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El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer: A ReviewAbove: Homer's reaction upon stumbling into the dream world, is somewhat like mine upon first watching this episode
.... Okay, that was an exaggeration, but I found the animation of this episode pretty impressive, something that's far warmer and livelier than the sterile Simpsons animation of today.
Most people who watch The Simpsons, but aren't paticular fans know of 'El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer'. They might not know it by name, but if you said 'the episode where Homer hallucinates', it's pretty likely they'll know which one you are talking about. This shows that 'El Viaje' certaintly isn't an episode you will easily forget. The hallucination scene is the selling point of this episode, and it certaintly is beautifully animated. You can tell that the animators had great fun animating Homer's 'journey', and it's understandable they would want to make a hallucination episode - 'trippy' scenery is both fun to draw, and fun to look at. Yet does this episode have much else going for it, apart from the hallucination section? I will adress this in my review, but will also talk about the animation of the episode, something I rarely do in my reviews.
Season 8 is a very funny season. 'El Viaje' is funny, but not one of the funniest of the season. It isn't a gag-fest, which probably works in 'El Viaje's' favour. The first act of the episode is pretty funny. There are some funny moments as Marge tries to prevent Homer from realising that the chili cook off is on. However, I wasn't too keen on Marge smoking. I know she is desperate to prevent Homer from going, but surely she isn't that desperate? Still, Homer dangling Santa's Little Helper, and memories of the last chili cook off made me laugh. Once the family arrives at the chili cook-off, the humour picks up. 'They say he carved it himself... from a bigger spoon' and Ned believing he might be sent to prison offered some laughs. Wiggum's line 'It's not my job to talk people out of killing themselves' made me laugh, and I cannot believe that I only got the joke on my most recent viewing... I also found Otto offering Ralph his wisdom, upon seeing Homer run off into the distance pretty amusing.
Much of the second act is Homer's dreamland. There weren't that many funny moments in this portion of the episode, but the dreamland was simply meant to be an example of great animation, that takes on a style and design not seen in The Simpsons before. I won't talk more about the humour in this section. Upon reawakening from his hallucination, there were some moments that made me laugh, like the talking dog.
The third act is funnier than the second act, but not quite as funny as the first act, as a lot of it is Homer searching for a soul mate, and finally reconciling with Marge. There were some funny scenes though. Homer in the furniture store was funny and to a certain extent, so was Lisa's Batman line. The ending of the episode is humourous too - 'short shorts' are quite the contrast to something as deep as a spiritual journey.
Plot and Characters
The humour of the episode was decent, and the plot okay too. Rather than some episodes where the plot is better, or the humour is stronger, here the strongest element is the animation. The pacing of the episode was alright, although some parts near the end felt a bit rushed, due to much of the episode being the hallucination. The plot was an interesting one, so will be remembered for being something different. The episode was sort of a 'Homer and Marge marriage crisis' one, but to be honest, there wasn't too much crisis as Marge forgave Homer pretty quickly. Due to the speed of the conflict, I never felt that much for either character, although it was sad to see Homer being rejected from all the places that he went to in search of a soul mate. The characterisation of characters was good as usual for the classic era. Homer was likeable, and despite the smoking bit, Marge seemed in character and understandably annoyed and upset with Homer. Johnny Cash did a pretty good job as the Space Coyote, and helped to advacne the plot. Obviously Cash is now dead, but I wonder if we will ever see Homer's Spirit Guide again?
Animation, Music and Other Small Things
Okay, well the animation of this episode is naturally the most important aspect of it. In this way, it is comparable to 'Homer^3' from 'THOH VI' - a different kind/style of animation is put first. Does this make 'El Viaje' a 'gimmick' episode? A 'gimmick' it may be, but looking at the stateo of The Simpsons now, it is refreshing when an episode does do something different, so I commend 'El Viaje' for this. I can't really say much about the animation that hasn't already been said. It's fantastic. As I said earlier, I don't normally focus on the animation of an episode, unless it is paticularly good/bad, and has some great shots. However, the animation of this episode cannot be ignored. The animation for the rest of the episode if you exclude the hallucination part, is pretty good. Homer casting a shadow towards Chief Wiggum's stall is a nice touch, and is clearly a reference to Western films - along with the Western music here. The characters in the episode were pretty expressive, especially Homer. The only moment of animation I found dodgy was the scene where Ralph is talking to Homer about the wax. Ralph looks... cat-like. Surely Homer isn't hallucinating before he has eaten the pepper... right? His eyes seem off.
