Monday, July 9, 2012

Character Analysis: Lisa Simpson

First off, I'd like to apologize for taking as much time as I did for this post. Real life really got in the way and one thing led to another but that's all besides the point. Here's segment two, I hope you enjoy.

Conventional wisdom would say that Marge would be next, however, I want to go in order of the characters who were changed the most from awful writing. And while Homer's character change was bad, I think Lisa's was worse. Then again, I actually liked Classic Lisa so that affects my view of her change. I really feel like she was affected the second worst (When a character gets the nickname "Jerkass" they automatically have fallen the furthest) but she sunk the lowest because she was already borderline as Classic Lisa, and just sunk down to liberal douchebag level.

Classic Lisa:

Smart and wise
Now there's being smart, and then there's being smart at the right moments. While Lisa is very intelligent, she never comes across as an asshole. She never acts like she's better than everyone else because of her grades... okay let me rephrase that: she never acts like she's better than anyone else unless it involves sibling rivalry. Lisa knows how to present her smarts, she wouldn't act like a smug walking dictionary constantly correcting people or defining words for them *Cough* To Surveil With Love SUCKS *Cough* If I could reference something else, she reminded me of Encyclopedia Brown; he was a smart, know-it-all kid, but if someone asked him a question, he'd take a moment to think about it even if he knew the answer immediately. Why, you may ask? Simple: he knew that making friends involved being humble. Nobody likes a know-it-all, they get annoying real fast. Lisa never came across that way and that was one of the reasons she was my favorite character.
This coming from the same person who berated Bart throughout the episode


Expressive
Lisa has ways of expressing herself, her saxophone is the one that people most associate with her. When she gets depressed, she goes to play her sax. People remember her and the sax because that saxophone is one of her defining traits (Although if you were to believe Google, apparently  Lisa Simpson This Isn't Your Life (1 Million) is more important than "Lisa Simpson Saxophone" (94,000). Seriously internet, I'm losing faith in you guys). Heck, they even devoted an episode to the origins of her saxophone, and for me personally, it's one of my all-time favorites. However, Lisa can be expressive in more ways than just that. I point to Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington as a good example. Lisa writes up a great essay (Presumably, we never get the whole thing) and when she finds out that politics are nothing more than a sham (Must... not... insert... political... preferences...) she writes up a new essay based on passion and really moves everyone to the point where the crooked Congressman gets expelled from D.C. (Granted it's much faster than IRL, but I have a good enough suspension of disbelief to buy it). There are many examples of her being expressive, but I want to keep these short. But on a side note, FUCK! YOU! Elementary School Musical!
Ah yes, Lisa was ahead of her time when she decided to express her anger to hundreds of people.
Nowadays it's all on blogs... shit now I gave the writers an idea

Outcast
Okay, when it comes to Lisa, being popular is not something she's known for. Like with Homer, Lisa is hardly perfect. She is far from being a social butterfly (Seriously, why did the writers not get this even to this day?). Lisa did have some consistent friends (Janey being the normal constant and Sherri and Terri occasionally as her friends) but the best way to describe her social life is "Bookworm". She has had friends over for a sleepover (Flaming Moe's) she's had friends to hang out with (Lard of the Dance, Bart's Comet, Lisa Vs. Malibu Stacy, etc) so it's not like Lisa spends her lunch in the corner of the library with a stack of books taller than the bookcases. At the same time, she doesn't get bothered by not being popular (Again, see Lard of the Dance) so episodes like Father Knows Worst just miss the point of Lisa.
Social outcast will not prevent her from proving everyone wrong


Zombie/Modern Lisa:

Liberal douchebag
*Sigh* I really HATE Modern Lisa, and this is one of the reasons why. It feels like no matter what the situation is, as long as Lisa is around, she needs to inject her opinion like it actually means something. A while back, Lisa used to be the voice of reason, she was like a mini-Marge per se (Seriously, go back and count the number of times Lisa and Marge groan together when Homer/Bart come up with a bad idea). Nowadays, her voice of reason is gone, replaced by a never-ending, annoying public radio host. Let's go a bit further back for this one, in I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can, she takes the time at the very end to just blurt out "Free Tibet!" Was it appropriate in context? No, it was just there to remind us of how "Shove my views down your throat" she is. Oh, but how could we possibly forget the episode devoted to this character in Lisa the Tree Hugger? An episode dedicated to her environmentalist, animal rights bullshit that we hear every other week ever since the writers Flanderized her that way. Basically this category covers everything from when she was that annoying pissant who splashed blood on Krusty and shouted "Fur is murder" (G-I-D'oh!) to those times where a whale was more important than humans (The Squirt and the Whale).
Lisa, GET THE FUCK OUT!

