The first scene of Marfa shows the Welcome to Marfa sign where the Chinati Foundation’s John Chamberlain Building stands in real life. Grampa ignores sidewalks and walks down Highland Avenue while he tries to find Hefflin. Downtown looks desolate with the lack of hustle and bustle, but for some, this is a typical Tuesday. He passes more tongue-in-cheek fictional businesses such as Alamo’s Tavern, Tex-Mex Lexis Car Dealership and a theater showing “The Next-to-The-Last Picture Show,” a reference to the 1971 film about a dying West Texas town starring Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd.
Grampa stumbles into his friend’s studio and is taken aback by the colorful art based on the photoshoot. Grampa tries to apologize to Hefflin for his fi ring but Hefflin tells him he decided after that moment to always live his truth, so he leaves his wife and has lived in Marfa with no regrets.
Former Marfa resident Daniel Hernandez thought it was interesting to see the way the show portrayed his hometown. He laughed when Grampa “locks and loads” his pill box like a gun in a Western movie and walks down Highland Avenue singing a parody of “The Yellow Rose of Texas.”
“I thought it was really funny the way they put that all together,” said Hernandez. “For me, it’s always interesting to see Marfa portrayed in whatever sense it is.”
Hernandez was the first to share the news that Marfa would be featured on The Simpsons through the Marfa Facebook group after he found out from his brother Joel. But first, he received official confirmation from Jean himself on Twitter.
State Representative Alfonso “Poncho” Nevárez was excited to see a town from his District 74 featured on the show.
He tweeted “What? Damn, I’d like to be a caricature of myself in this!” when he saw the news, and after it aired, he posted two screenshots of Highland Avenue with the Marfa water tower, Presidio County Courthouse and jail in the background.
“If you ever wondered how Marfa would look like in the world of the Simpsons. Here you go. Nice shot of the Presidio County Courthouse,” Nevárez tweeted.
The reaction was similar among Marfa residents and admirers. Photos and videos were widely shared as people expressed excitement on social media. A few posted side by side comparisons of the animated version of Prada Marfa with their personal photos. Ballroom Marfa posted on their Instagram that they were thrilled to see it on The Simpsons.
Rudy Scott, a Marfa resident since 1995, joked on Facebook that he can die now after seeing that episode.
“I have seen it all now that the Simpsons were in Marfa. It was funny to see the writers poke fun at our little part of the world. The Simpsons writers are creative and have managed to laugh at just about everything,” said Scott.
Being featured on a long-running TV show like this one has some, mostly out-of-towners, concern with their favorite destination reaching critical mass. It’d be no surprise for this latest pop culture reference to draw more visitors, but the same was said when Marfa was featured on 60 Minutes and Amazon’s I Love Dick series. The thing to remember is that traveling to this part of state is not exactly the most convenient.