A Wizard Did It: Sometimes Not a Valid Excuse

There’s a famous Simpsons’ scene in “The Itch and Scratch and Poochie Show” that involves the voice actor of Itchy and Scratch as well as Homer, the newly-crowned voice actor of new character Poochie, taking questions from rabid fans of the series. The scene goes as followed:

Doug: Hi, question for Ms. Bellamy. In episode 2F09, when Itchy plays Scratchy’s skeleton like a xylophone, he strikes that same rib twice in succession yet he produces two clearly different tones. I mean, what are we, to believe that this is some sort of a, a magic xylophone or something? Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.

June Bellamy: Uh, well, uh…

Homer: I’ll field this one. Let me ask you a question. Why would a man whose shirt says “Genius at Work” spend all of his time watching a children’s cartoon show?

Doug: I withdraw my question.

Database: Excuse me, Mr. Simpson, on the “Itchy & Scratchy” CD-ROM, is there a way to get out of the dungeon without a wizard’s key?

Homer: What the hell are you talking about?

June Bellamy: You’re a lifesaver, Homer, I can’t deal with these hardcore fans!

As Homer deflects the extremely detailed questions the two ask, the scene lampoons fans that are extremely critical of every little detail of a series.

In another example from The Simpsons, in “Treehouse of Horror X,” Warrior Princess Xena (Lucy Lawless) is berated by obsessive fans attempting to nitpick every detail:

Frink: Yes, over here, n’hey, n’hey. In Episode BF12, you were battling barbarians while riding a winged Appaloosa, yet in the very next scene, my dear, you’re clearly atop a winged Arabian! Please do explain it!

Lucy Lawless: Uh, yeah, well, whenever you notice something like that… a wizard did it.

Frink: I see, alright, yes, but in episode AG04-

Lucy Lawless: Wizard!

At a certain point, the obsessive critical examinations become too much and are simply an aggravating waste of time. At a certain point, fans need to let go and remember that they must willfully suspend their disbelief. Nothing is perfect and mistakes are understandable.

THAT BEING SAID, there is one mistake that is inexcusable in regards to television programs. In an episode of King of the Hill, the television show created by Mike Judge as a follow-up to Beavis and Butthead, the main character, Hank Hill, is shown grilling with charcoal in an episode entitled “Hank’s Cowboy Movie.” This is, simply put, an inexcusable error for the series. If there’s anything a common person relatively familiar with King of the Hill knows, it’s that Hank Hill is a devoted disciple to “sweet lady propane.” Hank Hill, the seller of “propane and propane accessories” goes as far as to actively call butane a “bastard gas.” A casual viewer familiar with Hank would know that he would never grill with charcoal given Hank’s catchphrase where he frequently announces, with enthusiasm, the fact that he sells “propane and propane accessories.” Hell, as a child camping with his friends he even expressed a desire to sell propane as long as his grades were good enough. He tried to convince Winona The man makes it clear throughout the course of the series that he probably loves propane more than any living thing in his life, perhaps even his dog Ladybird.

In the episode “Hank’s Cowboy Movie,” a clip, clear as day, shows Hank grilling with charcoal in a home movie. The excuse that a wizard did it simply does not suffice given the egregious error presented here. What, am I supposed to believe that the propane tank is invisible on the grill? Hank Hill has devoted his life to selling propane and has expressed anger with his family for preferring charcoal-grilled burgers more than his propane-grilled ones. The fact that Hank would EVER be shown grilling with charcoal is enough to get a fan of King of the Hill’s blood boiling. THIS is a blunder that someone does deserve to be fired for. Wizard be damned, I hope someone got the chopping block for this error because Hank Hill would never willingly grill with charcoal where you run the error of tasting the heat and not the meat.

I understand that there’s certainly a point where fandom crosses the Rubicon and leads to obsession. An error which shows Hank Hill grilling with propane comes nowhere close to crossing the Rubicon and question the fundamental nature of the entire universe of King of the Hill. Attention to detail is not just a phrase located on all job applications: it’s a necessity to avoiding crippling errors born out of laziness.

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