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Krusty Gets Busted
Some Enchanted Evening
Bart Gets an "F"
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” is the thirteenth and final episode of Season 1. Homer and Marge go out for dinner one night while having Bart, Lisa and Maggie cared for by a babysitter called Ms. Botz. Unbeknownst to the family, Botz is a career criminal wanted by the police for burglary and is covering her identity while Homer and Marge spend their time fairly.

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. Penny Marshall guest stars as Lucille Botzcowski.

Synopsis

Homer and Marge go out together, after Marge feels Homer takes her for granted. They face a slight dilemma when they realize they have no one to look after their kids, so they hire a babysitter named Ms. Botz. Matters seem to be going well, until Bart and Lisa find out something shocking about their babysitter.

Full Story

On a Friday morning, the Simpson family are eating breakfast together. Lisa and Bart have a tug-of-war over a donut, causing the box to rip open, and Homer (who eats the donut, much to Bart and Lisa's disapproval) is reading the newspaper. After Bart and Lisa leave for school, Homer leaves for work at the power plant without noticing and saying goodbye to Marge. Marge and Maggie are then left alone at home while listening to Arnie Pye on the radio, scolding at Kent Brockman. Not long later, a commercial comes on the radio, which wants Marge to call Dr. Marvin Monroe's on-the-air therapy if she has problems with life. She does so, and tells Monroe that she is tired of Homer.

At work, Homer hears Marge talking about him on the phone, which other power plant employees also hear, and they laugh at it. Homer, who is embarrassed about hearing Marge over the radio, later goes to Moe's Tavern instead of home that night, where he asks Moe for advice. Moe tells Homer that he should take her to a fancy restaurant, spend one night at a hotel, and buy her some flowers. Back at home, as a furious Marge impatiently waits for him to come home and tell him off, Bart, Lisa and Maggie wisely keep their distance from her. Homer ends up buying her a box of chocolates and a single rose, as the flowers are very expensive. Homer arrives home and tells Marge that he is very sorry for taking her for granted and that he loves her. Marge's complexion softens, and he chooses to take her where Moe suggested.

Meanwhile, Bart has made various prank calls to Moe's Tavern. However, his parents are faced with a problem when they realize that their kids have nobody to watch over them. To find a babysitter, Marge picks up the phone, and is surprised that Moe is still yapping at Bart for the "Oliver Clozoff" prank and hangs up, assuming that it was a crossed wire. She picks it up again and calls the Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers Babysitting Service. However, the receptionist immediately freaks out, telling her that she must be kidding when Marge identifies herself as Mrs. Simpson. She quickly refuses their services to the Simpson children due to their bad reputation with the babysitting service for a long time beforehand, which resulted in the Simpsons being suspended from being babysat by them. Not giving up in the slightest, Homer then calls under the alias "Homer Samson", and hires a rather rude babysitter named Ms. Botz.

When Ms. Botz arrives (with two suspicious looking suitcases nonetheless), Marge (who's already pampered up for her night with Homer, who's also pampered up) tells her that Maggie has to go to sleep immediately, but Bart and Lisa can stay up for an hour longer and watch The Happy Little Elves Meet the Curious Bear Cub (much to Bart's horror and hatred of the elves). When Bart tries to suggest alternate viewing in order to avoid watching the elves, Ms. Botz quickly puts him in his place by mentioning that she dealt with troublesome children like him before and makes him watch the video with Lisa while she puts Maggie to bed. After a while, Bart starts to get sick of the elves, so he plans 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 Botzcowski. The host also warns the viewers that she might be using a clever alias. He then shows a mugshot of the criminal on TV, who looks just like Ms. Botz.

