My Simpsons Ultimate Episode Ratings and Rankings: Season 13, Part 2
by, 10-17-2011 at 01:03 PM (462 Views)
6.)Weekend at Burnsie's - 4/5
7.)Blame It On Lisa - 4/5
8.)The Bart Wants What It Wants - 4/5
9.)Poppa's Got a Brand New Badge - 4/5
10.)Little Girl in the Big Ten - 4/5
11.)Sweets and Sour Marge - 4/5
It is difficult for me to properly explain why I rank episodes as better than others when I give them the same grade. As the next part will also show, I tend to do this rather frequently. To be honest(and I may have even mentioned this in other blog posts) the deciding factors when this occurs may very well be a particular joke or aspect of one episode's story that I really liked. That alone might put it ahead of another episode. The danger in this of course is what I find great during one viewing might very well seem meh to me on the next. As I said when starting this long ago none of these rankings are set in stone as I do have the right to change my mind, but this is still the order in which I enjoyed these episodes during this latest rewatch.
I really enjoy the first two acts of Burnsie's. Ironically it is what the episode title refers to that puts it down a notch in my book, but I still definitely view the episode in high regard. The story with the crows provides a few rather nice gags like Moe's crow bar or Homer's appropriately disturbing tone as he informs Marge that a pack of crows is called a murder. I also always love when Homer and Maggie interact, even if it is merely him saving her while in peril as seen here. That first act very well might be the most prominent thing that comes to mind when I think about this episode. Homer on marijuana is fun and I do like him hanging out with Otto. His lyrics about eating a candy bar made me laugh, which come to think of it was the first of two such instances in this pack of episodes. I also adore his scene with Flanders reading him the bible, from his awesome burrito question to Flanders doing Wiggum. Mr. Burns has one line I always love which I mentioned in the episode's review, but that entire ending with them at the investor's meeting falls flat for me. Still an episode I really like, but I remember it being 5/5 material which it sadly was not on this most recent rewatch.
Much like the incorrect expectations surrounding how Burnsie's and the next episode would be received I'm somewhat surprised by how much I enjoyed Blame It On Lisa on this rewatch. The beginning is slow but I found myself consistently laughing throughout most of the remaining episode. Vacation episodes are usually a mixed bag and even Bart vs. Australia, the commonly perceived best of the bunch, isn't perfect yet this one was pretty solid. From rats colored like skittles to Homer's wonderful t-shirt and request that Flanders go suck a bible, this episode definitely provided the laughs which is basically all I ask from vacation episodes. I seem to groan whenever I hear about another Bart gets a girlfriend episode yet I've begun to notice I tend to grade them highly. I believe this is the third I've rewatched for this blog and I've given all of them above average grades. And much like Bart vs. Australia it is worth noting that none of the three I'm talking about were Jessica Lovejoy from Bart's Girlfriend, another episode widely considered to be the best of its type. Of the three Bart's relationship with Greta Wolfcastle was probably my least favorite, but I still enjoyed it. I mostly liked the time it gave us with her father, as well as Bart and Milhouse fighting over her. I seem to remember also really enjoying Bart and Milhouse's relationship in The Good, the Sad, and the Drugly, another girlfriend episode. The little story with Principal Skinner was nice as well, but I'm somewhat indifferent on the Canada stuff, what little there even was of it I suppose.
Going only by how they tend to be received here I expected both of the next two episodes to also get 5/5s, but they didn't. Keeping that in mind I was somewhat disappointed by both of them, but especially Big Ten. As a Lisa episode I just don't view it as highly as many others. As I alluded to earlier Homer's own lyrics to that song was easily my favorite joke in the episode, and I probably enjoyed seeing Bart the bubble boy at least as much as Lisa in college here. It certainly is an enjoyable episode though. I suppose it is more difficult for me to pinpoint why I didn't enjoy Poppa's as much as I was expecting. I did like the episode and the Maggie ending was certainly a highlight, but as a whole it just seemed weaker than the 8 I named before it. Although like I mentioned in my first paragraph this feels like one of those episodes I would not be surprised if I ended up changing my mind on based on a single gag and ended up ranking higher in the future.
We'll finish with Sweets and Sour Marge and I already kinda forget much of this one honestly. It is another Marge crusading episode, a type which seems to be appearing less and less frequently. The Duff World Record stuff at the beginning is fine, and I can appreciate how they managed to put the many portly character designs to good use here. The entire sugar ban conflict does seem kinda rehashed from Eighteenth Amendment though, an episode I view as nearly perfect. Plus the Ben Stiller character seemed underutilized. Definitely the weakest of the bunch here and a 4/5 may actually be generous for it, but I'll keep it for now.