Now, onto the animation in the hallucination. Amazing. How Homer sees his fellow Springfieldians upon hallucination is great, especially Barney. When he awakes in the dreamworld, there are some really nice bits of animation. The sky looks great, and contrasts well with Homer. Homers fluid-like movement when he first arrives is great and full of life. So is the scene where he checks his pupils. I also love the style of the giant butterfly. As for the animation in the rest of the hallucination - brilliant, although I think it's best closer to the beggining of his hallucination. I mentioned the Western music when Homer is confronting Wiggum. The music in the rest of the episode is fine, and 'Short Shorts' was great, and a down to Earth ending for quite the spiritual episode.
Overall, 'El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer' is a pretty good episode. As I have stressed, the animation of this episode is great, and is the best thing about the episode. Unfortunately, the humour and plot aren't as good, and prevent this episode from being fantastic. When I rewatched this episode for this review, I did not like it as much as I used to. However, I will always believe that this episode is something bold, different, and memorable. Aww, what the hell. I'll end this review with another gif that showcases the great animation.
Last edited by Toomanygrandmas; 08-28-2011 at 07:44 AM.
Poochie needs to be louder, angrier, and have access to a time machine
i've watched this one as often as i've watched any other classic era episode and it's as re-watchable as any of the others, which is quite extraordinary, given that a fair chunk of it is taken up by special effects and what not. toomanygrandma's is probably right in saying that the conflict is fairly shallow, but then, i've never remembered this one for its conflict, and it remains pretty entertaining nonetheless. the attraction of the episode is its hallucinatory visuals and if they weren't there, it'd be a comparatively dull experience, but they're there and they rub off on the rest of it. B+
I can't do much beyond elaborate on what has been said here (great reviews as ever guys), but this is an excellent example of O&W both taking the show out of its familiar format, and yet also preserving the characters and style that made the show great. There are perhaps one or two weaker points but the animation and dialogue is mostly brilliant from start to finish. Love the chili cook-off scene especially - the set-up and backgrounds are very good on this one. This episode looks and feels like so much more care has gone into it than any of the format-benders in following seasons.
this is probably my second favourite episode of all time behind Bart of Darkness. the scene with homer putting down ned's chilli entry still cracks me up, and the clint eastwood reference
Originally Posted by Company Picnic
I can't watch this this week as I'm on holiday, but if I remember correctly, I think it starts off funny with the cook off, and then peaks at the fantasy sequence, then really loses steam. It's like the whole episode lives just to serve the fantasy sequence and some thin Marge/Homer conflict is thrown in to be around it. I haven't seen it fully in a while though so I can't say for sure, but that's the feeling I'm getting from memory.
Sorry I've been away from even doing a little input these past couple weeks. But it's sort of weird that this is one of the only episodes that I wouldn't consider a experiment by Oakley and Weinstein in season 8. Rather they stick with a rather formulaic Simpsons premise and they don't really pull it off. The animation and the gags surrounding the cook off are nice and the animation in particular is mesmerizing. But that isn't enough the conflict between Marge and Homer seems weaker compared to the vast amounts of marital episodes in the series and the last act an a bit really drags the episode down. Maybe Oakley and Weinstein should've stuck to experimentation?
i really like the animation in this (who doesn't), and there are some nice gags, such as "of course, everything looks bad if you remember it", rod (or todd? always get them confused for some reason) asking if ned will go to jail, the end of act one, "is that dad?" "either that or batman's really let himself go", but like others i think the episode dips a little after homer meets the space coyote in that sequence. the first couple times i saw the episode i didn't really have a problem with the rest of the episode, but upon rewatch it just doesn't hold up as well, for me. it's obvious marge is homer's soulmate, and so it kind of feels like time-filler for homer to have to go through the trouble of figuring that out for himself. also, since it is pretty obvious she is his soulmate, a lot of the emotion in the last few minutes loses its touch, like the scene where homer is walking around to that song. it's still a great episode from s8, though, it's just one of those episodes i don't like as much as i used to. I'd probably still give it at least a 4/5 though. It's not terrible of an episode but i feel it does get kind of boring after Homer meets the space coyote (voiced by the wonderful Johnny Cash).
