View Poll Results: How do you rate "Lisa Simpson: This is your Life"?

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  • 5/5: Overachiever and Proud of It!

    22 20.75%
  • 4/5: Honor Roll Roll Student

    46 43.40%
  • 3/5: 2.0 - G.P.A, Bitches!

    30 28.30%
  • 2/5: Community College Kid

    8 7.55%
  • 1/5: The Special Schools are all over Her

    0 0%
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  1. #1
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Rate and Review: "Lisa Simpson: This isn't Your Life" (MABF20)

    November 14 Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life (MABF20)
    When Lisa discovers that Marge was once a top student, only to let other things get in the way of her studies, she gets Marge to transfer her to a more academically rigorous school; Bart one-ups Nelson and is crowned the new school bully


    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.

    "One of the keys to life is having a sense of proportion, knowing how long to sit at a restaurant after you've eaten, or how long you should go on vacation if you go to Hawaii for a month on vacation, I guarantee you that by the end you'll hate it. So it's the same with a TV show, you want to do a certain amount of it, so that when people look back on it and they love it. I could have easily done the show for one or two or three more years, but it would have changed the way people look back at it. I think I made the right decision. Because people like the show now even more than they did in the 1990s, because it didn't get worn out." -- Jerry Seinfeld

  2. #2
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    This was delightfully aimless. This episode seemed to be a hodge-podge of whatever timewasting gags they could come up with and I wish the story was more about Lisa finding out earlier that Marge was working herself to the bone trying to pay for Lisa's education while Lisa was excelling at the new School, instead of a wishy washy ending we received. It's like the writers suddenly remembered what the point of the episode was two minutes before it ended.

    3/5: C+
    Last edited by Patches O'houlihan; 11-14-2010 at 05:51 PM.


  3. #3
    Some kind of crazy person McClure's Avatar
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    Wait, Lisa deciding to give up jazz music so she can study harder?

    I guess she's no longer the character that said "I'm going to be a famous jazz musician. I've got it all figured out. I'll be unappreciated in my own country, but my gutsy blues stylings will electrify the French. I'll avoid the horrors of drug abuse, but I do plan to have several torrid love affairs, and I may or may not die young. I haven't decided."

    Another forgettable episode. I liked the opening at the gas station, but it was all downhill after that. The main plot could have used another five minutes. It's a common problem these days: too much build, then a rushed conclusion. The subplot was pretty good and it could have actually worked as a main plot. It's weird that episodes these days are either too short in plot and packed with filler jokes, or the plots are too long and have rushed conclusions.

    I found the joke with Willie screaming to be very indicative of the writing style these days. Rather than coming up with a funny line or a visual joke, they instead have Willie scream for a while in his normal voice. 2.5/5.

    And an Anvil song (Metal on Metal) appeared in The Simpsons. I never thought I'd see the day.

  4. #4
    Got milk? Snaked's Avatar
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    Didn't see it & am glad for not seeing it.


    The reality is that both your post and his should be bannable offenses. Pure ignorance about the show's current-day content is just as offensive as wearing blinders to mediocrity and openly praising everything.
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  5. #5


    Pretty good, I like the "Screw it I'm in love gag", the bart subplot kinda grew on me, but the Lisa one grew increasingly annoying because, she just come off as a complaining nag

  6. #6


    not bad

    Wow maybe its just me, but I liked the episode. Even laughed a few times including the last joke -- "he did now". Funny, a decent story, Homer not a complete jerk-ass I just had to come out of my lurkerdom and say this is what I have been looking for for the past 15 years. Im not saying its classic era qualit, just the direction they should have been going the past decade...


    Da mole

  7. #7
    Card Wars super Amadeus zartok-35's Avatar
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    I enjoyed that substancially. The subplot was sort of weak, but it had it's share of great jokes. Infact, most all the jokes here were pretty good. The ending, as already mentioned, did seem a little rushed and confined, but it was still relativley smooth. Nastuk deductable need not apply. All in all, it was very funny, and nothing rubbed me the wrong way; 3.8 out of 5.
    Last edited by zartok-35; 11-14-2010 at 07:07 PM.


