Friday, April 1, 2011

Around the World in 30 Days: Bart vs Australia

Hello and welcome to "Around the World in 30 Days". Today we take a look at one of the more popular international travel episodes, and quite frankly, one of (If not) the best. While a normal text review would seem in order, I'd like to try something different with this. I'd like to talk about the strengths of each episodes whether it be accuracy of location, humor, story, etc and their weaknesses. This will be very similar to the controversy month, but at the same time, I hope to make it a different experience. All that introduction out of the way, let's begin. (Oh yeah, because I can't include everything, I tried to limit myself to just a couple of points per subject. So don't get upset if there's something that you feel is missing from here).

Strengths of episode:
  • Pretty funny episode
    • Inaccuracies about Australia aside (I'll get to that in a bit) this was a pretty funny episode with a good number of memorable scenes and jokes (One of my favorite being the whole Bart-Lisa thing at the beginning)
  • Memorable storyline
    • Basically this on paper seems like nothing more than an extended version of Bart's crank calls to Moe's. But the whole story of Bart pissing off Australia and that leading to him mooning the Prime Minister is very memorable.
Yeah I'm sure that Australia loves getting mooned by ten-year-old boys all the time.
Weaknesses of episode:
  • Perception in Australia
    • This will be a recurring theme for this month, but quite a few of the episodes The Simpsons did where the family travels to another country, the country more often than not gets angry with the episode. This episode is no different as it has gotten mixed reactions from Australia ranging from Australian accents to the way their Government is portrayed.
  • Time frame
    • In terms of season 6 episodes, in my opinion, it's not really that strong. Don't get me wrong, it's still one of my favorites, but if I had to make a list of the best episodes from season 6, it would take a while to get this one on there.
    Depiction of Country:
    • Got it right:
      • Initially the British did bring convicts to Australia because convict labor was considered better than slave labor
      • The toad plotline is very similar to a problem that Australia had
    • Got it wrong:
      • The Australian Government is nothing like the way they portrayed it.
      • Australia is not filled with "rednecks"
      • I'm pretty sure there isn't a punishment of being kicked with a big boot
    Memorable Scenes/Jokes:
    • Opening scene with Bart vs Lisa in "Bathroom products race"
    • Bart: Hmm. So down there in, say, Argentina, or.. Rand McNally, all their water runs backwards? Lisa: Uh huh. In fact, in Rand McNally, they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people.
    • Bruno calls for his member of parliament
    • Mr. Conover's entire performance (What else do you expect from Phil Hartman?)
    • Bart's trial
    • Bart moons Australia
    • Evil looking koala at the end
    Final words: I highly recommend this episode to anyone who hasn't watched it yet. And for Australians, don't take everything in this episode with a grain of salt, try to appreciate the jokes for what they are.

    1 comment:

    1. I'm Australian and this episode is very good, all the facts that they spoke of makes alot of sense, good to see them do some research for once and find out about the Cane Toad infestation (and FYI its still a problem to this day). That is one of the best bit of research and most accurate information that the show has done since this season 6. Odd though, no references to AFL, seeing as it is why people come to Australia. Also, people may not know this but it is actully highly offensive for Women to play the Didgeridoo. If any Aborigines watch that episode, Lisa's in a heap of trouble.