El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer
I'm fairly late by my own standards for this one and because so many other people have already written many of my basic thoughts I'm gonna keep this one short. It seems to me that the main point of this one was to get some amazing visuals during Homer's vision. In that regard the episode succeeds rather nicely. The main conflict is yet another Homer and Marge relationship episode. As the great Johnny Cash points out Marge may not be Homer's true soul mate. I find this conflict rather weak but they do begin addressing it in the very first scene of the show so they definitely put some effort into making it believable. Thinking about it more though Homer and Marge don't seem like they'd have many things in common. This is very slightly touched upon actually back with Mindy Simmons in Season 5's "The Last Temptation of Homer." I found it interesting there and continue to find it interesting but the whole resolution here comes off as rather lazy and covered up by one Homer/Marge scene inside the lighthouse. Of course I think we're supposed to just accept that they belong together considering all the history we have as this was already the eighth season. And I'll admit that the very end shot of the two shadows kissing was rather sweet.
The last act is easily the weakest part of the episode but the little montage with Homer walking was better than I'd remembered. The fish devouring the other fish and then giving that evil smirk was nice. The best gags in the last act aren't that funny though they're mostly just "cute" like the Batman gag. Homer going crazy in the darkness of the lighthouse was somewhat nice though I suppose. The opening act with Homer as the bad-ass at the Chili Cook-off was probably the strongest from a humor standpoint and again the animation and voice work by Johnny Cash are both enormous strengths the episode has going for it. I'll say 4/5 but I used to view this much more favorably when I was younger.
PS: Just as an aside I've felt ever since I saw it that were Johnny Cash still alive they would've given the medicine woman's role in The Simpsons Movie to his space coyote character instead in what I would've felt to be a wonderful callback. Alas, 'twas not meant to be...
So this is my turn to pick an episode.
Well, I choo-choo-choose...Lisa's Date with Density, my favorite episode of the season 8.
A good episode to pick. 'Lisa's Date with Density' is pretty underrated.
It's also a great episode for Milhouse, who has some of his funniest moments here.
I was honestly hoping you wouldn't pick that one Blobulle just cause I'm not really in the mood for much Season 8 as evidenced by how long it took me to watch El Viaje, but I figured you would after looking at your favorite episodes list. Well whatever I do enjoy your pick anyway.
This will be the tenth season 8+ episode of the episode club.
I think it's a solid choice; looking forward to this one.
Just call the thread NHC's Weekly Season Eight Watching.
I see whoever changed the thread name was really on the ball again this week! Yes, Lisa's Date With Density is officially up for discussion!
Good episode except last week I said that i couldn't find the disc with El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer on it, and Date with Density is on the same disc...
So this is the episode that sparked the Lisa-Nelson shippers.
(eg. Miss Diko http://www.nohomers.net/member.php?35581-Miss-Diko)
So again we get an example of kids acting like teens because the story wants it that way.
And I can imagine the disturbance some might experience while watching it.
It never bothered me though.
At least it is a step up from this guy.
So what can we say about this episode?
Well, the B-story was rather average, so I don't really have a lot to say about that.
The A-story on the other hand...
it's weird but the side-characters have all the great lines. (Skinner and especially Milhouse)
What's with the dog at the end though? Since when does Milhouse have a dog?
Well it doesn't matter anyway, it's just something I find weird every time,
also because of the choice of race for the dog. And that dog doesn't walk, instead it does a weird shuffling.
Largo's class has also been updated with Database and Uter.
Although Uter might just be added to serve the joke.
Another example of a situation to serve the joke is the strange location for the window in Ned's bedroom.
During this rewatch it felt wrong as we've seen the bedroom of the Flanders before and they never had a window right above the bed.
For the rest... that place Nelson lives in, it's really crappy right?
Lisa's Date With Density: A Review
'Lisa's Date With Density' is an episode that isn't talked about that much, and usually doesn't receive much attention by non-regular Simpsons fans/viewers. It's an episode that isn't loved or hated - just liked. It's one of the more down-to-Earth episodes of Season 8, which is why it is sometimes forgotten. In fact, remembering the title of the episode used to be not that easy for me - for a while I thought it was 'Lisa's Date With Destiny', and not 'Density'. Since it is overlooked sometimes, it is a pretty underrated episode. It can also be considered important, as it is the first episode where Lisa falls in love with someone (if you ignore crushes in previous episodes).
