Rate and Review : Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment

What do you think of this episode?

  • 2/5 This isn't the world's worst episode. What about that freezer lady in Georgia?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1/5 From now on, the writers should stick to smuggling heroin.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    144

Mans Holeman

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Hilarious episode and one of the best ever. I have to disagree with Infinity183, all of the jokes worked brilliantly for me and I think Rex Banner is one of the greatest one time Simpsons characters. 5/5
 

Robotics

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This is definitely a fantastic episode that is not too overrated. I should say that the characterization in these episodes were dead-on.

This episode best shows Homer's alter-ego. Normally we see him as a big man who doesn't seem to have much success in life, but Homer Vs. The Eighteenth Amendment has shown that he can have is bright ideas an successes. The plot seemed similar to "Midnight RX", but with less gags. Nevertheless, historical allusion stood out in the episode-- as opposed to Midnight RX, which emphasized more 'stereotypical' satire.

Like stated previously, the episode is more like an allusion of history replaying itself; we often hear the enforcement of a law and eventually being repealed. I think another important thing shown here is that Lisa and Marge are actually not fully against Homer's alcohol trafficking, or rather, being more ambivalent (triggered through conscience, I guess). Though lacking a little more humor, I'm quite pleased at its execution of Rex Banner's authoritative operation to prevent the trafficking, or events that occurred throughout the episode in general.

Had the episode been a little more gag-supplemented, this would've been really, a solid 5/5. Even without the gags though, it'd still be a high 4, which I rounded to 5 in the polls. Similar episodes can be an easy criteria to point out errors that we see in the newer seasons.
 

Sam

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[MENTION=21074]Financial Panther[/MENTION] [MENTION=48686]HerbertMcHoover[/MENTION] [MENTION=27138]Jesse Pinkman[/MENTION] [MENTION=23936]überweiss[/MENTION] Once more, explain your crimes against humanity.
 

Sam

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I was only half serious.


But still.


Still.


This is like, one of the funniest things ever to grace TV.
 

Nebuchanezzar

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Why does this episode receive so much praise? I do admit that its message is subliminally clever, but the execution is nothing that special. The same major problem I had with El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer applies here - it models itself after a genre that does not translate smoothly into the Simpsons. I'm all for references to pop culture, but all the allusions to the 1920's, from the Charleston soundtrack, to the brisk narrator, to the mafia, feel very contrived and offer rather little in terms of humor. Rex Banner really isn't that interesting a character, either. Even though the plot and writing are generally well-done, the lack of memorable jokes causes this to feel like just another Simpsons episode, rather than a true classic like Marge vs. the Monorail. It's all just very good, but not fantastic and certainly not deserving of its widespread acclaim.

8.5/10

i'm not convinced that any of those examples are contrived. or, i'm unsure as to what you mean by contrived. contrived within the episode or within the series? and i'm not convinced that the episode genre does not translate smoothly into the simpsons. these sound like sweeping statements. any chance that you can elaborate?
 

Infinity183

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i'm not convinced that any of those examples are contrived. or, i'm unsure as to what you mean by contrived. contrived within the episode or within the series? and i'm not convinced that the episode genre does not translate smoothly into the simpsons. these sound like sweeping statements. any chance that you can elaborate?

Well, the first major problem is that the writers are trying very hard to essentially turn Moe's Tavern into a hopping 1920's speakeasy through storytelling technique. I personally find this angle awkward, since the present setting is 70 years later and Moe's was never realistically popular beforehand except when it served the Flaming Moe. Moe's was always a glum, desolate, and mean-spirited place, not a recreational hot spot as portrayed here. It feels like the writers are overplaying the bar's influence just for the sake of likening the episode to the 1920's. It takes the story out of the show's realistic context and turns it into a blatant charade.

As for Rex Banner, he looks and acts completely like someone displaced from his original time period, entirely a product of this episode's narration style. He's just there as an old fashioned crime sleuth and doesn't offer any humorous interaction with the town. His character in itself is not bad in any way, it's just that it so obviously feels like he's merely used to reinforce this episode's 1920's theme, thereby detracting from his genuine credibility in the show. In an actual 1920's setting, Banner would seem more natural and thus a lot more entertaining, but here, his appearance and manner of speech are too incongruent with the Simpsons style for me to enjoy the character.

In sum, I find this episode contrived because it's forced to maneuver around a wide time gap in order to narrate from a certain angle. Full-out movie parodies like Cape Feare and Marge on the Lam worked because they never bent the very nature of Springfield and therefore felt more organic. Here, the writers are trying to turn the show into something that it's not. The hokey vintage elements of the 1920's clash poorly with the light, wacky environment of Springfield, leaving the finished product sterile and fairly humorless.
 