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  8. #8


    4/5

    This episode was better than I thought. Although we have another Lisa episode this time we get something better and more emotional. I thought it was a great gag when we see that Marge's academics crashed in the 12th grade due to meeting Homer although that was already obvious. The subplot on Bart evolving into the new school bully was handled perfectly with the accidental attacks. I liked that music playing when Bart is outside and the sky gets cloudy since it reminds me of the Halloween thems song from the horror film but played with different instruments. My favorite part was Homer trying to keep buying ten gallons of gas and then wasting it intentionally in order to get the right elf. I almost thought that Lisa attending the new school would be a permanent fixture for future episodes and I was wrong. I thought it may be possible because with the obvious exception of Ralph, none of Lisa's classmates are characters that have any popularity with viewers.

  9. #9
    Junior Camper Muskrat's Avatar
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    Whatever. This episode (as well as this season so far) wasn't bad, just really bland. Guess that's the best we can hope for these days.

  10. #10
    Take on the World Walid's Avatar
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    bart's sub plot was pretty good and about the only thing i really liked. it seems like something that would have been done before in the show, at least it felt that way to me.
    otherwise it was kinda dumb. one thing that kinda confused me was when lisa asked skinner about her mother; to me it implied that skinner was principal when marge attended school, which obviously is not true. or is there something else? like, maybe skinner was in marge's classes or something. but to me it felt like they were implying skinner was principal when marge attended. unless like, he just knows from looking at old school records or something. i dunno. lisa's plot took too long to form. the descriptions make it sound like lisa would be going to that school for most of the episode, when in fact, she went there for like less than 5 minutes.

    what i liked:

    "You always yell at me sir."
    "There's no one else to yell at. Teachers have their union, students have their parents..."
    "What about willie?"
    "I like Willie!"

    the itchy and scratchy short, whilst not really funny, was short and somewhat interesting to watch

    homer's line about eating wedding cake that marge had been saving for 10 years in the fridge.

    moe's line about "not wanting to be seen with you. big difference" to selma(or patty)

    what i didn't like:

    ralph's appearances. whenever he is used nowadays i either laugh or i just stare at the screen. i did that for his appearances here. "Not a trophy" and "Not a kangaroo."

    the dialogue in the car between marge and bart. shouldn't marge know who nelson is? hasn't she seen him be mean to others before? but "It's not Milhouse!" was kind of funny

    homer wasting gas so he could buy more and try to get that elf for maggie. it was basically nothing but a time-filler scene and not really funny

    so basically it was an alright episode. the sub plot was entertaining for the most part but the main plot didn't even officially start till the end of the third act. 3.5/5 or so

  11. #11
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biffwestwood View Post
    4/5

    This episode was better than I thought. Although we have another Lisa episode this time we get something better and more emotional. I thought it was a great gag when we see that Marge's academics crashed in the 12th grade due to meeting Homer although that was already obvious.
    Yeah, look at what happened to Barnyard Gumble.

  12. #12
    Banned D'ohmer's Avatar
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    I enjoyed it. The main plot was handled better than I thought it would. Lisa's actions were reasonable and I thought that the characterizations were pretty good overall. Marge getting upset at Lisa was also believable and I thought the conflict was set up well. I also liked the lead-in with Marge's old home, as well as Lisa's transition from Springfield Elementary to her dream school. I did find the pacing a little off, though. I think it took a little too long to get into the plot, which is partially responsible for the rushed ending, in which the conflict didn't get resolved. Still, I found the plot interesting. I was entertained. The subplot, I thought, was handled very well for a subplot. I like how Bart became the bully by accidentally beating up Nelson and how he didn't want to be a bully. Nelson wanting to beat up Bart was in character for him, but I didn't find the way Bart stopped him very convincing.

    Another problem I have with the episode was that there really wasn't anything great in terms of humor, I liked the beginning scenes with I&S and Homer wasting gas to get the prize for Maggie. I also liked the ending, with the beginning coming back at the end. Other than that, I may have laughed at some jokes, but I still didn't find any other gag really that memmorable or bawlful.

    Overall, it was far from perfect, but still a pretty good episode (IMO). 3.5/5

    Second best of the season for me, after Loan-a-Lisa. It isn't really saying much, though. The only reason why I liked it over the THOH from last week is because of the Twilight segment from the THOH.

