Classic Simpsons Episodes: “There’s No Disgrace Like Home”

1.4 There’s No Disgrace Like Home

Embarrassed by his family’s behaviour at the power plant’s company picnic, Homer gets the Simpsons enrolled in Dr. Marvin Monroe’s family therapy program.

Great gag at the beginning with Bart and Lisa fighting over who loves Homer more (with each, of course, saying the other does). Lisa is in my top five Simpsons characters, partially because of the nuance of her being a know-it-all while also having an occasional bratty streak.

A lovely little Citizen Kane reference when we first see Burns’ mansion and the camera pans up slowly outside the front gate. The series later devotes a whole episode to this in “Rosebud.”

Drunk Marge repeating “I’m not much of a drinker” is some great stuff, too. I wish we saw more of that throughout the whole series.

Marge is a way better character when the writers allow her to be just a little bit of a fuck-up, too.

Homer unilaterally deciding the family needs therapy on his terms and his terms alone is heavy-handed, but also on point. He who smells it in family situations is often the one dealing it. I like how this episode flips the script and has Homer being the one who is uptight and concerned about everyone else’s imperfections. It’s not even a character inconsistency; people like that are almost always the most messed up.

Drunk Marge, I’m tellin’ ya. 

The resolution of the episode with the family all lovey and together after putting Dr. Monroe out 250 dollars is charming, if a little forced. It’s not even close to being my favourite season one episode, but we do get the memorable shock therapy scene out of it.

And that was first time I guiltily laughed at violence. I’m pretty sure I remember my Mom saying I shouldn’t be watching this scene. (I was five, so, fair point.)

Best Moment: The aforementioned shock therapy.

Best Quote: “The answer to life’s problem aren’t at the bottom of a bottle. They’re on TV!” -Homer (He seems to get the best quotes early on)

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