This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.
The Simpsons: Season 29 Episode 6
Marge gets her blue bun in an uproar and throws it in the ring in The Simpsons season 29, episode 6, “The Old Blue Mayor She Ain’t What She Used to Be.” The episode takes light swing in the political arena this time around as a Simpson actually attains the highest political power the family’s ever reached.
Marge has been a very effective political proponent in the past. In a much earlier season she was taught the tough lesson that one person can make a difference, but most of the time, they probably shouldn’t. That didn’t stop her from serving up Montgomery Burns’ mayoral candidacy like a cold three-eyed fish. Marge isn’t quite as radical as Homer’s parents, his mother had to join the underground and Abe writes rambling letters to the president demanding non-cranky things like less states. Marge’s target appears easy to reach, putting out the perennial tire fire and getting out of kitchen duty at political events.
The Simpsons opens on a recycling of a classic old gag. The monorail is being repurposed for a new town attraction, recently ripped off from Manhattan that promises to turn the eyesore to an I Soar. They even reprise bits of the song. Springfield newsman Kent Brockman reports on the events surrounded by a bodega sneeze guard to keep locals from throwing food at him. Bart spray paints “to release windbag break glass” on it before the hell of Springfield follies past breaks loose and the monorail comes back to life. Just like German scientist Sebastian Cobb predicted it would, shortly before he himself is run over. The path of the monorail’s destruction is widespread and costly. It takes out the town’s statue of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy, whose epitaph read “He saved Springfield from the Monorail.” Well, didn’t he?
The fiasco brings everyone together in a town council meeting with Mayor Quimby. Marge offers simple solutions and is met with crude throwback sexist jokes and relegated to kitchen patrol. Marge, being Marge, swears it is the last time she will ever do this, but still does it perfectly. As terrible potluck would have it, Marge gets her revenge on the mayor by taking his incumbency.
The episode pokes some general fun at the current political landscape. It opens with a plane carrying a sign reading “this year the turkey will not pardon the president.” The stump speech strategies Marge employs during the extremely short campaign were a pre-existing condition long before Obamacare. A candidate has to be all things to all people, but even more to the lunatic fringe formerly abandoned to the outskirts of the landscape. The digs at the right are merely flesh wounds.
A small cadre of supporters proclaims “I’m with hair” in the race to put Marge in charge. It is a difficult task to take down a sitting Mayor, but Marge has a lot going for her in electoral process. She is familiar with the legal system because of Homer, whose many arrests taught him such helpful tidbits like the fun fact that being a defendant gets you out of jury duty. Marge also does a drop dead Homer impersonation, complete with mouthwatering drool at the mention of the word pie. The small MargePAC is further emboldened by the realization that society has come so far that a woman like Kellyanne Conway can now be Joseph Goebbels.
In a reenactment that probably didn’t happen, Marge wins by a small landslide. At first her mayoralty hits a rough spot. She has to backtrack on her only campaign promise, and compounds her micromanaging political errors by making the same kinds of microaggressive gaffs that put her in office in the first place. That is until the town realizes she’s with stupid. Homer becomes Fang as Marge takes a page from Phillis Diller and throws him under the bus.
Marge is a wife and mother first, and tires of belittling her extra-large first man. She goes to the now retired Diamond Joe to learn that there really is no way to have a happy family and a successful political career, and but stays to cut and serve the cake one last time. Ultimately farts imitate life as the air is let out of her governmental power. We learn that her reign ended in a small scandal putting Quimby back in office in a flash-forward. It is eight years later and Maggie still can’t talk. She’s not in the scene, but we know she can’t.
“The Old Blue Mayor She Ain’t What She Used to Be” delivers on all its promises but pulls its political punches. It is filled with jokes and sight gags, but keeps its subversion to a minimum. The best commentary comes in the song that explains what voters look for in a candidate, individual needs served in individual slices, but is a little too neat for a dirty game like local politics.
“The Old Blue Mayor She Ain’t What She Used to Be ” was written by Tom Gammill and Max Pross, and directed by Matthew Nastuk.
The Simpsons stars Dan Castellaneta as Homer and Abe Simpson, Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson, Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson, Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson. Hank Azaria plays Kirk Van Houten, Chief Wiggum and Moe. Harry Shearer is Seymour Skinner, Kent Brockman, C. Montgomery Burns and Waylon Smithers.
Chalkboard: I will not ask my guidance counselor why he couldn’t get a better job.