Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts
Billboard: The Sea Captain offers to teach you to speak Parrot
It’s not too early to speculate about the 2016 election
Couch gag: A Ren and Stimpy-style animation created by John Kricfalusi in which Homer asks Marge for a beer and she fetches it for him.
Director: Steven Dean Moore
Theodore Roosevelt as himself (via archived recordings)
Synopsis: Superintendent Chalmers is challenged to be Bart’s teacher after Skinner falls victim to another prank.
Discussion: Firstly, the couch gag is brilliant. It’s like the whole world of Simpsons graphics has been turned on its head and allowed to express itself graphically and artistically. It’s very well done.
Secondly, I actually laughed twice during this episode: once in Chalmers’ flashback as a teacher looking after The Breakfast Club, and once when Homer yells out to Marge, “Marge! I parented!” and then went in for ice cream.
Apart from those highlights, I can’t really see anything exciting about the episode. Sure, there’s a focus on Chalmers, who we learn isn’t as confident as he seems and will crumble when the pressure is really on, but the core of the story is all about Teddy Roosevelt. He was absolutely a great man, but the ep felt like it was commissioned by history teachers trying to get kids interested in history by making it cool. And what the hell is with Milhouse?
The ep was OK, not fantastic. It didn’t hit the heights it could have, and the sequence where Chalmers loses his composure does nothing for the character; instead of making him human, it seems to have the opposite effect. Chalmers suddenly becomes yet another victim of the tall poppy syndrome, knocked down instead of revered for his authority. Just seems weak, that’s all I’m saying.