couch gag: The family are frogs (Maggie is a tadpole) and they all sit on a lilypad.
Director: Pete Michels
Phil Hartman as Troy McClure
James Earl Jones as the narrator
Synopsis: During a trip as the model UN, the bus has an accident and the kids are stranded on an island. Meanwhile, Homer builds an internet business.
Discussion: Before this episode first aired, I heard it was based on Lord of the Flies so I went to the library and borrowed that book so I would understand the references. I’m glad I did, it’s a good book and made the episode a lot easier to “get”. For some reason, Bart using the conch shell really cracks me up.
Anyhoo, there’s not much in this episode that makes sense, but that’s OK. It’s a convention of television audiences that they suspend belief for oh, about 22 minutes or so. It doesn’t really matter how the kids ended up on an island nor does it matter how they ended up off the island, which is part of the beauty of the narration at the end:
“So the children learned to function as a society, and were eventually rescued by oh, let’s say… Moe.” The audience is asked to accept this and let’s face it, the show can get away with it. Well, OK. The kids need to end up back in Springfield, let’s just wrap it up nicely in 5 seconds at the end. Hey, it’s a lot better than “they woke up and it was all a dream…”
Had the ep been made today, the bus falling off the bridge would probably have been done in the style of Inception, hopefully not taking three hours to fall though. Perhaps the island survival might have been based on the show Survivor.
It’s one of the final episodes of Phil Hartman so I wish Troy had a bigger part in this ep, but having the kids watch a bible epic on TV is OK. I think most kids were allowed to stay up late to watch bible epics on TV: I remember watching a bible movie once and my aunt caught us watching Adam and Eve’s nudity, and we got into so much trouble for watching “a dirty movie” until we said it was Adam and Eve, which is apparently OK. Go figure.
Anyhoo, this is a great episode and one of the best so far in season 9. If you’ve not read Lord of the Flies, go ahead and read it. If you find it boring, imagine Bart as Ralph and Milhouse as Piggy.