"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Simpsons: All About Lisa

"Applause is an addiction, like heroin or checking your e-mail." -- Sideshow Mel

Well, another season of The Simpsons has come to an end. As with the last few seasons some stuff was good, some was okay, and the rest should have gone back to the Writers' Room for further revision ("Treehouse of Horror", anyone?). Most of the weak stuff landed in the first half of the season for some reason -- maybe everyone was tired from the completion of The Simpsons Movie. The second half picked up steam, thanks to some solid episodes featuring Lisa and Bart.

Luckily, The Simpsons ended on a strong note with the Lisa-centric season finale. Once again going back to the on-going theme of how success can corrupt Lisa, I was treated to an episode featuring her turn to work with the famous Krusty the Clown. I say 'her turn' because older brother Bart had worked for Krusty in the past. And, like Bart, Lisa usurped Krusty's fame to become the star of the show.

You would think Krusty would have learned his lesson.

The situation on how Lisa became famous was different from the way Bart did. With Bart, the success was unintentional -- it stemmed from a catch phrase ('I didn't do it') that swept the country. With Lisa, it was more a manipulation of Krusty that permitted her to rise to the top and become Springfield's Entertainer of the Year. Of course, with that fame comes consequences.

While this was a Lisa-centric episode, it was also one that heavily featured Krusty the Clown. I havn't really seen Krusty in a major role on The Simpsons in quite some time. So, it was fun to see him at his most Krustiest. He was really on the rampage during this episode -- showing the viewers all of the traits that I have come to enjoy. This was also an opportunity to see more of Krusty's television past as he was celebrating his 4000th episode ('I never thought I would make it past 400 episodes'). It was hard to tell if the older versions of the Krustketeers were really old or just recently grown up. If recently grown up, that means Springfield didn't have color television until much later.

This episode also featured the heavy presence of Sideshow Mel, who was the narrator of this installment as well as Lisa's guide through the rigors of stardom. I don't get to see or hear too much of Mel. It seems that he has the same type of theatrical and cultural background of one Sideshow Bob; yet, he seems more comfortable in his role as Krusty's sidekick. He also seems to be one of the more grounded characters on The Simpsons, which made him a good moral compass for Lisa.

Now a brief go-around on the other events that happened during 'All About Lisa':

A rare parenting moment between Homer and Marge. Through an agreement, Homer spoke to Bart about his clown issues in exchange for Marge to handle talks about piercings and strange feelings.

Gabbo's back! The last place I saw the wooden dummy that brought Krusty down was in The Simpsons Movie. You know, the appearance of Gabbo may have been a bit of foreshadowing to the fate that Krusty would encounter this episode.

Comic Book Guy has returned, and is still in the Android's Dungeon. I believe that this is the first time viewers had ever seen CBG with his hair down. And, should probably be the last time.

The second story of the night wasn't that bad at all. I don't see Bart and Homer bonding too much these days. So, having them collect coins was a good touch by the writers. Nice how Homer was able to get the 'Kissing Lincolns' penny from Mr. Burns.

Drew Carey -- Hmmm. The animated version of Drew just didn't have the right feel to it. Perhaps because the real life Drew is shaped like an animated character.

Bart doing Carrot Top shtick at the auditions for Krusty. I enjoyed his impression of a Jack-o-Lantern.

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