Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Episode 2: Lost Verizon

Let's start off by saying that I do not come into any episode with any bias, I approach every episode with the possibility that it mat be good. However, for those of you who remember my November posts, this episode was written by John Frink, one of those writers that inspires fear and dread anytime I see his name. But I'll still keep an open mind for this, so let's see what's in store for me today.

First, a little trivia: this episode was originally supposed to star Matt Damon, but instead the role went to Denis Leary (I have no clue why, I guess Matt said no)(Wouldn't you?). The episode begins with Seymour and Agnes Skinner running out of gas on the highway, along with a piss-poor gas joke because gas prices will always be over $4 a gallon, right? Seymour decides that the best way to get gas for the car is playing a good game of Frogger (Seriously just put the Frogger music over that scene, it's so appropriate). After some more padding, Milhouse texts everyone relevant to the school to watch Seymour act like a fool in public (You get the fact that they are now culturally relevant? Yes? Well too bad, this whole episode decides to shove that fact down your throat). After Barney mistakes Skinner for beer, Nelson wonders why Bart isn't there. Milhouse claims Bart doesn't have a plot device, er I mean cell phone and we cut to Bart having a tea party with Lisa (I have no comment, I just wonder if that tea is laced or not)(We're not that lucky).
Bart: This is the worst possible thing that could happen to me
The bullies exposit that Bart missed out on Skinner being a fool because he doesn't have a cell phone (As opposed to calling him at home but I guess that makes too much sense). Bart gets angry and Lisa mocks him with an "Imaginary cell phone". Oh yeah, huge continuity error: the bullies come up from the backyard and are on the road when clearly the backyard borders a house unless a joke dictates it to something else (i.e. the power plant in Homer the Great). Bart complains to Marge about not having a cell phone and Marge explains they don't have the money and, oh God, my nostalgia level for this show has died again. I will give the money joke its credit; it did make me laugh a little just because it does remind me of the days where the family had huge money problems. As Bart whines off, Lisa exposits about how she's used to disappointments such as not going to Machu Picchu ~plot point~. Bart walks around when he gets hit by a golf ball and finds out that he can make money by collecting them (It seems that The Simpsons Movie is not canon with the series as Dr. Nick is alive, but in later episodes, we find that to be bullshit and inconsistent writing. I love it when the writers can't even figure out their own shitty continuity).
I thought you were dead, aren't you?
After a montage of Bart collecting balls (I have a bad feeling about this season and montages) Willie takes away his business, and Bart retires. Wow, way to pad out the episode, that was annoying and pointless. We then see Denis Leary play golf at Krusty's golf tournament, and see that he's proud that he is best known for Ice Age. After his phone disrupts his swing, he throws it towards Bart and Bart takes it as his own (And people dare to claim I have a bad attitude towards cell phones)(Sure why not. It's not like all the contacts in that phone wont know that Denis threw his phone away and they might mistake Bart as Denis and, oh wait). After some more cell phone antics (I GET IT, YOU THINK YOU'RE CULTURALLY RELEVANT, STOP SHOVING IT IN MY FACE!!!) Bart gets a call from producer Brian Grazer to star in Everybody Poops and Bart agrees as Denis. Ok, quick question: HOW THE FUCK DOES BRIAN NOT RECOGNIZE DENIS' VOICE? It's a really big plot hole in the rest of this story as nobody seems to be able to tell the fact that they aren't calling Denis but some other guy.
Hey Bart, after we finish texting all our friends, why don't we Skype our cousins, update our Facebook and then Twitter how our day went.
