Round 101: Homer’s Odyssey vs. Some Enchanted Evening

Round 101: 7G03 vs. 7G01.

7G03: “Homer’s Odyssey” (Season 1 / January 21, 1990)
Written by Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky
Directed by Wes Archer
Showrunners: James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon

Homer sneaking into Bart's room at night

The first season can be a very strange beast. To take your main character (or at least his father) to the brink of actual suicide is a daring thing to do in any sitcom, but even more so in an animated one. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work here. Both the way there and especially the ‘resolution,’ if you can call it that, are weak, at best, at times even downright messy.

  • I remember having this episode (or a version thereof) on an audio cassette tape (triple redundancy for any readers under 30) that I would listen to before going to bed. Because, you know, children love hearing about fathers wanting to throw themselves off a bridge last thing before they go to sleep. That would never, in no way, mess with their heads, right?
  • Right?

7G01: “Some Enchanted Evening” (Season 1 / May 13, 1990)
Written by Matt Groening & Sam Simon
Directed by David Silverman, Kent Butterworth
Showrunners: James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon

Homer Simpson, one red rose in hand, standing in the rain in front of his house

This one’s a lot more coherent than “Homer’s Odyssey,” plot-wise, but the main reason it’s an easy decision for me to have “Some Enchanted Evening” advance to the 128th-final is evidenced by the torrent of screenshots I took while watching it. It’s a beautiful show, as all of Silverman’s episodes are, and I’ll be glad to visit it again in the next phase of this tournament.

The winner: 7G01, “Some Enchanted Evening.”