D'oh-in' in the Wind

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"D'oh-in in the Wind"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no. 209
Prod. code AABF02
Orig. airdate November 15, 1998
Showrunner(s) Mike Scully
Written by Donick Cary
Directed by Mark Kirkland
Matthew Nastuk
Chalkboard gag "No one cares what my definition of 'is' is"
Couch gag A bar comes down over the couch, locking the family in like a rollercoaster seat.
Guest star(s) George Carlin as Munchie
Martin Mull as Seth
Yo La Tengo (perform end theme)
DVD
commentary
Matt Groening
Mike Scully
George Meyer
Donick Cary
Ron Hauge
Mark Kirkland

"D'oh-in in the Wind" is the sixth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 15, 1998. In the episode, Homer Simpson travels to a farm owned by Seth and Munchie, two aged hippies who were friends with Homer's mother. After finding out his middle name is "Jay," Homer is drawn to the care-free lifestyle of hippies, and decides to become one himself.

The episode was written by Donick Cary and directed by Mark Kirkland, with a couple of scenes being directed by Matthew Nastuk. Kirkland, who was going through a divorce during the episode's production, assigned Nastuk, his assistant director, to take over direction in his stead. However, after Nastuk had directed a scene, Kirkland felt better and returned to direct the rest of the episode. The episode features the revelation of Homer's middle name, "Jay," which is a tribute to characters from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show who got their middle initial from Jay Ward.

The episode features comic actors Martin Mull as Seth and George Carlin as Munchie. Carlin was suggested by Simpsons writer Ron Hauge, who "really wanted to meet him," although he did not attend the recording session with Carlin and Mull. In its original broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately 8.4 million viewers. Following the tenth season's home release on August 7, 2007, "D'oh-in in the Wind" received mixed reviews from critics.

Plot[edit]

Mr. Burns plans on eating a jar of pickles for lunch, but is unable to open the jar. Nobody else in the plant is able to open it, either. As a result, Mr. Burns decides he needs tougher employees, so he directs Lenny, Carl and Homer in an advertisement to promote the plant. When Homer sees what a good job he did in the commercial, even though no one read the script, he plans on becoming an actor. As he fills out his Screen Actors Guild form, Lisa points out that he has not filled in his middle name, having just put the initial "J." Homer admits that he does not know his middle name. He consults Grandpa about it, who does not remember its origin (he was "in it for the spanking"), but suggests where it might be. They drive to a farm run by two middle-aged hippies, Seth and Munchie, who were friends of Homer's mother back when she had been a hippie. They point out a mural she painted (based on an incident at Woodstock where a very young Homer ran around naked in the mud), which reveals Homer's middle name: "Jay," which makes no difference to his name's pronunciation. Homer sees how care-free his life would be if he were a hippie, and thus decides to become one.

Homer dons a filthy old poncho left behind by Mona and carries around a frisbee (which has "Homer Jay" enscribed on it) as part of his hippie guise. He visits Groovy Grove Natural Farm, where he joins Seth and Munchie in their game of hackie-sack. The fun soon ends when Seth and Munchie have to go back to work, as they operate the most popular organic juice company in Springfield out of their barn. Because of this, Homer believes that they are not hippies and so convinces them to join him on an "old-time freak-out." After their little luck freaking out ordinary people, they return to the barn, only to find that it is flooded with Seth and Munchie's juice and broken bottles — revealed to be caused by Homer's frisbee ending up inside the "juicillator" machine, jamming it and thus ruining Seth and Munchie's shipment. In fury, they remind Homer that he is not, never was and at the rate he is going, never will be a hippie, before telling him to leave them alone. A deject Homer walks away, right before tossing his frisbee behind him, only for it to land in the factory again. Homer quickly leaves.

At night, Homer plans on making it up to Seth and Munchie by taking the crops from their garden and making the juice with them, which he then distributes to every store in town. However, due to a shortage of juicing crops, he also finds and uses some of their "personal vegetables." As a consequence, anyone who drinks the juice has crazy hallucinations. Chief Wiggum catches on, and soon the police surround the farm. Homer comes out front to defend Seth and Munchie and hippie honor by reminding the police of the morals taught by the 1960s, planting a flower in each of their guns as he does so. However, Wiggum discharges his gun, lodging the flower from it in Homer's forehead. At the hospital, Dr. Hibbert says he cannot remove the flower, as he claims "I'm a doctor not a gardener."