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Sinister Burns

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Haven't you learned by now that continuity on The Simpsons is completely worthless, only to be used when the writers feel like it?
 

Nebuchanezzar

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Well, the first major problem is that the writers are trying very hard to essentially turn Moe's Tavern into a hopping 1920's speakeasy through storytelling technique. I personally find this angle awkward, since the present setting is 70 years later and Moe's was never realistically popular beforehand except when it served the Flaming Moe. Moe's was always a glum, desolate, and mean-spirited place, not a recreational hot spot as portrayed here. It feels like the writers are overplaying the bar's influence just for the sake of likening the episode to the 1920's. It takes the story out of the show's realistic context and turns it into a blatant charade.

As for Rex Banner, he looks and acts completely like someone displaced from his original time period, entirely a product of this episode's narration style. He's just there as an old fashioned crime sleuth and doesn't offer any humorous interaction with the town. His character in itself is not bad in any way, it's just that it so obviously feels like he's merely used to reinforce this episode's 1920's theme, thereby detracting from his genuine credibility in the show. In an actual 1920's setting, Banner would seem more natural and thus a lot more entertaining, but here, his appearance and manner of speech are too incongruent with the Simpsons style for me to enjoy the character.

In sum, I find this episode contrived because it's forced to maneuver around a wide time gap in order to narrate from a certain angle. Full-out movie parodies like Cape Feare and Marge on the Lam worked because they never bent the very nature of Springfield and therefore felt more organic. Here, the writers are trying to turn the show into something that it's not. The hokey vintage elements of the 1920's clash poorly with the light, wacky environment of Springfield, leaving the finished product sterile and fairly humorless.

i get what you mean, so fair enough. i vehemently disagree and would chuck a loud spaz if you were given a writer's job on the show, because i think the show's flexibility is one of its all important assets, but OK. i guess i'm pretty OK with a blatant charade on the show, as long as it's played as a blatant charade (like the spinoff showcase, unlike the principal + pauper).
 

Infinity183

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Haven't you learned by now that continuity on The Simpsons is completely worthless, only to be used when the writers feel like it?
Exactly why the HD seasons are completely in and over their heads. Deliberate explanations are passed aside, and instead the rules are flipped upside down just for a lame joke, i.e., Moe being ugly because an elephant stepped on him, Helen Lovejoy once being a man, etc. Just because it's a cartoon doesn't give the writers the excuse to go so haywire over continuity that the viewer can hardly even connect with the show's universe anymore.

The situation in Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment is a little different though because it's mainly the clashing 1920 elements that I have a problem with, not so much continuity. The only real continuity quirk I had here was Moe's being a 1920's speakeasy instead of a quiet bar with only a few customers. It's not downright ridiculous like Principal Skinner being an impostor, but it's still a forced representation that feels more like a stunt than a plausible episode at Moe's Tavern.
 

Sinister Burns

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Well, do you disagree with the notion of "stunt" episodes in general (e.g. "22 Short Films", "Spin-Off Showcase") or is it just this particular episode that you don't like?
 

Infinity183

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Well, do you disagree with the notion of "stunt" episodes in general (e.g. "22 Short Films", "Spin-Off Showcase") or is it just this particular episode that you don't like?

An episode like The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase works okay as a stunt because the show and characters actually fit the specific angle the writers take. The three shorts there are homages to old, cheesy television classics right to the bone, just with Simpsons characters. But in every case, the characters still very much feel like themselves and thus have ample room to be funny. Chief Wiggum is still a quack crime stopper, and so the genre they set him in fits him perfectly. Grampa as a love tester is super high concept, but it suits his usual bumbling grandfather persona perfectly, and he's used to his full comedic advantage by trying to help the always socially lacking Moe Syzlak land a date.

With Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment, the 1920's theme does not fit the characters or show's usual style of comedy and thus leaves the episode with few laughs. Sometimes, taking a different angle can be fresh and humorous, but to work, it needs to exploit the show's setting and characters to their fullest. This episode focuses heavily on the genre it's trying to represent, but this unfortunately limits its opportunities for good interactive or character-based humor.
 

