Bart’s New Friend
Billboard: You tried the rest, now try Luigi’s Pizza
Snowmen don’t have carrot penises
Couch gag: Homer, Marge and Bart are the Three Bears and Lisa is Goldilocks. Marge, Bart and Lisa eat Homer and it turns out Homer is reading a story to Maggie.
Director: Bob Anderson
Stacy Keach as Don Bookner
Synopsis: Homer is hypnotised to think he’s a ten year old boy.
Discussion: Remember when Milhouse looked like his dad and Bart took advantage of him to do adult stuff? (Yeah, I’ve tried to forget that ep too.) Why didn’t Bart take advantage of adult Homer with a 10 year old’s brain? For an episode entitled ‘Bart’s New Friend’, they didn’t really seem to do much together. Where are the pranks? Where is the humiliation for Skinner? Why are they doing boring things like fishing? Haven’t Bart and Homer bonded before when Homer was an adult?
I had high hopes for this episode. It was written about 20 years ago by a then-unknown Judd Apatow, who has since found fame writing films like The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Bridesmaids. This ep had potential, but it seems to have derailed somewhere in the process- did another Simpsons writer come along and edit the script to make it crappier? Apatow said he wrote the script in “the old style”, which would have worked. However, there’s a lot of exposition which is a hallmark of later Simpsons episodes. The premise was good, but something happened and the resulting episode is yet another disappointment; Homer and Bart have spent several episodes bonding yet this one fell flat. There was no bonding, Bart seemed to suddenly remember Homer was a 10 year old and thought he should do something with that. There’s very little actual interaction between them, which doesn’t serve the storyline. Homer in silly mode already gets along well with Bart, why doesn’t 10 year old Homer take advantage of that as well? Go get a sugar high on Squishees at the Kwik-E-Mart, or play pranks on Skinner, or use Homer’s license to drive somewhere really cool (is that how they got to Itchy & Scratchy Land?)
My high hopes have been dashed once more 😦