5 Replies to “The Way We Was”

  1. Drug stories fascinate me, having never been high and probably too late to start experimenting. Never went to highschool formal either. Very enlightening intro. I generally don’t like prequels in media, because it makes foreshadowing and set-ups blatantly easy and obvious, but there are some things that first appear in this episode that are called back upon later (Homer’s teacher coming back for his remedial classes, for one) that I can give it a pass. Pretty good stuff.

    “Okay, but I’m only paid to drive” is probably my favourite joke of the episode. I’ve been watching a lot of Blackadder lately and this guy reminds me of Blackadder a bit, in that he has a witty, snarky remark for nearly everything. Although it gets a bit tiring when every character in a given work has the same level of witty snark.

    Barney’s nude run through prom seems like the sort of thing that he wouldn’t have come up with by himself, given how Homer is shown pushing him into delinquency earlier in the episode. Maybe there was a set-up that got cut for time (or I might have missed it)

    Marge’s dad’s voice reminds me of Marvin Monroe, in what I suspect are the same circumstances in Family Guy that led to the doctor and Lois’ father having nearly identical voices.

    1. Prequels in media have layered upon themselves so much, and later Simpsons is very guilty of this, that they lean heavily into absurd predestination. It’s why I really like the abundance of non-repeating characters in this episode, makes things feel a lot realer which supports the goal of the episode.

      It’s a matter of showing how things happened without taking the result as the core relevance to your fictional universe. The Power Plant reference is a good example of the lighter touch that’s needed. Without being shown Burns or Smithers, they become small parts of a larger world as opposed to large parts of a small world. It’s fun as opposed to dominating and this maintains universe integrity.

  2. I can’t think of a fear more silly and stifling to creativity than dating your work. It especially doesn’t jive with the wave of 80s’ everything being a wellspring of themes, plots and backdrops for every other show being developed today.

    And besides, finding a familiar connective thread in an older work is one of the more satisfying things about exploring the past.

    1. I think it’s a fear from an earlier era in human creativity, when there were fewer prior eras (particularly in modern media formats) and a far less codified taxonomy of them. Audiences have more experience with era settings, even recent ones, and this means creators can use them without fear.

  3. I wonder if part of the fear of “dating” the show was not about having the actual jokes and references lose their luster, but rather the effect on the canon timelines contrasting with the un-aging characters. Perhaps they were pre-emptively concerned about the later retconning they knew they may need to do to vis-a-vis That 90’s Show, etc

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