Billboard: St Patrick’s Day at Moe’s, Leprechauns drink free
Chalkboard gag: Bart draws a playoff bracket featuring Simpsons characters
Couch gag: The lights go off as the Simpsons sit on the couch. Marge gets up to change the fuse and the scene changes to a Triplets of Belleville-style scene. Marge looks for Maggie, which is squished between Homer’s butt cheeks while Bart tries to make a DIY goose pate. Directed by Sylvain Chomet.
Director: Michael Polcino
Daniel Radcliffe as Diggs
Synopsis: Ostracised at school for eating a dead frog, Bart makes a new friend who is into falconry… and is a little bit crazy.
Discussion: Here’s a suggestion: Get a bunch of monkeys, sit them at typewriters and whatever they write, have as the next Simpsons episode. Or better still, get a bunch of mentally ill people from the local hospital, make them eat Scrabble tiles, and whatever they shit out, turn that into a Simpsons script. Both of these would have to produce something more intelligible than this rubbish.
Cutting to the chase, Bart eats a dead frog for money and the other kids think it’s sufficiently gross enough not to hang out with him. Enter weirdo kid with a falcon. This plot isn’t so bad, and in the hands of some decent writers, it could be a workable plot. However, one of the hallmarks of these jump-the-shark episodes is that the writers are treating the audience like they’re retarded five year olds who can’t think for themselves nor pay attention for more than three seconds. Newsflash: we aren’t goldfish! You don’t need to point things out to us via random characters telling us.
Anyhoo, weirdo kid is voiced by Daniel Radcliffe, who is undoubtedly talented but completely wasted in this role. Anyone who has seen Dan in a serious or gritty role (Harry Potter doesn’t count, try The Woman in Black) knows that he can pull off one heck of a performance as a tortured soul. Here, he’s just incomprehensible, not even batshit crazy. His ultimate plan to release all the other falcons in the contest is LAME. Where’s the genius behind such a tortured soul? Where’s the scrupulous planning? This contest was something literally thrown together in the last three minutes, leaving Bart to wonder about the mentally ill kid and not actually being a part of the episode.
There’s lots of other stuff that doesn’t make sense either. Krusty in a field without a nose, Homer spending a full minute telling the dog to sit, the falcon holidaying at the Simpson household while Diggs is at the hospital (doesn’t this kid have parents?) and well, pretty much the entire 20-odd minutes.
The ratings for this ep are the lowest in Simpsons history (thus far, as far as I know). There have been a lot of shit episodes, especially in seasons 24 & 25, and this one isn’t the worst I’ve seen… but still, if you can’t pull in an audience with Daniel Radcliffe, there’s something really wrong.