Simpsons fans, pack your bags because you’re going to Boston!
(Unless you already live there, in which case: Prepare for Homer & Co. to invade your city!)
In Sunday’s episode of the animated comedy, Bart becomes a fan of the dreaded New England Patriots Boston Americans, prompting our patriarch to take the family on a “hatecation” to Beantown to show them just how awful the city is. After he discovers the third-ball joys of candlepin bowling, though, Homer and the family wind up moving there. ““The third ball becomes a metaphor for getting one more chance to create a good life for his family,” executive producer Matt Selman tells EW.
Indeed, the episode aims to go deep on Boston, exploring “the contradictory psyches of the city, on one hand being the liberal progressive ultra-educated place, on the other hand being the soul of gangster hooliganism,” says Selman, who grew up in the area. “I don’t think there’s any wicked jokes in the show, which I’m kind of proud of.”
The other Simpson family members fall in love with different aspects of the city: Marge loves the access to top-flight medical care, and Lisa loves the focus on higher education. Meanwhile, Bart, who is obsessed with the Townie/Southie lifestyle — as seen in films like The Town and The Departed and Gone, Baby Gone — becomes “horrified to learn that the soul of Boston is a little more gentrified than he thought,” says Selman.
How Boston-y do things get in this episode, which features voice contributions from Massachusetts natives Bill Burr, Rachel Dratch, and Dana Gould? “Bart goes to school, and on the wall of his classroom is the Cheersiodic table of the elements, which is a periodic table based on the characters from Cheers,” says Selman. “And the symbol for Norm is capital N with an exclamation point.”
“The Town” airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on Fox.