Hummmm...The good news are that there was a story, it was focussed, it didn't feel too rushed, it didn't feel as if they were forcing jokes too much, the family was well used/characterised, there wasn't a subplot and there was not an unrelated first act.
The bad news are that even with all that they didn't manage to tell the story correctly and it didn't live up to its fantastic potential. It was also a little forgettable and boring at times.
Juliet's character was definitely underdeveloped as it was the whole Equalia thing. I didn't really like how this was introduced. Lisa just listened about it and she can imagine it in a minute too! And yeah, it would have been very interesting to see how this magic world helps Lisa too, considering that she's usually frustrated with the reality in her family.
The episode was about Lisa having a close friend which is new for her (not so much, but I'll take it) and also about this whole thing with the fantastic world. By the third act is seems that the writers were more interested in the novelty of the magic kingdom thing rather than developing the friendship story. Jean is starting to overuse this whole "Calvin and Hobbes"-like children fantasy thing, so it's not such a novelty anymore. It worked very well in "Haw Hawed Couple", but it was kind of odd in "Romeold and Juli-eh". Here it was mixed, they seemed to jump too quickly from the reality to the imaginary world, all the time.
The friendship part was meh. It started pretty well, but they wasted some time here and there (yet another use of pop/rock music added to a scene that doesn't say anything, the two girls in the museum). The best part was the use of the family there. Marge was great and so were Homer and Bart. I liked how these two didn't try to steal the show, but they were there as supporting actors. Great visual gag with Homer too (Ned's mug).
But the relationship itself lacked some depth. I don't think they were trying to imply lesbianism, or at least, not seriously. Maybe as an odd joke. I mean, "Haw Hawed Couple" seemed to describe some gay relationship sometimes, with "Brokeback Mountain" references, no less, but I still don't think they wanted to say Bart and Nelson were gay. And I don't want to sound homophobic, but I don't think it would be a very good idea to make Lisa lesbian now (talk about jumping the shark!). Thing is the episode would probably be deeper if they were really meant to be lesbian. It would have been done in a subtle way, but since I don't think that's what they were trying to do, what we really have is a poorly explored relationship based on cliche.
I have mixed feelings about the last act. Putting the girls in a cage seems a little too much even for the bullies. You've to believe they are all children playing and they are annoyed cause the girls are in their territory, but still. I don't know if they would do that to a boy and they are not normally so mean with the girls. They are small delinquents, they steal things and they hit people, but they don't usually kidnap other people locking them in small places. Maybe a more adult and sinister guy like Herman or Snake could have done that. On the other hand I loved the visual gag with Jimbo looking like Marge and Dolph like Bart.
I also have mixed feelings about Kearney believing in Equalia too, these jumps from reality to fantasy world seemed kind of weird to me, with Kearney transforming in a dragon and all that...I don't know, sometimes it seems like an excuse to introduce weird, surreal stuff that they are not normally "allowed" to use in regular episodes (a little like the whole game thing in Marge Gamer). However, the twist of Kearney not being the winner in the real life was pretty funny/clever and it almost saved the scene for me.
There was that hilarious bit with Comic Book Guy in the first act that I forgot to mention. I loved it, pretty unexpected use of a secondary character.
And one complain I forgot to mention, maybe Jean will explain some day what's so inherently funny about Ipods?
It's more like a 3/5 but since I really liked how they stayed on focus during the whole story and the use the family as supporting characters I'll give it 4/5.