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Tag Archives: parody
Parodies are often a gamble. You have to hope that the audience understands the reference, and enjoys the in-jokes and homages to other works. If not, you have to hope that the story or characters you’re referencing are solid enough to provide the backbone of an episode on their own, otherwise you are asking for a call-and-response that the audience doesn’t know how to answer.
This was the biggest problem with tonight’s episode of The Simpsons, “The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants.” The episode is essentially one long reference to AMC’s Mad Men, the award-winning drama about advertising executives in the 60’s. In this episode, Homer becomes the accounts manager for the power plant, wearing under the daily grind of glad-handing and schmoozing with the plant’s clients. The homage is replete with a guest appearance from Mad Men’s John Slattery as the outgoing account manager. Unfortunately, despite the fact that it has been on my list for some time, I have never seen Mad Men, and it made the episode feel a little threadbare to me.