After beginning the episode with an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon, we find out that Krusty's sponsor is giving away Happy Little Elves toys as an apology for an oil spill (Wow, it took them this long to make a BP joke, give them a hand everyone. They made the latest and worst BP joke yet *Clapping*). Maggie scratches at the TV when a certain toy is shown as Lisa conveniently comes in to tell Homer that she's missing that one toy from her set (Yeah, bet you didn't know Lisa had teleportation powers did you? Because she was clearly in the room for the I&S cartoon but disappeared right before the toy bit came on and never saw Maggie scratching the TV). So after Homer makes a terrible joke about his kids (This is going to be a long one isn't it?) Homer decides to take the family to go get the toy (And make a bad joke about the gas company. I'm just going to have "Summer of 4 ft 2" playing in the next tab so I don't completely lose my sanity). When they arrive at the gas station (Some distance away I may add... why isn't there a closer one? Oh right, they explained it through a terrible joke, and here I thought it was just shitty writing) they get a box with a toy but it turns out to be the wrong one. The attendant refuses to give them another box unless they buy more gas (Okay, I never got the Hess truck or other gas station promotional items. But what sense does this make? When fast food joints do this, you can usually ask for a specific toy and they'll be happy to oblige). So after Homer drives around recklessly (So he can buy more gas... What can I say about this that isn't already being said by the actions?) he buys another toy but it's wrong again (Hey here's an idea; Jump the counter and just open every box until you get the right one. I mean there's nobody else there with him so it's not like he's honestly going to fight back. Oh wait, logic has no place here, moving on).
|Yes, hundreds of dollars in wasted gas for a 50 cent toy. This is a smart idea|
|Oh the horrors! A poorly recycled plot from season 3 *Screams*|
1. "Lisa The Simpson" already dealt with this issue of Lisa worrying about declining in her intellect. And the way those writers had Lisa deal with it wasn't done that well to be honest
2. Lisa already learned her lesson that she should strive to be the best she can be so many times before. What, did she just forget them all?
3. There is no way this can end well based on how Lisa views academics above everything else
Moving on, Lisa gets depressed after seeing how Marge ended up and we could have ended it on that note, but the writers thought it would be funnier if the segment ended on an unfunny padded out discussion between Skinner and Chalmers (Simpsons writers: Can't even understand the concept of emotion). We then cut back to Lisa going over Marge's grades to figure out where it all went wrong and she pinpoints it to be when Marge was a senior in High School (Anyone who's watched this show for more than 2 episodes knows that's when Marge met Homer. I'm going to hate this more aren't I?) So Lisa looks through Marge's scrapbook and finds a picture of Marge and Homer together in High School (Along with an inappropriate music cue. Did I say I was going to hate this, what I really meant to say was I'M GOING TO TAKE A PEN AND SHOVE IT UP THE WRITER'S ASS!!! *Gets dragged aside by RBY*) I have been given enough happy pills so that I can continue with the review, so let's continue.
|Drat! Marge has been foiled by the power of love!|
1. Boys (She's had what, 4 BF give or take in the series so far)
2. Ponies (Need I say anything about this one?)
3. Saxophone (Now this is like street performing, not professional)
4. Weird friend (I'd rather not go into this one, but friendship has distracted her before)
5. Random hobby (Take your pick with this one)
So yeah nothing could possibly distract her eh writers? So we cut to Bart as Nelson's trying to get revenge from yesterday, but ends up hurting himself even more (Wow, that had so much purpose, I'm glad this subplot was put in to distract us from that Lisa story we're supposed to be following). We then see Lisa pack away all her toys and other "distractions" (I need booze) as she decides that her saxophone is also a distraction... (Do I need to say anything about how stupid this is? I really hate this episode). Marge notices Lisa's sax on the lawn as Homer tells Marge that Lisa doesn't want to end up like Marge as Marge is saddened by the fact that her own daughter doesn't want to be like her. The next morning, Marge vents her frustration as Lisa tells Marge that her lifestyle just isn't for her. Lisa notices that Marge is giving Lisa the cold shoulder as we see this in many ways (Okay, let's add the plot to "Marge be Not Proud" to the list of plots they're stealing from). At school, Lisa's trying to study while walking in the hallway as she bitches about how school isn't a good learning environment either (Hey, bit of advice; You've been able to succeed in the past with the same conditions. Why is it all of a sudden now you can't concentrate. And really, you HAVE to study every waking minute? I'm speechless at the stupidity of this writing).
|If I can't study in a loud, crowded hallway. Where can I study?|
|I don't look ridiculous in this outfit right?|
Marge: So what did you learn from this experience Lisa?
Lisa: Absolutely nothingAfter Lisa tries to tell Marge that she cannot continue living with this knowledge, Marge tells Lisa that she doesn't want Lisa to turn out like her. Lisa thinks about that and she tells Marge that she doesn't want to go to the school anymore because... the Kool-aid man is red? (Seriously, she just makes up a fake excuse to appease Marge.) Yeah I hate to go down the "Lisa's Pony" path again, but when you compare what Lisa did after finding out about Homer's job and what she did after this, she genuinely cared about Homer's health and well being. In this one, you don't get that same feeling, you get the feeling that she just doesn't want to have the guilt over her head rather than she cares about Marge. After a fake emotional scene (Sorry but Lisa's eye movements ruined that scene. She seemed to hate the idea of turning out like Marge, thus depleting any character arc she may have accomplished) Bart and Nelson barge in "Drunk" thanking Marge. The episode ends with Homer coming in showing Marge that he got Maggie the toy she wanted as we find out he got it by breaking into the gas station (How cute, the writers think we care about that shitty subplot).
Final Verdict: This episode is bad, the main story is just a bunch of recycled plots smushed together into a mess of an episode. The B plot was just stupid and nothing but filler as it resulted in nothing. And the C plot was utterly pointless as all that accomplished was wasting our time. The jokes were either terrible or tried way too hard. And above all, this is just a terrible lesson as Lisa learns nothing from this.
Final Grade: 3.1 Just another example of why Joel Cohen shouldn't be writing for this show