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Thread: R & R "Insane Clown Poppy"



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  1. #1
    a fervent propulsion Tinselled Jim's Avatar
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    R & R "Insane Clown Poppy"

    I saw this the other night on 4 and realised, it wasn't actually a bad episode for it's era. The opening scene with the book fair was quite well done, and I think it had a great plot. I'll give it a 4/5.
    couldn't trust her with cheese, let alone with your keys

  2. #2


    There are a lot of season 12 (and season 11) episodes like this one. "HOMR", "Hungry, Hungry Homer", "Lisa the Treehugger", "Pokey Mom", "Homer vs. Dignity" and "I'm Goin' to Praiseland" where it seems like the show is trying to hold onto its emotional core and character-driven plots of its older days, but fail miserably because of a lack of any real dynamic and annoying Scullyish conventions. Here, Krusty and Sophie just aren't very interesting. There's nothing cool or unique about her other than that she has a violin. Which actually removes anything special about the story, because the moment it's introduced it's obvious that Krusty is going to lose the damn thing out of neglect and get a chance to redeem himself and win it back for her like any other two-bit sitcom. Boring plot, and it's also another excuse for Homer to tag up with any random side-character, justified by being self-referential ("For a casual acquaintance like you?"). Meh. Krusty's still funny as always, and the introduction of Johnny Tightlips and the return of the mob was a treat, along with some other funny lines and scenes (the devil's advocate pinball game for instance) help redeem it a bit. Average for season 12. C

  3. #3
    post brody's Avatar
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    Okay for its time, pretty lame otherwise. Like CS said, Sophie wasn't interesting in the least. C-/C

  4. #4
    streets ahead Paul's Avatar
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    I completely forgot this episode actually existed and that's reason enough to give it a C

  5. #5
    Don't bad-mouth the head! Xt'Tapalatakettle's Avatar
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    I adore this episode and don't see why you don't see any emotional connection. For what it is, it's done really well. Are you expecting Krusty to have the same emotional reaction as he did with his father? That would be highly improbable. I think Krusty reacts precisely how Krusty would react and I think Sophie as a kid is well done, very kiddish unlike some of the others on the show. While I don't give out letter grades, I voted this a 4/5.

  6. #6
    something clever grissom's Avatar
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    4/5 - I haven't seen it in a long time. It's relatively good from what I remember

  7. #7
    and now i have slapped a king Mike Scully's Avatar
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    The only thing I disliked about this episode was some of the writing for Homer: blowing up Lisa's room and then saying "Stupid Lisa", "Hey, a clown!", getting shot by gangsters, etc. And the gag-writing could be fine-tuned here and there; for example, there's no reason for Lisa to say "I'm all for ethnic diversity, but this is pandering" since the TV show already makes the point. Otherwise, I thought it was quite a sweet pleasant storyline. It had me laughing a lot for season 12: "Maya Angelou is black?", Christopher Walken reading to the kids, Fat Tony's violin solo, the mafia gunfight, Stephen King's cameo, etc. Yeah Sophie's personality-less and boring, but she's a normal 7-year-old girl, so, what do you expect really? Grade: B

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scully
    Yeah Sophie's personality-less and boring, but she's a normal 7-year-old girl, so, what do you expect really? Grade:
    To not be boring and have a personality.

    Her writing was just reeks of minimalism and bare-bones necessity, like they could have fit for any generic girl out there. She's written in a rather matter-of-fact kind of way most of the time, conveying the proper response anyone would expect anyone to say in her situation (or set-ups for Krusty's jokes) but little beyond that. The few (I think two) jokes she is given don't play off any character trait of her's either, only reinforcing the problem. Hell, in regards to just how unfleshed out she is, I think Jouni is right in the snpp review in pointing out that considering how strong her mom's hatred of Krusty is, it's disappointing that there's absolutely nothing regarding her managing to stand up to her. She's a plot device for Krusty's story really, existing to move his story along. Which maybe would be fine, except for their bonding to have any meaning at all she needs to be fleshed out in some way beyond liking a violin, or at the very least some quirk to make her interesting when given screen time to make it worth watching. Otherwise, I don't care.

  9. #9
    Where's the money shot? Reverend Lovejoy's Avatar
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    I rather liked it, personally. I thought Sophie was an okay character, one who should probably be a bit more developed, though. It was nice to see the mob again, and I liked the book fair scenes as well ("Someone's in the kitchen with Jesus" :silly

    4/5.

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  10. #10
    No wonder he won Minnesota. Sarcastic Guy II's Avatar
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    2/5. Atrocious and nearly unwatchable. I usually don't like Krusty episodes, but I really hated this one. Drew Barrymore was offensively bad as Krusty's daughter.