'Lisa's Date With Density' is pretty funny, but not one of the funnier episodes of Season 8. The humour and quality of the jokes in the episode is generally consistent throughout the three acts. In the first act, Superintendent Chalmers 'crying like a little girl' over the loss of the Honda 'H', was pretty funny. So was Homer's attempt at tricking Apu. I loved the exchange in the music class, that ended with Mr. Largo shouting 'Nobody likes Milhouse!' The only thing that bugged me about that scene was Todd being involved in the '___ likes ____'. Tut-tut, most unlike him. Getting caught up in the crowd, eh?
The second act was funnier for most of the part. Milhouse's reaction with the milk, and the misunderstanding with the note were great. In fact, Milhouse was hilarious all the way through this episode. This is probably one the episodes where he is at his funniest. Marge's conversation with Lisa, where she claims to have changed Homer, is also, a funny moment that gives us a little insigh into Marge's character. The third act had some funny moments as well, but was not as funny as the second act - it was more about tying up the plot and the subplot. There were some funny moments, like the bombardment on Skinner's house, and Milhouse's final, triumphant pose (seen above). It's pretty funny that he has a peekineese. Never seen it with him before. Still, the breed suits Milhouse.
The subplot was pretty funnier, and had a few more funny moments than the main plot. Some of the townsfolk's reactions to the auto-dialer were funny. Especially Ned continually picking up the phone ('Howdily Doodily...'), and Homer's indignant reaction to the noise made by his neighbours.
Plot and Characters
The plot of the episode was good. It was an original story for it's part, and the first of it's kind. The pacing in the episode was fine, and the plot felt nice and grounded, compared to some of Season 8's wackier or less realistic episodes. The subplot although funny, and a contrast to the (generally) more serious main plot, didn't really go anywhere, and didn't add a lot, except some funny scenes. Although much of the story parodied 'Rebel Without A Cause', which I have not seen, I could still enjoy it. Otherwise, I don't really have much to say about the episode's plot - to praise or to criticise.
I don't normally talk about the animation in an episode, but some scenes in this episode looked very nice. There were some attractive-looking sunset/dusk scenes in this episode, as a fair chunk of it was set at night. The hill with the observatory, with the view over Springfield looked great, and so did the shadows of some of the charcters in the scenes there. The light and shadows in the end scene with Milhouse and Lisa looked great, too.
Overall, 'Lisa's Date With Density' is a pretty good episode, that is unfortunately overlooked. I noticed that it was written by Mike Scully, who has written several episodes I like, and one I adore ('Marge Be Not Proud'). Yeah, his tenure as showrunner wasn't good, but he can write a good episode sometimes at least. Anyway, I enjoy this episode but I don't quite love it, and it's hard for it to stick out in a Season with many hilarious and memorable episodes. It's hard to write much more about this episode, so I'll end it now.
Last edited by Toomanygrandmas; 09-03-2011 at 06:43 AM.
I’m pretty positive I read somewhere that some of the staff considers this one of the most real episodes of the series, if not the most real. It definitely can be attributed to that as a ‘real’ episode of a cartoon. The characters, in some of the scenes, act real. Or at least, more real than usual.
Homer’s plot: this was nice. Homer trying to scam people into giving him money, but no one doing it? Nice. Burns’ comment about “I’d be happier the dollar” is pretty good. The revelation that someone actually did send Homer money, and that it was his dad and Jasper is a funny part. The ending where he was ordered to apologize and asks for money if people accepted his apology? Again, funny. Homer yelling at Maude and Ned to quiet down when they were discussing the phone ringing all night was another good part. I know I am being pretty repetitive in this portion of the review, but there’s really nothing else I can say. I can’t explain why these are funny because obviously humor is objective and if I find these parts funny, there’s a chance people reading it will not. I however did like this. It’s nice how even though the writers could have had a crazy, wacky Homer plot, they stuck with this, him trying to scam people out of money. I much prefer this plot. It’s not wacky and it’s kind of down to earth because people of course do this kind of thing in real life from time to time. I can definitely see Homer trying to scam people and not succeeding. He’s not exactly money hungry, he’s just a man trying to make a few extra bucks, but ultimately failing to do so. Love it.
