Oh great another Brian Kelley episode, I'm beginning to regret choosing him for this theme. But fortunately I have RBY here to suffer with me. How's it going RBY?
Kill me. Kill me now. Or at least knock me out.
We had a deal, you can have your cat back at the end of this.
I hate you soooo much....just, let's get this done, I want lil' Damien back!
Just one more week (I pray), so any positives you can think about for this one?
Well....they gave us this very excellent line that sums up the episode: "Well, that concludes...I don't really know what that was."
That more or less sums up the past few seasons. So onto the actual episode. I want to first talk about the role-reversal, it's an okay plot (albeit overused) but this episodes manages to screw it up so much.
I know. They've done it before in episodes such as 'The Itchy and Scratchy Movie', where Homer ends up being the strict one and Marge wants to be lenient. The thing is, it's explained there: Homer had finally lost his temper because Bart had nearly hurt Maggie, and Marge became lenient because she felt Bart had learned his lesson. Here, there's no explanation...is there?
Nope, just Homer happens to get the letter first, screams like an idiot (I'll get to that later) and then Marge thinks that a MONTH's worth of homework is too much for him despite his laziness allowing that.
Being the nerd I am, I only have to say Bart's got no real excuses. It's actually rather annoying, though, in that Bart usually shows no signs in keeping up. He may fail with his grades, but falling behind THAT much? He'll at least get Marge to help with the bigger projects or do it the night before. It's just how he does it.
Agreed, he might be lazy and stupid, but he's never sunk to this level before. Before we continue, thoughts on the Pokemon joke?
Everyone's done it years before. The only pokemon joke in recent times outside of amateur-produced (i.e. unpaid) Internet material is a Foxtrot comic, based on the new generation, which makes sense because Jason's a known fan. Here, the joke, 'How do they stay so fresh', is more applicable to The Simpsons.
I swore it was almost like a middle finger to anyone who has watched it before season 10. But back on track, something I didn't think of before: Bart tells Lisa about how he plans on turning Marge and Homer against each other, and at no point does she ever tell them about Bart's plan. Was she expecting to gain something from this?
Considering her only response is to call Bart a sociopath for threatening their parents' marriage, don't think so. That part also really bugs me - aside from the fact no one under the age of 18 can be diagnosed with sociopathy/psychopathy, one of the most defining traits of the sociopath is a lack of conscience and empathy for others. Even in Bart's meanest moments, he's demonstrated that, at his worst, he's just Dennis the Menace.
Normally I wouldn't have a problem with something like Lisa calling him names, however, she says it with such a serious tone and it seems like she's convinced that she is. I thought she was the smart one.
You know what's actually a bit scary? Her knowledge of Bart's plan with her apathy towards his actions. Unlike Bart who, like most kids, just wants to avoid doing his homework, the only thing Lisa would have to gain is her parents divorcing. Guess who comes off more like a sociopath in this scenario?
Hypocrite, no wonder she never told Marge or Homer about Bart's plans.
To add insult to injury, I consider her to be one of my favorite characters.
Same here, anyways, is it just me or in between 'Bart struggles in school' to 'Homer and Marge make up' there's very little to no substance, it's more or less 8 minutes of Homer and Marge yelling and acting angry while Bart laughs in the background. It gets very annoying and is very forgettable.
Really, it reeks of the modern-day Simpsons padding that we ought to be used to by now. I'd say we should discuss it, but there's pretty much nothing TO say. If I may, this is probably Kelley's best episode, if only for the fact that the plot is vaguely similar to past plots.
I'm not so sure about best (Or even least-worst) but so far it's a tossup between this and the history tour from last week. However, the history tour had some moments within some stories that...
You're getting off-track there. Anyways, yeah, I could argue this as his least-worst with astonishing ease. Lisa's presence (who he cannot write to save his life) is minimal, and only one of those scenes was bad. In addition, there are only two sex-based jokes, and, honestly, the second one at least fits into the story.
I'm going to disagree on the sex-based joke, to me it was padding, yes Marge and Homer made up, but the purpose of that scene? Brian Kelley again felt the need to thrust his wet dreams onto us. So at that point in the episode, wouldn't you agree the story was basically over and the last 8 minutes felt like unfocused padding.
That, I will agree with. If the episode had ended after the two made up, I don't think anything would have been lost. Honestly, this episode lacks anything so spectacularly awful that it warrants a closer look. The sociopath thing was bad, yeah, but those who don't look into the disorder won't see it as that offensive to their intelligence.
Is it just me or is this conversation starting to resemble the episode? Eh maybe it's just me. Anyways, because Bart can't get his parents to fight anymore (Why was he continuing it now?) he and Milhouse just happen to find an underground subway system and it somehow causes mild tremors whenever they use it. It just felt out of place and a lazy way to try to end this episode.
It doesn't even make sense for Springfield, a self-proclaimed small town, to HAVE a subway system. If they just wanted to get Bart in trouble, there were so many other ways to do it. You saw he had bottle rockets in his backpack - from personal experience, Kriken and I know what those are capable of!
You're still not letting that go are you? I love just how lazy the director was here, the tremors clearly happen during the afternoon, and yet when a tremor hits the Simpsons residence (And Bart gets back home) it's nighttime, great to know that their resources are going to things like bigger animation studios and better sound quality when something that takes all of 5 seconds to notice slips through (Including Lisa's red necklace).
It's also worth noting that, just a few minutes after the tremors end, Bart walks in. Just where was he let off at? We've seen aerial overviews of the neighborhood, and there's no reasonable idea where a subway entrance would be.
At this point, RBY and I are pointing out flaws, there is no true narrative structure for the last act. So, Bart and Nelson swing on swings (Which apparently can hang from space) purely for Nelson to be the shoulder devil and to pretend that Lisa (Who is also on a magic swing) knows what's going on and could stop Bart. Even a 7 year old who eats lead paint could figure out how much of a red herring this scene is.
Considering her inaction before and the fact that Bart just wants attention - was anyone genuinely misled? Seriously, DID anyone think Lisa tried tipping off Homer and Marge?
Do people who think that think that gullible is not in the dictionary count?
Then I guess nobody. I could go into detail about how the ending sucked, but let's get to the final scene. Lisa tells Bart that she found out about what he did and decides not to tell Marge and Homer so that they think that he's bad. Aw, what an emotionless scene that might've made us care had this been written well.
As I said, it's ALMOST similar to past, decent episodes. However, thanks to pointless derailment, a lack of humor and motivation, and padding, it falls short of even being mediocre.
And yet this could be argued as his best: less than mediocre. *Sigh* Final thoughts RBY? I just gotta say this was painful, boring and insulting.
Iiiiii have nothing else to add. Except GIMME MY CAT BACK!
Next week RBY, just one more week to go.