For some reason today I found myself thinking about a parallel between The Simpsons and Interview with the Vampire. Admittedly an odd choice for parallels, but there you have it.

To me, one of the most affecting moments in the film adaptation of Interview the Vampire is when Kirsten Dunst, playing the eternally 10-year-old vampire Claudia, cuts off her hair in defiance. An old soul trapped for all time in a child’s body, she is tired of being adored by everyone but taken seriously by no one.

To her horror, when she wakes up the next morning, her long hair is back exactly the way it was. She realizes in that moment that she cannot escape her fate.

Then there is the moment in one episode of The Simpsons when Homer is preparing to go on a romantic date with Marge. In front of the bathroom mirror, he shaves off his five o’clock shadow — the only time we’ve ever seen him without it.

Homer rubs his chin appreciatively, and says to his reflection, with great self-satisfaction, “Smooth as a baby’s bottom!” A few short seconds later, his five o’clock shadow pops back on his face, fully formed.

One moment is tragic, the other comic, and the two fictional worlds could not be more different. And yet, in dramatic terms, they are exactly the same moment.

Which is awesome.

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