Recap / The Simpsons S 21 E 20 To Surveil With Love

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After a radiation scare due to Homer's usual brand of idiocy, Springfield is placed under closed-circuit TV surveillance but has a group of civilian control, which includes Flanders. At the same time, Lisa is forced to dye her hair brown after being called out for not being a Dumb Blonde

Tropes of this episode: (YMMV Here)

  • Adults Are Useless: With the exceptions of Ned and Marge, pretty much not a lot of don’t listen to Lisa because she’s a blonde. Despite near everyone in Springfield knowing that Lisa is a genius.
  • Expy: That bomb squad specialist is clearly based on Clint Eastwood
  • Big Brother Is Watching You: Ned Flanders.
  • Call-Back: Prince Charles tells Queen Elizabeth II that "My cat's breath smells like cat food". This line was also said by Ralph Wiggum in "Lisa's Rival". Prince Charles says the line right after the Queen comments that Ralph reminds her of him.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Abe pretty doesn’t help Lisa.
  • Dumb Blonde: Lisa's subplot involves people thinking that she's this. She tries proving to people that she's not this and that generalizing people based on certain traits is a bad thing.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Marge soon leaves her job because she felt uncomfortable with getting involved with peoples privacy.
  • Genius Ditz: Bart maybe a rebellious student, but he did find a blind spot... the Simpsons’ backyard.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nelson is like this to Lisa.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Homer isn't wrong in calling out Ned's actions and tells him that Ned should give people their privacy as well as let them have the freedom of choice but Homer remains a jerk for allowing people to fulfil their destructive and reckless behaviour.
  • Knight Templar: Ned tried to force Springfield into a paradise by oppressing them via surveillance cameras and then directly speaking to them by microphone in order to ruin their activities. When Homer finally tells Ned that the town is sick of Ned's actions and demands that Ned should allow them to keep their privacy as well as allow them to have the freedom of choice. Ned tells him that he was trying to mould Springfield into a paradise by tattling on them.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ned feels like this when Homer tells him that he inadvertently drove people to the Simpsons' backyard to do all the things Ned chastised them for doing.
  • Playing God: Homer claims that Ned trying to control the whole towns actions came off as him trying to be God. This horrifies Ned.
  • Police Are Useless: At least we found out who can do better than Wiggum.
    Lou: Uh, Chief, I Think we got a misuse of police equipment on ZZ-99.
    (Wiggum looks, before switching the cameras back to normal after looking at Edna sunbathing topless.)
    Chief Wiggum: Killjoy
  • The Reveal: The entire episode — at least the main story — is a hidden-camera reality show that airs on British TV and is considered the Queen's and Prince Charles' favorite show.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: That bomb squad specialist decides to break up the plutonium rather than do the countdown
  • Shout-Out: The Gay Bar is full with Sesame Street like people
  • Something Completely Different: As part of FOX's "FOX Rocks" gimmick at the time, the opening for this episode was redone as an animated music video for the Ke$ha song "TiK ToK.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Where did the Van Houtens, Helen Lovejoy, Julius Hibbert, and Elizabeth Hoover go after Ned Flanders and Marge Simpson took over with cameras?
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