Lisa/Nelson. Lots of funny parts, including: Nelson reading the note “Guess who likes you”, and then the very next scene shows Milhouse being beaten up badly, “Oh please, Milhouse likes Vaseline on toast”, the ending with Milhouse jumping for joy in the air (nice to see Milhouse be happy), Jimbo saying it was ‘gay’ that Nelson kissed Lisa, Jimbo wondering why Nelson is ‘wasting his time with that Simpson chick’ and then Nelson appearing and saying “Because your mom had a 3 month waiting list”, Nelson kissing Lisa to “shut her up” and then admitting, in his mind that the kiss was nice, etc. Lot of funny parts in this ‘real’ episode. Again this is a real plot. A lot of girls are often drawn to the ‘bad boy’ type, even if they are 3-4+ years older. It’s kind of weird how Lisa just started liking him in this particular episode, unless she had feelings for him in the past, they just blossomed in this outing. But it was still nice. And like I said, the ‘happy’ ending for Milhouse is nice (considering how badly he was beaten up earlier).
A really enjoyable outing from my favorite season. Probably in my top 5 or so for the season. Lots of enjoyable humor, and it’s nice that the plot is more real than others. As a cartoon, it feels real. There’s not really any wacky moments I can think of and the characters act like actual humans, with Lisa playing the role of the girl who likes the older, bad-boy Nelson, and Homer is the guy with the crazy (in a good way) scam to try and get money from people. Definitely enjoyable episode from season 8, and the show as a whole. A+
Directed by Susie Dietter, assistant director Chuck Sheetz, animated by Paul Wee, Sarge Morton, Shaun Cashman, Lance Kramer, Ely Lester, Josh Taback, Eric Stefani, Chris Loudon, and Ethan Spaulding. This episode is the first production of the season, 4F01, but for some reason it was the fifth to air; Alot of Sue's episodes were delayed simmilarly during this period. This is also the next consecutive episode from last week's choice.
Like last week, the first scenes in the episode appear to be the handy work of Paul Wee. He animates the scenes of Chalmers showing Skinner his proudly aquired 1979 Honda.
Then Paul does the bandroom sequence. He adds his personal touch to Mr Largo.
Paul animates the scene where Jimbo and Kearny invite Nelson to throw the coleslaw. Nelson declines.
Into the lunchroom with Lisa, Milhouse, and Sarge Morton.
Sarge is also there when Homer shows Marge his new autodialer. It phones Mr. Burns.
Mort also animates Lisa trying to put the cat in the stroller, and Homer putting "Extra sprinkles" on his donut.
Milhouse is carted out of the school by paramedics, and Lisa tells Nelson how she feels. That's by Shaun Cashman.
Shaun then gets the sequence at the start of act 3 when Jimbo and the others crash Nelson and Lisa's good time on the hill.
Shaun also handles the scene where Ned won't unplug the phone.
Lance Kramer animated the chalkboard sequence; He drew Lisa with his nibblet eyebrows.
I think Lance also does Wiggum shooting the autodialer, and the Jimmy Scumbag scene.
Ely Lester does the scene where Skinner accuses Bart, and gets Willie to pry open his locker.
This is the last episode for Ely; after this she leaves to do inbetweening at Disney. Ely returned to The Simpsons in season14, and she is still there, working as Matt Schofield's assistant.
The scene where Homer drives recklessly and checks his mail is by Josh Taback.
Eric Stefani aniamtes Homer breaking the wheels off the autodialer.
Last edited by zartok-35; 09-03-2011 at 10:06 PM.
I was in the last thread and I'd like to join again. Hopefully I'll be able to participate more than I did in the other one.
“Lisa’s Date with Density” is one of those episodes that touch your heart and tickle your funny bone. This was a great episode to rewatch and a fantastic addition to the season eight.
The plotline is cliché for the most part – a young girl falling in love for the first time with the least likely candidate. The only episode of any show with this theme that I can stand, I agree that this episode is real and touching. The subplot, of Homer running a telemarketing scam, is just as good might I add; it saves this episode in the humor factor.
After getting in trouble for laughing at a prank Nelson pulled on Groundskeeper Willie, Lisa begins to fall for the school bully. At first repressing her feelings, Lisa then tries to approach Nelson and get to see a new side of him. Lisa's character development in this episode is outstanding, her first true "romance" buds in this episode and she has to cope with the harsh reality that you can't change who a person is.
