Friday, November 26, 2010

"Hate Month" Stealing First Base Followup

We conclude "Hate Month" with a recent episode that our good ol' friend John Frink wrote. It of course was last season and it totally sucked ass. Now we will venture on with our review of this episode...
Where did that text come from?
No, you idiot! It's me, your editor!
I have an editor?!
Yes, you do. And I'm here to remind you that you already DID a review of this episode! You've SAID what's wrong with it!
Oh yeah, I did. But I'm here now to provide FURTHER insight into why I hate this one. I can only write so much before the audience gets bored reading paragraph after paragraph. have an audience?
HEY! My fans are very loyal, I mean I've got... uh... well what about... uh... well there's always...
Yeah. You have an audience all right. P.S. The above was a runon sentence.
Well, since you're here, you wanna discuss your views on this episode with me? It'll be fun.
Lies. But since I have to stay around anyways to edit and make your posts READABLE, I'll help.
Okay, let's begin then.

So let's start off with the padding for this episode?

Yeah, sure. Because I'm not sure how well Kriken's explained how he determines what padding is - padding consists of scenes that contribute nothing to the episode. They are not funny or enjoyable, they do not add to the plot, and they could be cut without any effect on the episode (well, besides making it shorter and a bit more enjoyable, but you understand my point). In fact, padding brings the plot to a screeching halt. As an amateur writer, I can safely say that, if you have to rely on padding, your story clearly isn't strong enough on its own; scrap what you have and start over. So, back on track - how much padding was there?

4 minutes and 45 seconds

.....the average episode, not counting the opening and the credits, is about 19 minutes. That's about a QUARTER of the episode devoted to padding! What the hell, writers!

Well the first piece of padding consists of a topical bit where Homer uses a GPS to take his kids to school. Where do I begin?
  1. Why does he need a GPS to take his kids to SCHOOL!?
  2. It uses meters instead of feet (For a US user no-less) so we get a bit where Lisa tries to convert it to feet. Why is she converting a short distance (50 m) to feet?
  3. The GPS is apparently sentient as it can tell when it's 10 feet off the ground or when it's in water
  4. This bit takes up 1 minute and stalls our introduction to the plot.
Personally, I think GPS units are, in fact, sentient and out to kill us, but I digress. We happen to have a GPS unit. If the route is familiar, we don't waste the power or time activating it and programming. In addition, I always considered the Simpsons to be stuck in the 90's; they don't need newer technology. I mean, how old IS their car? Finally, while I am fond of how technology has evolved, the fact of the matter  is WE NEVER SEE THE GPS UNIT AGAIN.

Our next piece of padding (I'm skipping over another piece) involves Homer taking Bart to the movies where they go to see a 3-D Itchy and Scratchy movie with no originality and it causes the plot to vanish entirely.

As per my job as editor, I reviewed the scene. There is literally no transition to this scene, and it could have been much better spent on a actual joke - say, Homer takes Bart to see 'Foxy Boxing', thus keeping Bart's mind on girls. That would be a simple joke, yes, but at least you'd laugh.

The attempts to mock 3-D are terrible, one particular line just makes me want to shove a pair of 3-D glasses up John Frink's ass.

Dude, at least TRY to stay neutral!

*sigh* You're right. Remember the days when the I&S cartoon used to be 20-30 seconds long and usually dealt with the episode itself?(Deep Space Homer comes to mind)

Yeah...heck, even in Cape Feare, where the writers admitted to padding, the Itchy & Scratchy worked - it showed that Bart was anxious, and even his favorite things couldn't cheer him up. In addition (I may be stretching here), the way that Itchy kills Scratchy in his typical over-the-top fashion isn't too different from how Sideshow Bob would want to kill Bart. .....I love that episode. Besides, it had Bob and Bart SINGING together! What more could you want! It- we're off-track. Next padding bit!

Fine *Grumbles* let's talk about the skit. Why was it even in the episode?! I get the whole "What they did was wrong in the eyes of idiots" but the skit went on for way too long and wasn't funny nor necessary to introduce the "No-touch" policy being implemented soon. We could have easily had Chalmers just come on the stage and say; Nobody can touch anyone else or we'll be screwed. Oh yeah, this bit went on for 1 minute and 5 seconds, 1 minute and 5 seconds too long if you ask me.

I concur - no demonstration was needed. In addition, unless I'm mistaken, most schools send letters home if there is a change in policy so that the parents are informed as well - obviously, the writers never went to school.

Okay, my padding bitching is reaching padding territory so I'll just wrap this part up by saying I HATED the "Kissing montage". I have CPR certification and trust me when I say that CPR IS NOT KISSING!!! And even the movie bits they use are just stupid and I find this whole bit irritating. Anything else RBY?

Classroom integration:
I don't think there's anything I can contribute to that. Besides, the less I add, the less padding there is. So, next topic - the legendary 'second classroom' never discussed before this episode?

Well, they could have done a better introduction, but okay. How about the classroom opening bit where it takes way too long to find out what happened to Mrs. K (In comparison to Lisa's Substitute, we get mention of Ms. Hoover's absence almost immediately). But back to the main point, this "Other classroom" is so underdeveloped, you could essentially just have all the students (Other than Nikki) as cardboard cutouts.

