Round 52: Realty Bites vs. The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer

Round 52: 5F06 vs. HABF15.

5F06: “Realty Bites” (Season 9 / December 7, 1997)
Written by Dan Greaney
Directed by Swinton Scott
Showrunner: Mike Scully

Marge Simpson and Lionel Hutz

vs.

HABF15: “The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer
(Season 18 / September 10, 2006)
Written by Bill Odenkirk
Directed by Michael Marcantel
Showrunner: Al Jean

Homer Simpson with his head stuck in the ground.

Me, asked to decide which of the two episodes is “better.”

Tough. I don’t really like either episode. They’re not awful, but they’re far from good. Both have extended performances from recurring guest stars – both good, but Phil Hartman wins over Joe Mantegna any day. 5F06 introduces us to Gil, who is fun to watch if just for Dan doing Jack Lemmon. But Homer is too much of a jerk, the story isn’t all that interesting and I hate all the violence.

HABF15 starts off with an awfully unfunny Otto thing (and one of Harry Sharer’s lesser moments in the series’ history), slightly improves from there but never reaches any levels worth celebrating. A few chuckles for this Godfather and Sopranos fan, but it’s not like those references hadn’t been done.

Usually when I have two great episodes competing I ask myself, if I could only ever watch one of them again, which one would I chose. This time around I’m asking, if I had to watch one of them again (and I do, for this tournament), which would it be.

The “winner”: 5F06, “Realty Bites,” I guess. For Phil.