the Foxes The simpsons aired over 725 episodes, and due to their sheer number, fans constantly debated the quality of the show. There are constant debates about when the show’s golden age is coming to an end or if the show should have been canceled years ago. The discussion got to the point where the cast members weighed in. But there is one episode that stands out when it comes to controversy.
Series creator Matt Groening has remained a vocal champion of the show even after stepping away from day-to-day production, appearing on DVD commentaries for almost every episode – except for one episode that he couldn’t bear. Groening hated an episode of The simpsons and what it stood for so much that he complained about it publicly and refused to have his name put on it. It’s a shame, because season 6’s “A Star is Burns” is much better than he thinks.
“A Star is Burns” is the 18th episode of The simpsons‘ sixth season. The plot centers on the citizens of Springfield who decide to hold a film festival after Marge suggests it might help improve the town’s image. Placed on the event’s judging panel thanks to his connection to Marge, Homer finds himself in a unique position to break a deadlocked vote – with the chance to award the top prize to the villain’s grand celebration of himself. Mr. Burns, Barney’s a moving rumination on his alcoholism or Hans Moleman’s explicit short titled ‘Man Gets Hit by Football’. The episode is best known for featuring Jon Lovitz as Jay Sherman, a New York film critic who is invited by Marge to serve on the jury and stays with the Simpsons while he’s in town.
Sherman was the central character of The critican animated series produced by The Simpsons veterans Al Jean, Mike Reiss and James L. Brooks. After the show was canceled on ABC and picked up by Fox, a crossover episode with The simpsons was suggested as a way to promote the younger show. Groening was totally against the idea, saying it was a 30-minute commercial. His efforts to remove the episode from the production schedule failed, so Groening removed his name from the episode’s credits, making it a unique entry in the series. However, “A Star is Burns” severely damaged Groening and Brooks’ relationship, and his legacy remains mixed to this day.
The episode — written by Ken Keeler and directed by Susie Dietter, with former showrunners Jean and Reiss returning to executive produce — is a consistently funny entry that features emotional highlights. The film festival concept is a quick and silly excuse to The simpsons to indulge in its eclectic cast of weirdos, all of whom come in surprising lights through the use of film. Moe portrays himself as a man of song and dance, Bart and Lisa create a mockumentary about Homer trying to fit in pants, and the Flanders family attempt to create a religious epic that quickly goes awry. Each film feels in character but quickly passes for a good laugh. Burns’ attempts to gain popularity by winning the festival are so over the top and flawed that they can’t help but elicit laughs.
For all of Groening’s issues with the concept, the charming but hyped Sherman stands in stark contrast to the more pompous and emotional Homer. More than anything, the episode stands the test of time thanks to “Pukahontas,” Barney’s genuinely moving short that uses impressive animation, startling directing techniques, and truly tragic introspection to turn the typically silly character into a one of the darkest figures in the series. While it may not be a perfect episode, “A Star is Burns” is a solid entry into the season that doesn’t deserve the scorn it received.
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