The Cartridge Family

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"The Cartridge Family"
The Simpsons episode
The Simpsons 5F01.png
Homer examines his gun
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 5 (183rd overall)
Directed by Pete Michels
Written by John Swartzwelder
Production code5F01
Original air dateNovember 2, 1997
Episode features
Chalkboard gag "Everyone is tired of that Richard Gere story". [1]
Couch gag Everybody has their posteriors on fire as they run to a water-filled couch. They hop on board as steam emerges from them. [2]
Commentary Matt Groening
Mike Scully
Yeardley Smith
Pete Michels
George Meyer
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Donick Cary
Ron Hauge
Episode chronology
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"Treehouse of Horror VIII"
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"Bart Star"
The Simpsons (season 9)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"The Cartridge Family" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons ' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 2, 1997. It was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Pete Michels. [1] In the episode, Homer purchases a gun to protect his family, of which Marge disapproves. Homer begins to show extremely careless gun usage causing Marge to leave him when she catches Bart using the gun without their permission. The episode was intended to show guns in a neutral way, and faced some problems with the censors because of the subject matter. Critical reaction was mostly positive.

<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.

Contents

Plot

A riot breaks out in Springfield after a boring soccer match between Mexico and Portugal. Fearing for her family's safety, Marge tells Homer to buy a Home Security System, but after learning it would cost $500, he buys a handgun instead. After a five-day waiting period per the Brady Act, Homer shows his firearm to Marge, who is horrified and demands he get rid of it. Homer brings her to a local National Rifle Association meeting hoping to change her mind, but she remains unconvinced.

Mexico national football team mens national association football team representing Mexico

The Mexico national football team represents Mexico in international football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation. It competes as a member of CONCACAF, which encompasses the countries of North and Central America, and the Caribbean. The team plays its home games at the Estadio Azteca.

Portugal national football team mens national association football team representing Portugal

The Portugal national football team has represented Portugal in international men's football competition since 1921. It is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation, the governing body for football in Portugal.

Handgun short-barreled firearm designed to be fired with only one hand

A handgun is a short-barrelled firearm that can be held and used with one hand. The two most common handgun sub-types in use today are revolvers and semi-automatic pistols.

After a near accident at the dinner table, Marge again begs Homer to get rid of the gun. He promises to, but later, Bart and Milhouse find it in the refrigerator's vegetable crisper. Marge discovers this and berates Homer, then leaves with the children and checks into a motel. That night, Homer hosts an NRA meeting at his house, but the other members kick him out of the association after seeing how recklessly he uses his pistol. Realizing what his behavior has cost him, Homer goes to the motel and tells Marge he got rid of the gun.

Bart Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional character in the American animated television series The Simpsons and part of the Simpson family. He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening created and designed Bart while 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. While the rest of the characters were named after Groening's family members, Bart's name is an anagram of the word brat. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family received its own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.

Milhouse Van Houten Fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Milhouse Mussolini Van Houten is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons, voiced by Pamela Hayden, and created by Matt Groening who named the character after President Richard Nixon's middle name. Later in the series, it is revealed that Milhouse's middle name is "Mussolini." Milhouse is Bart Simpson's best friend in Mrs. Krabappel's fourth grade class at Springfield Elementary School, and is insecure, gullible, and less popular than Bart. Milhouse is often led into trouble by Bart, who takes advantage of his friend's naïveté, and he is also a regular target for school bullies Nelson Muntz and his friends Jimbo Jones, Dolph Starbeam, and Kearney Zzyzwicz. He also has a crush on Bart's sister, Lisa, which is used as a plot element in many episodes. Milhouse is one of the few residents in Springfield with visible, in fact rather thick, eyebrows.

While leaving, Snake arrives to rob the desk clerk. Homer pulls out his gun and Marge is angry he lied again, but as he tries to apologize, Snake snatches the gun. The other NRA members arrive and foil Snake, who escapes. Homer then says he does not trust himself and asks Marge to throw the gun away herself. However, Marge sees a reflection of herself holding it in the trash can and decides to keep it. [1]

Snake Jailbird The Simpsons character

Snake Jailbird is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons, who is voiced by Hank Azaria. Snake's first appearance was in the episode "The War of the Simpsons". His catchphrase is "Bye!", which he usually says when he is in trouble. His real name is Albert Knickerbocker Aloysius Snake, although a Simpsons card says his name is Chester Turley. He was named the 19th of IGN's Top 25 Simpsons Peripheral Characters.