Smug know-it-all
So Classic Lisa knows when to keep her mouth shut. Modern Lisa on the other hand doesn't know when to shut the fuck up. As I mentioned in the first point, Lisa is smart, but she does not know how to not be annoying. I mentioned this in my Lisa Goes Gaga "Podcast" that she has that one scene where she repeats "I denounce thee" about 5 or 6 times. For Four Great Women and a Manicure, I could easily cop out here and just say the whole thing sucked hard (It did) but Lisa's attitude for her story was enough for me to hate the episode as a whole (Her attitude also falls into the other two categories). Heck, even though I admit to liking The Monkey Suit (I'm kind of weird that way) Lisa's attitude made me feel like she thought that her thoughts were better than everyone else's. And while the idea of Creationism being taught in public schools is bat-shit stupid, the way Lisa took her approach did not make her an endearing character for the episode.
Lisa... nobody cares about what crossword puzzle you do so do us all a favor and STFU

Did she tell you she's a feminist, let me remind you for the 1000th time, SHE'S A FEMINIST!!!
I think of this as a sub category of the first topic for Modern Lisa. Any time there's something "sexist" or the least bit gender related, Lisa just has to open her mouth to remind us all that she's a feminist and express her opinions. Look, we all have the right to express how we feel about something; however, when you're a broken record about it EVERY! FREAKIN! TIME! It gets old real fast. One example off the top of my head is in The Great Wife Hope where Lisa says the line: "This goes against every bone in my feminist body, but Dad, can't you control your woman?" Thank you for reminding us that you're a feminist, maybe next time you'll remind us that you're a Buddhist as wel- SON OF A BITCH!!! This isn't just limited to feminism, the writers like to constantly remind you about any other character traits they like to butcher as well.
If the writers are reading this, notice how Lisa can be a little girl AND a feminist in the first two acts

13 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. It's not hard to see that this show is well past being on it's last leg. Can't wait for Bart and Marge. (About the previous comment, I made a typo and couldn't fix it normally).

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  2. You left out innocent little girl. While trying to be right and do the right thing, classic Lisa was still a little girl (the beginning of Lisa vs Malibu Stacy) and the newer Lisa is just a nagging know it all tween.

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  3. The whole show has become more 'liberal.' Lisa is the worst one. Bart sort of saved his integrity a little by phoning it in, and can be funny about himself, like when he tells everyone to 'do the bartman' twelve years too late. What was great about the early Simpsons was that it had a genuine fondness, if not love for the thing it mocked, but just like the rest of America it had become more shrill and annoying. Lisa's stenotype liberal viewpoint is always assumed to be right, its boring repetitive....

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  4. Hope there's a way to shut her trap sometime

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    1. There's not. Now stop dogging Lisa.

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  5. Thank you! I've been watching the re-runs of all the episodes on FXX, so I've been seeing just how severely Lisa degrades over the years. She started as a well-behaved overachiever to foil Bart's general chaos, but as the years went on became a left wing stereotype. Worse, I believe and agree with what a lot of Lisa says, but the douchemonster way she portrays the issues just cheapens these important and complex topics. She just gives conservatives more reasons to hate liberals. (Throwing blood at someone, really?) Then anyone who disagrees with Lisa is presented as a blithering idiot, giving liberals more ways to stereotype conservatives. That's not what our country needs.

    The worst part of her character is how inconsistent and how much logic it lacks these days. She's a certified genius Mensan, but fails whenever she's pushed up a grade or 11. Modern super genius, perfect Lisa would have the wherewithal and talent to escape her toxic environment. She just doesn't belong on the show any longer because of how she's written now.

    Worse, she knows everything when she needs to know it, when the plot demands it. But then when the writers need some fast conflict for her, she's a backwards socially inept loser. She's either kind and accepting, or pedantic and preachy. She can make friends and have loose friends, or she's a horrible outcast. No consistency, no logic. The whole series has suffered from a lack of consistency, but she mirrors it the worst of all the characters.

    Even worse, she represents all the negative female geek stereotypes: perfect when she needs to be, always gets straight A's with little studying that you ever see, socially outcast despite being great at everything, backwards in the romance department, frequently intolerant of geek culture because girls can't possibly understand comic books (on account of our lady parts getting in the way...you know how it is. /rolls eyes).

    I just wish I could watch TV and see a positive female geek presence. Instead I try to watch Simpsons reruns because it's the only thing on and have to put up with freakin' modern Lisa Simpson.

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  6. Lisa is still awesome, regardless what anyone says.

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  7. The most Hypocrit Girl in the world.

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  8. I hate lisa because she is a hypocrite; for example: in a episode marge make cheat in a food contest and lisa find it and she make feel too bad to marge to the point of make her quit it, but in other episode, she decide to play football in a team and homer is the arbiter and during a tournament, lisa play dirt against the other team and homer find it and he penalize her by this, but lisa instead think that homer was the bad guy and she refuse to accept that she was the true culprit.

    I hope that she will suffer an accident in a future episode that make her out of the show for sometime, maybe she stay in coma by several months.

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  9. i hate lisa she never shut up it's always something with her someone might as well tell her to shut it up for good and we she does finally shutting it up for good and everyone well be happy ,lisa is always wining and comlanting about everything and thinks she is better or cuter then other girls,lisa really needs to die and i hope she does some day

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  10. i hate lisa she never shut up it's always something with her someone might as well tell her to shut it up for good and we she does finally shutting it up for good and everyone well be happy ,lisa is always wining and comlanting about everything and thinks she is better or cuter then other girls,lisa really needs to die and i hope she does some day

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