Brother’s Little Helper
Pork is not a verb
Couch gag: The family are blank and are painted by Asian artists using a paint-by-numbers scheme.
Director: Mark Kirkland
Mark McGwire as himself
Synopsis: Bart is diagnosed as ADD and is given medication to help him concentrate. However, the drug makes him paranoid.
Discussion: Bart’s behavioural issues are diagnosed as ADD and he’s given a drug to help him focus. As far as premises go, it’s a good ‘un. How can it go wrong?
This ep’s downfall is involving the Major League Baseball. Maybe this is just cos I’m an Aussie and baseball isn’t a big deal here, or maybe it’s just a really stupid idea. Bring back the dog with the shifty eyes from last episode and leave the Baseball people out of it. It ruins a perfectly cromulent plot.
Without getting into the pros and cons of medicating a child (I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV), the burning question I have about this ep is: Does Bart actually have ADD or is he just a brat? We’ve seen so many previous episodes where Bart has a conscience and he really does try his best when he wants to do something well. Maybe the problem is a short attention spa… SHINY THING!
I’m even willing to buy into the paranoia subplot, however I don’t think this helps any parent who has a child on medication. Parents feel bad enough already without mental health problems thrown in. As we know, The Simpsons is a major cultural entity capable of both influencing and satirising popular culture.
Wow, that was deep.
Overall, I think the episode is hit-and-miss. Bart’s change in personality provides amusement but the paranoia and the baseball thing leaves me scratching my head.