Production[edit]

"D'oh-in in the Wind" was written by Donick Cary and directed by Mark Kirkland and Matthew Nastuk. It was first broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on November 15, 1998.[1] The idea for the episode was pitched by Cary, who thought it would be fun to see the citizens of Springfield hallucinating. He then fleshed it out, forming its current iteration.[2] The episode features the revelation of Homer's middle name, "Jay," which is a "tribute" to animated characters such as Bullwinkle J. Moose and Rocket J. Squirrel from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show who got their middle initial from Jay Ward.[3] The name was pitched on for three days by the writers.[2]

Martin Mull (left) and George Carlin (right) guest-starred as the aging hippies Seth and Munchie in the episode.

Originally, Kirkland was supposed to be the sole director for the episode, however, at the time, he was going through a divorce that he "did not see coming." Because of this, Kirkland assigned his assistant director, Matthew Nastuk, to direct the episode in his stead. However, after having directed a scene, Nastuk claimed that he was "terrified" and wanted Kirkland to continue the direction. Kirkland returned to direct the episode, feeling better after getting over the divorce. Despite the circumstances, Kirkland stated that he "loved" working on the episode, and could relate to the story since he had grown up in a "sort of hippie commune school" in the late '60s and early '70s. Kirkland based a lot of the scenery designs in the episode on the state Vermont where, according to him, a lot of "ex-hippies" live.[4]

The two hippies, Seth and Munchie, were portrayed by comic actors Martin Mull and George Carlin respectively. For a while, the staff were not sure of who would play Munchie. Although they had decided on Mull to play Seth, the staff were "kind of stuck" on who would play Munchie. Carlin was suggested by Ron Hauge, one of the Simpsons writers, who "really wanted to meet [Carlin]" but ended up not going to the recording session.[5] Scully stated that Mull and Carlin were "some of the funniest guys that ever lived," and that recording their lines was "a lot of fun." Although it does not occur with most other guest stars in the series, Carlin and Mull recorded their lines together.[1] While the designs of Seth and Munchie were not modeled after anyone in particular, their hair-styles were slightly based on those of Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen, owners of the ice cream company Ben & Jerry's.[4] Comedian Bob Hope was portrayed by series regular cast member Dan Castellaneta, who plays Homer among many other characters in the series. Jill St. John and Phyllis Diller were both voiced by American voice actress Tress MacNeille.[1] The psychedelic version of The Simpsons' main theme that plays during the end credits was performed by Yo La Tengo, an American alternative rock band who are friends of Cary's.[2]

Cultural references[edit]

The episode makes multiple references to 1960s culture, including films such as The Love-Ins (1967).[2] The episode features the theme from the musical Hair, "Incense and Peppermints" by Strawberry Alarm Clock (1967), "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane (1967) and "Time of the Season" by The Zombies (1968).[6][7] In a flashback to Woodstock in 1969, Jimi Hendrix's performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is shown,[6] as is a recreation of the photograph of embracing couple Nick and Bobbi Ercoline taken at the festival and used as a poster for the film Woodstock (1970).[7][8]

Additionally, Homer sings Billy Joel's 1983 song "Uptown Girl".[6] After drinking the tainted juice, Grampa and Jasper sit on a bench, laughing like the titular characters from the series Beavis and Butt-head,[7] while Flanders hallucinates skeletons and dancing bears (images associated with the Grateful Dead), marching hammers (from Pink Floyd's 1982 film Pink Floyd—The Wall) and The Rolling Stones' lips and tongue logo.[7] Mr. Burns' film is credited as "An Alan Smithee Film", a reference to the Alan Smithee pseudonym credit used by directors who wanted to be disassociated from a film on which they had lost creative control, to the detriment of the final product.[6][7] When Barney drinks alcohol to prevent the bad effects from the tainted juice, a pink elephant comes to his rescue, referencing the scene in Dumbo where Dumbo and Timothy drink alcohol and see pink elephants. Seth and Munchie's dog is named Ginsberg, thought to be a reference to beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Homer putting the flowers in the policemen's rifles is a reference to the iconic October 22nd, 1967 Life magazine picture, "Flower Power" by Bernie Boston.

