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Homer vs. Patty and Selma
A Star is Burns
Lisa's Wedding

"Schindler es bueno, Señor Burns es el diablo."
Señor Spielbergo

"A Star is Burns" is the eighteenth episode of Season 6.

Synopsis[]

To combat news that the town is the most anti-intellectual city in the United States (so anti-intellectual, in fact, that they still burn people at the stake for believing in science), Marge suggests that Springfield hold a film festival, prompting everyone in town to create their own short films. Jay Sherman from the ABC sitcom The Critic flies down to Springfield to be one of the judges after reading Marge's fan letter (and to escape Rainier Wolfcastle after Sherman insulted him during an interview on Coming Attractions). Homer, out of jealousy, urges Marge to be on the film jury as well, but things get sticky when Homer must choose between a beautiful, yet tragic movie about Barney Gumble's alcoholism and a crudely funny short film showing Hans Moleman getting hit in the groin by a football. Meanwhile, Mr. Burns uses the film festival as an opportunity to boost his massive ego with a self-indulgent epic movie of his own.

Full Story[]

In response to Springfield being named the least cultural city in the United States, a town meeting is held to decide a course of action, where Marge proposes that Springfield host a film festival showcasing films made by the townspeople. To her surprise, the townspeople love her idea, and Marge is made the head of the festival's judging panel, inviting New York film critic Jay Sherman to be a special guest critic (who agrees primarily to escape the wrath of an enraged Rainier Wolfcastle, for slating his latest comedy film). Jay's quick wit, pop-culture savvy, and numerous awards make Homer feel inadequate, so he convinces Marge to put him on the judging panel as well.

The film festival commences, and many of the townspeople enter films, from Bart's The Eternal Struggle (part three of an arthouse film series about Homer in private and embarrassing situations, joining Homer in the Shower and Homer on the Toilet. This installment has Homer trying to fit into his relaxed fit Dockers) to Mr. Burns' self-aggrandizing epic, A Burns for All Seasons. Festival attendees are particularly touched by Barney Gumble's unfortunately titled film, Pukahontas, a tragic, introspective piece about Barney struggling with his alcoholism, which Marge and Jay foresee to be the eventual winner. Burns' film, directed by Steven Spielberg's non-union Mexican counterpart "Señor Spielbergo", ends up getting booed by the audience. He bribes two of the judges, Krusty the Clown and Mayor Quimby, to vote for it, leading to a deadlock.

Left with the tie-breaking vote, Homer enthusiastically votes for Hans' aptly-named Man Getting Hit by Football (a simplistic comedy showing Hans Moleman getting hit in the groin with a football), but Marge and Jay convince him to reconsider. After Homer watches Pukahontas in its entirety (having missed the first showing), he realizes its poignance. Pukahontas is named the winner of the film festival. In his acceptance speech, Barney declares that his victory has inspired him to give up drinking, but immediately rescinds his promise when Quimby reveals his prize to be a lifetime supply of Duff Beer.

Sherman prepares to return to New York, and the Simpsons thank him for his help in making the festival a success. Marge suggests that Mr. Burns has learned a lesson that you cannot bribe everyone. Contrary to her statement, he submits A Burns for All Seasons to the Academy Awards, with Burns up for a Best Actor nomination after bribing everyone in Hollywood. However, in a cruel twist, the winner is George C. Scott for his performance in the big-budget remake of Hans Moleman's Man Getting Hit By Football film.

Behind the Laughter[]

Controversy[]

Matt Groening heavily criticized the episode, feeling that it was just a 30-minute advertisement for The Critic, and that people would incorrectly associate the show with him. When he was unsuccessful in getting the episode pulled, he had his name removed from the credits and went public with his concerns, openly criticizing Brooks. To date, this is the only episode of The Simpsons that does not have Matt Groening's name in the credits, though some syndicated versions do erroneously use the normal Simpsons credits that have Groening's name on it.

See Also[]

Citations[]

Season 5 Season 6 Episodes Season 7
Bart of DarknessLisa's RivalAnother Simpsons Clip ShowItchy & Scratchy LandSideshow Bob RobertsTreehouse of Horror VBart's GirlfriendLisa on IceHomer BadmanGrampa vs. Sexual InadequacyFear of FlyingHomer the GreatAnd Maggie Makes ThreeBart's CometHomie the ClownBart vs. AustraliaHomer vs. Patty and SelmaA Star is BurnsLisa's WeddingTwo Dozen and One GreyhoundsThe PTA Disbands'Round SpringfieldThe Springfield ConnectionLemon of TroyWho Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)
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