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"Alone Again, Natura-Diddily"
The Simpsons episode
Alone Again, Natura-Diddily.JPG
Promotional artwork for "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily".
Episode no. 240
Prod. code BABF10
Orig. airdate February 13, 2000
Show runner(s) Mike Scully
Written by Ian Maxtone-Graham
Directed by Jim Reardon
Chalkboard "My suspension was not 'mutual'."
Couch gag The Simpsons come in on bumper cars. Homer is then pinned to the wall and slammed repeatedly.
Guest star(s) Shawn Colvin as Rachel Jordan
DVD
commentary
Mike Scully
George Meyer
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Matt Selman
Jim Reardon
Mark Kirkland

"Alone Again, Natura-Diddily" is the fourteenth episode of The Simpsons' eleventh season, and marks the final regular appearance of Maude Flanders. Maggie Roswell, the voice of Maude, was involved in a pay dispute starting in 1999, and the staff decided to kill off her primary role while she left the show that year, being replaced by Marcia Mitzman Gaven. Maude appeared in such future episodes as "Treehouse of Horror XIII" (as the spirit The Simpsons conjure during their seance) and "Dangerous Curves" (in the flashback of Homer and Marge meeting Ned and Maude at the lake resort).

Contents

Plot

Maude Flanders, seconds before her death.

On a trip to the bird sanctuary, the family sees that a new speedway has been built surrounding it and is opening that day. The family goes to the racetrack and are surprised to meet the Flanders family, who came not to see the race but for the high levels of safety used. Not long after arriving, a squad of cheerleaders is giving out free T-shirts by firing them from air cannons into the crowd, and Homer rudely demands one. Irritated by his antics, Maude goes to buy some hot dogs. Homer draws a target on his chest with ketchup and gains the attention of the promotional cheerleaders. The cheerleaders send a full salvo of t-shirts in Homer's direction, but Homer bends down at the last second to pick up a bobby pin. Maude returns from the concession stand at that exact moment and is sent screaming over the edge of the bleachers, hitting the concrete parking lot below. As a crowd quickly gathers, Dr. Hibbert pronounces Maude dead.

Everyone offers their condolences to Ned, including Moe (who outrages Ned by making suggestive comments about her). Bart reluctantly spends time with Rod and Todd by playing a Christian video game with them. Even Homer decides to stop acting like a jerk to Ned, instead accompanying him back home and affectionately kissing him goodnight. Homer also talking with Ned later that night when Ned is unable to sleep due to his loneliness and now having to raise his sons as a widower. To help his neighbor, Homer secretly makes a videotape of Ned Flanders to show to the interesting single girls across Springfield (including a tape of Ned taking a shower and footage of Marge giving birth to Maggie, which Homer couldn't edit from the final cut). This helping Ned, but his dates are unsuccessful.

On Saturday night, Ned prays to God, but begins to lose faith and becomes angry with God when he feels no response. The next morning, Ned Flanders is still angry and tells his kids that they will not be going to church, scaring them away. Guilt-ridden, he later rushes to church (apologizing out loud to God the whole way). Upon entering, sees a Christian rock band, Kovenant, perform. He is attracted (both physically and spiritually) to the singer, Rachel Jordan, who sings about not losing faith in God because He is always there for people. Inspired by the song, Ned later assists Rachel in loading some equipment onto her truck and confides in her of his loss, with which she sympathizes. He and Rachel become acquainted and it is suggested that they both have developed a fondness for one another by the time she leaves.

Cultural references

  • The title of the episode is a reference to the song "Alone Again, Naturally". This title is also used as the basis for the season 20 episode, "No Loan Again, Naturally".
  • The background music played during Ned's dating video is "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred
  • Laramie Cup is a spoof of the Winston Cup
  • Kovenant's name is based on the German thrash metal band Kreator; though, aside from the name's deliberate misspelling and biblical reference, they bare little resemblance.

Controversy

Lowe's Motor Speedway president Jerry Gappens expressed his concern over the episode as it appeared to parody an actual incident during the aborted Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Visionaire 500k event on May 1, 1999 where flying tires in a Lap 62 crash killed three spectators, forcing the track to abandon the race before the halfway point (104 of 208 laps). WCCB, the Fox affiliate in Charlotte, North Carolina, home to Lowe's Motor Speedway, refused to show the promotional advertising for this episode.[1]

References

External links








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