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Posts tagged ‘science’

Stop looking down my blouse, Copernicus

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They Saved Lisa’s Brain

No one wants to hear from my armpits

Couch gag: The couch is sunk by a passing iceberg

Director: Pete Michels

Guest voice:
Stephen Hawking as himself

Synopsis: Lisa is asked to join Mensa when she writes an open letter to Springfield about their buffoonery during a gross-out contest. Meanwhile, Homer uses a voucher for an erotic photography session. 

Discussion: Taken at face value, this episode isn’t fantastic. When viewed with a bigger understanding of current society and the emphasis placed on celebrating stupidity, this ep is brilliant. 

Embarrassed by the town’s gross-out contest and subsequent riot, Lisa pens an open letter encouraging residents to better themselves. The Springfield chapter of Mensa, comprising Comic Book Guy, Skinner, Dr Hibbert and Professor Frink, invite Lisa to join. After the mayor runs away, Mensa start ruling the town but disagree on several points. 

Having a high intellect comes at a cost, apparently. Not everyone shares the same vision for an Utopian society but some of the rules the literati make are plain silly. Which is, of course, the whole point. Enter Stephen Hawking, who is brilliant as himself. Hawking is a good sport, he will poke fun at himself (as he’s also proven by appearing on The Big Bang Theory) and continue his quest to popularise science. Wonder if they tried to get Marilyn vos Savant on the show too? 

Special mention must be made to Homer’s photo shoot. Some of the best shots in the entire series come from this shoot. Originally I was going to use the shot where Mensa members are dressed for the Renaissance, but I just couldn’t resist Homer being sexy. I use a lot of Homer-centred shots, just because he often has the best poses. 

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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