I watch, and blog, and watch and blog and watch. It's the Simpsons every day!

Posts tagged ‘history’

I can super-intend like the wind!

Bart stops to smell the Roosevelts

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

Guest Voice:
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.

Everyone who ever lived is boring


Margical History Tour

Couch Gag: The Simpsons are flat on a tray which is placed in a microwave and they rise into people-shapes.

Director: Mike B. Anderson

Synopsis: With the library out of books and the kids of Springfield having reports about famous people to write, Marge tells them three stories of famous people from history.

Discussion: You’ve never seen history like this. It’s famous dead people, Simpsons-style, and it’s hilarious.

First, Marge tells the kids about Henry VIII, most famous for beheading a few wives and being a glutton (obesity was a sign of wealth). Homer portrays the infamous king, with Marge as Catherine of Aragorn (named here as Margarine). Of course, this differs a lot from reality but this is far more entertaining. It also contains some of the best lines in the episode.

Lisa’s report is about Sacagawea and Lewis and Clark’s expedition to discover the Pacific north-west. Lisa, as Sacagawea, does what she does best: look down her nose at people and point out their flaws.

Bart’s report turns out to be Mozart, and Marge’s story is basically a retelling of the film Amadeus, which was a great movie but shouldn’t be relied upon for facts. All through the story, I had this song running through my head, which kinda ruined it a bit, but any excuse to listen to great songs from the 80s. Bart is Mozart, a child prodigy and ultimate brat. His opera about musical fruit appeals to anyone who enjoys toilet humour and even if you don’t, you have to admire the writers for placing these words into an iconic piece of music. Go on, laugh. You know you want to.

The episodes containing three mini-stories are always good. I guess it’s because the writers are forced to tighten their words to fit into the five minutes or so for each segment. It works well, and is also a good break away from the normal episodes.

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