The Simpsons is one of my favorite TV Shows. I have watched it when it was great. I have watched it through the dregs of season 12-15. And I still watch new episodes and enjoy them. Their most recent Christmas episode, A Summer Christmas at Christmas, is one of their best Christmas themed episodes, since Marge Be Not Proud, Which came out in the seventh season. That was 25 years ago. That makes me so old. I have been watching The Simpsons for almost two/thirds of my life.
Marge Be Not Proud starts with a Krusty’s Christmas Special. “Christmas is a time when people from all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ,” Bart states. An advertisement for an ultra violent video game Bonestorm has an jacked up Santa yelling, “Buy me Bonestorm or go to hell!” Bart then goes to his parents and quotes the TV Santa. I love Homer’s response, “Young man, in this house we use a little word called ‘please’.” Marge won’t get it for Bart because the game is violent and will distract him from his schooling.
Marge goes through the bedtime-tuck-in ritual with Lisa and Bart. https://youtu.be/vPC4Z8TQQ0o Bart feels he is too old for it. Ten is an odd age. You are still a kid, but you are beginning to chafe at being treated like a kid.
Bart goes to the local Try N Save store which exclaims, “In honor of the birth of Jesus, we are open all day on Christmas.” The ultimate in child selfishness is shown by a brat named Gavin.
Gavin’s Mom: Gavin, don’t you already have this game? Gavin: No, Mom, you idiot! I have “Bloodstorm” and “Bone Squad” and “Bloodstorm II”, stupid. Gavin’s Mom: Oh, I’m sorry, honey. We’ll take a “Bonestorm”. Gavin: Get two. I’m not sharing with Katelyn![The employee gets two copies of the same game]Bart: That must be the happiest kid in the world.
Bart then imagines video game characters urging him to steal Bonestorm, all but Lee Carvallo of Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge. He tells Bart, “Don’t do it, son. How’s that game going to help your putting?”
Bart steals the video game and almost gets away with it when store security guard Don Brodka puts his hand on Bart’s shoulder and brings him to his office. The store Santa offers Bart a candy cane, but Brodka says “None for him.” Santa destroys the candy cane in anger. Brodka is one tough cookie.
Brodka leaves a message on the Simpson’s answering machine. He tells Bart that he will let him go as long as he never returns to the store. If he does, he will spend Christmas in Juvie. He asks Bart if he understands “capiche.” Bart understands everything but “capiche.”races to beat his parents home to change the answering machine tape. (Remember this was 1995 after all) He succeeds by swapping it with Allan Sherman’s Camp Grenada. He is safe, Bart thinks.
Bart is in a great mood when the family decides to get their Christmas family picture taken. Bart is happy and in a smiling mood until he realizes they are going to Brodka’s Try N Save.
Bart tries everything to get out of it. Homer thinks Bart’s legs are tired, so picks him up and carries him into the store, to possibly meet his doom. While posing for the picture, Brodka drags Bart away by his collar, ruining Marge’s one Christmas wish, a normal happy family photo.
Marge defends “her special little guy.” She is convinced there is no way that he could steal. Brodka puts the surveillance tape into the VCR. Bart tries to explain as his crime Is shown on a bank of TVs. You can see Marge’s heart breaking.
Homer is angry and goes into a hilarious tirade. “Stealing! How could you?! Haven’t you learned anything from that guy who gives those sermons at church? Captain Whatshisname? We live in a society of laws. Why do you think I took you to all those “Police Academy” movies? For fun? Well, I didn’t hear anybody laughing! Did you?! Except at that guy who made sound effects. [makes some sound effects and laughs to himself] Where was I? Oh, yeah: stay out of my booze.”
Marge doesn’t show anger but doesn’t show any emotion. Lisa says that that is bad and makes an analogy to a bathroom countertop and a bathroom rug. One you can clean stains off of easily, the other stays there for a long time and is hard to get out. I often make that analogy about how people differ in their response to trauma.
Marge does the sleepy-time-tuck in for Lisa. She opens Bart’s door and just says, “Good night”, and closes the door. Her son is no longer the innocent special little guy in her eyes anymore.
Marge decides not to “mother” him anymore. She doesn’t wake him up for breakfast, she doesn’t put a marshmallow in his hot chocolate, leading to a funny gag where the hot chocolate and the marshmallow merges into a blob so you can cut it with a knife. Bart feels guilty for the shoplifting but he feels the pain of his mother’s distance more.
The last straw is when Bart comes home from hanging with Millhouse’s mom doing “mom stuff.” His family has made their annual front yard snow family without him. Marge didn’t think Bart would be interested anymore. But she tells him that there still was some snow under the car that he could use. This is one of the saddest scenes in any Simpsons’ episode.
Bart is sick of being the “black sheep” so he goes back to the Try N Save. He comes home with something under his coat. Marge is angry, thinking that Bart hasn’t shoplifted again. She chases him and Homer blocks him in using a doggy gate. Bart reluctantly shows Marge what he has. It is a portrait of him, paid in full, receipt attached. Marge is happy and puts the picture over the one of him being dragged away.
The episodeends with Marge giving Bart the video game that the man at the video store said “was the one that every boy wanted.”, Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge. Bart doesn’t care. He is just glad he has his mom back.
Rarely does The Simpsons tug on your heartstrings the way it used to in the golden years, (3rd through the 9th seasons) like like this one did. Mothers and sons always have a special relationship. Boys will always be their mother’s “special little guy” even when they get older, leave the house, and get married. The boy has to grow into his own man but the bond of unconditional love is always there. To all the moms and sons out there. Merry Christmas.
Thank you for the quotes https://simpsons.fandom.com/wiki/Marge_Be_Not_Proud/Quotes