After a scene with Denis in his new movie (I really don't get how that'd make money, but hey, I'm not a Hollywood producer) Bart decides to pad out the episode by crank calling bars with Denis' cell phone (*sigh* Remember those days when Bart crank called Moe and he and Lisa would get such a kick out of it? Yeah those days are LONG over). Denis threatens Bart after getting some Yankee stuff (Hey who wouldn't be angry over that?) Marge then takes the phone and talks to Denis as he convinces her to give the phone back to Bart and track him using the tracking device in it (Afterwards eating pop-tarts in the most over the top way possible). And that's the last we see of Denis, what was his point in the episode? No point at all, glad to see these cameos are being put to good use. I could talk about how the cell phone tracking an invasion of his privacy, but I'd rather not get political here. Besides, after seeing him play with a forklift (Who gave him that?) she has a right to try to prevent him from doing bad stuff, but it does seem a bit out of character for Marge. After another montage (Yipee) Lisa finds out about the tracking and informs Bart about it because she respects his rights (I guess then people under house arrest should be given privacy too, how does this make sense? I mean it's not like Marge actually knows what Bart's doing, she just knows where he is. I'd also like to remind you that Bart's 10, of course a mother wants to know where her child is).
Bart, you're an idiot, give me a minute to explain the plot to you
Bart takes the chip out and attaches it to a bird which sends Homer and Marge on a wild goose chase... I did not mean that but I'll punish myself for that *Smacks self for bad pun* (*smacks him again* That's MY job!) Afterwards, Bart decides to do whatever he wants, which includes all the stuff he doesn't like doing, such as eating vegetables.... moving on. We cut back to Bart having Nelson and Milhouse over after the family's been gone for three days as they both leave before it gets dark, causing Bart to get scared of the dark. How did this story go from Bart wanting a cell phone to Bart getting afraid of being alone? As the family continue to follow the bird (Seriously, the bird travels faster than the car and they aren't the least bit suspicious of that?) Lisa discovers that the chip is attached to a Scarlet Tanager the whole time and she decides not to tell Marge and Homer because she wants to go to Machu Picchu. OK I have two complaints here:
1: Why is Lisa such a selfish asshole here? She'd be more than willing to make her family travel through all of Central America and North West South America just so she can visit a city which she could probably visit later in life when she's older. That is just so stupid it doesn't even deserve a wall-banger here.
2: After a quick Google check, the Scarlet Tanager does travel through Peru but it's only in the U.S. during the Summer unless the Simpsons live somewhere between Florida and Texas. They couldn't have used a different bird here?
Look at that, our plot device is a Scarlet Tanager. Good thing we have Wi-Fi in the middle of nowhere.
Moving on, after Bart decides to tell us how night sucks and day is awesome (Show, don't tell, nimrods)(Because I feel it's my duty to help the world, here's how this could be done: just SHOW Bart having fun during the day, going 'Whoo-hoo!' and the like. At night, he can just be shivering, blankets pulled up over his head. No need to actually SAY night sucks and day's awesome, since most viewers are intelligent enough to understand) the Simpsons finally end up in Machu Picchu (Nice going, Lisa, you just cost your family hundreds in gas money, scarred Bart and skipped over a week of school but it's all for a good cause, the chance to NOT ENJOY Machu Picchu. A couple of hours isn't enough to soak in the atmosphere of a city like that, it's like telling me I could enjoy Bermuda with only three hours of walking around). As Marge takes a nap, she dreams about what the city was like if it had all its warriors emasculated by their mothers and unable to fight off the Spanish Inquisition.
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
(The writers clearly were lazy here, as there is very little known history behind Machu Picchu and the history we do know points to Machu Picchu abandoned before the Spanish Inquisition). In Marge's revelation, she realizes she can't always be there for him (Where did this come from, honestly it seemed like the writers forgot what their message was supposed to be for this). The family goes home to reveal they were gone for two weeks as Bart is grateful for them to be back. We end with Maggie being left behind but being worshiped as a God by the Machu Picchu natives.

Final Judgment: This episode is fair at best and awful at worst. The writing is stupid, the plot is littered with cultural relevancy up the wazoo and worst of all the message seems tacked on and stupid. This episode just goes to show that just because you're keeping up with culture doesn't mean your writing will be good.

Final Grade: 3.3/10 It's really not worth watching

1 comment:

  1. Marge and Lisa Are Pure and Sad But Marge and Lisa Are Simple and Sad.