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Thread: R&R: The War of Art (SABF10)



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  1. #1
    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    R&R: The War of Art (SABF10)

    "After Lisa's new pet guinea pig destroys the Simpsons' living room art, Marge falls in love with a beautiful painting at the Van Houten's yard sale, which Homer snaps up for 20 bucks. But, when Lisa reveals it's by a famous early 20th century painter and could be worth $100,000, Marge and Homer face a dilemma: split the money with the Van Houtens, or keep the cash as a "cushion" for their kids" (Fox)

  2. #2
    Hired Goon
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    ACT ONE:

    That guinea pig was such typical Zombie Simpsons filler - first Lisa says she never had her own pet, which isn't true (the two Snowballs, anyone?) Then we have a bunch of time killing gags before it chews through the painting. Really, how was all that neccesary? We could have gotten the setup cut in half by having the kids playing and knocking down the painting.

    Homer's "woah, woah, woah" gag was WAY too long and (I hate to say it) done way better on Family Guy years earlier.

    ACT TWO:

    I don't really have anything to say.

    Things are happening, but I just feel kinda numb looking at it.

    ACT THREE:

    This just felt disjointed.

    First it's a Van Houten marriage crisis, then a vacation episode, then 20 minutes are up. The end.

    I will give them credit for explaining why the boat painting will be back next week, though.

    OVERALL:

    Far from terrible, but terribly boring. 3/5 (C-)
    My Simpsons Season Rankings:
    6 > 7 > 3 > 5 > 8 > 4 > 2 > 1 > 9 > 15 > 13 > 14 > 10 > 16 > 12 > 11 > 22 > 21 > 17 > 25 > 24 > 18 > 26 > 20 > 19 > 23

    Quote Originally Posted by handsome
    honestly the most burning question i had about you was if you had seen every disney movie so i'm glad that got out of the way first

  3. #3
    PantsBurnLegWound tormented's Avatar
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    meh just boring shit. there was paintings and forgery or something. 2/5

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovebender.com View Post
    I love women.

  4. #4
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Eh, I'll just say this: This is going to be the best episode of S25.

    It was nice to see a more down to earth story that wasn't a crazy mess and there seemed to be a genuine conflict between the family and the Van Houtens.

    So what the hell.... 5/5.


    Well, ya'know if you stay positive and forget about trivial things like "proper characterization," "Satire," and "emotional depth" watching new Simpsons episodes can be a seemingly enjoyable lie.


  5. #5
    Food-Crazed Maniac Oh, that's raspberry!'s Avatar
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    It wasn't particularly funny but the story was fun to watch unfold. 3/5

  6. #6
    Fails at masonry Financial Panther's Avatar
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    This was by far the best episode of the season. I thought the guinea pig would be the subplot, but it did very well at wasting no time getting into it and setting up the true plot of the episode, which was very good. The jokes in this episode were also spot-on, with the only one I didn't like being the multiple "whoa"s. We had some very good Lisa characterization here; it was nice to see her act like a little girl. The plot twists were also done very well, and I found myself really into the story. Easily a 5/5.


  7. #7
    Hired Goon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patches O'houlihan View Post
    Eh, I'll just say this: This is going to be the best episode of S25.

    It was nice to see a more down to earth story that wasn't a crazy mess and there seemed to be a genuine conflict between the family and the Van Houtens.

    So what the hell.... 5/5.
    Three 5/5s in a modern Simpsons season?

    I know it's on a grading curve, but still...


  8. #8
    greatest living philostopher Insomnia's Avatar
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    He gives every modern episode a 5/5

  9. Thumbs Up To This Post by: Irvine

  10. #9


    Um, that's kinda not true.


  11. #10
    Newbie *Apocaloso*'s Avatar
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    No theme song and a good story: it must be Matt Selman


  12. #11


    The voice acting and animation was really strong in the first act. Two gags went on for too long, Lisa chosing the guinea pig and the whoa whoa whoa.

    Everything was surprisingly down to earth. Like Steal This Episode this season the story was clear and there was a beginning-middle-end. It was kind of dry humor-wise and the 3rd act didn't do much for me.

    3/5

  13. #12
    Moe is their leader. Captain_Smiley's Avatar
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    I loved how they had Lisa act like a kid when choosing which hamster to get. You hardly see her act like a child.


  14. #13
    Stonecutter BrokenBox's Avatar
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    -Homer's voice is terrible and boring so far

    -marge doesn't seem to have breast in the shower scene

    -As @Irvine said, Lisa has seemed to forget that she has had 2 snowballs + SLH+ all of those Snowballs that died shortly after she got them.

