Dangerous Curves (The Simpsons)
|The Simpsons episode|
A young Homer and Marge
|Directed by||Matthew Faughnan|
|Written by||Billy Kimball|
|Original air date||November 9, 2008|
|Chalkboard gag||"I did not see teacher siphoning gas"|
|Couch gag||The family is a group of wooden figures that come out of a set of cuckoo clocks.|
Maurice LaMarche as Alberto
"Dangerous Curves" is the fifth episode of the twentieth season of The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 9, 2008. The episode received mixed reviews from television critics.
On the Fourth of July, the Simpson family visit a cabin in the woods. While driving there, they pick up hitchhikers Squeaky Voiced Teen and his girlfriend, Beatrice. Homer flashes back twenty years earlier, when he and Marge ride their bikes down a highway. While trying to kiss, Homer crashes his bike, forcing them to walk. Ned and Maude Flanders driving by, see them and pick them up. Ned and Maude reveal they are married, but having some marital problems and, seeing this, Homer proposes to 'not' marry Marge. Back in the present, Homer becomes annoyed with the Squeaky Voiced Teen kissing Beatrice, prompting another flashback.
In their married years in 2004, Homer and Marge are more stressed. Driving with Marge, Patty and Selma, and getting the usual flak from the latter two, Homer angrily kicks them out of the car, unaware they had the map to their cabin destination. The car runs out of gas and Homer and Marge walk off with a gas can, stopping at a home to use the phone. The owner, Alberto, is having a party, and he invites them in. Marge becomes enraged after seeing Homer flirting with a beautiful woman named Sylvia. Following an argument, Marge accidentally falls into the pool. Homer starts a sushi fight, and Marge regrets marrying Homer. In the present, the family drops off the Squeaky-Voiced Teen and Beatrice, and continue to their cabin.
Homer and Marge flash back to their dating years, when Flanders brought them along to the same cabins. Flanders barricades unmarried Homer and Marge chastely in separate rooms.
In their married years, Marge leaves the party with Alberto, while Homer drives off with Sylvia. They each of course end up at the cabins. Via a sequence of mid-century movie plot cliches, Alberto and Sylvia fall in love while Homer and Marge rekindle their love.
In the present, Homer and Marge meet Alberto and Sylvia, now married with a daughter named Ruthie and learn of each other's near-affairs. Marge is disgusted, but Homer points out she was just as bad as he was. Homer regrets marrying Marge and, trapped in a ball of their luggage which happened while unpacking, has Ruthie roll him into the woods.
Back in their dating years, Ned tells Homer that if he was married to Marge, he could make all the love to her he wants. Taking a walk through the woods with Marge, Homer carves the message "Marge + Homer 4ever" into a tree. In the present, Homer sees this message, then Marge arrives and accidentally knocks the tree over a ravine. Homer clings onto the bark and falls down the ravine toward the river below with Marge falling after. They are saved by Bart and Lisa in their pedal car, which Bart had accidentally driven into the river.
The episode's non-linear plot showing various points in Homer and Marge's relationship is a reference to the 1967 film Two for the Road, starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney, and the episode's musical score mimics the film's Henry Mancini score. Homer, Sylvia and Dr. Hibbert sing the Chubby Checker song "Limbo Rock", while a water-soaked Marge resembles Cousin Itt from The Addams Family.
Toucan Sam, Trix, Cap'n Crunch and Count Chocula are all featured on Bart's Cereal Killer game; they are, respectively, the mascots for Froot Loops, Trix, Cap'n Crunch and Count Chocula breakfast cereals. The handheld system Bart is playing on is a Game Boy Advance.
Since airing, the episode has received mixed reviews from television critics. Robert Canning of IGN said, "I did find Bart and Lisa as the bickering couple...to be very funny. It added a fresh twist to this generally stale outing. ...There were other fun laughs...but none of that could make up for the poor story being told or the overall unfunniness of the episode." He gave this episode a 5.8. Daniel Aughey of TV Guide said, "[It was the] Worst. Episode. Ever. I found the events of this week's episode so simplistic that I was utterly confused." He went on to say, "The story was stitched together and never really had any momentum." Erich Asperschlager of TV Verdict wrote: "I’ve always enjoyed The Simpsons flashback episodes. The best of them tickle a nostalgic funny bone, but 'Dangerous Curves' doesn’t really fit with those episodes, though. The story of Homer and Marge’s marriage weathering a serious storm would be a lot more compelling if we hadn’t seen it before. I’m glad the writers feel they can write character-based stories after 19 years. I just wish they’d stop repeating themselves. Still, 'Dangerous Curves' is at least a complete story from beginning to end, and it has some of the best one-liners this season."
- "Listings - SIMPSONS, THE on FOX". The Futon Critic. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
- Canning, Robert. "IGN: Dangerous Curves Review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
- Bates, James W.; Gimple, Scott M.; McCann, Jesse L.; Richmond, Ray; Seghers, Christine, eds. (2010). Simpsons World The Ultimate Episode Guide: Seasons 1–20 (1st ed.). Harper Collins Publishers. pp. 968–969. ISBN 978-0-00-738815-8.
- Project, RK. "The Simpsons: Dangerous Curves". Archived from the original on 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
- Aughey, Daniel. "The Simpsons Episode Recap: "Dangerous Curves"". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-03-02.