Haven’t seen an episode for yonks, haven’t watched it consistently for ten years or so, because there were simply too many duff (ha ha) episodes. Bumped into this one – in which Homer is hypnotised to the age of 12 and just starts screaming and will not stop – the other night. Inevitably for the Simpsons there are quotes from movies of the 70s and 80s – in this case riffing on “Stand By Me” and “Breaking Away”. There may be a reference to that episode of MASH where Hawkeye has to get regressed by the psychiatrist and remembers his best friend threw him in the water? And possibly Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Not that I am a hopeless geek or anything). Part of the pleasure of the Simpsons has always been the quote spotting. Here’s something Robert Hughes wrote about the Art World in his ‘The Culture of Complaint’ –
As Adam Gopnik pointed out in the New Yorker when reviewing the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, it consists basically of taking an unexceptional if obvious idea – “racism is wrong”, or “New York shouldn’t have thousands of beggars and lunatics on the street” – then coding it so obliquely that when the viewer has re-translated it he feels the glow of being included in what we call the “discourse” of the art world. Page 158 (Adam Gopnik, Empty Frames New Yorker 25 November 1991)
Anyway, Homer has to recall those memories, and they lead to a present day Mystery to Be Solved, which involves Carl, Lenny, Moe, Fat Tony, Chief Wiggum and… well, that would be telling. It all ties off quite neatly (though I’m not sure that Smithers is really supposed to be 12 years younger than Homer? Meh…) Maybe my downtime should include some Simpsons?