Thursday, August 5, 2010

Episode 2: Bart Gets a Z

I gotta admit, episodes like this one is why I do this. Even though I haven't seen this episode in 5 months before rewatching this episode for the review, I honestly felt sick just thinking about this. This is probably one of the best examples of lazy writing, cultural relevancy up the wazoo, and everything that is contributing to the decline of this series. With that out of the way onto the review. (I also want to point out this is one of Matt Selman's few bad episodes, as he is a good writer)

So we begin with Mrs. Krabappel's morning where then we see her at a red light with some high-schoolers make fun of her for singing an "old" song. (Two minutes in and already I look for drugs to calm me down. That's a bad sign people) In case anyone could tell that the Simpsons now takes place in 2009, the writers decide to remind us by having all the students have their cell phones out texting in class (I'm sorry, but considering that in my high school I would get detention just for having it out, I'm not buying this BS at all).
As we all know, schools allow kids to use their cell phones in class whenever they want
Mrs. Krabappel then decides to do the most logical thing: confiscate their phones, which pisses off Bart and the others (How dare she take away devices that hinder the class from learning and are usually banned during the day in most schools. Let's go burn her house down!). Bart then convinces the whole 4th grade to collect liquor to get Mrs. K drunk and their plan actually works; Mrs. K becomes really drunk the next day and is fired. Bart feels guilty for getting her fired but before his conscience can do anything we meet a candidate for most annoying character ever in a Simpson episode in Zachary Vaughn, who is apparently is from Tufts University (ooh, I really don't care and it doesn't sound the least bit impressive Mr. Jackass)(Tufts? Isn't that a brand of tissues?).
Wow, not even 5 seconds in and already I hate him
He then decides that, because the Simpsons didn't need to rely on gimmick cultural relevancy in order to be successful, he will place as many things culturally relevant in the span of 15 seconds (Seriously go back to when the Simpsons were good and see how many times they tried to shove into your face that they were with the times. For God's sake their car had an 8-track tape player for the longest time). Bart tells Marge and Lisa how cool he is and how he heard Mrs. K is doing all right in the 4-square court while Lisa points out that nobody plays 4-square anymore (Lisa is given 3 lines by the way, a recurring theme in this season). Mr. Vaughn then asks a question to which Martin answers it correctly but is scolded for actually remembering it rather than googling it (Because you're allowed to have a computer with you on your history test to look up answers. I should just hand him the award right now and be done with him). While Bart heads over to Mrs. K's apartment we see an obvious Rodney Dangerfield parody movie, which isn't too bad to be truthful.
14 days of not having a teacher's salary. I don't see a difference
After Bart drops off the stickers we see Homer talking to Mr Vaughn about Bart in a rather pointless scene... Moving on, we see Bart and Milhouse talking about how to help Mrs. K when they are approached by an employee who gives them a book called "The Answer" which then they give to Mrs. K to help her open a muffin store. After her business becomes successful Bart reveals that he got her fired and then she starts berating him about how the store isn't doing well and she wants to teach.
Hey good idea, I could go for a nice drink now
Bart assumes that if he gets Mr. Vaughn drunk, he'll get fired and that'll bring back Mrs. K. Bart tells Principal Skinner that he got Mrs. K Drunk, Mr Vaughn gets drunk by himself and gets fired, and Mrs. K comes back and ends this episode by giving her class bad muffins.

Final judgment: This episode is boring, annoying and above all stupid. While it's all right to have the occasional cultural relevant item in your plot, it's not a great idea to center a plot around an annoying teacher who would be laughed off from special ed students. And really Mr. Vaughn ranks in my top 5 WORST characters ever in Simpsons with just so many moments that make you want to hit something.

Final Grade: 2.3/10 a better title would have been The Simpsons get a 'Z'

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