Oh Mindy: In defence of a Simpsons "Home Wrecker"

Homer and Mindy

It comprised of 4 members: Jacques, Princess Kashmir, Lurlene Lumpkin, and Mindy Simmons. The reason for the name is simple: each person had a tête-à-tête with either Marge or Homer Simpson. While three of them lay a strong claim to the name, Mindy’s inclusion is questionable.

(This article may contain spoilers if you’ve not seen Season 5 Episode 9)

The last temptation of Homer

Her first episode, “The Last Temptation of Homer”, starts with Homer’s involvement in a nuclear gas leak. Along with the hiring of an illegal immigrant, Mr Burns is told to hire at least one woman: Mindy Simmons (v0iced by Michelle Pfeiffer). This was after he hired Marge in Season 4 Episode 7, who became the apple of Burns’ eye so if anything, he should have taken Mindy’s place in the Home Wrecker’s team but I digress.

Homer becomes instantly attracted to his new colleague, although he remains in denial, blaming it on a “packet of powdered gravy he found in the parking lot”. Ah, classic Homer. As the episode progresses, the attraction grows between them. He confides in Barney about his troubled feelings and, via a philosophical bar napkin, suggests Homer talk to Mindy and find out they have nothing in common. This only fuels the fire between them as he discovers they both love beer, donuts, and naps at work.

What if…

Coming home one day does little to dissuade his emotions. Marge is ill, Bart looks like a goofy nerd with big boots and greasy hair, and Lisa manages to burn fish sticks whilst they remain frozen inside (did she blow torch them?). That all makes perfect sense. Colonel Klink from Hogan’s Heroes comes in the form of Homer’s guardian angel to show him what life would be like if Homer chose Mindy instead of Marge. While Homer appears to be rich and happy, it’s suggested that Marge becomes president (like Lisa in another future alternate reality).

The episode nears its climax ahem when Homer and Mindy are chosen to represent the plant at an energy conference in Capital City – The Windy Apple. Even the hotel porter gets in on the innuendos, to which Homer stops him immediately. They win a three-course dinner at the sexiest restaurant in town. A fortune cookie suggests Homer give in to his temptation and they both go back to the hotel. Homer finally addresses the elephant in the room (which isn’t actually an elephant as this isn’t Family Guy) and admits his feelings. Mindy says the decision is up to him.

Did Homer cheat on Marge with Mindy?

In an ambiguous ending, the scene fades to one with Marge in the room with Homer, in the same red dress. She finds a turkey behind the bed, the lights go out, he sings, the hotel porter finds his way in and gets a black eye for his troubles. The end.

Now, between that synopsis and watching the episode in full, I don’t think Mindy did anything wrong. The idea of a homewrecker is bias towards the person outside the proverbial home. 99% of the time, it’s a woman and sexism reigns supreme in a lack of reproach for the adulterous man. Earlier, I suggested the ending to the episode was ambiguous because Homer and Mindy kiss then Marge appears in the same dress as Mindy. Was Marge there or did he imagine Mindy as Marge to make himself feel better? Did they do the deed? These questions remain unanswered.

But between the two of them, Homer is more explicit with his temptations – or at least voicing them. It’s implied that Mindy had expressed hers but other than that, Mindy minds her own business. The episode is set up to pair the couple in situations rather than either of them pursuing an affair.

The misconceptions of Mindy Simmons

Another reason I don’t think Mindy is a homewrecker is that Marge seems to know nothing about what happened. In the case of Jacques, Homer knew what was going on. Marge knew about Lurlene. And Marge caught Homer dancing with Princess Kashmir. But there was no awareness of Mindy from Marge. The closest we got was when Homer rang a crisis hotline, only for Ned Flanders to receive the call and attempt to conference Marge.

Let’s say Homer DID have sex with Mindy that night in Capital City. In a later episode, it’s suggested she was fired after “hitting the bottle”. She later made brief appearances in a couple of other episodes. Homer is notorious for his inability to lie. Marge would have picked up on it. He would have admitted to it and we’d have a follow-up episode on our hands. But we didn’t. Because nothing happened. Homer fancied another woman, and then she left.

