Lifetime of Simpsons

S03 E20 – Colonel Homer

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More potential marital infidelity! This is a fun episode, and kind of companion piece to “Life on the Fast Lane,” although Homer remains pretty oblivious to Lurleen’s advances, unlike Marge’s conscious plans to hook up with Jacques.

The episode starts off with the family arriving at the movies, but this time they aren’t at the Aztec Theater, they went to the big theater in town, the Springfield Googolplex, which is a funny name for a huge theater, and also pretty funny thinking that this was a time when the word Google didn’t have another connotation. Homer crams the family car into a “compact car only” spot, requiring the family to climb out the windows, and they go pick something to watch. I love that Homer votes for something called “Look Whose Oinking,” which sounds like some wonderful cinema. Unfortunately “Look Whose Oinking,” is sold out, so the family splits up with Bart and Lisa seeing a new Space Mutants flick, and Homer and Marge checking out a political thriller called “The Stockholm Affair.” But that quickly turns out to be a bad decision, on everyone’s part, because Lisa is terrified of their movie, and Homer is the worst movie goer ever. He slurps his soda, talks, and constantly asks Marge questions. Man people can ruin a movie pretty easily. I really can’t even stand to go to the big chain theaters anymore, because pretty much any time I got to an AMC or something, it’s full of shitty teenagers who are using the theater as an excuse to be terrible, yell, and text. I stick with places like the Drafthouse that encourage silence, and Indie theaters, since at least there the only loud people are old folks who don’t realize they aren’t whispering. But Homer keeps talking, much the fury of everyone in the theater, including Marge. But then he goes too far by revealing the twist ending, and the theater gets pissed, leading Marge to yell at Homer, telling him no one cares what he has to say. So Homer gets all moody, and after dropping the family off at the house, goes off for a drive to calm down.

He just starts driving around, out of Springfield and into the sticks. He starts to see a bunch of billboards for a restaurant called Flaming Pete’s, and gets pretty excited about getting a steak, until he finally reaches Flaming Pete’s, and it’s been burned to the group. Homer then passes the smelliest part of the state, going by a dump, a sulfur mine, and an open sewer. He finally ends up in a redneck part of town, and comes across a bar called the Beer-N-Brawl, so he decides to stop by for a beer. Unfortunately they don’t serve Duff there, so he has to settle for Fudd, and while he’s drinking his subpar beer, the musical entertainment begins. Some poor dude named Yodeling Zeke starts to sing, but is promptly smashed in the back with a chair, ending his set. At that point one of the waitresses, Lurleen Lumpkin, gets up and starts performing. She sings a country song about how much work sucks, and about wife’s not understanding their husbands problem, and Homer starts to relate to the song, especially the line “Your wife don’t understand you, but I do.” None of the other rednecks care about the song though, and when Lurleen goes back to work, dejected, Homer approaches her and tells her how much he loved the song, and how it moved him. With that off his chest, he heads home, happy again.

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But when he gets back to his normal life he finds Lurleen’s song is firmly stuck in his head, much to the annoyance of everyone else. He even starts pulling levers at the Plant in tune to the song, causing massive power fluctuations around the city. I love the scene where he’s bowling, singing to his ball, and doing great, so Lenny tries singing to his ball too. I also adore that Moe gets all hurt when he finds out Homer went to a different bar. But Homer can’t get the song out of his head, so he heads back to hillbilly country, wanted to buy a copy of the song from Lurleen, since he hadn’t felt that way about a song since “Funky Town.” Unfortunately Lurleen didn’t have a recording of the song, so Homer takes her to some store that will make a CD of her single. And when the guy at the store hears how good it is, he puts it on a country music radio station, and she quickly becomes famous. We see a bunch of people around Springfield listen to the song and get happy, but I think the best was Krusty beating up Sideshow Mel, while saying “I thought I told you to stay away from my sister.” The song even stops a prison riot. Back at the Simpsons home, Homer makes the family listen to the song, and while Bart and Lisa like it, Marge is a little wary about Homer spending time with some random cocktail waitress.

But Homer doesn’t notice Marge’s reticence, and starts spending a lot of time with Lurleen, much to Marge’s annoyance, which he remains oblivious to. And he starts spending a lot more time with her when she makes him her manager, and even gets him an all white cowboy suit made out of some sort of Space Age Elvis material that gets cleaned by sweat. Marge is jealous of Lurleen, and flat out asks Homer if he’s having an affair, to which he tells her of course not. But when she asks if Lurleen has kissed Homer, he says all the time. Not a good call Homer. Homer then escalates thing by putting down the family’s life savings to get Lurleen some recording time, where she records a love song about getting a “Homer,” which is still too subtle for Homer to pick up on. The songs get popular, and Lurleen is famous, even getting on some sort of country music show called Ya Hoo! I love that she tells Homer “You’re as smart as you are handsome,” to which Homer retorts “Hey! Oh you meant that as a compliment.”

But then the night before the TV appearance, Homer is talking to Lurleen in her trailer, and she sings a song about wanting to sleep with him, and after some further explanation, Homer finally realizes Lurleen is attracted to him, and wants to have an affair. But he gets weirded out, and goes home. Yet, he’s still on board to be her manager, and gets ready for the TV appearance, while Marge tries to remind him what a good family he has, trying to keep him faithful. So they go to the Ya Hoo! Show, and things are going good, some sleazy music manager even offers to buy Lurleen’s contract from Homer. But when he checks on her in her dressing room, she jumps him and kisses him. Homer then flashes back through his whole romantic life, which is hilarious. We see a girl refusing to play spin the bottle, a girl refusing to kiss him on a date, a girl not kissing him at kissing booth, and of course Marge saying she’ll love him for the rest of her life. So Homer leaves, not going through with the affair, and even sells Lurleen’s contract, for much less money than it should have been since Homer is dumb. Homer then shows up back at home, and starts undressing for Marge while on the TV in their bedroom Lurleen sings a sad song called “Stand By Your Manager.” Homer then throws his cowboy hat away before “snuggling” with Marge.

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This is a really funny and wonderful episode. It has some great jokes, especially at the expense of country music (Which is find intolerable) and a whole lot of great sight gags. And at its heart is another great episode about the fragility of marriage, and the threats of infidelity. Homer doesn’t even realize Lurleen is falling in love with him, which is either make Homer incredibly innocent, or that he’s just so in love with Marge he doesn’t even think about other people being interested in him. Lurleen is actually a pretty tragic character, because unlike slimy Jacques who is fully out to just have sex with a married lady, Lurleen doesn’t seem like a homewrecker, she just starts to fall in love with a guy whose already married.

Take Away: Country music sucks, don’t wear all-white cowboy outfits, and of course, don’t cheat on your spouse! We get it Simpsons, cheating is bad!

“Colonel Homer” was written by Matt Groening and directed by Mark Kirkland.

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