Sunday, February 21, 2010

"The Color Yellow"

Wow...what an interesting tribute to Black History Month on The Simpsons this week. So, lets get straight to the recap.

The episode starts with Willy trying to get rid of a root in the Springfield Elementary school yard.  He tries some traditional methods, but eventually ends up using TNT.  It works and lands right on Skinners KIA ("My KIA!").  This gets the attention of Lisa's teacher, Ms. Hoover, and she decides to give the class an assignment on their family tree.

As Lisa researches her family tree she discovers that the majority of her ancestors were thieves, deadbeats and on some occasions alcoholics (Homer inherited that gene).  Worried she may not find anyone worth reporting, Lisa decides to go to the attic to find more information. As Lisa rummages through the attic we see where the Simpsons have stored everything from the Mr. Plow jacket to Funzo to the Tiki head that Mr. Burns gave them.  Lisa soons finds the diary of her ancestor Eliza Simpson. 

Lisa reads Eliza's diary in the kitchen to the rest of the family. Eliza begins by explaining she is having a good day because she geting her first slave. The Simpsons are in shock that anyone in their family had ever owned slaves or, as Homer put it, were in management.  But as Lisa continues they learn that Eliza intended on gooing to Mr. Burn's Ball to help a slave to freedom. Lisa is relieved to hear that her family were actually a part of the Underground Railroad (cue Bart: We ran a train station?!).  After hearing this Homer encourages Lisa to stop reading or as he puts it to quit while she is ahead. He pretty wants to spare her from any hurt that might result of her reading too much and learning her ancestors weren't as admirable as she thought. So Homer places the diary in the vent. 

Lisa attempts to leave the book alone, but the book beckons to come and finish reading it.  She soon retrieves it with the intention of using it for her Black History Month presentation.  The diary story continues with Eliza going to Mr. Burns Ball.  During a ruckus caused my Mr. Burns' demanding a four count waltz, Eliza goes goes to the stable meet and rescue Virgil, Mr. Burns' slave. She takes him North, but they are seen and chased by patrollers.  They flee into the woods, but the story is cut off because the last pages of the diary have been reduced to dust. 

In order to find more information about the story, Lisa and Marge go to the library.  There they find a cookbook by Eliza's mom. At the footnote of a recipe, they learn that Eliza and Virgil hide at a circus. Virgil hides as a clown in thick makeup (UnderClown Railroad) and Eliza hides as a bearded lady. When Krusty threatens to charge the patrollers for looking to long, the patrollers leave.  Eliza brings Virgil to her home and her father agrees to help Virgil after he makes the father some doughnuts. 

Lisa presents this story at the Black History Month assembly.  As she goes through her PowerPoint presentation, the presentation attempts close like in does in several presentations I have presented and watched. After telling the story of Eliza and her part in the Underground Railroad, Milhouse announces that her story is false.  He then reads from his ancestors journal about Eliza's father offering up Virgil's location for a precious suprise from Mr. Burns'. We later find out that this surpise is actually just shoes.  Eliza attempts to stop Mr. Burns, but when he encourages to be a good quiet girl she stops.  Lisa is in shock, but she is quickly escorted off the stage because there are two Jackie Robinson and multiple Obama presentations that have to be done.

Lisa goes back to the library and checks the film vault for more information.  She sees a video of elderly Eliza stating her only regret in life was holding her tongue to injustice.  Lisa concludes that there is no noble Simpson. After Grandpa Simpson hears this he decides to tell Lisa the remainder of the story.  After Mr. Burns learns that Virgil is the shed and goes to look for him, he finds Mabel there with shotgun prepared to protect Virgil.  Mabel decides to take Virgil to Canada herself.  After a perilous journey North, Virgil and Mabel make it to Canada..  There she decides her old husband and marry Virgil, but keeps the name Simpson.  Lisa and the rest of the family find out that they are 1/64th black.  Bart then says, "that's why I'm so cool," Lisa says, "that's why my jazz is so smooth," and Homer says, "that's why I earn less than my white co-workers." LoL that had to be the moment of the episode. They then ask Abe why he kept this a secret and he explains that there are people who are you know, kind of...and Lisa helps him by saying "racist."

Marge even brings up her French heritage which hasn't been explored and Homer says that it why he drinks.

Overall, I absolutely adored Black History Month Simpsons episode, (Black History Month hasn't been getting much recognition elsewhere). I especially adored the last line where the Simpsons explain how being 1/64th black has supposedly helped or hindered them. That was the funniest line of an episode that didn't have too many funny points. But I still loved it. I like how they show the whole historical research process. I also like the multiple Obamas (the students) and learning how there were few other noble ancestors of the Simpsons :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment