Episode: Homer vs Dignity In an episode wherein Homer becomes Mr Burns' prank monkey, undertaking increasingly embarrassing acts for money, it takes something truly awful to stand out. And if there's one adjective that springs to mind while watching Homer being sexually assaulted by a giant panda, it's 'awful'. Burns' most humiliating prank sees Homer sneaking into Springfield Zoo and wearing a costume that will fool the tourists into thinking he is the resident female panda, Sim Sim. But after being zapped by two handlers, he is too weak to retreat from male panda Ping-Ping's amorous advances. As Ping-Ping drags 'Sim Sim' into his cave, and a curtain emblazoned with 'Shhh, Pandas Need Their Sleep! ' falls over the entrance, Homer's screams are drowned out by the audience's applause. Admittedly, the offending scene occurs offscreen - but nevertheless the implication is more than enough. A ' morning after' scene shows Homer escape from the cave only to be sprayed while crossing the skunk exhibit before, at his worst moment, he is spotted by Lisa. For both the man and the show, this is certainly a new low. ''Yes, I may be naked and reeking of panda love,'' says Homer, ''but I've got to stop this before it goes too far.'' Too late. For many Simpsons fans, this episode marked a turning point. Outlandish storylines are one thing but crude, unfunny shock tactics such as this are quite another.
Yorkshireman (hence the surname). Often spotted sacrificing sleep and sanity for the annual Leeds International Film Festival. For a sample of (fairly) recent film reviews, please visit whatsnottoblog.wordpress.com.