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Wellness Warriors

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Vic Randolph
Vic Randolph

Episode 17 [FINE OR FUCKED]

In this episode, host and managing editor Justin Fink talks with editor in chief Rob Yagid and design editor Brian Pontolilo about Trimming Curved Stairs, Soundproofing, and Air-Sealing Drywall. The show is driven by our listeners, so please subscribe and rate us on iTunes or Google Play, and if you have any questions you would like us to dig into for a future show, shoot an email our way: [email protected]. Also, be sure to follow Justin Fink, Rob Yagid, and Fine Homebuilding on Instagram, and like the magazine on Facebook.

Episode 17 [FINE OR FUCKED]

In a recent episode, (I think it was this one but I'm not sure), one of you mentioned a product he sprayed on pine siding that instantly restored it, removing the graying. Can you tell me what that product was? Thanks.

"Maximum Homerdrive" is the seventeenth episode of the tenth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It first aired on Fox in the United States on March 28, 1999. In the episode, Homer challenges trucker Red Barclay to a meat eating contest, of which Barclay is the long-standing champion. Barclay wins but quickly dies of "beef poisoning", marking the first time he will miss a delivery at his job. Feeling bad for him, Homer (alongside his son Bart) take on the duty of transporting Barclay's cargo from Springfield to Atlanta.

"Maximum Homerdrive" was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Swinton O. Scott III. Although the episode's first draft was written by Swartzwelder, the writing staff was split into two groups in order to focus on both the A-story and the B-story. The episode features references to comedian Tony Randall, model Bettie Page, and science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey, among other things. In its original broadcast, the episode received a 7.8 Nielsen rating among adults between ages 18 and 49, the highest such rating for the series since "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken". The ratings boost was credited by Variety to the first episode of Futurama, which premiered after "Maximum Homerdrive". In the years since, it has received mixed reviews from critics.

"Maximum Homerdrive", originally called "Homer the Trucker",[1] was written by staff writer John Swartzwelder and directed by Simpsons director Swinton O. Scott III. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 28, 1999. The meat-eating contest seen in the beginning of the episode was conceived by Simpsons writer Donick Cary during a story pitch-out, according to writer and executive producer Matt Selman. When rewriting the episode, the writing staff was divided into two groups, so that one group wrote the A-story, while the other wrote the B-story.[2] After the second act, the writers were "stuck", as executive producer and former showrunner Mike Scully recalled in the DVD commentary for the episode. Eventually, staff writer and co-executive producer George Meyer pitched the idea that the truckers would have "a secret device, that actually did all the driving for them", called the Navitron Autodrive System.[3]

In order to animate Barclay's truck in "Maximum Homerdrive," Scott bought a model truck, which he also based the design of Barclay's truck on.[4] According to storyboard consultant Mike B. Anderson, the trucks in the episode were very difficult to animate, as the Simpsons animators were still working with traditional cel animation at the time and did not have access to computer tools.[5] In a scene in The Slaughterhouse, an employee is shown killing a number of cows with a captive bolt pistol, however the death of the cows are not shown. Originally, the writers wanted to show the cows being killed, however when Scott saw the scene in the storyboards, the Simpsons staff instead decided to make the deaths "indirect".[4] During the meat eating contest, Homer becomes exhausted and sees two wine glass holding cows, who appear as "wavy" figures. In order to achieve the "wavy" effect, the Simpsons animators put a ripple glass on the cels and moved it around while shooting the scene.[4] After the contest, Barclay dies of "beef poisoning".[3] The Fox censors were uneasy with including any mention of "beef poisoning" in the episode, as talk show host Oprah Winfrey had recently been sued by "some Texas ranchers" for defaming the beef industry. In a scene in the episode, Homer buys a jar of "Stimu-Crank" pills in order to stay alert while driving during the night. He swallows all the pills at once, to the clerk's dismay. Homer replies, "No problem, I'll balance it out with a bottle of sleeping pills", and proceeds to swallow an entire jar's worth of sleeping pills. According to Scully, the censors had "a lot of trouble" with the scene, but it was included anyhow.[3]

When Homer turns on the truck radio, the song "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls can be heard.[6] Originally, a "trucker song" about "a horrible wreck out on old 95" would be heard. The song was a reference to the "Wreck of the Old 97", a famous locomotive that crashed in 1903 and inspired the country ballad of the same name. It was sung by main cast member Dan Castellaneta, included mentions of "scraping blood and guts off the road" and was eventually dropped because it was considered too gruesome by the staff. The song was later included as a deleted scene on The Simpsons - The Complete Tenth Season DVD box set. While eating dinner at Joe's Diner, "12 Bar Blues" by NRBQ (a band that Mike Scully was fond of) can be heard playing from a jukebox.[3] According to producer Ian Maxtone-Graham, the doorbell tune in the episode "has a history with The Simpsons", as it is also Homer and Marge's wedding song.[7] "Maximum Homerdrive" features the first appearance of Señor Ding-Dong, who is a recurring character in the series. He is portrayed by Castellaneta. Red Barclay, the trucker who dies of "beef poisoning" in The Slaughterhouse, was portrayed by regular cast member Hank Azaria. Barclay's voice is slightly based on that of American actor Gary Busey. The two Jehovah's witnesses were portrayed by Pamela Hayden and Karl Wiedergott.[3]

In Voyages of Discovery: A Manly Adventure in the Lands Down Under, a book about adventuring and masculinity, Ken Ewell described "Maximum Homerdrive" as a "fine example" of "the poor man's lack of travel acumen". He wrote "Homer's usual ineptitude at first spells disaster for the duo, at least until they find out about the truck's auto-drive system. And though he promises to keep the device a secret, Homer can't keep his mouth shut, and so shamefully exposes to the world his un-manful behavior concerning the mates. So given that Homer once again learns absolutely nothing from his traveling experience, he can only take to heart the thoughts of the British writer Stephen Fry. 'At my age travel broadens the behind.'"[8]

The decal on Homer's truck reads "Red Rascal" with an image of a wolf and a redheaded pin-up girl on the side, a possible reference to the 1943 Tex Avery cartoon "Red Hot Riding Hood". In the steak restaurant, a photo of actor and comedian Tony Randall can be seen next to Barclay's photo.[3] Homer's postcard, which reads "Wish you were her", shows a picture of American model Bettie Page.[4] In the scene where Homer drives Barclay's truck into the convoy, Navitron Autodrive System says "I'm afraid I can't let you do this, Red. The risk is unacceptable." The line, as well as the Navitron Autodrive System's, is a reference to HAL 9000, the antagonist in the 1968 science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey.[7] The episode also references media mogul Ted Turner, with a sign that reads "Atlanta: the home of Ted Turner's mood swings".[6] The title of the episode references the 1986 horror film Maximum Overdrive, which was one of Simpsons cast member Yeardley Smith's first credited screen roles. The 16 pound steak challenge is an homage to The Big Texan Steak Ranch's 72 oz. steak challenge in which contestants are given one hour to eat a 72 oz. steak and the entire meal; if failed, the consumer has to pay $72.

In its original American broadcast on March 28, 1999, "Maximum Homerdrive" received a 9.4 rating/15 percent share, according to Nielsen Media Research, meaning it was seen by 9.4 percent of the population and 15 percent of the people watching television at the time of its broadcast. Among adults between ages 18 and 49, the episode received a 7.8 rating/20 percent share, the strongest rating The Simpsons had in the demographic since "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken", which aired on January 17 the same year. Tom Bierbaum of Variety credited the boost in ratings to the premiere of Futurama, which aired after "Maximum Homerdrive", writing that "Sunday's Futurama preview energized Fox's entire lineup" that night.[9] On August 7, 2007, "Maximum Homerdrive" was released as part of The Simpsons - The Complete Tenth Season DVD box set. Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Ron Hauge, Matt Selman, Swinton O. Scott III and Mike B. Anderson participated in the DVD's audio commentary of the episode.[10]

Rachel and Joey think Ross might have problems with their new relationship, but Ross assures them he is fine. Ross invites Rachel and Joey on a double-date with him and Charlie. They agree, but Ross gets drunk during the awkward date. Joey stays with Ross overnight to make sure he is okay and they talk. Ross realizes that he has been apart from Rachel for so long that he should not stop Joey and Rachel's relationship. He does give Joey his blessing even though it still hurts him, because they should see where the relationship is going.

Phoebe hangs out with her brother Frank (Giovanni Ribisi) and his triplets. The kids are driving Frank crazy and he offers Phoebe one of them. He comes to the realization that he could not possibly give up any of the children so Phoebe offers to babysit so Frank and Alice will have more time to relax. The episode ends with Chandler accidentally revealing to the triplets that Phoebe gave birth to them; embarrassed, he leaves to tell Emma she was an accident. 041b061a72


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