Saturday, August 14, 2010

Episode 14: Postcards From the Wedge

Our good friend Brian Kelly has once again reared his ugly head. For those of you who don't know, like LaZebnik, Kelly has had an awful history with writing for this show and he's been rewarded by becoming a producer for the show (Clearly there is no justice in the world). In his three attempts before this with full episodes, Kelly has written "Lisa the Drama Queen" *hurls on the floor* I'm sorry every time I even think of that episode I cringe. Moving on, he's also written "A Star is Born Again", which I don't like, and "Margical History Tour", which is crap (Also considering this is directed by Mark Kirkland, it seems to be more on Kelly). Seriously, we cannot allow these people to continue to poison the series, it has already lost its great reputation we cannot see it sink too much more. Let's move on and review this piece of garbage.

We start off with a pointless film shown to Bart's class (It's so pointless even Mrs. Krabappel says so, come on Brian you could have at least have made the film somewhat relevant to what they were doing). Afterwards, Mrs. K asks for everyone's homework.
Paper grades are too harmful to the environment. Steel grades that can't be recycled are much better.
Bart didn't do it, forcing Mrs. K to write a letter to Homer and Marge. Bart attempts to stop the letter by setting off the fire alarm, but he fails to get to the letter due to the 6th graders saying the random things (might as well have put circus bears in the way, would've made more sense). Bart then in a last ditch attempt goes into the mail room but fails as Willy takes the mailbag away very conveniently. The next day Bart tries to give himself a false fever so he can get the letter at home, after one ear works, Marge decides to use the anal thermometer as he passes that too (I really don't wanna know what was going through the creative team's mind for this). Bart tries to grab the letter but Homer reads it first and is furious at Bart for his inability to complete schoolwork.
Homer: I hate character consistency! I want to be the asshole of this episode
OK this is where the episode goes south, as the story is basically Homer is mad at Bart for not completing his homework while Marge is more sympathetic. If you ever needed a good example of character derailment, this is it; Brian Kelly switched the roles of the parents so they'd be completely out of character (Oh booze, I drink to your health). After they confirm their new character traits in a small argument we see Bart doing homework while watching season 1 of Pokemon (It probably isn't but I'm calling it that), and Bart breaks the fourth wall by calling it fresh after so long. Simpsons, you went stale 6 years ago (So did Pokemon!); stop pretending like you're still good and accept the truth. We then see Homer berating Bart to do his homework right before Marge comes in and tells him it's okay to take a break (This character derailment is physically hurting me now).
I sure do hope we don't go downhill the same way they did
Bart then asks Lisa about why Homer and Marge are telling him conflicting statements about his homework. Lisa then compares their conflicting views like a political wedge (We have a title!). Bart decides he wants to take advantage of this and turn them against each other. Bart then decides to play his parent against each other by pretending to do a lot of homework when Marge is around and then leaving when she lets him go. After a pointless prayer war between Homer and Marge, we see Bart watching an episode of Itchy and Scratchy. I understand now why I hate these Itchy and Scratchy cartoons. During the good years, Itchy and Scratchy was simple, funny and short. These new ones are boring, long and painfully culturally relevant; the writers complicated a simple system and now we see the effects of people who don't know what they're doing.
Dance my puppets! Dance!
Moving on, Homer still berates Bart for not doing homework while Marge still sticks up for him as Bart watches them just fight and he enjoys it *Takes some Prozac*(Always keep some on hand when Brian Kelly's involved). The family decides to go to the mall where Bart gets his parents to disagree some more to which Lisa calls him a sociopath... *Screams* Of all the people to mistake Bart as a sociopath, Lisa? The smartest person can't even see the fact that Bart does not exhibit signs of a sociopath? (At worst, he's a jerk or a brat. But SOCIOPATH? I.....*inarticulate scream*)
I forget, Bart. Am I supposed to know stuff or pretend to know stuff?
Brian Kelly, your character derailment writing knows no bounds. While Homer and Marge are still fighting, they both realize that they would win nothing by winning the fight so they make up and decide not to give a rat's ass about Bart (There's a "touchy" scene where they make up but because of the fight I could really care less). Bart finds out that his parents don't care about him anymore and he decides to go harass Skinner by squirting him. While escaping Skinner, Milhouse leads Bart to an abandoned subway *~plot point~* which apparently is fully functional despite not being used for what I can presume to be decades. After Bart and Milhouse go around the subway once (Causing an earthquake in the process. I'm pretty sure that's why it was closed, the construction crew was run by dumbasses who didn't know how to build a subway)
Indiana Bart and the Raiders of the Lost Subway
Bart finds out that his parents still don't care what he does. Nelson convinces Bart to do a prank so big that it'll force his parents to punish him and thus pay attention to him. The scene ends with a red herring of Lisa "hearing them" as she swings from the impossible swing set (Seriously, there's no swing set seen or tree indicated so, as far as I'm concerned, she's on an impossible swing set). After Willy exposits that the school could collapse if another earthquake happens, Bart gets an idea for his prank. We then see Homer and Marge come home as Marge reads a letter from "Lisa" stating Bart's plan. How many ways can I call Bull Shit on this?
Marge: Wait there's more. P.S. This is a red herring
1. Lisa never heard about the school having the crack or the tremor destroying the school.
2. Lisa never heard once about Bart's subway and how that caused the tremor
3. The note came with a map that only Bart had
The first time I watched it, I called BS on the letter because there are just way too many things included that could not possibly be there. Brian Kelly, you fail at mystery, you fail at Simpsons, and above all YOU JUST PLAIN FAIL! Marge and Homer decide that they need to stop Bart's plan and Homer shuts off the power to the train just before the school collapses (It then collapses just after the flag pole falls onto it). Homer and Marge punish Bart and the episode ends with my suspicions verified as Bart wrote the letter but Lisa will keep that secret (This ending is a little heartwarming but it's just attached to a bad episode).

Final Judgment: This episode sucks! Between crappy writing, poor plot and character derailment that even Uwe Boll (Now that's just exaggeration) would find stupid, this episode just falls flat. Admittedly there are some decent jokes, but as far as I'm concerned, jokes do not atone for crappy writing.

Final grade: 3.3/10 Brian Kelly sucks as a writer and he will probably still write one more episode before the series ends. May God have mercy on us all.

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