Nebuchanezzar

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wait. now i'm a bit confused. before it sounded as if you were taking issue with the show departing from its usual place in the universe:

Well, the first major problem is that the writers are trying very hard to essentially turn Moe's Tavern into a hopping 1920's speakeasy through storytelling technique. I personally find this angle awkward, since the present setting is 70 years later and Moe's was never realistically popular beforehand except when it served the Flaming Moe. Moe's was always a glum, desolate, and mean-spirited place, not a recreational hot spot as portrayed here.

but now

An episode like The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase works okay as a stunt because the show and characters actually fit the specific angle the writers take. The three shorts there are homages to old, cheesy television classics right to the bone, just with Simpsons characters.

i'm not convinced that you can be ok with one stunt, but not ok with another. especially when the stunt you're not ok with is far more toned down than the other. if a short is a dead on homage but just with simpsons characters, then that sounds to me as if it couldn't possibly fit into the simpsons universe any less. it certainly seems to me as if a moderate transformation of moe's is more in line with the simpsons universe than the simpsons being outside the 4th wall, as in the spinoff showcase.

But in every case, the characters still very much feel like themselves and thus have ample room to be funny. Chief Wiggum is still a quack crime stopper, and so the genre they set him in fits him perfectly. Grampa as a love tester is super high concept, but it suits his usual bumbling grandfather persona perfectly, and he's used to his full comedic advantage by trying to help the always socially lacking Moe Syzlak land a date.

With Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment, the 1920's theme does not fit the characters or show's usual style of comedy and thus leaves the episode with few laughs. Sometimes, taking a different angle can be fresh and humorous, but to work, it needs to exploit the show's setting and characters to their fullest. This episode focuses heavily on the genre it's trying to represent, but this unfortunately limits its opportunities for good interactive or character-based humor.

so then, what exactly are the OOC moments in the 18th amendment episode? how does homer operating as a beer baron not fit his prior persona (or what have you), and then, are you necessarily offended by any episode that adds a dimension to a character? lisa the vegetarian for instance, or a milhouse divided, or hurricane neddy.
 

Infinity183

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i'm not convinced that you can be ok with one stunt, but not ok with another. especially when the stunt you're not ok with is far more toned down than the other. if a short is a dead on homage but just with simpsons characters, then that sounds to me as if it couldn't possibly fit into the simpsons universe any less. it certainly seems to me as if a moderate transformation of moe's is more in line with the simpsons universe than the simpsons being outside the 4th wall, as in the spinoff showcase.

Nebuchanezzar said:
then, what exactly are the OOC moments in the 18th amendment episode? how does homer operating as a beer baron not fit his prior persona (or what have you), and then, are you necessarily offended by any episode that adds a dimension to a character? lisa the vegetarian for instance, or a milhouse divided, or hurricane neddy.
I don't really take issue with Homer as the beer baron. Frankly, even Moe isn't out of character; it's his bar that's redone for the worse. It's just that the episode itself mostly emphasizes the 1920's theme itself, not how the jokes that come out of the characters as a result of the approach the writers take, as was the case in the Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase. The humor seems to come primarily from likening Springfield to a town during the roaring 20's, which means turning Moe's into a speakeasy and focusing on a character (Rex Banner) who seems heavily out of place in the Simpsons environment. It's not funny to me because it seems like a forced attempt at satire rather than a creative context that provokes humor naturally. Some stunts work because they set up a humorous situation right from the start; others, such as this, do not fare as well because the writers need to really stretch the situation to find any good opportunities. I can enjoy Chief Wiggum's New Orleans excursion, Grampa's portrayal as a love tester, and the Simpsons variety hour because the parodies themselves work in smooth conjunction with the characters' funny personalities. This episode does not achieve the same for me.
 

Les_Wynan

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I thought only Doctor Who fans got wound up by continuity errors, they are so anal on Gallifrey Base.
Anyhow this episode doesn't work for me, just not enough laughs and perhaps its too smug for its own good.
Highlight is Ned Flanders being arrested for speaking his 'diddily' lingo :)
2/5
 

Les_Wynan

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Happy St Paddy's Day everyone !!!

My Facebook page is currently spammed by pics of this episode from Simpsons fan pages :D

will watch this later this evening
 

Insanity Pepper

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This episode is a bit wacky and I have to agree with Infinity that the 20's references seem a bit forced. On the other hand, it is an entertaining episode overall, and it deals with a very interesting subject, namely the nature of laws. Homer is breaking the law by bootlegging alcohol, and yet Marge doesn't seem to have much of a problem with it. That is presumably because the law Homer is breaking is ridiculous, and she recognizes it as such. And, watching this episode, you don't feel necessarily like Homer is doing anything that bad (at least until he endangers his family and the neighborhood with his exploding stills), because he is committing a victimless crime. So, there's some good satire there, I think. Still, this episode has some blatant flaws, so it doesn't compare well with a lot of other episodes. 7/10
 

Walid

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what i like:

-everything with Rex Banner, such as him thinking Flanders was drunk, his look when he tries to laugh, him being catapulted out of town, etc

-The best damn pet shop in town!

