|Episode no. 106|
Written by Penny Wise
Production code 2F33
|Directed by David Silverman|
Showrunner(s) David Mirkin
Original air date September 25, 1994
"Another Simpsons Clip Show" is the third episode of The Simpsons' sixth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 25, 1994. In the episode, Marge reads a romance novel in bed, and it prompts her to have a family meeting, where the Simpson family recall their past loves in form of clips from previous episodes.
The episode was written by Jon Vitti (credited as "Penny Wise") and directed by David Silverman. It is the second The Simpsons episode featuring a clip show format and uses clips from all the previous five seasons. The episode features cultural references to the 1992 book The Bridges of Madison County and the 1967 film The Graduate. The episode has received rather negative reviews, since clip shows tend to be the least favorite episodes among fans. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 8.7 and was the fourth highest rated show on the Fox network that week.
Marge is reading a book one night and wakes up Homer to ask if he thinks the romance has gone out of their marriage. Homer ignores her and tosses the book into the fireplace.
In the morning, Marge gets the family together to discuss romance, but they can only come up with vignettes from their failed relationships in the form of clips from previous episodes. Homer, however, saves the day when he brings up how he and Marge got together. Ultimately, the kids do not care for this one and wind up watching Itchy & Scratchy while Homer and Marge share a moment together.
As the title of the episode suggests, it is the second clip show episode of The Simpsons after "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show", the 18th episode of the fourth season. It was written by Jon Vitti, who used the pseudonym Penny Wise in the closing credits because he did not want to be credited for writing a clip show, and it was directed by David Silverman. The episode also includes contributions from John Swartzwelder, Frank Mula, David Richardson, Jeff Martin, Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein, Matt Groening, Sam Simon, Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Jay Kogen, Wallace Wolodarsky, Nell Scovell, David M. Stern, George Meyer, Conan O'Brien, Robert Cohen, Bill Canterbury, and Dan McGrath.
During the early years of the show, the staff was forced by the Fox network into doing clip shows to save money. There was originally intense pressure on the producers of the show to create extra episodes in each season, and the plan was to make four clip shows per season to meet that limit. Writers and producers, however, felt that this many clip shows would alienate fans of the series. The Fox network's reasoning was that clip shows cost half of what a normal episode costs to produce, but they could sell syndication rights at full price.
This flashback episode uses clips from episodes released during the first five seasons:
When Bart, Lisa, and Maggie are watching Itchy & Scratchy, Marge says they watch the same episodes all the time, while Lisa says that the Itchy & Scratchy cartoons are just pasted together from pieces of old episodes. This comment is a joke about the construction of this episode; the blackboard and couch gags are taken from other episodes, there are clips from past episodes, and the interstitials are actually clips from past episodes that feature the family members talking in the kitchen. These three aspects support the idea of this episode being a clip show to the extreme.
In the clip from "Lady Bouvier's Lover", Grampa tries to stop the wedding between Jacqueline Bouvier and Mr. Burns by banging on the window while shouting "Mrs. Bouvier!", which is a reference to the 1967 film The Graduate. Marge is seen reading the 1992 book The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller.
In its original broadcast, "Another Simpsons Clip Show" finished 68th in the ratings for the week of September 19 to September 25, 1994, with a Nielsen rating of 8.7. The episode was the fourth highest rated show on the Fox network that week, beaten only by Beverly Hills, 90210, The X-Files, and Married... with Children.
The episode received rather negative reviews, since clip shows tend to be the least favorite episodes among fans. The episode has been described as "framed in such a way as to still make [it] worth watching,[...] like a slideshow that's not quite so boring", "another clip show, although not the worst of them", and "the episode title pretty much says it all". Colin Jacobson of DVD Movie Guide said in a review: "The romance related storyline fizzles. That leaves us with a good collection of clips, but since we can already watch them in their original episodes, why bother with this cheap excuse for product?"
Lisa's comments — "romance is dead, it was acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney, homogenized, and sold off piece-by-piece" — have been used in case studies of the cultural representations of organizations.
Scottish indie-rock band Arab Strap referred to this episode in the lyrics of their debut single "The First Big Weekend" ("Sunday afternoon we go up to John's with a lot of beer in time to watch The Simpsons - it was a really good episode about love always ending in tragedy except, of course, for Marge and Homer. It was quite moving at the end and to tell you the truth my eyes were a bit damp").