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The Simpsons - S14E05

Family . Comedy . Animation

When Homer is injured at work, his compensation is use of a luxury sky box. The family enjoys the luxuries, but Lisa is bored and joins the masses rink side. She gives one of the players some score tying advice and is rewarded with Kozlov's hockey "tree". The stick is mounted in Lisa's room where later that night termites break out of the stick and do much damage to the family home. Until the Russian no-wood-nick termites can be thoroughly exterminated, 6 months from now, the Simpson family is homeless. The family tries a number of options but settle upon trying out for a home where they are required to live like its 1895. They pass the audition and start living the lifestyle. When the "1895 Challenge" sinks in the ratings, the producers try to stir things up by adding Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley. When even that doesn't work, they relocate the house to a river and watch it float downstream. Eventually the house comes to shore and falls apart. Now the family finds themselves without food and shelter as the TV crew eats away. The encounter and tribe of refugees from another reality program and together they fight to return to civilization, where they can find quality scripted television. When even that fails them, they start to entertain themselves.

Episode Title: Helter Shelter
Airs: 2002-12-1 at 08:00 pm
  • Ken Tucker

    Groening has created a group of characters whose personalities and motives are more vivid and detailed than the vast majority of sitcoms featuring flesh-and-blood actors.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Richard Zoglin

    [The show] has a good deal of savvy wit.... The Simpsons, however, is strangely off-putting much of the time. The drawings are grotesque without redeeming style or charm (characters have big beady eyes, beaklike noses and spiky hair), and the animation is crude even by TV's low-grade standards.

    Time Full Review
  • Howard Rosenberg

    Easily the the best, cleverest and nuttiest arrival of the 1989-90 season is The Simpsons...It's very small-scale, but perfectly conceived and executed. What we have here from creator Matt Groening is a rare confluence -- delightful writing, pictures and voices fitting like a Matisse. [12 Jan 1990, p.F1]

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • John Engstrom

    "The Simpsons" is both a challenge and a delight. It's also that rarest of TV fauna, a cartoon show with levels of mirth for every brain and pair of eyes in the family. [12 Jan 1990]

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    A hilarious holiday package. [15 Dec 1989, p.3D]

    USA Today Full Review
  • John J. O'Connor

    There is, admittedly, a fine line between being hilariously perceptive and just plain, even objectionably, silly. While habitually teetering on that line, 'The Simpsons' has shown a remarkable ability to come down on the right side most of the time.

    The New York Times Full Review
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