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  11. #11
    and now i have slapped a king Mike Scully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Channel Surfer
    Her writing was just reeks of minimalism and bare-bones necessity, like they could have fit for any generic girl out there. She's written in a rather matter-of-fact kind of way most of the time, conveying the proper response anyone would expect anyone to say in her situation (or set-ups for Krusty's jokes) but little beyond that. The few (I think two) jokes she is given don't play off any character trait of her's either, only reinforcing the problem. She's a plot device for Krusty's story really, existing to move his story along. Which maybe would be fine, except for their bonding to have any meaning at all she needs to be fleshed out in some way beyond liking a violin, or at the very least some quirk to make her interesting when given screen time to make it worth watching. Otherwise, I don't care.
    The characterization is fine for this episode's purposes. All we're really invested in here is Krusty's attempts to be a good father, and that he can actually form an attachment to a child. If anything, the fact that his daughter is so plain strengthens Krusty's story; Krusty's a father, so he should make the effort to love his daughter unconditionally, even if she is just another typical kid.

    Using a straight, normal character as more of a device to flesh out someone else we care about has been done several times on the show, even during the classic seasons. There was Samantha Stanky from Bart's Friend Falls In Love. What was interesting about her besides her last name? She was there to provide a pair of lips for Milhouse and cause Bart/Milhouse conflict. In Lisa's Rival, we know little about Allison other than that she's a smart student, when her friendship/rivalry relationship with Lisa could have been focused on more. What makes Insane Clown Poppy worse? Sure, there have been more interesting one-time kids like Jessica Lovejoy and Gina, (which certainly added to the episode), but in those cases, the plot required it.

    Hell, in regards to just how unfleshed out she is, I think Jouni is right in the snpp review in pointing out that considering how strong her mom's hatred of Krusty is, it's disappointing that there's absolutely nothing regarding her managing to stand up to her.
    Could have been interesting, but I don't mind if it's not included as it would bear no relevance to the main plot.
    Last edited by Mike Scully; 06-21-2006 at 08:09 PM.

  12. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scully
    Using a straight, normal character as more of a device to flesh out someone else we care about has been done several times on the show, even during the classic seasons. There was Samantha Stanky from Bart's Friend Falls In Love. What was interesting about her besides her last name? She was there to provide a pair of lips for Milhouse and cause Bart/Milhouse conflict. In Lisa's Rival, we know little about Allison other than that she's a smart student, when her friendship/rivalry relationship with Lisa could have been focused on more. What makes Insane Clown Poppy worse? Sure, there have been more interesting one-time kids like Jessica Lovejoy and Gina, (which certainly added to the episode), but in those cases, the plot required it.
    I'd argue that certainly Allison and even Samantha have some personality to them, with some sense of wit that fit with their characters (Allison is IMO at least as well written as your examples). Regardless though I agree they are designed to flesh-out characters we already enjoy. What makes "Clown Poppy" worse than either is that Krusty is fleshed out only in a superficial way, and cheapens his character if anything. The whole inadvertently ruined/lost/destroyed someone's cherished possession/lucky opportunity/ect and have to make it up to them stock story (either by winning said possession back or by some other means) is about as easy a sitcom plot as you can do. Which might be fine, the "Simpsons" have taken their fair share of sitcom plots in all eras. But if the characters/character writing are generic, as I think the case definitely is with Sophie and in some ways Krusty too, I have no desire to see the nth incarnation of this plot type (though so it doesn't sound like I'm ripping Scully too hard here, "Future-Drama" does it much worse). Like a lot of Scully episodes, it says a lot that the most fun part of the episode isn't the core story, but a lot of the fun tangents (opening material, mafia) and random jokes that keep it interesting.

    (Also, just to clarify a point. Sophie to me, is only a normal seven year old in the sense that she doesn't say or do much of anything that gives her any distinguishing traits. Like I suggested in my previous post, her lines don't suggest a trace of personality, either normal kid or otherwise. Her lines of emotion border on straightforward exposition half the time, particularly during her exchange with Krusty just after losing her violin. And a lot of the rest are just set-ups for Krusty or jokes that have nothing to do with the faint sense of normality her character tries to convey (other than maybe to go against that expectation). Of course, again, to fall into such a well-worn sitcomish plot-type with little variation or twist maybe guarantees failure with her character).

  13. #13
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    Not a GOOD episode by any means, but the jokes are hilarious.

    The Fat Tony/Mob scenes = GOLD

    4/5.
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  14. #14
    and now i have slapped a king Mike Scully's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Channel Surfer
    What makes "Clown Poppy" worse than either is that Krusty is fleshed out only in a superficial way, and cheapens his character if anything. The whole inadvertently ruined/lost/destroyed someone's cherished possession/lucky opportunity/ect and have to make it up to them stock story (either by winning said possession back or by some other means) is about as easy a sitcom plot as you can do. Which might be fine, the "Simpsons" have taken their fair share of sitcom plots in all eras. But if the characters/character writing are generic, as I think the case definitely is with Sophie and in some ways Krusty too
    I guess that's where we disagree. I thought the writing for Krusty was very good; he's practically the same as he was in the classic era. The episode does a decent job making him likeable and generating some emotion for him while still retaining his sleazy hilarious side, which lifts this episode above other season 12 borefests like I'm Going to Praiseland, Pokey Mom, and even Lisa the Treehugger to some extent.

