Monday, September 28, 2009

Simpsons Premiere: "Everyman"

Season premiere, "Homer the Whopper": In which Comic Book Guy pitches his hero, "Everyman," to Hollywood, starring Homer Simpson. Highlights:

"We need you so slim down, muscle up, and become the Everyman that people want to be, instead of the one they actually are."
Lyle McCarthy: I'm going to teach you healthy alternatives to eating. We don't have much time, so we'll do it to a montage to the song, "Eye of the Tiger"
Homer: Aww, that song is a little on the nose. Can we do it to David Bowie's "Heroes?"
Lyle: Eh, it's your montage.

Slim pickin's, otherwise. Territory covered in much funnier episodes featuring Radioactive Man or The Incredible Bulk (and Stan Lee!). Again, the "Achille's Heel" of The Simpsons reveals itself in its celebration of the "Everyman" and all that's wrong with America; the "Everyman" concept of this show has worn thin. That first quote above was right on target; who wants to be a "Homer Simpson?" But the show continually mocks those who aspire to be better than Homer (without remorse; remember Frank Grimes, or "Grimy," as his friends called him?). The parenthesis are just as important as they are in getting the irony of Bowie's "Heroes." Compare the attitude of The Simpsons towards "everyman" to that of Ayn Rand, who remarked that "in America, the common man is most uncommon." That was the "can do" age; now, it's "eh, someone else can do it."

Do you know why The Simpsons are no longer as brilliant as they once were? Because we are now officially an idiocracy of Homer Simpsons. Homer was once endearing in spite of his idiocy, not because of it. Now, it's just sad. And scary.