Round 31: Burns’ Heir vs. ‘Round Springfield

Round 31: 1F16 vs. 2F32.

1F16: “Burns’ Heir” (Season 5 / April 14, 1994)
Written by Jace Richdale
Directed by Mark Kirkland
Showrunner: David Mirkin

Angry Homer Simpson.

– “But I did get Paul McCartney out of Wings.”
– “You idiot! He was the most talented one!”

Homer exhibits a lot of traits here that I usually hate in his character. He’s short-tempered, sometimes even cruel, oblivious. He also falls victim to abuse (as industrial chimney sweep, and later when Lisa trips him), which is another frequent complaint I have with the double-digit seasons. But here’s why I think I don’t mind those things in this episode: it’s Bart’s story, and Homer is just a secondary character. So it’s okay to make him a little wackier than usual.

  • I’m pretty sure I saw the THX trailer in a real cinema at least once. Good times.
  • Speaking of trailers, Burns standing in the wheat field is based on this little remembered gem.
  • “He card reads good.”
  • Lionel Hutz continues to be the most funny character on TV, ever.

2F32: “‘Round Springfield” (Season 6 / April 30, 1995)
Written by Joshua Sternin & Jeffrey Ventimilia
Directed by Steven Dean Moore
Showrunners: Al Jean & Mike Reiss

Bleeding Gums Murphy playing saxophone with Lisa Simpson.

Not much to say about this one. Not as laugh-out-loud funny as “Burns’ Heir,” but full of heart, and featuring beautiful, moving performances by Yeardley Smith and Ron Taylor. Plus a lot of great music from Alf Clausen (and Carole King).

This is a close match. On paper, the Lisa episode should speak to me more than the Bart one, but in the end, if I had to chose (and that is what I have to do), “Burns’ Heir” has the edge over “‘Round Springfield.”

The winner: 1F16: “Burns’ Heir.”


One thought on “Round 31: Burns’ Heir vs. ‘Round Springfield

  1. […] Like in “Burns’ Heir,” we get an angry and mean Homer here, but like in that episode it’s bearable because it’s just for a couple of jokes and not fueling the main plot. Although I’ll always prefer the Homer of “Lost Our Lisa,” genuinely caring for and helping out his kid, to the Homer of “Lisa On Ice,” pitting his kids against each other. […]

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