1.13 Some Enchanted Evening
After resolving a marital difference, Marge and Homer hire a babysitter and have a night on the town. The babysitter ends up being a robber, so it’s up to the kids to thwart her.
There’s a noticeable dip in the quality of the animation of this episode. Apparently James L. Brooks noticed this and was pissed, so production was delayed.
This was actually supposed to be the series premiere. I’m glad it wasn’t. “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” is just as good an introduction to the characters, and “Some Enchanted Evening,” while fun enough, is one of the weaker episodes of the first season.
Fun fact: Homer’s line, “The blue thing with the things,” which refers to Marge’s lingerie, was almost kiboshed by Fox’s censors. Yeah, that was too sexual for 1990. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal not to reach this level of raunch on TV now.
Above image aside, the Marge and Homer B story just isn’t all that interesting. “Life on the Fast Lane” deals with marital strife in a much more compelling and focused way, and with more laughs.
Bart and Lisa trying to outsmart the Babysitter Bandit is great stuff, though. They notice their babysitter’s mugshot on an America’s Most Wanted-like show (remember that?) and try to thwart her, but she catches them and ties them up. Maggie gets them loose, and they lure the babysitter into a dark room, where Bart thwacks her with a baseball bat while sucking on Maggie’s pacifier as a distraction. It’s a fun scene, and while it evokes Home Alone, it actually predates the movie by six months.
Ms. Botz, the Babysitter Bandit, is…interestingly animated, and I don’t just mean the poor quality in this episode. She has short, scraggly hair and doesn’t keep her large, saggy breasts in a bra, which, I guess she must be evil if she isn’t adhering to feminine beauty standards.
The ending with Homer unwittingly freeing the Babysitter Bandit is a nice touch. There’s an underlying message throughout the series of treating children as equals and trusting their intelligence. They’re our best, most unbiased critics, and they’re gonna surpass us anyway, so, might as well enjoy it.
Best Moment: Bart with a pacifier and a baseball bat.
Best Quote: “The way I see it, if you raised three children who can knock out and hogtie a perfect stranger, you must be doing something right.” -Marge