    -The lisa choosing a pet scene was very good

    -Homer eating popcorn gaga was unneeded

    -woah woah woah gag was never funny and reminds me of that "wheres my money" gag

    End of act 1 and not off to a good start.


    -Marge seems to say "ooh" alot nowadays

    -Homer thinking 65% and 25% makes 100% was funny

    -Whats the deal with overlong jokes this episode?

    End of act 2 and its as bad as the first act

    Not much happened in act 3.

    -Good to see the theme played during the credits


    So this episode was just boring but at least it had a plot. Homer was very Peter Griffin-like and he sound like Dan was bored. Parhaps the only good thing about this episode was Lisa. Everything else was MEH.


    3/5 not good not bad. but meh.
    Last edited by BrokenBox; 03-23-2014 at 05:23 PM.



  15. #14
    Mod, eh? Tomacco's Avatar
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    One of the best things about Matt Selman episodes is the characters generally behave like they should, and storylines feel natural and well-paced like in the glory days. I didn't think the episode was LOL-funny for the most part, but it felt like The Simpsons and the storyline was fresh and different. Massive step up from last week's. As always, Matt Selman comes through.
    Signature.


  16. #15
    Nintendo Dance Party! ManiacalRoboKiller's Avatar
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    had a good focus on plot but had barely any jokes and the jokes that were there went on too long and barely funny. A 3/5 from me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bart Flimpson's Dracula View Post
    Like Seth MacFarlane's addiction to creating terrible new shows, Matt Groening has a problem with concluding a show. He needs therapy.

  17. #16
    pineapple shoes Dark Homer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irvine View Post
    That guinea pig was such typical Zombie Simpsons filler - first Lisa says she never had her own pet, which isn't true (the two Snowballs, anyone?)
    Snowball was technically a family pet, with no kid-parent contract
    - Matt Selman (@mattselman) March 24, 2014

  18. Thumbs Up To This Post by: Irvine

  19. #17
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irvine View Post
    Three 5/5s in a modern Simpsons season?

    I know it's on a grading curve, but still...
    I also don't have a Selman bias. I didn't know who was the EP until I came into this thread.


  20. #18
    Better luck next time. Hugh Jazz's Avatar
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    I enjoyed it, but I think I'd have to watch it again to give it an actual grade. For now, I'll just say that...um, I'd probably act the exact same way as Lisa when trying to pick out a Guinea Pig.

  21. #19
    Mom, Bart's Smoking!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomacco View Post
    One of the best things about Matt Selman episodes is the characters generally behave like they should, and storylines feel natural and well-paced like in the glory days. I didn't think the episode was LOL-funny for the most part, but it felt like The Simpsons and the storyline was fresh and different. Massive step up from last week's. As always, Matt Selman comes through.
    I agree. This was the best episode of the season so far and it felt like I was actually watching The Simpsons. The story line was original and fresh too. Selman really needs to take over A-


  22. #20
    Stonecutter BrokenBox's Avatar
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    So is Al Jean still an EP on Selman Episode, because his name still shows up at the end.

  23. #21
    Stonecutter BrokenBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Homer View Post
    Snowball was technically a family pet, with no kid-parent contract
    - Matt Selman (@mattselman) March 24, 2014
    But what about Lisa's pony?

  24. #22
    Hired Goon
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    I think his name still appears to show that Matt isn't his official replacement.

  25. #23
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    In a perfect world, every episode would be a Selman episode. But at least we can still celebrate the small handful we get per season.

  26. #24
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20thCenturyBox View Post
    But what about Lisa's pony?
    Lisa sees that pony everyday in school....when she's gluing her art projects together!!!!


  27. #25
    greatest living philostopher Insomnia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Insomnia View Post
    He gives every modern episode a 5/5
    But I will admit this was one of the best HD era episodes. I actually liked it quite a bit, it felt like a mid teens season episode.

  28. #26


    4/5, my favorite part was the ending, and the story structure was good which is rare in the HD era, but the ending made me give it a 4. Just one more proof that Al Jean should just fuck off!

    There were somethings I could still criticize about it but I am seriously tired of hating, I didn't laugh much, I can only remember one thing I found funny but it kept me entertained towards the end and it was just way better that the one from last week.

