R & R: "Principal Charming"

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A bit of a boring episode that tries to do too much, not all plots really have time for development. The terminator parody is great, and there are some good jokes throughout but overall not one of my favorites

Another problem: as with several other S2 episodes (Dancing Homer especially) the animation just seems so dark and depressing, even when the scene isn't. Night scenes really didn't look good yet

I have a soft spot for this one. It's not considered among the greatest of the season but it's one I saw early on and is quite memorable to me personally as a result. 4/5
A pretty good episode with some good jokes, my only problem was that Marge was too demanding and expected way too much from Homer.


Loved the Vertigo reference, the blind date mix up and the third act with the retiring to Moe's moody bar.
“Principal Charming” is one of those heartwarming episodes, of which season two has many of account for. Other than being heartwarming, it’s hilarious, solid, and a great addition to season two; and a great addition to review.

This is one of the very first episodes – if not the first – that really explores Patty and Selma’s characters more than just the Homer-hating chain-smoking aunts that most fans make them out to be. Patty’s emotional and philosophical sides; along with sister Selma, are shown more in depth here and I quite enjoyed that – and that may be the reason that this is one of my most favorite episodes.

The animation in this episode is solid and the colors are bright and lively; something I enjoy from the second season. You can see the animation prevail in this episode, and several shots from the episode can show what I mean when I say that the colors in this episode are vivacious and enjoyable. Yet another reason why this episode reigns high in my Simpson fan-book.

The characterizations in this episode are spot on. Patty and Selma being contrasted, and going into their individual personalities are, as I meant when I said about Patty/Selma’s character’s being explored above, very enjoyable and I greatly admired the writer’s on giving well and executable dialogue for both characters. Since it’s more of a side character episode, I don’t generally mind what the Simpson family does in the episode, but I enjoyed the little side parts with the family and the subplot with Bart; and as the case above, the characterizations were spot on.

Overall, this episode is touching, loving, hilarious, and (I think I’ve said this word enough) enjoyable. It’s a great addition to season two and a real great treat to watch.

A+ - 5/5
searching through the forums, and I wanted to drag this old thread up.
In my opinion this is such an underrated episode.
i can't understand all the dislike.

anyway, just my 2 cents
Absolutely underrated episode. Quite good and always enjoyable. Shows a different side to Principle Skinner and has a heartfelt ending to it when Patty effectively choses her sister over Seymour. However, not a classic in comparison to other episodes. 4/5 and 8/10
Another jokes-light episode, although the whole thing with Homer looking for a man for Selma is hilarious. Good character development for the Bouvier twins.

Rating: A-
Did they ever expand on Patty's fear of being touched ? Anyhow this is an very good episode, emotional and still full of hilarious gags such as Terminator Homer :)