Nothing more than a crush

Writer David Mirkin did not like the idea of Mindy being flirtatious. He said the two characters had “so much in common” that it was “not just a physical relationship, but a mental connection as well”. Most importantly, he claimed Mindy wasn’t “a seductress but rather a woman just as nervous as Homer”. This was nothing more than a work crush between two people with similar interests and personalities that built up through “unfortunate” circumstances.

Have I taken this too far? Probably. But if you read this far, you probably didn’t think so.

Oh Mindy, you came and you gave without flaking,
But I sent you Ben-gay,
Oh Andy, you kissed me and stopped me from something,
And I…

The Time When Uncle Phil Brought Out "Lucille"

uncle-phil-lucille

I looked up to my dad even if we didn’t see eye-to-eye in my teen years. I saw certain similarities between our relationship and Will and Uncle Phil’s in The Fresh Prince. And like many episodes, Will got himself into some trouble and couldn’t get out. Until Uncle Phil came through once again. There were times you might have been on Will’s side in certain episodes but others, you were rooting for Phil. What made their relationship so strong was Uncle Phil always stood up for him and made sure he knew he loved him and he was there for him (when the time was right).

“Don’t mess with my boy again. You mess with him, you messing with me.”

Uncle Phil

In this clip, Will gets himself in trouble with some pool sharks and Uncle Phil has to come and bail him out. But there’s a debt to settle. Rather than just pay the money, Uncle Phil decides to take pool shark on with comical effect. Until Lucille makes an entrance. Who’s Lucille? You’ll have to find out.

Happy Black History Month!

An interview with Simon from Power In Discussion

Simon - Power In Discussion

It’s a pleasure to have Simon take part in our Black History Month festivities. Besides being a good friend of mine, Simon is also a speech-language therapist and founder of Power In Discussion, an organisation creating positive discussion in the context of mental health and well-being, identity, and experiences faced by Black communities in Britain and Black LGBTQ+ representation.

What is your favourite city in the world?

Las Vegas.

What’s the most unusual item you take everywhere you go?

Almond oil.

Why do you do what you do?

Currently, I’m working on Power In Discussion, a platform which recognises the importance of having conversations both on and offline. I do it because I love communicating and I recognise the value in sharing our stories.

When was the last time you told someone you loved them?

At the weekend.

Where do you go to relax?

The bath.

69, 280, or 420?

280.

How do you say goodbye in your culture?

A’right, we goh see…later!

An interview with Shanarà Phillips

shanara-phillips

Her love of visual storytelling has taken her around the world and she recently had her video, He’s Not Like That, featured at the BAFTAs as a finalist. We interviewed her for Black History Month.

What is your favourite city in the world?

To not be biased and say my own, I would say Oslo. I recently went there for a little weekend trip to visit one of my best friends and I wish I could have stayed longer. Such a beautiful city, friendly people and the food is great. Plus the flights are really cheap!

What’s the most unusual item you take everywhere you go?

There’s nothing usual that I take with me, although I’ve weirdly had a few people ask me before why I carry moisturiser with me all the time… I mean who wants ashy skin? Especially when you already have eczema.

Why do you do what you do?

I do what I currently do because I’m passionate about film and TV. So I currently have a full-time job as a logger for a production company and we’re working on a series about Formula 1 racing which will be on Netflix. I also do the odd videography/editing freelance job. It’s all to help pay the bills and fund my filmmaking hobby so that eventually I can start producing my own work for film/tv.

When was the last time you told someone you loved them?

I can’t remember and that’s terrible.

Where do you go to relax?

The only place I have to relax is my room really. I came back home last year and my room was still the same way I left it at 18 and so as I’m almost 23 now I decided it needed a makeover to match the woman I am now. So I’ve been slowly turning it into my own relaxing sanctuary where I can just edit and write, or watch crap on YouTube.

69, 280, or 420?

420, always.

How do you say goodbye in your culture?

Unfortunately, I don’t know Vincentian Creole, but my family have this habit of mostly saying ‘in a bit’.

He's Not Like That | Vlogstar Challenge Grand Final Entry