    ADDENDUM

    The first act was the worst part of the episode, Lisa was annoying me picking the stupid Guinea pig and later on the overly long "whoas" by Homer were even worse, but as the episode went along it became better and better until it had a really good conclusion, that is why I liked the episode for a change.
    Having such a vast vocabulary really embiggens my pride


    4>3>2>6>7>5>8>9>1>10>12>11>14>15>16>13> the rest I don't know how to organize but they share the quality of not being as good as S13 to me

  29. #27
    Mmmmmmmm, floor pie
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    Was there a special "west coast cut" of the episode that I was watching? The version I saw gets 2/5 - having Kirk and Luann break up isn't any funnier than when Homer and Marge do it for the Nth time.

    The contract Lisa signed also says:
    • If the pet has to be returned, Lisa has to make the initial phone call requesting the return "and absorb the anger and/or recrimination from the original provider"
    • Lisa cannot ask for a later bedtime, a new bike, a skateboard, wheelie sneakers, a bedtime story the parent has to make up from his/her imagination, or an electronic device that currently exists or is "so awesome that nerds haven't thought of it yet"
    • Lisa cannot ask for another pet
    • Homer and Marge have the right to add further conditions later

    Didn't the Simpsons have extra boat paintings at one point?

    Shows you how much I know - violins do come in different sizes.

    Max von Sydow? Isn't the soccer episode next week? (Am I the only one who remembers Victory (called Escape to Victory in Europe for some reason)?)

    All of the "keep the painting" rock messages were the same, as were all of the "give the painting back" ones.

    None of the rock messages said "split the money"; they were all either "keep the painting" or "give it back."

    Why didn't Homer just not say anything about the painting being a forgery? (Then again, the forger probably would have been "discovered" the next day, and Homer forced to give the money back.)

    Luann lived with another man during the separation, and Kirk didn't have much of a problem with it, but when Luann finds out Kirk lived with another woman at the same time, she throws him out of the house.

    "Who's Renee Ridgeley?" In addition to being an author, she's Matt Selman's wife. (She was also in "A Totally Fun Thing Bart Will Never Do Again.")

    Written by Rob Lazebnik
    Directed by Steven Dean Moore
    Special Guest Voice: Max von Sydow
    Also Starring: Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, Chris Edgerly, Renee Ridgeley, Maggie Roswell
    Overseas Animation: Akom
    TV Rating: TV-PG-DLV

  30. #28
    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    I am very conflicted about this episode. I keep going back and forth between whether or not I thought the plot was well done, so I'm going to have to watch it again to get a better idea of how all the plot elements fit together and what their purposes are. For example, buying Milhouse the toys doesn't seem like it affected the plot in any way, nor did it add anything, really. There were actually a lot of seemingly inconsequential plot twists that had no effect on the overall plot, such as Marge deciding to forget about the painting and even Kirk and Luann's marriage crisis. The plot could have worked just the same without either, and they just came off as pointless. I'm not sure whether they were trying to add additional layers to the plot or just pad it out, but if it is the former, they didn't succeed because they failed to incorporate them into the plot. At several points in the episode, I wasn't sure what direction it was going to go in; it seemed to be going one way and then it basically abandoned that and went a different way without satisfactorily addressing stuff it brought up earlier. And several moments reminded me a lot of typical modern Simpsons stuff, particularly the "Whoa" stuff. Overall, I find a lot of the reviews here rather mystifying, and I feel like I'm missing something, but for now... 3/10

  31. #29
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    Here's more proof that we need to see more of Matt Selman, because that was a great episode. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish, and I didn't know it was a Selman episode until the very end. Great job with this one.

    Act 1: I missed the first couple minutes of the beginning, including the shower scene (whatever that was). For me, the episode started at Lisa signing the contract, which was immediately funny. I liked Homer tossing it in the trash because he couldn't possibly carry through with it. It's always interesting when the writers take a very minor part of the show, in this case the sailboat painting we see every episode, and make an entire episode out of it. The guinea pig subplot was funny, interesting, and best of all, it didn't take up a lot of time. Sure, we've seen Lisa interact with an animal a lot, but I didn't mind seeing her as a child again. This is the best Lisa characterization we've seen in a while. I enjoyed the gag with the Simpsons driving to the motel next door to the rescue center to let Lisa decide overnight. "Bart, list your top five from best to worst" was pretty funny as well, again showing good characterization of Lisa. The guinea pig subplot went very nicely into the main plot, although I was disappointed that we never got a satisfying resolution to Pokey. I guess we can just assume that he ran away or something. I can't complain, though, since there have been much larger plot gaps than this. The main plot started in act 1, giving it a lot of time to develop, which was great. I didn't like the way Diggs or The Man Who Grew Too Much spent the entire first act with the subplot. The sailboat painting comes into play, which like I mentioned before, is a great use of something we see every episode but never focus on really. The replacement painting was accompanied by a good Spanish guitar theme by Alf Clausen, so props for that. Kirk and Luann are very underused, so I'm happy to see them back already, together as we learned from Little Orphan Millie (unless they broke up and got back together again sometime between 19 and 25). Marge wanting to split the money and Homer refusing to do so was some more spot-on characterization of both characters. Homer's "whoa, whoa, whoa" joke was kind of funny, especially with its bridge over the commercial break. I really like it when Selman utilizes the commercial break as a plot element. (Sidenote: For example, at the end of Steal This Episode's Act 1, Homer says, "And we never have to sit through another commercial again!" followed by a cut to commercial. This is something of Selman's that I really enjoy.)