Selma's lonlieness and heartbreak is very painful to watch at times :(

Probably a top ten of all time episode 5/5
Pretty good episode but probably one of the weaker of season 2, and i dont have very much to say about this episode. The truly memorable parts, are when Homer tries to find a man for Patty, Barts prank call, Skinners imaging the painting at the wall as Patty, the very last scene, and some probably some other stuff i have missed. I did feel sorry for Patty at the beginning of this episode, and then later for Selma, and there was nothing wrong with the plot. I suppose what makes this episode one of the weaker of season 2 is the lack of humour, and the fact that its not that interesting compared to other episodes in the classic-era. Grade:B
I wonder if they were planning on making Patty a lesbian when they wrote this. She kind of seems like a closeted lesbian in this episode. Her reluctance to let Skinner get close to her, her refusal to marry her, her apparent lack of any interest whatsoever in intimacy (whether emotional or physical). Especially how she is contrasted with Selma. This is a good episode, but Skinner's attraction to Patty is kind of hard to believe. Nothing about Patty seems charming. She isn't physically attractive and she has a terrible personality, but Skinner seemed to fall in love with her instantly. I guess she is just his type, or something. After that, it's not the most exciting episode, but it is solid, and it develops Patty's and Selma's characters well. 7/10
9/10: Show gets off to a nice start with plenty of gags. Any episode that has an appearance by Hans moleman is a plus. I really got a kick of the gag of homer using his robotic like vision to analyze people in hopes of finding a partner for Selma. I enjoyed watching Bart use his leverage with principal skinner to get away with things, such as egging him in his face. I can't believe barney doesn't make much appearances on the show anymore, and if so very brief. He's one of my fave secondary characters. The way Selma didn't even bother to spare barneys feelings was my fave scene. Great episods
The first episode to not be based on the Simpsons family, I think. Also the first episode to really develop Principal Skinner's character and one of the few episodes to be held back several months despite already being finished. 7/10
I think the reason the Simpsons has managed to continue for over 25 years is not just down to its core four characters playing off each other, and having distinct personalities, in away that allows for hundreds of potential stories, but thanks moreso to its gigantic cast of supporting characters. In season 2 this was still expanding, with characters like Mr. Burns and Flanders leading the charge, while we still didn't know much about characters who would become prominent in later seasons, like Moe and Apu. Not counting 'Three Eyes on Every Fish' or 'Dead Putting Society' which still kept the focus mainly on the family, this was the show's first true foray into focusing on a member of their extended cast, in this case three: Skinner, and Patty & Selma. And it works to relative success, if not making for the most memorable episode of the season. I always appreciate episodes which develop the show's supporting cast (even as recently as last season's 'King Leer'). The writers made the wise decision to distinguish Patty & Selma, by making Selma desperate for a man and Patty repressed (not sure if they'd already decided on her being gay at this point, but it does explain her lack of desire for a man in her life). Up untill now they'd been nothing more than stereotypical sister-in-law foils for Homer, so it's nice to get some distinct personalities for them. Same with Principal Skinner, but he would get much better episodes in future seasons.

As other reviewers have said before me, Principal Charming was the first episode of the series based on secondary characters. Seymour, Patty, and Selma took the protagonism. Three of the most developed characters until the date. Meanwhile, the Simpsons family passed to a second plane. A story not-focused in a Simpson was an experiment that undoubtedly was going to happen any day, and it gets a place in the middle of the second season.

The entire episode summarized in a screen capture.

The relationship between Patty and Skinner was quite strange. They are two characters that seem incompatible. I don't see the chemistry between thew. We know for Marge that Patty chose the life of celibacy. And it's no clear why she changed her mind for a guy she didn't even like at first instance. That's not probable. I don't even understand why Selma insisted on the first date Patty and Skinner since she was envious for that and her twin wasn't exciting neither. And about Skinner, how did he fall in love madly so fast? He wasn't searching for a girlfriend but he felt love at his first look of a woman who doesn't seem so attractive. It's not believable but hey, each one can choose his couple. On the other hand, I have to say this episode hasn't aged well. Now, Patty is lesbian and Skinner is unable to do something without asking his mother previously. I found exaggerated the affair of marriage. Didn't was too soon for that? We only saw one scene of a happy couple (when they play in the patio of the school). And the farewell scene didn't transmit anything to me as it should. I'd say if they had dedicated more time to this couple, it could have worked better. Because all the scenes in which Patty rejected Skinner are funny. Their first date was a complete failure: the dinner gave us a good moment of Skinner meeting again with an ex-student. And after that, they went to the cinema to watch the apparently bad Space Mutants movie, and we have a funny moment with Skinner trying to hug Patty, without success. And the date ended with Skinner being hit by Patty after the failed mission of kiss her. But he would accomplish his objective in a definitely perturbing scene.

Yeah, this was embarrassing.

But they didn't sacrifice the main relation in vain. I perceived it was more important how the relationship affects both instead of the relation per se. And they explored the other two dynamics that needed more time than the Patty and Skinner's one. And those are two dynamics we'd see many times over the years. The first of them was Patty and Selma's. Here we see how tiring is their work and how is their relationship. Their connecting link is always solid, strong. Both of them disguise their miseries and emotional lacks with the other one. And here, we saw how Selma felt the loneliness after Patty meets Skinner. And we saw lots of sadness' moments with Selma as the banner. When Homer and Marge share moments with her out of compassion. And also two dialogues with her niece and her nephew. Lisa, totally misplaced, giving a daunting stat of how many persons find the actual love at 40 years. And Bart, instead of clear her mind, remembered her what caused her sadness. But what kind of nephews you have, Selma! She also has a meeting with Barney. I know Barney is not the best candidate for a date, but I hate Selma treating him badly when it was always the reason for her disappointment in her dates. A bit of empathy, woman! And well, the situation came to the sad reality (because, even the daily moments of Bouviers twins, are sad) when Patty resigned her last opportunity in the love for Selma, to which she responds with a cold, stony and aloof: "thanks". Seriously? At least, invite her to drink something. Super cold. Maybe it's merit build a character as Selma. But she is one of my least favorite essential characters.