    Wow, I actually fit in this week, lol. I am glad that others see that it took to long to get to the school and that the ending was rushed. I actually didn't find Lisa annoying. I thought her behavior was reasonable, considering her intentions.


  13. #13
    guts-black stuff-50 slim jims Miss Diko's Avatar
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    Wow lots of mixed reviews! I gotta wait 'till tomorrow to watch it on Hulu ;( sounds like everyone either really liked it or was so-so...at least it's not incredibly un-watchable so far from these reviews!!

  14. #14
    Stonecutter Nauru-1's Avatar
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    Story a cross between Lisa's Sax, Lisa the Simpson, and Lisa's Pony. Being able to decipher what episodes these ideas come from is usually about as entertaining as the episode itself. This wasn't bad, and at times it felt like it had potential, but it remains marred by some usual problems.

    For every nice bit like Homer mistakenly calling Lisa her son we have awful ones like Willie yelling on the library floor, but I guess a mixed bag beats the inescapable blandness I felt with the recent MoneyBART. The characters were mostly likeable which is definitely a plus, although they're usually treading a fine line (i.e. Homer ranging from goofy to braindead).

    My station skipped a bit at the beginning so I didn't really get a stranglehold on the episode until it got to Marge visiting her old house. I mostly what I saw from the remainder of the first act and most of the second. Skinner had a worthwhile secondary role around here. The inclusion of the private school was late in the game, so much so that I almost feel they just wrapped things up without going to such great lengths (especially since the private school angle has been done before). A little too much meandering with this story as it went forward, but at least it had something to begin with.

    The subplot was alright I guess. Nice idea that Bart is inadvertantly beating up Nelson, but I can't help but feel the dynamic between them has been worn out. With a number of episodes pairing the two I can't help but feel they should know each other a little better by now.

    Decent by current standards, which puts it somewhere in mediocrity. 3/5 (C-)
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  15. #15
    Banned D'ohmer's Avatar
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    Sorry for going O/T, but what's the point of randomly insulting me in the tags?

  16. #16
    Skeletor rising hughes's Avatar
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    I thought it was a really good episode, and I especially liked how they actually revisited the opening setpiece instead of just letting it fade away forgotten. Homer's characterization was excellent, most of the jokes were good, and although the pace as a little choppy as per usual these days (I can't believe I liked the 4-act format when it was first introduced), I really have no other complaints

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  17. #17
    overdressed anarchist bartyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D'ohmer View Post
    Sorry for going O/T, but what's the point of randomly insulting me in the tags?
    thanks for pointing that out

  18. #18


    As said before, the episode is a mixture of several arguments that we have seen, but still works and entertains.

    I give a 4.5 / 5.

  19. #19
    Banned D'ohmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartyboy View Post
    thanks for pointing that out
    No problem

    Thanks for removing the tag (you were the one who removed it, right?)

  20. #20
    overdressed anarchist bartyboy's Avatar
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    yea sure
    Last edited by bartyboy; 11-14-2010 at 06:53 PM.

  21. #21
    pineapple shoes Dark Meat's Avatar
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    seriously, don't abuse the tags

  22. #22
    I Just Want My Kids Back EthanRunt's Avatar
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    Enjoyedit, gave it a 4/5, it had some real funny moments, some nice stuff, both stories were handled well enough and I cared throughout. Some jokes fell flat, like Willie and, eugh, Ralph, and the pace was odd, but yeah, pretty good nonetheless.

  23. #23
    Junior Camper noaizuma's Avatar
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    I quite enjoyed the episode. Though far from great, the writing is at lest trying to get back to a sense of family. I personally prefer that over the slapstick, pratfalls (just mho) I honestly would probably have given the show a 3 but it had lisa as a main character and so I bumped it up to 4/5

  24. #24
    Simpsons Junkie Jakro's Avatar
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    Good stuff, feeling even better considering the episodes before it. There were some bad gags, but most of them hit the target and it was fairly well made. I'd hope all of them were at least like this. I gave it 4/5, just relative to recent episodes, although this probably deserves only 3/5 when comparing it in the long run. Decent stuff. I loved the Bart & Nelson drunk gag in the end. I was entertained, but then again perhaps I just easily am entertained.

