Monday, September 27, 2010

Episode 1: Elementary School Musical

With such a disappointment from the last season, could this one possibly turn the tide and send the Simpsons back on top? Do those Geico commercials make you want to get Geico insurance? The short answer; no. If there was anyway to deter fans of this show any quicker, it's a musical episode. There is nothing worse than post-season 10 musical episodes in this series (Okay clip shows are #1 but this is a very close 2nd). Let's dive in and find out how this episode is worse thing to happen to young music since Justin Bieber.

We begin with Lisa and her nerd friends up late watching the Noble prize announcements at 4 AM. The winner of the peace prize is Krusty the Clown (Wow, look at it jump the shark so early *looks up*). I mean, this plot is retarded from the beginning, does anyone buy this? Is anyone thinking to themselves "Gee I guess Krusty must have done something very important and was deserving to the prize" THIS IS STUPID AND RIDICULOUS! You know the worst part? We're only 1.5 minutes into the episode, and that includes the 1 minute 10 second opening, how sad is that? Moving on, the next day we have a press conference where Krusty gives a speech and admits he only cares about the money (Charming). After some padding by Homer, Krusty invites Homer and Bart to be in the crowd during his acceptance speech. As Krusty, Homer and Bart get to their plane we see a chorus singing the Itchy & Scratchy theme for Krusty (The few, the proud, the Marines. Now degraded to singing a cartoon theme song for an unfunny clown, how nice). We then cut to Lisa whining to Marge that she can't go to Oslo and Bart can. On the way back, we see that Marge isn't going back home but taking Lisa somewhere else, where she has to whine some more (No seriously, knock it off, Lisa's not a whiny brat).
Say Lisa, do you want some cheese with your whine?
Marge then reveals to Lisa that she's going to spend a week at performing arts camp for no reason (No build up, I guess Marge is just as impulsive as Homer). Marge then drops her off as Lisa wanders around and discovers... Oh Jesus no! *sigh* The camp member all sing a musical number welcoming Lisa *Tries to escape but is caught by RBY* Ok in fairness this is a parody of "Good Vibrations" which is a fairly good song, the problem with it though is that this version is TERRIBLE! The worst part about it (Other than it coming out of nowhere and sounding like a rejected Disney musical number) is that it comes right before commercial break, it's almost like the writers wanted to give us the opportunity to shut off the TV after our minds just got raped. Ok, I've regathered my collective sanity, so how far are we now? 6 MINUTES!? WE'RE ONLY 6 MINUTES IN?! I should really go back and beg for my job at McDonalds, it's far less painful and degrading than this.
The Simpsons: Successfully raping your fond memories for the past 7 years
So if you were foolish enough to stay we see our two main guest stars Kurt and Ethan (Flight of the Concords) are the camp counselors, and they couldn't possibly be any more annoying if they started playing cymbals during a conversation with the pope (Oh yeah there's a real inconstant joke they have where they're supposed to play their guitars and sing everytime they talk, but they don't do it at first and only do it midway through the conversation. That's real lazing writing there). Meanwhile, Krusty, Homer and Bart land down in Europe where it turns out they were sent to Holland and the Noble Peace Prize was a hoax to get Krusty to Europe so he could be tried for international crimes (There ARE better ways of getting someone into your country to be tried for crimes like, oh I don't know EXPEDITION! it was a real stretch from the beginning, but this "Twist" is very lazy and poorly written). Back at arts camp we get an unfunny bit where the counselors try to prep the kids for heckling by making heckles that only upper class would find amusing. Later that night we see the campers around a camp fire for camp stories (I assume) when a camper asks the two counselors what they do in their normal life. We see the counselors start to Dr. Seuss what they do when... oh no! OH NO!!!!!! They break out into a rap. If you need me, I'm going down to the bar the wipe away these memories of this shit.
World's smartest man, and he doesn't know to stay away from this poison
*returns* Okay I assume you want me to talk about this, okay this rap number is worse than the song that the campers sang before. Look I know this is supposed to be a musical episode, but that doesn't justify putting shitty music on the screen and thinking we'll accept it, YOU NEED TO PUT EFFORT INTO IT! (By the way, why is Steven Hawkings in this episode? Is there any reason he needs to be in this shitty rap number?) Okay after that scene, we see Krusty in court and we find out that he can earn his freedom if he can prove that he's contributed something to Western Culture. That's the equivilant of saying that the D.C. Snipers could have avoided jail by doing a PSA against guns, how nice. We then cut back to arts camp where it turns out that Lisa's week is up (As shown by an annoying camera joke). Lisa gets depressed that she has to leave so early because she fell in love with the arts (I guess that all those times you played the sax were because you were bored then) and is forced to sit in the car listening to Maggie's music for 279 miles (Wait a minute it took only a few minutes from the Springfield exit to the exit for the camp in the opening. I guess continuity within the episode is too much to ask for). The next day, we see Lisa's depressed because she has to go back to normal life and she doesn't let the bullies get to her when she does get off the bus. When in band class, she tries to be creative but is told to play the sheet music and that arts camp gives false hope (I'm not sure who to side with here but I have a problem with Lisa just NOW thinking she can express herself creatively. SHE'S BEEN DOING IT ON HER OWN FOR 21 YEARS WRITERS!)
I can't possibly do anything without the aid of art camp counselors
Over in Holland, we see Bart and Homer try to find something to help Krusty but fail to find anything initially, this makes that scene *Entirely pointless*. Back home we see Lisa's still depressed because she was allowed to be artistic at the dinner table there but not here. Hey news flash Lisa; We all went somewhere that was different from home at some point in life and adjusted back to normal life just fine. I hate to beat a dead horse but this whole "Lisa can't be fine at home because it's not art camp" is really pissing me off, she seems whiny, emo and incapable of taking anything she learned there and doing it at home which is not like Lisa at all. Lisa then decides to leave home so that she can go to "Sprooklyn" to pursue her path of an aspiring young artist. Say writers, remember the last time she was alone in a big city? She was scared to death like the 8-year old that she was. I'm not buying this for one minute. The next morning, Lisa gets to the counselor's apartment where she finds out that they are starving artists who have low paying jobs and live in a crap-shack of an apartment. Lisa asks why they lied and they respond with are you ready for this? A song! I really want to hurt this episode but there's no way I can hurt it the way it's hurt me.
Worst thing to come out of Europe since Uwe Boll
Back in Holland, we see that everything in Europe has Euro- in front of it... You know writers, you can't just add Euro- in front of every word and expect it to be funny, let me demonstrate:
The eruoboy went to sit under the eurotree where he ate his eruosandwhich and threw the trash away in a eurotrashcan.
See? It's not funny, it's retarded. Just then, Bart and Homer come busting in with a DVD proving that Krusty made a contribution to Western culture. This leads to a retarded DVD regions joke that is stupid and this could have easily been resolved by just calling it a tape (And considering the footage is from 1990, it should be on a VHS and not DVD). Bart then plays the DVD which reveals that Krusty decided not to put on a show in South Africa which resulted in the band members playing Vuvuzelas which somehow proves that Krusty was indirectly responsible for the release of Nelson Mandela. THAT IS THE MOST RETARDED THING I HAVE EVER HEARD! PERIOD! This cop-out is up their with the "Phony war of Independence" from Gone Maggie Gone and the left-handed BS from Boy Meets Curl. This is just stupid and insults the viewer's intelligence as they watch it. Moving on, after Krusty is freed (Yes his selfishness frees him, remember kids always be selfish, it may come back to help you) we see Lisa listening to Kurt and Ethan play at a crappy coffee shop when Marge busts in and takes Lisa away from the city. After Kurt and Ethan bid them farewell, Lisa looks out her window and notices a huge poster about Sprooklyn being the home of eventual artist Lisa Simpson (What a load). After Kurt and Ethan break the 4th wall about the logic of them getting to the rooftop, we end with them doing their mundane job at Sprubway.

Final Judgment: This episode is terrible, the plot is stupid and made no sense, the subplot was equally as stupid if not more stupid and the writing was terrible. The jokes were idiotic and hurt the brain to watch and worst of all, there were far too many musical numbers that were stupid and annoying. What I find sad is that the writer and director are both pretty good so I have to wonder why this episode sucked so hard.

Final Grade: 1.8/10 Pitiful start, I think Malcolm McDowell said it best:
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