Production

John Swartzwelder wrote this episode. John Swartzwelder Retouched.png
John Swartzwelder wrote this episode.

This was the first episode to air which was executive produced by Mike Scully. [3] Sam Simon pitched an episode for one of the first seasons which saw Homer getting a gun and nobody wanting him to have it. The episode concluded with Homer foiling a robbery and stating that although guns bring destruction, it worked for him. [4] However, this episode was pitched by Scully for either season seven or eight, before being used for season nine. [3] This provided the basic outline, and John Swartzwelder wrote the script. [3] A lot of lines in the episode put guns in a positive light, as the staff felt that they could not just make an episode about how bad they were. [3] Several of the staff, including Swartzwelder, are "pro gun", although others, such as Matt Groening, are completely against them. [5] The episode was designed to be non-biased and to portray each side of the argument equally. [6] Scully noted that if there is any message in the episode it is that a man like Homer should not own a gun. [3] The censors were nervous about some of the episode's subject matter, such as Homer pointing the gun in Marge's face, and Bart aiming the gun at Milhouse with the apple in his mouth, but ultimately let it go. [3]

Mike Scully American writer and producer

Michael Scully is an American television writer and producer. He is known for his work as executive producer and showrunner of the animated sitcom The Simpsons from 1997 to 2001. Scully grew up in West Springfield, Massachusetts and long had an interest in writing. He was an underachiever at school and dropped out of college, going on to work in a series of jobs. Eventually, in 1986, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a stand-up comic and wrote for Yakov Smirnoff.

Sam Simon American director, producer, writer, boxing manager and philanthropist

Samuel Michael Simon was an American director, producer, writer, animal rights activist and philanthropist, who co-developed the television series The Simpsons.

John Swartzwelder 1950; comedy writer and novelist

John Joseph Swartzwelder Jr. is an American comedy writer and novelist, best known for his work on the animated television series The Simpsons. Born in Seattle, Washington, Swartzwelder began his career working in advertising. He was later hired to work on comedy series Saturday Night Live in the mid-1980s as a writer. He later contributed to fellow writer George Meyer's short-lived Army Man magazine, which led him to join the original writing team of The Simpsons, beginning in 1989.

The opening sequence where soccer is portrayed as the most boring sport imaginable was intended to show that soccer was more boring on television than live, but both Michels and Groening enjoy the game. [3] [5] The referee at the game is a caricature of the janitor at Film Roman, who supplied director Pete Michels with every piece of soccer information he needed to design the episode. [6] Pelé also makes an appearance at the match, although he is voiced by Hank Azaria. [3]

Film Roman American animation studio

Film Roman is an American animation independently owned company. It was originally owned by Starz Inc., which is now a division of Lionsgate and later by Waterman Entertainment, the production company of producer Steve Waterman. Founded by veteran animator and director Phil Roman in 1984, it is best known for producing source animation for series such as The Simpsons (1992–2016), King of the Hill and Family Guy for 20th Century Fox Television, as well as Garfield and Friends and various Garfield animated television specials.

Pete Michels is an American animation director who is the supervising director of Future-Worm! on Disney XD. Prior, he was a supervising director on seasons 1 and 2 of Rick & Morty, an animation and supervising director on Family Guy, and supervising director of the short-lived TV show Kid Notorious. He started working on The Simpsons in 1990 as a background layout artist, and eventually became a director. He has also been a director on Rugrats and Rocko's Modern Life.

Pelé Brazilian retired footballer

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, KBE, known as Pelé, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a forward. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award. That same year, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. According to the IFFHS, Pelé is the most successful domestic league goal-scorer in football history scoring 650 goals in 694 League matches, and in total 1281 goals in 1363 games, which included unofficial friendlies and is a Guinness World Record. During his playing days, Pelé was for a period the best-paid athlete in the world.

