Bart Gets an ‘F’
I will not encourage others to fly
Couch gag: The family sit on the couch, which then falls through the floor.
Director: David Silverman
First appearance of:
‘Diamond’ Joe Quimby, the town’s mayor
Synopsis: Bart regularly fails school exams and one more failure means he’ll have to repeat the fourth grade. In exchange for making Martin cool, Martin helps Mart study. The night before the exam, Bart feels unprepared and prays for a miracle so that school will be closed, giving him an extra day to study. It snows overnight and Bart gets his wish, spending the day studying in the basement. He fails the exam by just one mark, however demonstrates to Mrs Krabappel that he actually did know the material, earning him an extra mark and a D- grade.
Discussion: Welcome to the second season! We’re going to be here for the next three weeks so strap yourselves in for a fun-filled ride. The title sequence has changed slightly, and this sequence stayed until the HD episodes of season 20. Mr Burns and Smithers were added to the opening sequence, and Bart no longer steals the bus stop sign but passes by several regular characters, including Barney and Chief Wiggum.
As for the episode itself, Wikipedia tells me that this remains the highest rating episode ever of The Simpsons. I don’t think it’s the best episode, but it does have its moments. The animation is better (the director states that the snow scene was the hardest in his career at that point to animate), the characters are more rounded, the storyline is fun and edgy and there are moments when you realise this is what the show is known and loved for. Satire becomes more evident, such as ‘Diamond’ Joe Quimby, based in part on the mannerisms and voice of JFK. Bart’s diagnosed condition of amoria phlebitis is fictional. The family values are again seen; Homer and Bart are out to procrastinate and have fun while Lisa is the voice of reason and Marge just loves her family to bits. Martin’s new-found popularity doesn’t last longer than this episode, he’s back to Martin the nerd after the closing credits.