Oh look, another episode about sexual harassment, but this time it’s one of the Simpsons whose the perv! Or at least, that’s what people think. This episode is so much fun, let’s dive on in!
Things start right off the bat in a way that really doesn’t happen much from this era, by having Bart and Lisa arguing with each other about picking the non-marshmallow pieces of Lucky Charms out of their cereal bowls, and how they should be put in the trash. Which is wonderful. But Homer notices their love of marshmallows, and starts to tell them about an upcoming candy industry trade show. Apparently random people who aren’t involved in the industry can go, and Homer was able to “win” tickets to it by sitting in the Kwik-E-Mart and just ripping up all of Apu’s candy bars until he found tickets, like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Unfortunately Homer’s just being a jerk by telling the kids, because he has no intentions of bringing either of them with him, instead he wants to bring Marge so that she can be a candy mule and carry as much stolen merchandise as she can. So Homer and Marge head out to the convention, and get the kids a new babysitter, Ashley Grant, whose a grad student studying woman’s issues. Bart’s intimidated by her, because apparently he’s kind of sexist, but she teaches Lisa that men are dumb and like video games, so I guess things go well.
Homer and Marge head to the candy convention, and it’s pretty great. It’s essentially a Comic-Con, with all sorts of booths and presentations with people showing off the new technologies in candy. And Homer loves it. He wanders around, stealing everything he can get his hands on, and checking out all the advancements. He steals Professor Frink’s insane sour-ball, he talks to the sad man who sells wax lips, and finally makes his way to the Gummy part of the conference. There’s some weird gummy artisan who shows Homer all the fancy gummy bears, and ends it by showing him some super rare gummy Venus de Milo. Homer instantly wants that candy, and tells Marge to create a distraction. She refuses, but then the crazy coat Homer made her wear that’s filled with candy explodes, and people start helping her pick it up, giving Homer the chance to smash the glass case that protects Venus de Milo, and he takes it. This immediately pisses off the candy people, and they start chasing Homer and Marge through the convention. They get to the entrance, and Homer creates a bomb using a Buzz Cola and Pop Rocks, which explodes the convention, letting him and Marge get away.
They head home and the kids immediately start rummaging through her candy filled coat while she’s still wearing it like rats. Homer starts to freak out though while the kids begin gorging themselves on candy when he thinks he lost the Venus de Milo, but Marge tells him not to worry about it, and lets him know he still needs to take Ashley Grant back home. So he driver her home while making all sorts of insane comments and just generally creeping her out, until she finally can’t take it any more, and asks him to just pull over and let her out. But when she gets out of the car Homer realizes that she had been sitting on the Venus de Milo, and it’s stuck to her butt. He reaches up for it, and pulls it off while making a gross face. This freaks her out, and she runs off, assuming Homer’s a pervert, while he just eat the candy that someone had been sitting on. Like a gentleman. And the real plot kicks in the next morning when Homer and Marge find that an angry mob has gathered around their house, led by Ashley Grant, who claims that Homer sexually assaulted her.
Homer is horrified at this accusation, and doesn’t even understand what she’s talking about, so he heads out to ask the crowd what’s going on, and after he gets informed about the butt grab. He tries to explain himself, but an unfortunate gust of wind blows his robe up and he ends up flashing the crowd, which doesn’t help him. Homer then has the uncomfortable task of teaching the kids what sexual harassment is by comparing it with a postcard Grandpa once sent them with an alligator biting a woman’s “bottom.” And the protestors quickly start to ruin Homer’s life, by following him around everywhere, even to the Power Plant where they can continue to publicly shame him. And to make matters worse, for the first time in their relationship Marge doesn’t know what they should do, and Homer’s on his own. So Homer goes to his last resort by begging God for help, and gets a call from God…frey Jones, the host of a show called Rock Bottom that wants to tell his story. And since Homer liked their report on Sasquatch, he agrees.
So Homer heads to Rock Bottom, and has a pretty plain interview with Godfrey Jones, which he thinks will finally exonerate him. Unfortunately when the episode starts up he sees that they’ve edited his interview to make him look like a terrible pervert, which doesn’t help him any, and if anything makes it worse, because now his story has gotten national attention, even though the interview ends with the warning “Dramatization: May not have happened.” And now that the whole country has heard this story, the news begins to stalk the house. They even have a helicopter watching him in the shower, which leads to a wonderful gag when Homer slips and falls and covers himself in the shower curtain, leading to:
News Anchor: “Homer sleeps nude in oxygen tent, which he believes gives him sexual powers.”