    Act 2: It starts nicely with a joke from before the commercial break resuming, implying that Homer "whoa"-ed over the entire break. We see great characterization of Homer, Marge, and pretty much the rest of Springfield. I really liked the way the plot advanced. Homer and Marge's argument is overheard by Milhouse, who tells his parents. They get into a fight, causing all of Springfield to dispute the matter. The storyline moves very naturally, and everything feels like it's done and resolved when the next event occurs. The rock joke, which Selman mentioned was written by Mike Scully, was pretty funny. The jokes were decent, but there were funnier episodes this season. There wasn't anything else that memorable from act 2. Once again, the absence of a parallel B-plot proves to be a good move, since now we have lots of time for the main plot to develop. I enjoyed the quick setting changes during Homer and Marge's long conversation. It helped keep their long-winding dialogue fresh, but I did hope that some of the settings would be a bit more comical. (For example, "Where's my money?" from Diggs being set on the merry-go-round, with Homer accompanied by Fat Tony and the mafia)

    Act 3: The lady who claims that Kirk stole the painting was quite shallow, but it didn't matter, since she played quite a minor role in the story. All of Kirk's "uhhhhhhh..."s were funny, and they felt like something Kirk would do. When Luann left him, I honestly thought that they might just break up again, since their marital status has changed before. Marge telling Homer to forget about the painting because it brings out the worst in Springfield was a good truth, and I thought it might have just ended here, with the painting being forgotten about and the rest of the episode being Itchy & Scratchy filler. However, the plot continues very nicely with the painting revealed to be a forgery. The forger (guest star or not, I don't care) is a generic one-time character, but the points made there about the art were just as meaningful as the discussion about movie piracy done in Steal This Episode. The forger asks Homer if he's really appreciated this art, since he's only in it for the money. (Sidenote: The forger saying he respects Homer for only being in it for the money ruined the moment a bit.) Lisa makes some great points about how forgery isn't right, but the forger says that as long as it brings pleasure to someone, the forged artwork is still art. And in good character, Lisa shuts up and agrees. The stuff mentioned here is very thought-provoking, and like the discussion about piracy in Steal This Episode, it's the things that the classic era was known for. The fact that the painting is forged effectively serves its double job; first, it advances the plot, then it helps to resolve a plot element. The case of the painting is something that would take too much time, considering the episode's time constraint, but revealing it to be fake is a great way to take the painting out of the picture (pun is completely intentional). The best part of the episode, though, was probably the emotional ending. Homer tells the forger to paint some more paintings, and when Kirk gives Luann a portrait of the family, they reconcile. Homer receives a forgery of the original sailboat, effectively returning the status quo. In what I thought was a great ending, they hug. It's immediately followed by white credits: "Executive Producer: Matt Selman," which made sense considering the whole thing felt like a Selman episode. The ending was really poignant, which is something rarely seen in the Scully era (Homer blowing a dart at Marge, anybody?) and in the Jean era, so I appreciate seeing two real heartfelt hugs before the credits. The great characterization helped to strengthen the ending, since if Homer was a jerkass the entire episode, I could care less if he hugged at the end.

    Everything really comes together here to make a nice episode. As usual, Selman delivers with another great episode. Is it the best of Season 25 so far? It's really close, but right now I think the concept of the episode (the sailboat painting taking center stage) puts this one as the best so far for me. It could change to Steal This Episode fairly quickly, though. Nice episode. It's a great improvement from The Winter of His Content, which I already felt was pretty decent. Chalk up yet another 10/10 for Matt Selman, and make him showrunner please.


  32. #30
    Mobster DoctorMcGann's Avatar
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    Season 25's actually been quite good, with about 5 awesome episodes so far. This is one of them, with a 5/5 from me.

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