Last Sunday’s episode of the long-running American TV series ‘The Simpsons’ sent Homer and his fabulously dysfunctional brood to Denmark.
The episode is entitled ‘The Simpsons Conquer Denmark’.
And it’s a treat.
The writers must have either been here or done a lot of research, because most of the jokes and local references were spot on. The visuals and animation also did a great job capturing the feel of Denmark, something that has been seriously botched by other films professing to be about the country in the past. ‘The Prince and Me’, anyone?
The episode revolves around Grampa Simpson needing a mysterious and apparently expensive medical treatment, so after Homer receives a generous payout for flood damage to the Simpson home in Springfield, the family heads to Denmark for some of that world-renowned cheap health care.
Upon arriving, everyone – well, everyone except for Homer, of course – falls in love with all things Danish. Bart loves the boobs on the billboards and buses, while Lisa is enamoured of the country’s art, culture and dedication to wind energy. And finally being in a “celsius country”. Marge loves the cleanliness, efficiency and politeness of the Danes and the fact that they are all so attractive.
Yes, even fart kontrol
The requisite ‘Fart Kontrol’ joke brought a knowing smile, but Homer getting caught dancing with a beautiful Danish girl (voiced by Sidse Babett Knudsen) – and Marge getting riled up about it may have hit a little close to home to a certain segment of the male expat population.
Eventually, Marge decides she’s not so crazy about Denmark; I mean, the toilet is in the shower, after all.
And it is always dark.
So, a visitor falling instantly in love with Denmark only to have the bloom fall off that rose after a while. Hmmm …
And tattoos too
The ‘ugly American’ jokes were spot on, with Homer telling a Danish friend talking about moving to the US that “foreigners are no longer welcome”. He also has to dismiss any idea of socialism because, “All my radio loudmouths tell me to hate that!”
Oh, and the medical procedure Grampa wanted to put on the state’s dime? The removal of an unwanted tattoo.
What could be more Danish?
The Simpsons animated TV series was first shown in 1989 on Fox TV in the US. Episode 636 was broadcast last month, making it the longest running primetime series in the history of American television. TV3 broadcasts the series in Denmark, and it is currently running on TV3 Max.
A clip of the Simpson family’s tour of their oddly efficient Danish flat follows this article.