Simpson Tide

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"Simpson Tide"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 19
Directed byMilton Gray
Written by Joshua Sternin & Jeffrey Ventimilia
Production code3G04
Original air dateMarch 29, 1998
Guest appearance(s)
Episode features
Chalkboard gag "My butt does not deserve a website" [1]
Couch gag In a parody of Rocky & Bullwinkle bumpers, the Simpson family falls off a cliff and grow as flowers in the ground. [2]
CommentaryAl Jean
Mike Reiss
Episode chronology
 Previous
"This Little Wiggy"
Next 
"The Trouble with Trillions"
The Simpsons (season 9)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"Simpson Tide" is the nineteenth episode of The Simpsons ' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 29, 1998. [3] After being fired from the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Homer decides to join the United States Navy Reserve. The episode was the second and last to be written by Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia and was the final episode directed by Milton Gray.

<i>The Simpsons</i> American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

<i>The Simpsons</i> (season 9) Episode list for season of animated series

The Simpsons' ninth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 1997 and May 1998, beginning on Sunday, September 21, 1997, with "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". With Mike Scully as showrunner for the ninth production season, the aired season contained three episodes which were hold-over episodes from season eight, which Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein ran. It also contained two episodes which were run by David Mirkin, and another two hold-over episodes which were run by Al Jean and Mike Reiss.

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American free-to-air television network that is a flagship property of the Fox Corporation. The network is headquartered at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, with additional offices at the Fox Broadcasting Center and at the Fox Television Center in Los Angeles.

It guest starred Rod Steiger as Captain Tenille and Bob Denver as himself, with one-time The Simpsons writer Michael Carrington making an appearance as the Drill Sergeant. This was the last episode Al Jean and Mike Reiss executive produced together, although Jean became show runner again in season 13. [2]

Rod Steiger American actor

Rodney Stephen Steiger was an American actor, noted for his portrayal of offbeat, often volatile and crazed characters. Cited as "one of Hollywood's most charismatic and dynamic stars," he is closely associated with the art of method acting, embodying the characters he played, which at times led to clashes with directors and co-stars. He starred as Marlon Brando's mobster brother Charley in On the Waterfront (1954), the title character Sol Nazerman in The Pawnbroker (1964), and as police chief Bill Gillespie opposite Sidney Poitier in the film In the Heat of the Night (1967) which won him the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Bob Denver American actor

Robert Osbourne Denver was an American comedic actor, widely known for portraying Gilligan on the 1964-1967 television series Gilligan's Island and beatnik Maynard G. Krebs on the 1959–1963 series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

Michael Carrington is an American comic writer and voice actor best known for his work on the animated series The Simpsons. He co-wrote the episode "Homer's Triple Bypass" with Gary Apple and has provided occasional voicework, most notably as Sideshow Raheem in "I Love Lisa", the black comedian who does the joke about black drivers versus white drivers in "Homer and Apu", the drill sergeant in "Simpson Tide," and a sportscaster in "Million Dollar Abie".

Plot

After Homer nearly causes the nuclear plant to go into meltdown by putting a doughnut into the reactor core to enlarge it, he is fired by Mr. Burns. While at home he sees a recruitment advertisement on television for the Naval Reserve and decides to enlist, with Moe, Barney, and Apu deciding to join him. Meanwhile, Bart purchases an earring, which an outraged Homer confiscates.

Homer Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Homer was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his father, Homer Groening. After appearing for three seasons on The Tracey Ullman Show, the Simpson family got their own series on Fox that debuted December 17, 1989.

Mr. Burns fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Charles Montgomery "Monty" Burns, usually referred to simply as Mr. Burns, is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer. He is the evil, devious, greedy and wealthy owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and, by extension, Homer Simpson's boss. He is assisted at almost all times by Waylon Smithers, his loyal and sycophantic aide, adviser, confidant, and secret admirer.

United States Navy Reserve Reserve Component (RC) of the United States Navy

The United States Navy Reserve (USNR), known as the United States Naval Reserve from 1915 to 2005, is the Reserve Component (RC) of the United States Navy. Members of the Navy Reserve, called reservists, are enrolled in the Selected Reserve (SELRES), the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), the Full Time Support (FTS), or the Retired Reserve program.

Homer and the others are placed on a nuclear submarine. While participating in a military exercise, Homer unintentionally has the captain fired out of a torpedo tube and pilots the submarine into Russian waters, which is seen by the United States government as an attempt to defect. This event creates a political schism between the USA and Russia, leading to the revelation that the Soviet Union in fact never truly dissolved, complete with the Berlin Wall rising from the ground, Soviet troops and tanks appearing in the streets and Vladimir Lenin rising from his tomb in Moscow.

Submarine Watercraft capable of independent operation underwater

A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. It is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely operated vehicles and robots, as well as medium-sized or smaller vessels, such as the midget submarine and the wet sub. Submarines are referred to as "boats" rather than "ships" irrespective of their size.

Torpedo self-propelled underwater weapon

A modern torpedo is a self-propelled weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with its target or in proximity to it.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a Marxist-Leninist sovereign state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Nuclear war is anticipated until the US Navy drops depth charges on Homer's sub, aiming either to destroy it or force it to surface. The consequent explosion causes a pinhole leak in the submarine's hull, but Homer uses Bart's earring to plug the leak and saves the submarine. The vessel surfaces and Homer is taken to be court-martialed, but because the officers on the review committee have done such awful things, Homer's punishment ends up being a mild dishonorable discharge and he immediately forgives Bart, as the earring saved his life. [1] [2] [3]

Nuclear warfare conflict or strategy in which nuclear weaponry is used to inflict damage on an opponent

Nuclear warfare is a military conflict or political strategy in which nuclear weaponry is used to inflict damage on the enemy. Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction; in contrast to conventional warfare, nuclear warfare can produce destruction in a much shorter time and can have a long-lasting radiological warfare result. A major nuclear exchange would have long-term effects, primarily from the fallout released, and could also lead to a "nuclear winter" that could last for decades, centuries, or even millennia after the initial attack. Some analysts dismiss the nuclear winter hypothesis, and calculate that even with nuclear weapon stockpiles at Cold War highs, although there would be billions of casualties, billions more rural people would nevertheless survive. However, others have argued that secondary effects of a nuclear holocaust, such as nuclear famine and societal collapse, would cause almost every human on Earth to starve to death.

Depth charge anti-submarine weapon

A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare weapon. It is intended to destroy a submarine by being dropped into the water nearby and detonating, subjecting the target to a powerful and destructive hydraulic shock. Most depth charges use high explosive charges and a fuze set to detonate the charge, typically at a specific depth. Depth charges can be dropped by ships, patrol aircraft, and helicopters.

Military discharge release from military service

A military discharge is given when a member of the armed forces is released from his or her obligation to serve. Each country's military has different types of discharge. They are generally based on whether the person completed their training and then fully and satisfactorily completed their term of service. Other types of discharge are based on factors such as the quality of the person's service, whether their service had to be ended prematurely due to humanitarian or medical reasons, whether the person had been found to have drug or alcohol dependency issues and whether they were complying with treatment and counseling, or whether the person had demerits or punishments for infractions or were convicted of any crimes. These factors affect whether they will be asked or allowed to re-enlist and whether they qualify for benefits after their discharge.

Production

Bob Denver guest stars as himself. Bob Denver Gilligans Island 1965.jpg
Bob Denver guest stars as himself.

"Simpson Tide" was one of two season nine episodes that was executive produced by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, who together were the showrunners for the third and fourth seasons. Although Jean would later return to run the show the following season, it was the last episode that Reiss received an executive producer credit for. [4] Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia, the episode writers, were working on Jean and Reiss's show The Critic at the time, and pitched an episode where Homer joins the Naval Reserve. [5] Although the episode is partly based on the film Crimson Tide , the original episode pitch was made before the film was released. [4] After the release of the film, the writers decided to start incorporating things from the movie in the script. [5] In the original draft, Bart sneaked on board the submarine with Homer. They were trying to do it "for the comedy of it", but could not get the draft to work, so it was cut. [4] It was difficult for them to figure out how to get the captain off of the sub and they eventually decided to have him shot out of the torpedo tube, which in the DVD commentary, Al Jean says that Steiger claimed that he really did get stuck in a torpedo tube once. [4]

Al Jean American television writer and producer

Alfred Ernest Jean III is an American screenwriter and producer. Jean is well known for his work on The Simpsons. He was born and raised near Detroit, Michigan, and graduated from Harvard University in 1981. Jean began his writing career in the 1980s with fellow Harvard alum Mike Reiss. Together, they worked as writers and producers on television shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, ALF and It's Garry Shandling's Show.

