Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the airing of The Simpsons‘ episode of “Homer at the Bat”. In my opinion, it is the smoothest episode the show has ever produced. It may even be their best.
(Deadspin put together a really nice recap of the episode’s significance.)
I grew up a huge Simpsons fan but when this episode first aired, I was only a 5-year old boy. I didn’t even know what this show was until I got a little older. By the time I did finally watch the episode, I had no idea what kind of great impact this episode had.
But now that it’s 20 years later, I can appreciate it a lot more. Aside from the fact that baseball is my favorite sport, the best thing about this episode was its smooth storytelling.
Most episodes from the show featured a main story and a side story. But this was one entire story from beginning to end. It didn’t involve anything out of the ordinary. And I think that’s what attracted the audience to it.
There weren’t any distractions throughout the show. It was just one story the entire way. It was just smooth.
Aside from the cameos from the players and funny baseball references, this show proved that The Simpsons were here to stay. We learned that the show could carry the weight of a cast full of inexperienced voice actors and make something great out of it. They were able to beat out the Olympics and the Huxtables in one night.
Looking back at this episode, I don’t think I can find one that better amplified the show’s greatest strengths. They kept Homer as the main focus while working with voice actors outside the show. With numerous pop culture references and silly character development, this episode gave us a little bit of everything we loved.
Background knowledge of the characters of the show wasn’t needed. This may have been the perfect episode to show a casual viewer.
I’m not sure if this is my favorite episode. There are so many other ones out there that are just as funny. But I know that anytime this episode is on TV, I can always just stop, watch and never get bored.
If you have not seen the episode, click this link now and watch.
(The show just aired their 500th episode on Sunday. The newer episodes aren’t as funny as the ones of the past, but I can still appreciate how great this entire series has been for me.)