The phrase used by Dr. Hibbert regarding Homer's condition ("I'm a doctor, not a gardener") is a reference to a recurring Star Trek gag when Doctor Leonard McCoy retorts, mostly to Spock, that he is a doctor and not a [whatever the situation refers to].

Additionally, the end credit theme music is presented in a style that parodies "Tomorrow Never Knows" by The Beatles.

Reception[edit]

In its original American broadcast on November 15, 1998, "D'oh-in in the Wind" received an 8.5 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, translating to approximately 8.3 million viewers. The episode finished in 40th place in the ratings for the week of November 9–15, 1999.[9] On August 7, 2007, the episode was released as part of The Simpsons - The Complete Tenth Season DVD box set. Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Donick Cary, Ron Hauge and Mark Kirkland participated in the DVD's audio commentary of the episode.[10]

Following its home video release, "D'oh-in in the Wind" received mixed reviews from critics. Giving the episode a positive review, Aaron Roxby of Collider wrote that, even though he felt that the jokes about hippies were "a bit overplayed," he still considered it to be one of the best episodes of the season.[11] James Plath of DVD Town thought fondly of the episode as well, calling it "funny."[12] Writing for DVD Movie Guie, Colin Jacobson stated that, even though he feels the sixties have been lampooned "many, many times over the years," he considered "D'oh-in in the Wind" to be a successful spoof of the era. He enjoyed the way the episode portrayed and mocked the ways aging hippies "didn't live up to their youthful ideas." He concluded his review by writing that "D'oh-in in the Wind" is one of the first great episodes of the season.[13]

On the other hand, Jake McNeill of Digital Entertainment News did not enjoy the episode. Considering it to be one of the worst episodes of the season, he found the "jabs" at the hippie culture to be dated, writing that the episode is "a quarter century too late."[14] Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood of I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide were negative as well, calling the episode "dreadful." They wrote that, aside from a couple of references to sixties psychedelia and the hippie movement, the only significant part of the episode is the revelation of Homer's middle name. They concluded by writing that the episode is "humourless."[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Scully, Mike. (2007). Commentary for "D'oh-in in the Wind," in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  2. ^ a b c d Cary, Donick. (2007). Commentary for "D'oh-in in the Wind," in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  3. ^ Groening, Matt. (2007). Commentary for "D'oh-in in the Wind," in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  4. ^ a b Kirkland, Mark. (2007). Commentary for "D'oh-in in the Wind," in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  5. ^ Hauge, Ron. (2007). Commentary for "D'oh-in in the Wind," in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  6. ^ a b c d e Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood. "D'oh-in in the Wind". BBC. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Bates, James W.; Gimple, Scott M.; McCann, Jesse L., Richmond, Ray; Seghers, Christine, ed. (2010). Simpsons World The Ultimate Episode Guide: Seasons 1–20 (1st ed.). Harper Collins Publishers. p. 479. ISBN 978-0-00-738815-8. 
  8. ^ Farber, Jim (2009-07-07). "Woodstock concert's undercover lovers, Nick and Bobbi Ercoline, 40 years after summer of love". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  9. ^ "JAG HELPS CBS WIN WEEK BY A NOSE". Sun-Sentinel Company. Associated Press. May 19, 1998. p. 4E. 
  10. ^ "The Simpsons - The Complete 10th Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved May 24, 2011. 
  11. ^ Roxby, Aaron (September 7, 2007). "DVD Review – THE SIMPSONS - Season 10". Collider. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  12. ^ Plath, James (August 17, 2007). "Simpsons, The: The Complete 10th Season (DVD)". DVD Town. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  13. ^ Jacobson, Colin (August 20, 2007). "The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season (1998)". DVD Movie Guide. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 
  14. ^ MacNeill, Jake (September 25, 2007). "The Simpsons: Season 10". Digital Entertainment News. Retrieved April 20, 2011. 

External links[edit]