-Homer's way of getting beer to Moe's was pretty smart

-To alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

good episode with another really fun one-timer character. 5/5
 

Mazamaxe

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"Here's to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."

You said it Homer! :chug:

5/5
 

Deuce

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For a long time I considered this the last truly great episode of The Simpsons, and it was - no joke - ten seasons before anything they did made me laugh as much again (the motel scene in Dial N for Nerder, for the record).

On a recent rewatch of the first nine seasons I've been persuaded to revise that opinion, having been reduced to a blubbering mess by Lisa's Sax, but this episode still stands out as one of the show's late peaks for me.

The episode isn't perfect, as a few people have picked out: it loses steam in the final quarter or so, some of the plot elements don't make a lot of sense, some of the references are a little forced, but most of that is nitpicking and I only really noticed having seen it three or four times. It hangs together well enough to sustain its length without losing the viewer, and besides that it's all about the jokes, many of which are just fantastic. I can think of very few episodes with so many quality lines, even from before S8. Among its fellows in S8 it stands out all the more. So it gets a 5/5 from me, despite its flaws.
 

Dr. Bill Harford

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Massively entertaining and full of quality gags. The "I'm not gonna lie to you, Marge" exchange is one of the sharpest and most underrated jokes ever; I've quoted it more than a few times in real conversation (what a nerd). One of those episodes that's just a indescribable amount of fun to watch, and is quite startlingly far removed from the handful of blander S8 outings. A/A+
 

Beggs

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I'll get my 5/5 out of the way to begin with, because I love this episode, and it's one of my all-time favourites.

There isn't a dull or wasted moment in this one. It starts out strong with the St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Bart's plight in the opening scene is something you can relate to if you've ever forgotten to wear the appropriate thing on a themed day and copped flak for it. Homer's scenes at Moe's are just as amusing, and the parade has some great moments with the other boys cheering for drunken Bart, some good-natured ribbing, sloshed Apu ("Everybody get naked! Come on, don't be stuck up, it's going to be great!") and Kirk ("Well, why not? This party's just getting started!" *rips shirt to reveal big medallion*).

It's a good setup to the main plot, with Kent's editorialising leading to Springfield's perpetually outraged to demand the extreme solution of prohibition. Finding an old law on the books that's never been enforced is a fun nod to the many archaic laws around the world that aren't enforced because they're irrelevant to modern society, but no one's bothered to repeal. The resolution of the episode where it turns out the prohibition law in Springfield was repealed is both a good joke (all it took was a year!), and a satisfying turn of events that doesn't feel like a deus ex machina.

For me, everything in between works and is on target. As Dr. Bill Harford mentioned, there's Homer's "I'm not gonna lie to you, Marge" line, which is simple but a great joke. The 1920s/film noir elements are entertaining, never being too serious or too silly, making the satire work very well. Then there's Wiggum and his "charm". Rex Banner is a very memorable character whose seriousness makes him funny (the nodding in acknowledgement of both telegrams, his stern lectures, and his inability to laugh being prime examples). Barney's vigil, completely in shadow despite being under the streetlight, and Rex Banner punching out the window to collar him are very funny moments. Homer's scheme is one of his best, and his efforts to make his own liquor when his supply run out. It also makes sense that Marge would be impressed with it, at least at first. One of my all-time favourite jokes is the president of Duff declaring his confidence in the alcohol-free product, only to close down 30 minutes later and declare himself ruined.

There are cartoonish moments, like Moe being able to change his speakeasy into a pet shop with the pull of a lever, Rex Banner being sent out of town by catapult, and even parts of Homer's scheme. I have no problem with that, though. While there have been over-the-top cartoonish moments in the series that have taken away from episodes, this is also a show where Homer plummeted down a gorge, was mistaken for Bigfoot after being covered in mud, and a clone walked past the window after he mentioned that cartoons don't have to be 100% realistic. If it works and makes for a good gag, I'm all for it, and I've always felt the wackier moments in this episode work just fine.

I can't say much more about it that hasn't already been said. It's a fun caper that ends on a great line ("To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.") that is often cut in syndication and for censorship. Again, I like that they find out that the law was repealed after only one year. On paper it sounds like a cop-out, but it's just like the people of Springfield to not bother reading the whole document. Perhaps the only missed opportunity is that we didn't see any ducks wearing long pants. In my book, definitely a late-classic era masterpiece.
 
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