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Advent Calendar 2016 Box 22

The Simpsons
Season 7 Episode 11
"Marge Be Not Proud"

Originally broadcast December 17, 1995

As I look back on the last 30 years of TV watching, it really comes down to one thing. There was The Simpsons, and then all other shows. Well, I guess you could say that about any TV show, but the point is that The Simpsons has a very special place in my heart (the first 10 seasons or so, at least).

What is the show?

The Simpsons are a middle-class family in suburban anywhere, and the show follows their dysfunctional adventures. Come on, though, you know what The Simpsons are. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie are kind of as much a part of my family as a bunch of cartoon characters could be. When I was a kid, I took pride in having seen every single episode (which was pretty cool in a pre-Internet world). It was the first show that I followed religiously, and I remember talking about the show and making jokes about it all the way back in Elementary school.

I'm not sure what I could add to the discourse about The Simpsons that hasn't already been said in the last 27 years. It's one of the longest running shows ever (I am pretty sure it is definitely the longest running animated series ever), and though it could be argued that it has overstayed its welcome by, oh, a good 17 years or so, it still stands alone.

There's a reason a common Internet joke is "The Simpsons did it," referring to the fact that basically everything you can imagine has happened on the show at one point or another. There's a Simpsons reference to pretty much any given moment. Just look back on my other posts here and count how many times I mentioned the show (and those are just the ones that came obviously). It's a pillar, perhaps one of the most important figures in popular culture, and it has definitely shaped my childhood to some degree.

What is the episode?

Christmas is coming soon, and Bart gets excited about a super cool new video game called Bonestorm. Marge refuses to buy it for him, though, and through some bad peer pressure from the local hooligans, Bart decides to steal it. He gets caught and banned from the store, which becomes a problem when Marge brings the whole family there for family pictures. Bart gets in trouble, and it strains his relationship with the whole family.

There are other perhaps more noteworthy Christmas episodes, but this is the one I remember. Perhaps it struck a chord with me in particular, being a young man who often wanted expensive video games myself. The show really did a great job developing the emotional core of this episode, and I think that really stuck with me. As a kid, I could feel the embarrassment and regret that Bart feels.

Bask in the glory of early to mid 90's Simpsons, and you won't need another show again.

Where can you watch it?

There's the problem. Aside from catching it the next time FX has a marathon of the entire series (or just drawing from your memories of having watched it a hundred times), I'm not sure where you can get it on demand. You can always get the DVD's, though.

We only have two more episodes left on the list. Can you guess what they might be? Spoiler: I can't pick just one episode of The Simpsons.

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