  15. #15
    Formerly Mladen Rest your giant head's Avatar
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    4/5 It was OK,good jokes - but I hate Sophie.

  16. #16
    3 years late, but meh! simplysimpsons's Avatar
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    I liked it for the most part, although the first act was pretty forgettable and the ending was sort of a cop-out (how did Homer and Krusty escape from the mafia?) and I wish it'd ended on Krusty and Sophie rather than that ending with Homer. Apart from that, a good episode. Sophie wasn't too interesting, but the emotion was there. I really liked Fat Tony's role, and although it was one of those Homer helps a secodary character stories by the 3rd act, there was reasoning for it and there were a lot of laugh-out loud moments. B-

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  17. #17
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    I havn't seen this in a while but from what I remember, it was excellent, and way above average for Season 12. Good characterizations, good gags and a good use of Krusty and Fat Tony and Co. Krustys daughter wasn't too exciting, but I felt it didn't matter as that's not what they were concetrating on (basically I agree with Mike Scully) A/A-

  18. #18


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scully
    I guess that's where we disagree. I thought the writing for Krusty was very good; he's practically the same as he was in the classic era. The episode does a decent job making him likeable and generating some emotion for him while still retaining his sleazy hilarious side, which lifts this episode above other season 12 borefests like I'm Going to Praiseland, Pokey Mom, and even Lisa the Treehugger to some extent.
    Almost forgot to reply.

    I actually do agree with this for the most part. I only really meant that the episode doesn't really develop him like people claim, but fits him into such a sitcomish role that it arguably cheapens him to fall into such generic story and character writing.

    However, a well-written Krusty in a lame role is still a well-written Krusty, so it's not really an issue to me. Which is why I put the disclaimer of "in some ways" there.

  19. #19
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    An improvement over the season opener, and one of the more funnier episodes of season 12...the first act though dazed around for a while before the plot was set up 3/5
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  20. #20
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    Super Comic Book Guy, please don't bump threads that haven't had replies for a fortnight.
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  21. #21
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    A decent episode in season 12, didn't find sophie that interesting, but it did give us Johnny Tightlips 3.5/5
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scully
    The only thing I disliked about this episode was some of the writing for Homer: blowing up Lisa's room and then saying "Stupid Lisa", "Hey, a clown!", getting shot by gangsters, etc. And the gag-writing could be fine-tuned here and there; for example, there's no reason for Lisa to say "I'm all for ethnic diversity, but this is pandering" since the TV show already makes the point. Otherwise, I thought it was quite a sweet pleasant storyline. It had me laughing a lot for season 12: "Maya Angelou is black?", Christopher Walken reading to the kids, Fat Tony's violin solo, the mafia gunfight, Stephen King's cameo, etc. Yeah Sophie's personality-less and boring, but she's a normal 7-year-old girl, so, what do you expect really? Grade: B
    I actually liked Homer's "Hey, a clown!" line, but other than that I agree with most of what he said. Among Season 12's most underrated and overlooked.

    B+ or 4/5 from me.
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  23. #23
    this is some friendly Charlie's Avatar
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    Finally saw this tonight. Pretty good compared to other Scully episodes I've seen (overall I've only seen around 30 Scully ones though )
    Anyway, I liked the plot, and the opening scenes with the book fair were great. It did have some wackiness (the only thing I really felt uncomfortable with was the weird horse surfing while Krusty and Sophie eat ice cream on it scene).
    Drew Barrymore did have a pretty dull performance...it could have gone better.
    Overall, however, 7/10.

  24. #24
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    It began well, took a rather large dip, than skyrocketed above. The entire Fat Tony part was great. - 4.1/5
    Season Grades...
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  25. #25
    Stonecutter Otis P Jivefunk's Avatar
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    One of the worst episodes of Season 12, and one of the most boring bland-fests of all time. It is watchable but little more...
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  26. #26
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    This is not that great of a Krusty episode although his characterization is fine. I just had a problem with Krusty having a daughter with a soldier. Too much unexplained territory. One of Krusty's many bad episodes after the golden era. I did like the Fat Tony scenes though thats what saved this episode for me. I am a sucker for Mafia parodies. 3/5

  27. #27
    Up an atom. Ramier Wolfcastle's Avatar
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    4/5. It's too bad that it's sandwiched between Kill the Alligator and Run and Mad Mad Mad Mad Marge in production order, which most likely explains why this was held over to season 12.

  28. #28
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    3/5, it was a good episode.
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  29. #29
    Dial M for Moe Moe Nopoly's Avatar
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    it was a good episode in my opinion. Some nice gags and the story was ok but not great.

  30. #30


    Below average. I've seen this episode numerous times but always have a hard time remembering any good jokes, and Fat Tony's been put to better use. The only joke I really like is this:
    "Listen kid, I'm not the kind of dad who does stuff, or says things, or looks at you. But the LOVE is there!"



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