As for the subplot, which in hindsight seemed to be a, successful might I add, filler for humor; I enjoyed it utmost. Homer's yelling to Ned and Maude, the latter who keeps yelling to her husband to unplug the phone as Homer's telemarketer scam keeps re-dialing their number. Wiggum's "it got me out of the bath seven times! Seven!" is a funny line, along with Burns' quip after being asked for a dollar from “Happy Dude”: "I'd be happier with the dollar.
Overall, this episode is a solid, emotional, humorous addition to season eight and a great moment of character development for the quasi-ignored Lisa. A+/5/5 for me.
Last edited by Little Nellie Kelly; 09-03-2011 at 10:01 PM.
Last edited by CousinMerl; 09-06-2011 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Not really needed; please delete this post if possible.
Written by Mike Scully and directed by Susie Dietter, 'Lisa's Date With Density' is the seventh episode of the eight season and is in my opinion a solid episode; It was some time since I last watched it and my opinion on it hasn't really changed. The episode has quite a nice central story, a fun little subplot and some really funny moments scattered throughout. The main plot dealing with Lisa and her crush on Nelson Muntz is rather simple and despite the fact that this kind of plot isn't that uncommon, I think the reason this one works so well and is entertaining without getting dull is much because of the characters, which of course is a good sign; the subplot about Homer and the auto-dialer he gets his hands on is an entertaining and fun addition which doesn't take away from the main story. I think the episode succeeded much because of the fact that it came out during this period of the show and I don't think it would have worked as well during the Scully era (which might sound a bit ironic since Scully wrote this one) or maybe even later on.
As for the animation, it does it's job well and is quite effectful at times, utilizing shadows, angles, lighting and some other effects that heightens the viewing experience quite a bit, perhaps especially for animation fans. The episode is well-paced and the cast of characters are well-used, even the secondary characters. Speaking about the characterizations, they seem to be in order and I did not notice that anyone of the characters were badly portrayed, but that one bit when Lisa has brought Nelson home and tries to forcibly push Snowball (the cat) down into a baby carriage was a bit off since it kinda felt below her and she has never done things like that before; honestly, it almost makes her seem like more like a normal five-year old than the smart eight-year old she really is (maybe I'm too harsh, but that's what I felt after rewatching it. There are no celebrity guest stars in the episode and I don't miss them here, since this is one of those episodes that works just well without any guest stars.
Regarding the humor, there's quite a bit of good jokes and gags in the episode, such as the opening scene with Skinner and Chalmers, Skinner trying to steal the H from Kearney's Hyundai ("Hey, get away from my car!"), Homer attempting to pass candy off as donut sprinkles ("It was like that when I got here, it really was!"), "Right now Superintendent Chalmers is at home, crying like a little girl!"*the children laughs*"I guess it is a little funny", "Aw, gee; I'm standing right here, sir", Burns thinking that he will be "happier with the dollar", Largo shouting that "Nobody likes Milhouse", "Guess who likes you?" and the aftermath of the line, "Oh please, Milhouse likes vaseline on toast!" (Bart's reaction to the line makes it even better), Homer stopping the auto-dialer as it rolls away towards Frink's house and breaks off it's wheels, "Now, he's a whole new person""Mom?""He's a whole new person, Lisa.", Homer yelling at Ned and Maude twice for talking loudly about the auto-dialling while he is trying to sleep, "What did you say about my mom?", Skinner's mother looking out the window as the bullies are mooning the house even though he tells her not to, "Lisa's window is the next one", Skinner finding what Nelson put in his bird bath (the somewhat faint "Noooooo" is pretty great), Milhouse accidentally choking the dog with it's leash as he jumps up in the final shot and the mysteriously repaired auto-dialer sending out an apology from Homer during the end credits.
Overall, it's not a completely perfect episode, but I don't deny that it is an really entertaining one with a solid plot and an almost equally good subplot (speaking of which, I like how an element from the central plot, Wiggum and his officers, ties into the subplot which is when they break into the Simpson home in search of the ones who vandalized Skinner's house and Wiggum fires his gun at the auto-dialer); I also like the emotion they put in the episode and that helps it, like the characters themselves as I've said, and the ending scene with the freeze frame is great. Bottom line; it's a really good episode from the first half of season eight and it is as entertaining as before, so it's definitely rewatchable stuff.
Apologies for missing out on last week's episode. I like El Viaje but I just didn't get around to watching it with some other things going on.