Later, as if on cue, Ms. Botz, who really is the Babysitter Bandit, comes into the room, which scares Bart and Lisa as they scream and run out of the room to hide. Bart hides in the basement, while Lisa goes into the kitchen and tries to call "1-800-U-SQUEAL" on the phone. When Ms. Botz tries to look for Bart in the basement, he tries to knock her out with Marge's bowling ball, but to no avail as Bart drops onto the floor and Ms. Botz notices him, thus getting caught by her. In the kitchen, Lisa reports over the phone about Ms. Botz, but Ms. Botz is behind her, pulling her in with a rope. Lisa notices this, but just as when she is in the middle of reporting about the bandit, Ms. Botz captures Lisa.

Back in the living room, Ms. Botz puts Bart and Lisa on the couch and ties them up. Bart keeps on talking and moaning that she won't get away with it, making Ms. Botz tape Bart's mouth up, thus being gagged and can't talk. Ms. Botz then turns on the Happy Little Elves video again for them, which bothers Bart a lot more as he makes noises from underneath the tape. Eventually, a smug Lisa tells him to shut up and make the best of the situation. Meanwhile, Homer and Marge are enjoying a fancy dinner at Chez Paree, having lobsters. Once done with their meal, they go to the Ye Olde Off-Ramp Inn, where Marge has some time together with Homer in their hotel room.

Back at the house, Maggie wakes up and goes downstairs to find her siblings tied up, just as The Happy Little Elves video ends. Bart has finally had it with the elves, so he pounds his head on the couch in anger. Lisa tells Maggie that she will be able to watch the video again if she unties her. Maggie complies, saving the day once more.

The kids then decide to plan a strategy to kidnap Ms. Botz. Maggie goes up the stairs and is nearby her parents' room, where Lucille Botzcowski is robbing their closet. Botzcowski, tired of the incompetent and bothersome Simpson children, follows Maggie's pacifier sucking sounds and into Bart's room with the lights off, where she is hit on the head by Bart, wielding a baseball bat. It turns out that Bart was also using Maggie's pacifier to accomplish the deed. Meanwhile, Marge discovers that there is no answer at home due to Ms. Botz disabling all of the phones in the home. Back at home, with no way to call about the bandit from their home, Bart, Lisa and Maggie rush outside to a local pay phone and alert the authorities, but not before tying Lucille Botzcowski up and gagging her, and then forcing her to watch The Happy Little Elves video.

Marge and Homer arrive home, still worried about not getting an answer. Eventually, they find Lucille Botzcowski tied up and gagged, and after they ungag her, she begs them to turn off the tape and warns Homer not to take his eyes off of Bart for a second. They then send her home with all of her suitcases (in which the stolen items are contained, which Homer and Marge didn't notice), plus three times her regular pay. The police then arrive, along with the media, and the officers ask Homer if he really did aid the Babysitter Bandit in escaping, but Homer replies that he didn't exactly aid the bandit in escaping.

Later, Homer and Marge are in bed, where Homer is watching himself looking foolish on television, so he turns it off while saying that he is just not that bright. Marge says that she loves him the way he is, and that if he has three children who managed to capture a criminal by themselves, he must be doing something right. She then kisses Homer as she turns the lamp off for bedtime.

Behind the Laughter

Production

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 Korea. The Simpsons Shorts where everything was produced in-house in Klasky-Csupo although the domestic studio produces only the character and background layout of episodes. The original, rough version of "Some Enchanted Evening" is incomplete as it ends when Bart and Lisa just find out Ms. Botz is America's Most Wanted and sound effects and a soundtrack are absent and would have been inserted had there been a final version. The workprint was not 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 had 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 episodes 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 eighth episode in production order, had to be aired as it was a Christmas special in December of 1989, becoming the first episode of the first season and the first episode of The Simpsons overall.

Citations

Shorts: Season 3 Season 1 Episodes Season 2
Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire

Bart the GeniusHomer's OdysseyThere's No Disgrace Like HomeBart the GeneralMoaning LisaThe Call of the SimpsonsThe Telltale HeadLife on the Fast LaneHomer's Night OutThe Crepes of WrathKrusty Gets BustedSome Enchanted Evening