Homer: “Hey that’s a half-truth!”
Fantastic. Homer then starts flipping channels, trying to get away from the news and ends up finding a slew of terrible talk shows that are all about him, including the wonderfully baffling joke of having a talk show called Ben, that’s just a bear with a microphone attached to his head walking around, letting people speak into it. That is until he starts attacking the catering table and has to get tranquilized.
And things just keep getting worse. There’s a made for TV movie starring Dennis Franz as Homer called “Homer Simpson: Portrait of an Ass-Grabber,” and Homer’s friends end up coming to the house to sell even more incriminating secrets to the press. And all of this ends up piling up to make Homer a crazy shut-in, who won’t leave the house or watch TV since everyone is against him. But someone finally gets an idea, and Lisa suggests that Homer go on public access and plead his case by telling the truth. So they go do that, and it doesn’t really amount to much, since no one watches public access. The only time I ever did was once on Halloween and I found that some people paid to just film their weird drunken Halloween party, while dancing around and yelling at the camera, which was admittedly entertaining. The only thing Homer’s little broadcast accomplished was him insulting people who ride old-timey bikes, adding to his woes. But something finally good happens when Groundskeepr Willie shows up at the Simpsons house to tell Homer that he has exonerating evidence. Apparently Willie films people in cars, and happened to get a shot of Homer grabbing the candy off Ashley’s butt, not grabbing her. So Homer is cleared of his horrible deed, and he’s a normal man again. Everyone forgets his deeds, and Rock Bottom even publishes a massive list of things that they’ve lied about. And the episode ends with Homer enjoying Rock Bottom’s new story about how creepy Groundskeeper Willie is, since he didn’t learn anything.
This episode is a lot of fun, mainly because despite all of his other character faults, Homer legitimately isn’t a creep. Homer has a whole mess of flaws, but being a perv isn’t one of them, so seeing him being accused of something he legitimately didn’t do, and like doesn’t even understand, is pretty funny. This episode wasn’t specifically emotional, like Homer having a serious crisis or anything, it’s a serious topic but it’s still made hilariously. It’s full of amazing jokes, and is just a serious home run.
Take Away: Sexual harrassment isn’t good, but you should also not believe everything you hear without doing a little research. Don’t jump to conclusions.
And now, a list of ridiculous things Rock Bottom lied about:
“Peoples’ Choice Awards” is America’s greatest honor.
Styrofoam is not made from kittens.
The UFO was a paper plate.
The nerds on the Internet are not geeks.
The word “cheese” is not funny in and of itself.
The older Flanders boy is Todd, not Rod.
Lyndon Johnson did not provide the voice of Yosemite Sam.
If you are reading this, you have no life.
Roy Rogers was not buried in his horse.
The other UFO was an upside down salad spinner.
Our universities are not “hotbeds” of anything.
Mr. Dershowitz did not literally have four eyes.
Our viewers are not pathetic sexless food tubes.
Audrey Hepburn never weighed 400 pounds.
The “Cheers” gang is not a real gang.
Salt water does not chase the thirsties away.
Licking an electrical outlet will not turn you into a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger.
Cats do not eventually turn into dogs.
Bullets do not bounce off of fat guys.
Recycling does not deplete the ozone.
Everything is 10% fruit juice.
The flesh eating virus does not hide in ice cream.
Janet Reno is evil.
V8 juice is not 1/8 gasoline.
Ted Koppel is a robot.
Women aren’t from Venus and men aren’t from Mars.
Fleiss does floss.
Quayle is familiar with common bathroom procedures.
Bart is bad to the bone.
Godfry Jones’ wife is cheating on him.
The Beatles haven’t reunited to enter kick boxing competitions.
The “Bug” on your TV screen can see into your home.
Everyone on TV is better than you.
The people who are writing this have no life.
“Homer Badman” was written by Greg Daniels and directed by Jeffrey Lynch, 1994.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons