507. Ned ‘N Edna’s Blend

Original airdate: May 13, 2012

The premise:
When Ned and Edna reveal they’ve already gotten married, Marge volunteers to throw them a make-up party. But their union runs into trouble when Edna decides to enroll Rod and Todd into public school.

The reaction: Remember that desperate marketing gimmick… I mean, momentous show-changing event of the new relationship between Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel? After revealing they did indeed stay together in a quick scene in the season premiere, now we finally check back in on these two, and it turns out they got married in secret. First off, I honestly and truly don’t understand this relationship. It was barely explained at all in “The Nedliest Catch,” the show thrust them together on one lunch date, followed by a montage of their relationship growing, but we never see exactly why they care about each other, much less come to love each other. And now they’re married? And we’re going to do a relationship episode about these two characters who we don’t really get why they’re together. Okay… Even worse, it seems to all be about Flanders fretting that their marriage isn’t perfect because he disagrees with Edna about certain things. These two act like a couple of twenty-somethings fretting over small-ish problems, when meanwhile these two have both been married in the past. We also have Rod and Todd, who I don’t even remember from the Nedna episode, and Edna deciding to pull them out of their wacko ultra-religious school. It’s unclear how much time has passed between the start of their relationship and now, but are we to believe Edna doesn’t know what school her step-children attend? Why wouldn’t she know that? And Ned is passive-aggressive at the idea of his boys going to Springfield “Hellementary” even though that’s where his wife works? It all just feels so, so weird; it honestly feels like they just randomly put these two characters into a relationship, and now they feel obligated to do at least one episode featuring them. But I just don’t see it. Maybe in the show’s heyday they could have written some angle to make me believe in Nedna, but here, it just feels like the one-dimensional shadows of Ned and Edna spewing out cliche, over-explained dialogue in a sleeping pill of an episode.

Three items of note:
– I’m still low-key annoyed by the new opening titles and how they just try to cram so many needless jokes into it. Each episode opens with a little gag over the classic cloud introduction, but this one was way too long, apparently. It’s a news copter with an incredibly long banner that reads, “We Don’t Hate You FOX News, We Just Love MSNBC, CNN, CBS, etc, etc, more.” Like a really long banner. The joke is longer than the beginning cloud animation, so what do they do? Just hold the frame. Four seconds after the copter goes by against a static background, then the animation and music begin. It’s like someone hit unpause. You couldn’t do a little four second animation of the clouds moving?
– A big bugaboo of mine in this show now is that Springfield’s oddball residents will just pop up wherever, whenever, regardless if there’s a reason for them to be at an event, or someone’s house, or anywhere. This episode openly acknowledges this as the reason Ned and Edna kept their message hush hush (“Everyone in this town makes such a big heck-a-baloo about everything!”) Cue Lenny, Disco Stu, Professor Frink, and other assorted weirdos barging into their hospital room. We see the same thing later on at their wedding party. How do Ned and Edna know Sideshow Mel? Cookie Kwan? Captain McAlister? None of that matter. Everyone in the town knows everyone, and sadly, it’s been that way for a while now.
– There’s a sort-of running story maybe involving Bernice Hibbert, Helen Lovejoy and Luann Van Houten upset with Marge for throwing Ned and Edna the wedding party because they wanted to throw it themselves? What? I don’t really understand why they’re so bitchy, or why they would care, or why they would want to throw the party, or why all three of them were in the bridal supply store I guess lying in wait to get the jump on Marge. Marge bends over backwards to make sure the party goes perfectly (which, for some reason, means breaking up a potential hook-up between Lindsay Naegle and Captain McAlister. Why would that reflect badly on Marge?) Then when Ned snaps at Edna, Helen is smugly overjoyed, texting a photo that Marge’s party was a disaster? What? I don’t fucking understand what the point of any of this is. This “plot,” and the whole episode. And this show. Why am I still watching this?

One good line/moment: I actually did think the LGBT scene was pretty clever: Ned’s meeting of the Left-Gifted, Bi-Dexterous, and Trans-Handed community. It runs a little long, but not as tortuously long as some other potentially funny segments have dragged on in the past.

14 thoughts on “507. Ned ‘N Edna’s Blend

  1. “it honestly feels like they just randomly put these two characters into a relationship, and now they feel obligated to do at least one episode featuring them”
    I think that’s exactly what happened. First, they came up with the maketting stunt idea. Second, they made a list of characters that were currently single. That gave them of only one single woman (Edna) and about 10 single men. So, third, they had to figure out which of these men they could pair with Edna. After eliminating the men they had already paired with Edna (Skinner, CBG) and removing those who would be too “out there” (joke characters like Disco Stu, The Pirate Guy or Bumbleeman or celebrities like Kent Brockman and Krusty), they had to pick between Flanders, Chalmers and Moe. Since Moe being pathetic is the only joke they still make about him, that left only Flanders and Chalmers. Finally, they realised that Nedna sounded better that Chedna, so they picked Flanders.
    And that gave us that episode I don’t remember and, after the sad passing of Marcia Wallace, the fact that poor Flanders is probably the youngest twice-widower character in the history of television (soap opera excluded).

    1. Sorry if I’m wrong, but Flanders married Ginger in Viva Ned Flanders. Ginger doesn’t die – she dumped Flanders once because he and Homer tried to escape, and dumped him again because Ned and his children were too good (they flushed her cigarettes down the toilet).
      Homer’s ex-wife, Amber, does die (Jazzy and the Pussycats) when she overdosed on a rollercoaster and ignored the sign that said “Don’t stand up”. However by then, she had married Grampa (Brawl in the Family) and had forsook all previous marriages.

      1. I think @muzer0 was refering to Ned mentionning that he’s 60 during that episode

      1. Have the writers even mentioned Ned being 60 outside that one and “The Mansion Family”?

  2. They never should have killed Maude and I liked Edna and Skinner together. So why the fuck am I supposed to care about this relationship?

    1. I miss Maude, she was a cutie. Sure, she wasn’t the funniest character on the show, but not all characters have to be super memorable and funny to work; the Flanders family had a much more interesting dynamic back when she was alive.

  3. That pointless poll is the only reason they had to wait a year to continue that farce of a relationship plus didn’t rob and todd always attend springfield elementary?

    1. Yes, they did attend Springfield Elementary. I guess the writers realized: “Hey, since Flanders is a religious wacko, then why are his kids in a public school and not a religious school?” Either that or they couldn’t think of a better story for a Ned and Edna relationship episode.

    2. Even in the classic era, they were never consistent about it. I think they attended Springfield Elementary early on, but stopped after awhile when they realized it would make more sense for them not too. I think it was a case of Early Installment Weirdness.

    3. Todd definitely attends Springfield Elementary, as shown in Bart the Daredevil and Lemon of Troy. But the writers do not understand Flanders’s character at all and make him psycho ultra-conservative religious asshole instead supernice guy annoyingly keen on Jesus. Therefore, of course his kids go to the crazy religious school no one had ever mentioned before.

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