The episode closes with music from The Avengers . After the music had been recorded, Scully felt that it did not suit the ending and so wished to change it to something else. However, it was too late in production to get the full orchestra back to do a recording, and union rules meant that previous recordings could not be reused. [3]

Cultural references

The chalkboard gag references the Richard Gere gerbil urban legend. [3]

The gun shop is based on the shop that the Los Angeles Police Department went to during the North Hollywood bank robbery to acquire more ammunition. [6] The title of this episode is a play on the name of 1970s television series The Partridge Family . [2] The end music is the theme to the 1960s series The Avengers , [2] and the song playing when Homer is sitting and watching things go by while he is waiting five days for his gun is "The Waiting" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. [3] Petty rarely let his music be used on television, but, being a fan of The Simpsons, he allowed them to use it. [3]

Reception

In its original broadcast, "The Cartridge Family" finished 26th in ratings for the week of October 27 – November 2, 1997, with a Nielsen rating of 10.5, equivalent to approximately 10.3 million viewing households. It was the third highest-rated show on the Fox network, following The X-Files and King of the Hill . [7]

The episode received several positive reviews, being included in the Herald Sun 's list of the top twenty The Simpsons episodes. [8] It was also named the fifth best episode in the show's history in an article by The Florida Times-Union . [9] The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also praised the episode, calling The Simpsons "the only sitcom in memory to treat gun control with any fairness". [10]

On the other hand, the episode has been criticized by several outlets. The staff received several complaints from the NRA about the portrayal of the organization in the episode, despite the fact that the Springfield NRA revokes Homer's membership for his irresponsible behavior. [3] Ian Jones and Steve Williams criticized the episode, calling it "a messy, unfocused lampooning of gun culture". [11] Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, the authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, found that it was "one of the most politically unambiguous episodes ever", but that "[it] is very dull and the plot isn't sustainable". [2] Anna Leszkiewicz in the New Statesman later pinpointed it as the moment Marge should have left Homer, saying "Homer has proved himself to be a violent, unstable, controlling, reckless husband". [12]

The episode was not initially aired on the United Kingdom satellite channel Sky1 due to scenes of flagrant gun misuse, yet was aired several times on BBC Two in an earlier evening timeslot. [13] The episode has since been aired in daytime slots on all channels, albeit with partial editing. The episode was also included on the Too Hot for TV VHS and DVD, along with "Treehouse of Horror IX", "Natural Born Kissers", and "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy". [14]

Related Research Articles

Marjorie Jacqueline "Marge" Simpson is a fictional character in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Marge 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 Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his mother Margaret Groening. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three seasons, the Simpson family received their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.

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.

Maggie Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Margaret "Maggie" Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She first appeared on television in the Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Maggie was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. She received her first name from Groening's youngest sister. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family was given their own series on the Fox Broadcasting Company which debuted December 17, 1989.

Lisa Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Lisa Marie Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She is the middle child and most intelligent of the Simpson family. Voiced by Yeardley Smith, Lisa was born as a character in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening created and designed her while waiting to meet James L. Brooks. Groening had been invited to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic Life in Hell, but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the elder Simpson daughter after his younger sister Lisa Groening Bartlett. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family were moved to their own series on Fox, which debuted on December 17, 1989.

"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", also known as "The Simpsons Christmas Special", is the series premiere episode of The Simpsons. It was the first episode to air despite originally being the eighth episode produced for season one. It is the only full-length episode to air during the 1980s, having originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 17, 1989.

<i>The Itchy & Scratchy Show</i> Fictional TV show on The Simpsons

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Gimple, Scott (1999). The Simpsons Forever!: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ...Continued . Harper Collins Publishers. p. 16. ISBN   0-06-098763-4.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Warren Martyn; Adrian Wood (2000). "The Cartridge Family". BBC. Retrieved 2007-06-12.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Scully, Mike (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "The Cartridge Family" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  4. Meyer, George (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "The Cartridge Family" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. 1 2 Groening, Matt (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "The Cartridge Family" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  6. 1 2 3 Michels, Pete (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "The Cartridge Family" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  7. Associated Press (November 6, 1997). "'Cinderella' works magic for ABC". Sun-Sentinel. p. 4E.
  8. "The Simpsons Top 20". Herald Sun. 21 April 2007. pg. w09.
  9. Nancy McAlister. "A sassy 'Simpsons' celebration; Fox hits a Homer as it broadcasts the 300th episode of the animated sitcom tonight". The Florida Times Union. 16 February 2003. pg. D1.
  10. Jonah Goldberg. "The Simpsons: Bedrock American Values". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 14 May 2000. pg. E1.
  11. Ian Jones, Steve Williams. "NOW LET US NEVER SPEAK OF IT AGAIN". Off The Telly. Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  12. https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/tv-radio/2017/10/marge-should-have-left-homer-simpsons
  13. Steve Williams, Ian Jones. "THAT IS SO 1991!". Off The Telly. Archived from the original on 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  14. "The Simpsons: Too Hot for TV". Fox. Archived from the original on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2007-10-25.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)