


The nature of an animated show means the producers can easily do flashbacks and flash forwards without having to worry about make-up or recasting for the various roles.

Animation also means you can drop Homer Simpson down Springfield Gorge twice and no one will wonder how he isn’t dead.

Yes, when the Simpson TV goes out, and Lisa’s request for how Homer proposed to Marge is quickly dismissed (doctor’s offices diagnosing morning sickness aren’t that romantic), we instead get to see Homer and Marge in high school.  The two meet in detention, a common place for Homer and a first experience for Marge who tried and gives up on taking a stand in a single day.  While Homer is instantly in love, Marge takes quite a bit of convincing.  Homer’s references don’t help, and the best he can come up with is outright deception by requesting French tutoring lessons he doesn’t need.

The fact that Homer’s sense of honesty and his inability to pick up direct instructions means his prom date acceptance lasts all of thirty seconds and he doesn’t know it will obviously lead to problems later.

You know what occurs to me as I type this?  Grandpa Simpson gives Homer advice to always go for the less-attractive girl.  Now, Homer clearly didn’t take that advice since Marge is apparently considered something of a looker even in the present, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard Grandpa’s opinion of Marge.  We know Marge’s family all hate Homer for some reason before he even has a chance to get to know any of them, but Grandpa’s thoughts on his daughter-in-law are, as near as I can make out, still unexpressed.

On another note, much is made of Phil Hartman’s many guest appearances, and rightly so.  Albert Brooks also gets a lot of love.  But Jon Lovitz was a sometimes regular on the show for a while, too, and his distinctive voice appears for the first time in Artie Ziff, Homer’s romantic rival whose busy hands could somehow hurt the entire town if they were better known.

Yes, obviously, Homer and Marge will end up together and Bart will gag, but Homer underneath a dull exterior and a dim interior is, at his heart, a sweet-natured man who adores Marge.  The two do well together.

And for the sharp-eyed viewer, apparently Grandpa got a bucket of fried chicken from…Shakespeare’s Fried Chicken.  It takes all kinds.

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