Nelson-Blind kid:
The only exception is the blind kid. Honestly, though, I like his relationship with Nelson a lot better than Bart's relationship with Nikki. The blind kid doesn't feel as tacked-on or forced as the actual A plot - I think it would have been a genuinely good A-plot.

You're giving the writers WAY too much credit, but I agree. Nelson and the blind kid were far and away more interesting than Bart's 6th love interest or Lisa's character derailment that some call a plot. I feel that with proper writing, it could have made for a good buddy-pairing. It could have given Nelson some interesting character development outside of bullying. So how about Bart's love interest that we'll call Bipolar Bitch?

Bart-Nikki plot/No-Touch policy:
That's insulting to anyone with a bipolar disorder. But, honestly, there seriously IS something wrong with this character. Even worse, the writers treat her like a normal kid. At least Jessica Lovejoy was acknowledged as a sociopath! ...and, yes, she was a sociopath, but that's beside the point.

That just sickens me because bipolar is nothing to laugh at yet the writers use it for quick unfunny jokes. But let's talk about how they meet, while Bart's reading The Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar (I'm dead serious here) he bashes her Twilight knock-off as being untrue to vampire lore (Yes take literary advice from the kid with a reading level of a 1st grader). Nikki then falls for him and it's contrived love at first sight.

You know what, Twilight sounds perfect for her. Anyways, Bart then asks Grandpa for love advice - Grandpa, who drove his wife away - and he's told to steal a kiss from her. By the way, guys, for future reference - unless we're already dating, doing this will get you seriously injured in so many ways. Back on topic, the next day, we find out Nikki is a great skateboarder. Keep in mind, these two went to the same school - if she did skateboard, Bart should know! If they wanted her to be athletic, they should have given her rollerblades - it would have been equally effective with less fridge logic.

Would make as much sense as if she came to school with scuba gear, but I digress. After they rip off a scene from "Wanted" Bart steals the kiss and it goes about as well as you'd expect with Nikki taking a 180 and overreacting. Of course this leads to our inbred hillbilly of a plot where Nikki's parents overreact even worse than she does.

That's possi-? OH. ......ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

Uh... my editor will be back from the mental breakdown in a minute. Anyways, this is just SO stupid and overblown, I'm surprised that nobody was fired for the complete incompetence of this plot. I mean there's satirizing a modern day problem in society, and then there's this; a complete mess of an attempt to satirize our views of young affection. This honestly takes the cake when it comes to unfunny, shitty writing so we'll just move on a little. Nikki takes ANOTHER character 180 and is suddenly in love with Bart again. After Bart and Nikki fight about going public, Bart gets injured and nobody can give him CPR due to the policy. Nikki though gives him CPR (Which is not a kiss thank you very much) and this shitty plot ends with the policy just going away (Seriously, it just goes away, no announcement or anything. No admissions of flaws or apologies from anyone, it just ends) and Nikki giving Bart a good-bye kiss. Up yours writers. Well now that we're done with this I can finally prepare myself for the December...

Wait! Wait wait waaaaait....we forgot about Lisa!

Lisa meeting Michelle Obama:
Oh, you're back. DAMMIT!! Yeah, let's go into that one now *Bites tongue* You want to begin? suck. Anyways, the thing WRONG with this - it's unbelievably unrealistic. Look, I went to school for thirteen years like most kids, and I was a lot like Lisa. I actually enjoyed school, went above the standards for assignments when I could, and never went a quarter without honor roll status. In my whole school career, I only got ONE C on my report card. So, yes, I can identify with Lisa. Why am I mentioning all this? BECAUSE THIS SUBPLOT EPICALLY FAILS! Look, in real life, if you get a bad grade, you get mocked! People will call you stupid! You will not be praised! If you're smart and you get a bad grade, people won't praise you - they will either mock you or ask you how the hell that happened! Befriend you?! HA! Look, this subplot is clearly wish fulfillment on the writer's part - he got a bad grade, was mercilessly mocked, and this is what he WISHED would happen instead!

Thank you for that. That part was stupid, but having THE FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES COME ALL THE WAY TO SPRINGFIELD TO TELL ONE GIRL THAT BEING SMART IS OKAY?! What the hell were the writers smoking?! Did the writers forget that Lisa is a very philosophical girl? Or the fact that Lisa was in MENSA and saw how successful they all were? This is honestly like having Flanders question his faith in God and then having the Pope come visit Springfield to tell him that God loves him. SOMETHING HE ALREADY KNOWS AND PREACHES DAILY!! ...hmm... anything I missed or are we good?

I'm good. And I have readings to finish, so you better be done too.

Looks like we're good. I hope you enjoyed this mini-crossover. I look forward to seeing you all for future posts. And remember, not all writers can be John Swartzwelder, but that doesn't mean we can't bash the bad ones. Or bash the bad episodes like that awful episode parodying reality TV called "The Frying Game"... wait... no. No! NO!!!!!

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