  25. #25
    MOAR Semaj's Avatar
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    Been there, done that.

    Homer prevented Marge Bouvier from becoming a success. Lisa wants to better herself by going to a more advanced school. Lisa changes her mind when she realizes the toll it takes on her already unsuccessful mother. Meanwhile, Bart helps his frienemy get his groove back.

    Nothing terribly wrong with this episode, though Homer wasting gas money was kinda dumb. It was just another dull day in Jean-era Springfield.

    3.0/5

  26. #26
    Profound Sadness Kiyosuki's Avatar
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    I thought this was pretty good actually, surprisingly so. After a barrage of either mediocre, to outright horrible Lisa episodes one after another for some reason (plus an irrelevant and shitty Treehouse.) at least the streak finally ends with one that imo was actually pretty okay. I couldn't count one single time it dragged a joke out, which is an amazing feat for zombie simpsons, but when it did do humor it was much more the bam-zinger quick and over kind of style you'd see in much older episodes and it really shows that's when the show's strong. The story was retreading waters in the general sense (Lisa stresses about getting older, Bart the General complete with thought bubble throwback.), but overall it didn't feel like a by-the-book retread.The conflict with Lisa loving her mom but...not wanting to turn out like her and Marge's reaction to that in turn felt maybe even sorta fresh-ish, and it was handled pretty nicely. Those two are super hard for them to do well with these days so it's a nice surprise to me.

    And the subplot with Bart had some really great physical comedy that didn't overstay its welcome or go all loony toons. The Hop-scotch gag was a highlight there. It was silly, but just quick enough to not be overkill. Homer himself too was an awesome background character. A lazy, aloof oaf instead of maniacal Homer and his whole comment to Lisa about everyone having a "Homer" in their lives, even if it's not necessarilly a person was awesome. That kind of nonchalant, what-are-ya-gonna-do wisdom is such an underused but great Homer trait that you also just don't see anymore. And Skinner's little douchebag moment with poor Lisa and Ralph was another great almost throwback-ish scene for him (with a touch of sick humor with Ralph having trouble breathing in the trophy case. lol), and even Ralph's little moment didn't have him pull an "I'm a" comment or something cheap like that, but just used his good old fashioned penchant for being weird and aloof for a background gag. Even Willie was awesome.

    In the end of course we all know it's gonna go back to the status quo somehow, and it was a bit too convenient how it wrapped up, to the point it could maybe be bad tongue in cheek...but it felt like it was actually outlasting its timeslot so its understandable. Though that in itself was actually a good thing in a way to me, since it felt like a full half hour episode instead of being 10 minutes long like the other recent ones. And come on, those last lines were hilarious.

    "Did he take any money?"

    "Nope"

    "Well he did now!"

    So all and all I definitely can't agree that it was "aimless", it was pretty story driven and reminicent of older stuff in a lot of ways. It was just mellow that's all, in the same sense as Summer of 4 ft 2 or maybe even Fraudcast News, so it's not gonna be for everyone and I'm sure there's plenty some people can use to rip into it or point out retreads and that's fine... but I enjoyed it a lot for what it is. I feel that if this same episode aired in say, season 3 it'd fit pretty decently. Nice surprise after 3 horrible episodes and one alright-ish one.

  27. #27
    chinese martian physicist HRH Sir Prince Charles's Avatar
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    i feel like every single element of this episode has been done a dozen times before. Nothing offensive, nothing interesting... a generous 3/5, the standard for the late Jean era

