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The Simpsons - S13E14

Family . Comedy . Animation

Homer gets a letter from the library telling him about an overdue book. He checked it out when Bart was born to have something to read his child. Lisa suggests that he read them some stories from it now. Homer starts by telling the tale of the… a). "Odyssey" Homer is Odysseus, who delivers a Trojan horse to the King. After his troops are victorious, Odysseus ticks off the gods by refusing to make a sacrifice. They take their revenge upon him when they blow him and his crew off course, where they almost meet the Sirens and finally Circe, who turns his men into pigs. After Odysseus eats his men, he has to cross the river Styx to return home. When he arrives he takes out the trash. b). "Joan of Arc" Lisa is Joan in this retelling of the story of Joan of Arc. Joan sets out to help lead the French army to victory against the English, which she does, until she is captured. Joan is found guilty and is about to be burned at the stake, when Marge, not much for tragic endings, changes the ending so that Joan lives. c). "Hamlet" Bart is Hamlet and Homer asks him to avenge his death. Moe (as Uncle Claudius) had Homer killed so that he could marry the queen (Marge) and take over the kingdom. Hamlet discovers the king's treachery and goes to avenge his father's death. When he kills the wrong man, he must duel with Laertes (Ralph). When Laertes dispatches himself, Hamlet kills Uncle Claudius, then himself. Rather than clean up the mess, the queen also dispatches herself. Everyone is dead. Bart can't believe how boring the last story was, but Homer reminds him that is also became a great movie called "Ghostbusters." The family dances as the theme to that classic film plays in the background.

Episode Title: Tales From the Public Domain
Airs: 2002-03-17 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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