Some Enchanted Evening
- "The way I see it, if you raise three children who can knock out and hogtie a perfect stranger, you must be doing something right."
- ―Marge Simpson
| "Some Enchanted Evening"
| Episode Information
"Some Enchanted Evening" is the thirteenth and final episode of Season 1 of The Simpsons. It originally aired on 13 May, 1990. The episode was written by Matt Groening and Sam Simon and directed by David Silverman and Kent Butterworth. It guest stars Penny Marshall as Lucille Botz.
- "Homer and Marge go out for dinner one night while having Bart, Lisa and Maggie watched by a babysitter named Ms. Botz. Unbeknownst to the family, Botz is known as a wanted bandit for babysitting and she's covering her identity while Homer and Marge spend their time fairly."
The episode starts with the Simpson family fighting at the breakfast table. Lisa and Bart are fighting over a donut, while Homer reads the newspaper. After the kids leave for school, Homer goes to the power plant without even noticing Marge. We are left with an asleep Maggie and Arnie Pie on the radio, yelling at Kent Brockman. Suddenly, a commercial comes on the radio, urging Marge to call Dr. Marvin Monroe's on-the-air therapy. She does so, and tells him that she is tired of Homer not treating her like the "hot love object you are." (quoted by Dr. Monroe).
At work, Homer hears his wife talking about him on the phone and, instead of going home that night, goes to Moe's and asks Moe for advice. Moe tells Homer that he should take her to a fancy restaurant, spend the night at a hotel, and buy her some flowers. He ends up buying her a box of chocolates and a single rose, because the flowers are very expensive, goes home and tells Marge that he loves her. Marge's complexion softens, and he decides to take her where Moe suggested. During this time, Bart made various prank calls to Moe's Tavern (Al Caholic and Oliver Clozoff).
However, the parents are faced with a problem when they realize that their kids have nobody to watch over them. Marge picks up the phone to find out that Moe is still yapping at Bart for the Oliver Clozoff prank ("Goodness! Must be a crossed wire!") Marge picks it up again and calls the Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper Babysitting Service, and the receptionist immediately freaks out, telling her that she must be kidding. Homer calls under the alias "Homer Sampson," and hires a babysitter, Ms. Botz.
When Ms. Botz arrives, Marge says that Maggie has to go to sleep. Ms. Botz (sarcastically) remembers that Marge also said that Bart and Lisa can stay awake for another hour and watch the Happy Little Elves Meet the Curious Bear Cub. Ms. Botz makes them watch the video (against Bart's wishes) while she puts Maggie to bed. After a while, Bart gets bored, and decides to switch to America's Most Armed and Dangerous, where the host is talking to the audience about the notorious "Babysitter Bandit," whose real name is Lucille Botzkowski. The host also warns the viewers that she may be using a clever alias. They show Bart, Lisa, and the rest of their TV audience a picture of the criminal - who looks just like Ms. Botz.
As if on cue, Ms. Botz, really the Babysitter Bandit, comes into the room and ties up Bart and Lisa. Meanwhile, the parents are enjoying a fancy dinner at a restaurant. Once done with their meal, the Simpson adults go to their fancy hotel, where Marge discovers that there is no answer at home, as Ms. Botz unplugged all of the phones.
Back in the house, Maggie wakes up and goes downstairs to find her siblings tied up, just as The Happy Little Elves video ends. Lisa tells Maggie that she will be able to watch the film again if she unties them. The baby complies, saving the day once more.
The Simpson kids hatch a plan. Maggie goes up the staircase and into the room where the Babysitter Bandit is robbing the closet. She sucks on her pacifier and walks out of the room. Botzkowksi, tired of the incompetent children, follows Maggie's pacifier sucking sounds and into a dark closet, where she is hit on the head by Bart, wielding a baseball bat. It turns out that Bart was harnessing Maggie's pacifier to accomplish the deed. The kids rush to a local pay phone and alert the authorities, but not before tying up the Babysitter Bandit and forcing her to watch The Happy Little Elves.
Marge and Homer arrive home, worried about getting no answer. They find "Ms. Botz" tied up and gagged, and, not knowing the truth and thinking that their kids mistreated her, send her home with all of her suitcases (in which the stolen items are contained), plus three times her regular pay. The police arrive, along with the media, and the officers ask Homer if he really did aid the Babysitter Bandit in escaping. Homer says, "Not exactly aid..." before Homer, in bed later, watching himself on TV, turns it off, saying that he is just not that bright. Marge says that she loves him the way he is, and Homer turns out the light to have a relaxing sleep.
Although the episode was the first produced of Season 1 and the series, with its production code as 7G01 as opposed to later codes such as 7G08 from the first episode, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", production was delayed and overhauled after a workprint of the episode had been poorly received and covered 70% of the episode. This share of the episode had to be remade, while airing "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" for it being a Christmas special, having to air it in Christmas 1989 and becoming the first episode during this hiatus.
A workprint of the episode was the first to come back from Korea as episodes of The Simpsons are often animated overseas to a South Korean animation studio AKOM, due to the overload of episodes and saving costs in lower developed countries like Korea. The Simpsons shorts were produced in-house at Klasky-Csupo although the domestic studio produces only the character and background layout of episodes. The original, rough version of "Some Enchanted Evening" is also incomplete as it ends with Bart and Lisa fleeing from Ms. Botz, just discovering that she is America's Most Wanted. Sound effects and an original soundtrack are absent and would have been inserted had this been finalized.
The workprint was not been well received in the Gracie Films bungalow, with James L. Brooks giving a response with profanity. The producers wanted a realistic environment for The Simpsons as other studios had unrealistic styles for animation such as Disney, Warner Bros, Hanna-Barbera, etc. The former two has a universe where the universe was bendy and characters seemed to be made out of rubber. Hanna Barbera used cartoon sounds which were also declined. While the shorts lacked much realism in animation, the half hour series had been intended to be as realistic as possible despite the unrealistic animation.
70% of the episode had to be redone. The episode was worked on during the course of the first season until finally being aired on May 13, 1990 as the season finale. The producers considered aborting production of the series if the next episode, "Bart the Genius" has similar production difficulties although fortunately had several fixable animation problems. They convinced FOX to postpone the season premiere for several months. Although "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", the eight episode in production order, had to be aired as it was a Christmas special in December 1989, it became the first episode of the first season and the first episode of The Simpsons overall.
The episode was watched by around 14.2 million households with a Nielsen rating of 15.4 and eventually ranked as the 12th most watched show the week it originally aired.
"Some Enchanted Evening" received mixed reviews from critics and viewers. According to Al Jean, viewers thought this episode was the best episode of the first season after the season ended. Penny Marshall, who played Ms. Botz, ranked on AOL's list of their favorite 25 Simpsons guest stars.
In other languages
- A combination of "Obachan", a slightly childish way of referring to a middle-aged or older woman, and the suffix "-sama", used by those who think highly of themselves and usually used by villains in media