08 August 2012

The Long Halloween Vol. III Special - The Olympic Games

Folks, you're in for a treat tonight - just like we did with Leap Day a while back, we're going to honour something that only comes around every four years - The Olympic Games. Around here the Long Halloween is a monthly installment where we check out the best Movies and TV Shows that tie in with a special holiday. After a few years of going through the normal Thanksgiving / Flag Day stuff we're now in the thick of the Obscure Edition - highlighting special times in everyone's life like National Syrup Day and Puzzle Day.

Today we're giving a little preview of next year's installment, which of course, will be the Simpsons Edition, where we tie in an episode of The Simpsons to every holiday. It's going to be surprisingly easy. So to celebrate the Spirit of the Olympic Games, today we're re-connecting with the great episode from Season 4, "Lisa's First Word."

"One’s thoughts turn to Alexander of Macedon’s victories at Granicus and Issus."

The premise of the episode involves Homer and Marge recollecting to their children the story of Lisa's first word, after they segue from trying to get Maggie to talk. During the story they of course make sure As such they flash back to 1983 (where they recount Bart flushing Homer's wallet down the toilet and the announcement of Lisa's birth, as well as making sure to mention the final M*A*S*H* episode) and then forward to Lisa's first year of birth, 1984. Naturally, it centers around the Olympics.

"No wonder he won Minnesota!"
If you trace things back, Lisa was born during the Women's 100 Butterfly, probably the final. That means Lisa's Birthday is August 2, 1984 - meaning she turned 28 a week ago. Right. The centerpiece of Olympic Pride in this episode rests with a parody of a promotion run by McDonald's during the actual 1984 games - people could exchange scratch-offs for free burgers and other prizes. In The Simpsons, Krusty Burger runs a similar campaign, but due to a failed rigging of the contest (People would only win in Communist-dominated events, but the Soviet Bloc boycotted the XXIII Olympiad), he stood to lose $44 million personally. It's so unfortunate that his campaign fell in the Grand Age of Olympic Boycotts (1976 - 1988). Here's your trivia fact - in a very classy move, Albania actually boycotted all 4 Olympic Games in this time span. Why even try to High Jump in Albania?

There's plenty of highlights of Olympic athletes here, though - Carl Lewis, Mary Lou Retton, Drederick Tatum - the list goes on. More importantly, the episode really captures the spirit of watching the Games. For one, it's always on and everyone is always talking about it. For another, it's an immense source of pride for the Americans - which is of course what any Olympiad is really about. Global American Pride. And eating cheeseburgers.

"Can't sleep...clown will eat me..."
This is a fantastic episode though - for one, it accurately traces the childhood development of both Bart and Lisa and the writers very believably extrapolate the characters to their younger selves. It's also an intimate look at Homer's early struggles (opposed to his current crazy schemes) and Marge's support. For anything against The Simpsons as crass material as well, the episode centers around a family bonding through storytelling and not games or television. Finally, it holds Maggie's first word, spoken to no one around, voiced by Liz Taylor. Yeah - that Elizabeth Taylor. Who else could do it?

So Happy Olympics everyone!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails