Monday, October 11, 2010

Episode 3: MoneyBART

Lisa decides to be the manager of Bart's baseball team so that she can can add that to her activities list for her college resume. Of course we all know what happens when Bart and Lisa are in the same sport but could the writers do their best to make this seem original and a good episode? Well let's see how good of a manager Lisa can be of a sport she knows nothing about.
P.S. I am not going to talk about the "Couch Gag" so no comments about my opinion of it

The episode begins with a scene of a Yale graduate drive up to Springfield Elementary where she starts to walk down the hallway and grabs the attention of everyone (Including the hamster). I really don't get why everyone is staring at her, shes not that attractive, and it's not like there hasn't been strange women in their school before, I just don't get it. We then find out that she's a Springfield Elementary alum who just graduated from Yale and decided to visit her old school (Odd, whenever I visit my old school I think of my high school. I just guess she was in elementary school for all 12 years). Lisa comes running to Skinner to find out about the car (parked on the road like an ignorant jackass) where she meets Dahlia Brinkley. Lisa tries to impress Dahlia by saying that she's going to go to an Ivy league school as well with some rather unfunny dialogue (It just wasn't funny to me that's all). After finding out that Lisa only has 2 activities (I guess all those things she's done in the past 22 years don't count) Dahlia patronizes her saying that she'd never get into Yale with her lack of extra-curricular activities. Lisa then points out what we're all thinking in that she's only 8, but logic is thrown out the window as we go through a montage of what Dahlia did at her age (I guess she was also voted as the class prick). Lisa decides that she needs more activities so she decides to practice fencing with Maggie
Maggie, have you always been this violent?
(Okay, the outfit Lisa's wearing looks ridiculous on her and I couldn't help but laugh at it when I first saw it). This backfires however after Lisa patronizes Maggie and Maggie goes into berserker mode and beats Lisa. After Lisa scorns Marge for saying she can go to a lesser college, Flanders comes over to tell Bart that he will no longer manage his baseball team (By the way, ENOUGH WITH THE TAZER JOKE WRITERS!!!). After Homer says he wont coach Bart's team (And then poisons himself with vodka and mayo, okay that was pretty funny if not random) Bart walks around trying to figure out what he's going to do now. He then notices his team practicing and finds out that Lisa's going to manage their team. Lisa tries to defend herself as a girl coaching a baseball team (Say that sounds a lot like her argument for football) Bart logically points out that she knows nothing about the sport (I agree, I've seen managers get called out on never playing). Lisa then ignores what Bart said about her lack of knowledge of the sport as she reads a list of male managers that sound like women (Did we miss a line or something? Bart says: "You know nothing about baseball" Lisa replies with "There have been many female baseball managers". Seriously, I think the writers forgot something because she failed to address that and went back to her original argument). Lisa explains that's she coaching them because she needs an extracurricular activity and nobody will coach "You lovable losers"
(Taking bets now that this will follow the 90's sports movie mold:
1. Team improves vastly through training montage
2. Lisa brings in a ringer to help them win more
3. Stud player who nobody understands gets benched but is brought in for final play to win the game)
Okay when I read your name say here. Scrotie McBoogerballs?
After the boys agree to play for her, we find out just how little Lisa knows about baseball. As Lisa says she's going to research it Bart mocks her by being a little chauvinist (Dude that's your sister, don't call her honeypie, eww.) After a small joke that Nelson and Milhouse make (With Lisa pointing out how creepy that last bit of dialogue was) Lisa goes to Moe's where she finds out that Professor Frink and the nerds know a lot about baseball through stats and they give her a lot of books to read (Huh, I thought Frink was dead, oh well). By the way, this is something that really annoyed me for this episode, learning and coaching baseball through stats, anyone who has played baseball (I played little league) knows that you can't play baseball as a soulless computerized game of stats, there's the human element that no computer can calculate. We then see at the baseball game Lisa having a ton of books and a laptop so that she can calculate the best lineup for each individual play (Because continuity in the outfield is so overrated, as is continuity in the infield and at catcher). We then get another montage of Lisa's statistics helping the team win games (As well as baseball entering The Matrix, why does that sound like an interesting fanfiction?).
Have you ever had a game you were so sure was real?
Bart gets fed up with Lisa's statistics and like any baseball fan, says that baseball is about playing and heart not computers and odds (I have to agree with Bart here, Lisa truly has taken the fun out of playing for them). When Bart goes up to bat Lisa tells him that because he's walked the past 2 batters so if he walks Bart, they win the game (Thanks captain obvious, did it take you hours to figure that out?). Bart says nuts to that and he hits a home run and showboats like he just won the World Series. Lisa then berates Bart for disobeying her and kicks him off the team (A bit harsh, I would have just benched him for 2 games). At Luigi's Lisa tries to convince the team that Bart was poison to the team and she was had the right to say what he should do at the plate (I would say this is a little out of character, but Lisa can get nasty when she's competitive). After Bart hands his uniform to Lisa they fight at the table a bit. Marge tries to get Lisa to reinstate Bart but Homer defends Lisa because sports come before family (Yet again, another reference to "Lisa on Ice" Homer is pro-sports while Marge is pro-family). After Marge and Homer then get into a small argument about this (Oh crap, this is "Postcards from the Wedge" all over again *Screams*) Marge and Homer read stories to Bart and Lisa respectively about their sides of the argument. We then get a pointless scene of Bart being a color commentator while Lisa wins another game advancing them to the state finals.
No you fools! You'll short circuit her!
After Marge drops Homer and Lisa off for the game, she takes Bart to an amusement park to help him forget baseball (Credit where it's due, the airhorn gag was pretty funny and seemed to homage their previous megaphone gag). While at the amusement park on a roller coaster, Lisa calls Bart and asks him to come back because she needs someone to replace Ralph (The steriods joke annoyed me). After Bart says no, Mike Scioscia appears and tells Bart that he should always listen to his manager (Oh yeah, remember how I complain about the writers creating plot holes that could easily be solved with a token explanation? Mike explains that the radiation poisoning gave him "Super managing powers", see problem solved with a simple line. Why is this so hard to figure out?) After that pointless cameo (Seriously I think he lasts less than a minute) Lisa uses odds to determine that she needs a pinch runner with speed but none of the players have enough energy to run fast. Bart then comes in and Lisa puts him in after they hug (apology) and Lisa pretends to forget about baseball.
Let's never play sports with each other again
While Bart attempts to steal, Lisa and Bart relay hand signals with Lisa trying to say no but Bart stealing 2nd and 3rd anyways (Okay I do find this funny only because I would mock the hand gestures when playing, I never understood how some of them came to be). Lisa thinks everything will be okay but then yells at Bart for saying he'll steal home because the computer says it's statistically impossible (Which leads into a Mr. Burns has the world oldest computer gag). Not only is stealing home statistically low, but physically the odds are against you, unless a pitch is very wild, the ball will reach home before the runner from 3rd reaches home, I mean runners get out at home from a throw all the way in right field all the time. Of course, Bart tries to steal home and of course fails. They lose the game but Lisa thanks Bart for teaching her that the game is more than numbers and science and the game is really about the passion and how unpredictable it is. Bart and Lisa then have a touching brother-sister moment as they are carried off the field by the team.

Final Judgment: This episode is decent, it's nothing special, but it's not bad either. I'm probably a small minority on this episode but I did enjoy watching it. The opening was rather uninteresting and the whole statistics in baseball was rather annoying to watch, but in the grand scheme, it was a nice Bart-Lisa episode. The writing had it's moments, the jokes were hit and miss, mostly hit and the plot was original but stole many aspects from episodes like "Lisa on Ice". That doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing, but it does hurt it a bit. Lisa was a bit of a Math Nazi as she basically shut anyone up who dared to defy her use of math to win games and that did make her unlikable at times.

Final Grade: 6.8/10 Not bad, but could have used a bit more work.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, this is a good episode and a standout of season 22