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Posts tagged ‘child stars’

I’m gonna die in my jammies

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Barting Over

I will not (and then Bart hacks the chalkboard with an axe)

Couch gag: The Simpsons are gingerbread people living in a candy house

Director: Matthew Nastuk

Guest Voices:
Jane Kaczmarek as Judge Harm
Tony Hawk as himself
Blink 182 as themselves

Synopsis:  Bart divorces his parents after discovering Homer spent all his earnings from a commercial featuring Bart as a baby.

Discussion: Holy mother of God… Where do I begin in this car crash of an episode?

Firstly, the last time the Simpsons had a spring clean, Bart won an elephant. This time they’ve found a bunch of videotapes featuring Marge and Homer carving pumpkins and one of Bart as Baby Stink-Breath. Homer’s spent all the money earned from this escapade, and Bart’s so mad, he divorces his parents and goes to live in a loft (which, incidentally, is not full of hay). The premise isn’t so bad, truth be told.

Cue a bunch of celebrity voices with nothing more to do than show up in an episode and be paid for it. Whoops, did I say that out loud? Tony Hawk (only familiar to me because I’ve seen his video game in the shops…) lives in Bart’s building and something about Homer being cool and becoming Bart’s legal guardian again. What?

Then there’s the not-controversial controversy about this being the 300th episode. This is self-referenced within the ep: Marge asks how many times Homer has gotten into a scrape, Lisa clicks over a counter to 300, Marge remarks she could swear it was 302 (which is the actual episode number. Ep 300 was two episodes ago). I get it- put in some big name stars to attract (weakening) audiences for a milestone show. Whether or not the audience was treated to brilliance… I think not.

This ep feels like it was mashed together from about three different storylines. The emancipation from his parents echoes the troubles of child star Macaulay Culkin, who was a dear friend of Michael Jackson (the infamous baby over the balcony incident is also referenced in the episode). Bart goes to live in a building in which the tenants have a drug problem. Why not explore that part of it (obviously don’t show Bart taking drugs, what if he gets caught up as a suspected drug mule or something?) I just don’t love it.

Up and Atom!

Radioactive Man

“Bewitched” does not promote Satanism

Couch gag: The family are faxed out of the couch

Director: Susie Dietter

Guest Voices:
Phil Hartman as Lionel Hutz
Mickey Rooney as himself

Synopsis: A film version of Radioactive Man is being filmed in Springfield and Milhouse is chosen to play the sidekick, Fallout Boy.

Discussion: Milhouse doesn’t want to be a star. Big whoop. I can’t help feeling that this episode could have used a bit more kick. The town taxes the hell out of the movie makers, Milhouse doesn’t want to audition but does anyway and gets the part before becoming disillusioned with it all and running away. Enter former child star Mickey Rooney to get the show rolling again and the viewer is left wondering, “What the hell just happened?”

Say the ep went in a different direction and Bart took over Milhouse’s role, in heavy makeup so no one would notice. Eh? I think that would be funny. Then you could have a bit where the Hollywood producers have a whinge about deception and making something of something else. Something like that, anyway.

Anyhoo, as it stands, Milhouse doesn’t want to audition. So many unanswered questions: How did he end up in the audition room? Why didn’t he cry and give up the very first day? Why weren’t his parents being “backstage parents” and pushing him to do the job from the sidelines? Why was Mickey Rooney there?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Andy Hardy fan, but what has he done since WWII? Get Macaulay Culkin in to portray a washed up child star, or better yet, Troy McClure.

I just think this ep had so much potential, and it fell flat.

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