Interestingly I managed to catch Lisa's Date With Density on TV last night. While not among my favourites of the classic era, it offers plenty of great stuff.
I've found this episode almost seems like a bit of a paradox, as it was rather hard to buy Lisa and Nelson in a relationship, yet in terms of what happens in the episode it's probably one of the most grounded. Even stranger still is this being a Mike Scully writing credit, although I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised given that he did also pen Marge Be Not Proud.
The A-story doesn't carry with it instant comedy, at least from my perspective, instead taking the approach of showing the interaction of the two main characters, but then of course there are pretty memorable moments whenever they incorporate Milhouse into it (what are big sisters for, guess who likes you, the ending). I think they did an admirable job at least trying to make the unusual dynamic between Lisa and Nelson work, although I still really don't care about Nelson and that could be a reason why I don't value this episode even higher. Lisa is great however despite the storyline seeming a little old for her. I'd have been interested to see her act a little more, well, younger like some of the earlier love stories from the show such as New Kid on the Block and I Love Lisa.
There's also comic relief with Homer's story. From Homer hilariously breaking off the machine's legs to Wiggum's assault of it to the end credits bit, they get a lot of mileage out of it. Actually thinking about this part of the episode maybe Scully's credit isn't hard to believe at all as he used Homer in this manner on several occasions in his classic era credits.
A good episode in the last consistently good season. 4/5 (B+)
To view various lists about my Simpsons opinions, click the link below.
Lisa's Date with Density
For another week I find myself very late for my review. I blame all the Season 8 love, even though I love that season. Anyway, I am always surprised at the quality of episodes written by Mike Scully before his time as show runner. He wrote Lisa on Ice, which I love, Two Dozen and One Greyhounds, which I find both a masterful parody and really funny and entertaining episode, and he wrote the sentimental favorite of myself and my mother, Marge Be Not Proud. And then we have this episode, a rather funny one involving Lisa's relationship with Nelson Muntz. The most involved Nelson was in any episode before this one was probably Season 1's Bart the Genius where he got his bully identity. We get a deeper look into his life here and probably the deepest one until maybe Sleeping With the Enemy from Season 16, another episode I really enjoy.
The first thing that struck me when watching this one was Skinner's deeper voice. This was probably the second to last season to feature that Skinner voice. Other characters like Kearney had a higher voice here. Mr. Largo sounds just about the same though. I love the scene of Nelson with Willie and Lisa's enjoyment of it. It shows us that Lisa is not above laughing at things that kids would enjoy. I also enjoyed the deleted scene with Lisa and Nelson that went on for a surprisingly long amount of time. The use of Milhouse in this episode as the friend with no shot is also great and gives us a satisfying ending and that great scene where Nelson beats him unconscious.
The scenes with Lisa and Nelson are fun to watch. Nelson's awkwardness comes across really well in such lines as not caring about the cat and feeling like a tool with his new clothes. I also think this episode was the first where we see Nelson's home, and that he doesn't live very well. The ending at Skinner's is very funny, particularly the mooning and Skinner's far away no when he discovers what was left in his birdhouse. I also like the quick and grounded ending to Lisa and Nelson's relationship, one which would be hinted at in later seasons again, along with her relationship with Milhouse actually.
The B-story involving Homer with the auto-dialer provides a nice relief to the kids' story and has many funny moments. My favorite gag of the entire episode is Homer shouting at Ned and Maude to shut up. It is just a great line reading by Dan that rarely fails to make me laugh hard. The callback when Nelson hits Homer's window by mistake is also nice.
I really like this episode and find it holds up very well over the years. I would probably give it a 4.5/5, rounded up to a 5.
*I liked the scene where Wiggum points out how the Chief of Police doesn't go out on calls.
*The scene with Homer, Frink, and the auto-dialer was also good.
*Perhaps not ironically but certainly at least coincidentally Nelson insults Lisa's big butt in this episode and later defends it in Sleeping With the Enemy.
Alright, good stuff, now please no more season 8 for a month or two at least okay?
As mentioned (I edited it from it's original writing) in my review for "Lisa's Date with Density", I'd like to join the group again. Thanks in advance if I can!
Okay, it's my choice this week. I hope my choice will lead to some good debate (which I feel has been lacking these past few weeks), because it's certainly a very divided episode in terms of fan opinion. It's....
Lisa the Skeptic!
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