Mike Reiss American writer and producer

Michael L. Reiss is an American television comedy writer and author. He served as a show-runner, writer and producer for the animated series The Simpsons and co-created the animated series The Critic. He created and wrote the webtoon Queer Duck and has also worked on screenplays including: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, The Simpsons Movie and My Life in Ruins.

<i>The Simpsons</i> (season 3) Episode list for season of animated series

The Simpsons' third season originally aired on the Fox network between September 19, 1991 and August 27, 1992. The showrunners for the third production season were Al Jean and Mike Reiss who executive produced 22 episodes for the season, while two other episodes were produced by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Sam Simon. An additional episode, "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?", aired on August 27, 1992 after the official end of the third season and is included on the Season 3 DVD set. Season three won six Primetime Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" and also received a nomination for "Outstanding Animated Program" for the episode "Radio Bart". The complete season was released on DVD in Region 1 on August 26, 2003, Region 2 on October 6, 2003, and in Region 4 on October 22, 2003.

The Navy drill instructor, along with the announcer to "Exploitation Theater", was voiced by Michael Carrington, who had written the season four episode "Homer's Triple Bypass" and previously voiced Sideshow Raheem. [5] Bob Denver voices himself in the episode and was directed by Mike Reiss. [4] Rod Steiger guest stars as the captain and was directed by Al Jean. [5]

Cultural references

Many parts of the episode, including the title, refer to the 1995 film Crimson Tide . The captain of the submarine is based on Captain Frank Ramsey, a character in the film who was portrayed by Gene Hackman. [5] The opening couch gag is a recreation of the Rocky and Bullwinkle animated bumper seen at the end of each Bullwinkle short. The music accompanying it is also adapted from the original music in the bumper. [4] Homer mentions that he and his friends joining the Navy is similar to The Deer Hunter , and the Russian roulette scene from the film is later parodied. [5] Right before the submarine submerges, the song "In the Navy" is played and the Village People can be seen dancing. [5] Homer dreams of being on "the planet of the doughnuts", which is reminiscent of the film Planet of the Apes . [4] When aboard the submarine, Homer refers to one of the crew members as Mr. Sulu, a reference to the character in Star Trek: The Original Series . [5] Bart sings a portion of the song "Do the Bartman" and Ralph Wiggum comments that it "is so 1991", which was when the music video for the song was released. [2] Grampa Simpson claims that he attacked John F. Kennedy on the PT-109 when Kennedy stated "Ich bin ein Berliner", leading to Grampa mistaking him for a Nazi. [5]

Reception

In its original broadcast, "Simpson Tide" finished 29th in ratings for the week of March 23–29, 1998, with a Nielsen rating of 9.2, equivalent to approximately 9.0 million viewing households. It was the second highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, following The X-Files . [6]

Michael Schiffer, one of the writers of the film Crimson Tide , is said to have enjoyed this episode. [5] Mike Reiss considers the sequence where Russia returns to being the Soviet Union to be "the nuttiest the show has ever been". [4] The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, called it "a fairly straightforward episode where the biggest laugh comes from Homer being able to talk to penguins and Bart trying to impress his classmates by doing The Bartman." [2]

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References

  1. 1 2 Gimple, Scott M. (December 1, 1999). The Simpsons Forever!: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ...Continued . HarperCollins. ISBN   978-0-06-098763-3.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Simpson Tide". BBC. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
  3. 1 2 "Simpson Tide". The Simpsons.com. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Reiss, Mike (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Simpson Tide" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Jean, Al (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Simpson Tide" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  6. Associated Press (April 2, 1998). "ABC rides Oscar to ratings win". Sun-Sentinel. p. 4E.