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Posts tagged ‘astronomy’

What’s the ambition du jour?

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‘Scuse me While I Miss the Sky

Couch gag: Homer waterskis over sharks and when he lands on the couch, it is revealed sharks have his legs.

Director: Steven Dean Moore

Guest Voices:
Eric Idle as Declan Desmond
Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony

Synopsis: A documentary filmmaker comes to Springfield Elementary. Bart tries to be cool by stealing a hood ornament and Lisa protests about light pollution over the town.

Discussion: Forgive me for being jaded about this episode; another variation of a theme. Lisa is on yet another crusade for science and Bart is causing trouble while attempting to be cool.

What would make this ep more interesting would be Lisa deliberating on say, Obler’s Paradox. Bart’s attempts to get in with the cool kids is passe at best… and since when have bullies been “the cool kids” anyway? Mr Burns should have been ecstatic to have perma-noon lighting over the town, this is what the townspeople fought against way back in the Who Shot Mr Burns? episodes. Yet the only shot on Mr Burns in this ep is him looking adoringly at the night sky (well, to be technical, there’s also a shot of Burns and Smithers looking at the sky and Smithers does the yawn-and-stretch-arm-around-the-shoulders bit). Maybe his cold fiscal heart has softened somewhat over the course of 300+ episodes…

Let’s talk about Sideshow Mel. I get it, he’s a peripheral character by definition, but what if we had a whole episode about him? We know nothing about Sideshow Mel yet he’s often given the best one liners in an episode. He’s obviously intelligent. There’s no need for him to follow Sideshow Bob’s storylines (been there, done that) but surely something can be made up for him?

Hurrah for science! Woo!

Bart’s Comet

Cursive writing does not mean what I think it does

Couch gag: The family appear in black & white

Director: Bob Anderson

First appearance of:
Database

Synopsis: As punishment for humiliating Principal Skinner, Bart has to join Skinner in some amateur astronomy. He discovers a comet which is heading straight for Springfield. 

Discussion: I’m not a huge fan of this episode. The first half is great but I feel it loses momentum after the bomb shelter scene (watch carefully and you’ll see Where’s Wally in the corner). Homer shows uncharacteristic smarts and compassion towards Ned Flanders, leaving the bomb shelter to join Flanders in certain death. It’s all a bit too mushy for me. 

Anyhoo… There’s not enough science on TV, at least, not when this ep was produced. The idea of Bart having a really early morning detention (“There’s a 4.30 in the morning now?”) and being accepted by the nerds at school is pretty funny. We meet Database, who is annoying and Matt Groening himself says Database is his least favourite character. Thankfully, we don’t see a lot of him in the show but I think he has his place. Apart from Lisa and Martin Prince, there’s no regular appearances of smart characters- it’s not until the Mensa episode that we find out there are a lot of truly intelligent people residing in Springfield. 

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