Monday 19 March 2018

Homer loan that fell flat on its face

The Simpsons may have come to Ireland but all we got were outdated references to jobs and wealth, writes Evan Fanning

Evan Fanning

Like St Patrick's Day itself, the whole thing was poorly thought-out, involved many people being face down in pints of Guinness at an early stage, and ended up with everyone on the wrong side of the law. Yes, The Simpsons came to Ireland and all we got was some lousy rehashed jokes and a feeling that the whole thing was a bit of a waste of time.

Previously, the show has caused controversy with visits to countries such as Brazil and Australia by labelling them kidnappers, drunks and thieves, and how we longed for our own sense of aggrievement. The problem is that we're not like anyone else. Freud believed that the Irish are beyond psychoanalysis, but he probably should have added that we're beyond being offended, taking whatever insults are thrown at us and turning them into self -congratulatory compliments.

As a country, we're like Osgood Fielding in the back of the boat at the end of Some Like it Hot, except we're absorbing insults and instead of saying "nobody's perfect" we respond with "ah, sure aren't we great". On that basis, maybe Tuesday's episode, In the Name of the Grandfather -- which saw the Simpson clan travel to Ireland at the behest of Grandpa where they ended up running a pub -- was full of biting insults and commentary, but we didn't spot them.

The problem wasn't necessarily that there were too many stereotypes, but simply that none of the ones that were there were very funny. It did attempt to nod to modern Ireland, however, although even that missed the boat by about nine months, with references to things like "jobs" and "wealth".

Glen Hansard made an appearance as himself but by that stage it was difficult to tell him apart from the leprechauns.

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