Round 75: 7G10 vs. 2F31.
7G10: “Homer’s Night Out” (Season 1 / March 25, 1990)
Written by Jon Vitti
Directed by Rich Moore
Showrunners: James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon
Halfway through this episode I scribbled in my notes something about how prudish it seemed that Marge would kick Homer out of the house just for dancing with an ecdysiast (that’s the fancy word for stripper). Talk about sex-negativity!
But then Marge explained to Homer (and me) why she was so angry: because he was being a bad role-model for Bart by letting him see his father treat a woman like an object and not a human being. The third act, with Homer taking Bart to see and talk to Princess Kashmir, was what really sold me on this episode. She is portrayed neither as a saint nor a whore, just a person doing a job. Not bad for a cartoon from over twenty years ago.
2F31: “A Star is Burns” (Season 6 / March 5, 1995)
Written by Ken Keeler
Directed by Susie Dietter
Showrunners: Al Jean & Mike Reiss
I’m not exactly siding with Matt Groening here – a crossover to promote another show is fine, especially considering the things he didn’t pull his name from – but Jim Brooks gleefully rubbing it in (the absent and unmentioned) Matt’s face on the commentary doesn’t make him look all that great, either.
The episode itself is fine. A few memorable lines, and the movie parodies and references are very well done. But nothing extraordinary.
The winner: 7G10, “Homer’s Night Out.”