  28. #28
    Come back, Zinc!! Sniper Squirrel's Avatar
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    good episode, but yeah, felt like a repeat of better earlier episodes, I did like the Bart/Nelson subplot, gave a very generous 4/5
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  29. #29
    NHC's fly on the wall lionelhutz123's Avatar
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    It was alright. The Lisa plot actually felt like a conflict I could take seriously. Marge actually had her head out of the clouds for once and reacted to Lisa's feelings in a more realistic manner. The way she was put off after Lisa made her feel like the life she lives now is embarrassing or disappointing was handled quite well. Lisa's "It's a good life for you but just not for me" explanation to her mother also felt reasonable. After that however, things get kind of sloppy. The whole 'Lisa's future is doomed because of her genes' type of premise is tired, and Lisa should know by now not to take things so seriously. Also, it was a bit too convenient for the plot that Skinner had Marge's awards in the trophy case. It's not even a matter of "Oh Skinner was principal way back then?", but that Lisa has never noticed her own mother's achievements in the ever-recurring trophy case. It wasn't a big deal, but I felt the scene was unnecessary considering the old box of Marge's grades from her childhood house was already naturally developed into the episode, so I don't understand why they just couldn't leave it at that. The point of this main plot was to bring the mother/daughter issue to the surface, but there really isn't anything to resolve other than both Marge and Lisa coming to terms with each other's feelings. If they cut out the Skinner scene and some of the filler, there would have been time for this story to stretch it's legs and the ending would not have ended up so rushed. The laundry scene felt like a dream sequence at first because of how choppy the execution was. I was able to swallow it, but it would have been easier if they introduced that earlier into the episode. Instead, it ended up not concluding itself which I won't call lazy because the writers definitely intended it. The point? You tell me.
    The subplot was alot lighter but probably more enjoyable. No complaints here. I like how they always flip-flop the Nelson role between bully and friend, yet keep it somewhat believable. The reverse role between Nelson and Bart (from the school yard's perspective) was interesting as well because they both remained in character. I was expecting something to happen like Bart getting carried away with bullying or Nelson becoming a whiny victim bidding to Bart's every whim.
    Overall, a decent show by today's standards. There were some failed gags, but I also liked several here too, like Homer's explanation of Lisa's behavior to Marge, and some other's that I can't really remember. Anyway I'll give this a 3/5.
    Last edited by lionelhutz123; 11-14-2010 at 08:16 PM.


  30. #30
    canadian. likes the hockeys arii's Avatar
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    I liked it! Just sitting back, relaxing, and watching it actually went over me pretty well. It was taking a fairly relaxed pace at the beginning, but it worked well and I didn't find Lisa overtly whiny or anything during it, just unrealistic with herself. Truth be told I was expecting more of a "you're eight years old, enjoy your time as a kid" message at the end along with the whole "appreciate your mom" thing, but... Actually no, they should have just stuck with that and not really bothered with the academy. While not completely out there, it still kind of fell into the old trap of out-of-nowhere conflict for the third act. It doesn't flow naturally with the story, it feels forced in and as a result, gets a lame conclusion because there's no real time for it. I'm honestly not sure how they would have gone about this otherwise, but seriously, the academy part and the stuff with Marge working her ass off so Lisa could get her education just plain wasn't necessary.

    I'm trying to organize my thoughts as I type this out, hehe. I mean, it starts off that Marge does really awesome in school, but her grades plummet because she gets distracted so that's why she has the life she has today... okay. So Lisa has to go batshit in avoiding any and all potential distractions? And for that we need an academy? I mean, I get what they were going for with this plot, it's pretty easy to see. But it's so largely... unnecessary. Not the way they built it up. It was so much more down to earth and simple, that to inject a utopian academy just completely took away from all of that. And that was disappointing to see, is what I'm getting at.

    And also a nitpick from me, but goddamn am I sick of the show having its characters have no problem tossing money about in the very same episode where the Simpsons' lack of money is a key plot point later on in that same episode. It just makes the conflict all the more fake.

    On happier notes, the subplot was done to perfection. It was simplistic, and just plain funny. Awesome moments for Bart and Nelson, and the perfect uses of cartoon physics and general slapstick to carry their plot on through. Seriously. Not one problem with Bart's story in this.

    Actually, a lot of the episode was rather funny. More jokes hit than missed their marks and nothing even really dragged out. Aside from the out of nowhere style main point of Lisa's plot, the entire episode was rather well done. I loved Homer in this one, he felt more like a real person to me than some whacky retard. His walking by "tada" when Lisa pulled out the seven of clubs was probably my favourite joke, that was so brilliantly executed... This episode had a lot of really great direction, actually.

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