She demonstrated compassion but wait! She is lying! She is envious!

The other relation was the one that saved the episode for me. And it's one of my (many) favorites dynamics of the show. The one between Skinner and Bart. It was a great idea to see Skinner as a subordinate of the boy. I'd say this part of the story was the main justification to join Seymour with Patty. And, of course Bart was to take advantage of this blank check. I quite enjoyed each scene between them here. The first joke Bart's done before Skinner meets Patty is so absurd that it makes me laugh. "Maybe it was another Bart, sir". I don't know if it was a stupid act or a disinterested one, but anyhow, when Skinner quarrels Bart is always funny. Skinner punished Bart with hard work, but Bart has an ace up the sleeve: he could be an intermediary between his director and his aunt. And then we see how Seymor lost control and Bart become in the owner of the school. My favorite scene in the episode is between them: when Bart throws eggs to Skinner's head, and Skinner smile instead angry with him. But that was not the only moment. I enjoyed how Bart presume the situation with Milhouse, Richard, and Lewis. And I find great that Bart finally gets his comeuppance. But I also liked how he looked like a good helper at the time of the bits of advice, and how it causes that Skinner pays an inaccessible jewel in seconds, just because Bart said he should buy it. I wonder what happened with this jewel after the separation. Oh, and I loved the parody of Gone with the Wind, even when I haven't watched the movie. It was another good adaptation of a classic movie in a season with some outstanding in that item. The animation in that scene was wonderful.

Aw, he is so cute. I wonder what could do him with those eggs.

And I'm not exaggerating about the big quantity of great movie references in this season. In fact, the one of Gone with the Wind was not even the best of the episode. This is my moment to comment on the fantastic references to Terminator. It was far away from the hilarity but did really interesting the searching of Homer, and I chuckled with all descriptions. What a home run could get Homer with Ms. Finch. What was a good joke in its moment now it's pretty strange -but still funny-. Then, Homer analyzing to '?' was another decent gag. And the cons he found in Skinner was great. Definitely, a clever parody that actually worked fine. A thing that always confused me was the design of the school and that weird tower. I haven't got a problem when they change anything for the benefit of the plot, but I feel this change pretty contrived. This episode had the first appearance of Hans Moleman (or is he Ralph Melish). He's one of my absolute favorites characters. The level of his interventions is always outstanding and this one wasn't at par, but that is obvious and I think it's a merit to the episode introduce his character. We also saw Willie for the first time. He hasn't changed with time. It was nice he didn't fix Bart's prank at the end. Oh, and my last annotation was about Moe. Yeah, he had a great performance in his two interventions. First, another classic prank-call from Bart, that ended with a funny conversation between an angry Seymour and a bewildered Moe. And second, one of the best advice Moe has ever given:
- Barney: She broke my heart, Moe.
- Moe: Don't worry Barney. Time heals all wounds.
I always liked extremes in Moe's characterization, and here we see both: a man who lets out his anger threatening a boy who plays a joke and a sweet cantinier who helps at his customers.

Sorry for the nerd complaint, but this tower always relocated me.

Principal Charming was an attempt of a love story between Patty and Skinner, focused on Selma's depression and saved by Bart's pranks. It wasn't one of the better or funnier episodes but it had memorable quotes, great parodies and had the first plot dedicated exclusively to secondary characters. An improvement from the previous episode.

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I guess this is the first time we get a real focus on Patty and Selma, and oh yeah the first appearance of groundskeeper willie, the episode also has focus on Skinner and we don't even see his mother at all, but then again this is back when she was a sweet old lady instead of the control freak we know her as.

Of course we don't really learn until much later that Patty prefers women

actually when you think about it, this is the first time we get an episode to focus on someone outside of the Simpsons
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This episode is a breath of fresh air. We finally get an episode not focused on the Simpson family and it's handled pretty well. It's not a super interesting story, but I like the interactions between Patty and Skinner, and this is the start of Selma's search for love.

