Day 6 - "Marge Be Not Proud"

Kinda breaking with tradition here.

We set out to watch Christmas movies and specials until Christmas, but tonight I wanted to watch something specific. Well, I also wanted to watch the backlog of shows on our DVR, so something around the half-hour mark hit the spot perfectly. So, why not watch something humorous and with heart?

Back in 1995, FOX aired the first Christmas-themed episode of The Simpsons since it debuted as a series 6 years earlier. For many people, these were the golden years of The Simpsons. While I agree, I never really strayed away from the show. Some seasons have been better than others, sure, but there hasn't been a collective group of episodes so bad that I would turn my back on the show. It's actually pretty weird to say that I've been devoted to a television show for 23 years. Or pretty awesome. I'm going to go with awesome.

The episode we watched tonight, "Marge Be Not Proud," it something that has been stuck in my head for years. It has not only great quotes throughout but also a very touching storyline that embodies Christmas more than it actually shows anything about Christmas.

Okay, so one word: BONESTORM!

During the Krusty Christmas Special, Bart and Lisa see a commercial for the latest and greatest video game that he just can't live without. Fighting, gore, limbs raining down on 16-bit monsters slugging it out in a ruinous hellscape. But Bart's parents deny his request of "Buy me Bonestorm or go to hell" on the grounds that those games cost upward of $70. As someone who recently bought Halo 4, I'm amazed that not much has changed about the price of video games and their power over people after 17 years.

How can he get his hands on Bonestorm? He can't rent it--Comic Book Guy doesn't have anymore copies. Milhouse has it, but he's selfishly reluctant to let Bart play second player. So, off he goes to the Try-N-Save to lament his misfortune of not having enough money for the game. While there, the local hoodlums suggest that stealing is always an option. Of course, for this Simpson, things aren't that easy. He gets caught and banned from the store.

Things should be easy for him from now on, but Marge wants to have a family portrait taken at the Try-N-Save. Bart's worse fears come true when he is caught by the security guard at the moment the picture is taken, causing him to fess up to his parents about the shoplifting incident.

This is when the episode gets real. Who hasn't had that moment where his or her parents have been so disappointed in them that they become somewhat cold and distant and treat you like "an adult?" Just watching this episode gives me chills of those times during my childhood when similar things happened. Truth be told, being an adult is SO MUCH BETTER than being treated like one.

Instead of yearning for a video game, he yearns for everything to go back to the way things were. Essentially he misses his mom's respect for him. After all the stress he's given her over the years, she remained his staunchest ally up until this point, even defending his honor when he was called a shoplifter by the security guard. Even when Milhouse offers to let him play the video game, he chooses to hang out with Mrs. van Houten instead.

Eventually, Bart can't take it anymore and goes back to the Try-N-Save. Upon arriving home to the family decorating the tree, his mom corners him and asks him what's in his coat pocket, to which he shows her the nicely framed picture of him he paid for and planned to give her for Christmas. Faith restored! And Bart even gets a video game, something all the kids are talking about.


When I say this episode embodies Christmas, I'm not talking about desire for material things or even the time spent with family. It's just a feeling. You start off watching this light-hearted show, then you're hit with the cold shoulder. You're frantically trying to figure out what went wrong, and then you realize that your own actions have caused this mess. The only way to redeem yourself is to fix the issue by going above and beyond anything you've ever done before, by selflessly thinking of others.

The next time you sit down to play some Bonestorm, stop for a moment and think if you can do something nice for someone else. Then, play Bonestorm.

I've heard that entering in your name is awesome.



This entry was posted on Thursday, December 6, 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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