My only issue is Patty says that she and Skinner can't see each other anymore. I get why she doesn't want to get married, but why can't they stay friends? 7/10
With this episode the show goes into more of a deep dive into some of the secondary characters, namely Patty & Selma as well as Seymour Skinner. It is a fairly good and interesting plot overall, about Selma being lonely and wishing for a man to get together with and Marge makes Homer take up the task of finding one for her and eventually comes across Principal Skinner during one of Bart's destructive pranks but it doesn't go as planned as Skinner falls for the wrong sister, and has some nice character building moments for the secondary characters who are the center of attention this time & some good, fun references and nice jokes throughout the runtime. Not one of my personal favorites and maybe one of the "lesser" good episodes of the season, but still an enjoyable episode.

Good beginning with Homer taking Marge to Greasy Joe's Bottomless Barbecue Pit (which we unfortunately doesn't get a scene from) while Patty & Selma babysits the kids (with the latter seemingly doing all the work), but not before they go to the wedding of co-workers (which makes Selma long even more for a man). Marge utilizing Homer led to a nice Terminator parody with Homer going around "scanning" for possible men for Selma. Meanwhile, Bart pulls one of his most destructive pranks by ruining the grass field of the school's backyard with an herbicide and Skinner has him call his father (I like the "other Bart" joke and Bart doing one of his prank calls to Moe, pitting the latter against Skinner for the briefest moment in another instance of two wildly different characters interacting). Homer questions Skinner abut his love life and "scans" him, seeing how he is the perfect man, and invites him for dinner (to Bart's dismay). Pretty much all of this is some pretty solid stuff.

Skinner coming over for dinner at the Simpsons' was a nice scene, with the plan going wrong as Patty comes in to serve snacks and the principal immediately falling in love (Homer's reaction to having mistaken Patty for Selma was a good one) and what follows was an amusing scenario of Skinner being like a lovesick puppy over Patty who is cold and distant (also some good drama with Selma being ignored). While some good humor comes out of it, they have no chemistry or are interesting together all, not with Skinner being lovesick and Patty having an terrible personality. I could not buy into their relationship. Still, it gave some good interactions between Patty & Selma, with Selma being disappointed and still lonely and Patty continuing. I liked Skinners and Patty's date scene and their later meetings, but Patty being back and forth is a little annoying. I liked Bart's role, with Skinner asking him for advice, Bart taking advantage of his principal's new forgiving personality and takes over the school while Skinner neglects his duty (even ignoring the school falling to pieces).

There's some nice stuff with Marge and Homer continuing to help Selma get a date (whom ends up being Barney, who turns out to be an awful date) and the ultimate scene of Skinner taking Patty to the school's bell tower (which hasn't been seen since this episode, sadly enough; I liked that place) was a nicely emotional one, with Skinner proposing to her, but she being unable to commit and breaking up him in an effective sequence (though I still wonder why she didn't outright reject her sooner), especially with Skinner doing his comeback to an great 'Gone With The Wind parody. Anyhow, he gets back into the saddle and has Bart punished for his wrongdoings by first undoing the field and then having Bart replanting it, seed by seed (also having Groundskeeper Willie, in his first appearance, get comeback from earlier in the episode when he warned that Bart would be back .

So all in all, the episode is a good one with an entertaining plot with some decent drama, some nice characterizations and focus on a few major secondary characters (a series first, unless we count Mr. Burns in 'Two Cars In Every Garage') as well as good references and humor (despite the episode being more story-driven) and the end result is an all good one, but it doesn't quite work all the way despite a good premise and setup. The episode has a lot of things going on and it feels a little overstuffed in a sense (with more or less three plotlines going on, two fairly underdeveloped) and the Skinner-Patty relationship feels a little forced and not as interesting as it could have been (If they had planned Patty to be lesbian when this was written, it would possibly have made it work better), but it is still a nice effort. One of the weaker good episodes of the season but mostly by default and still an decently good one.

I think I'll give it an 3.5/5 rounded up to a 4/5 (bumping it up from my 3/5 rating from earlier today). It doesn't completely come together to me, but I still consider it rather solid, entertaining as well as having a lot of interesting stuff and references going on.
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One of the first of many "Patty & Selma searching for soul mate" episodes but this one was actually pretty well done. Really solid chemistry between her and Skinner. Definitely worth re-watching.