View Poll Results: How would you rate this episode?

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  • 5/5 I wanna see more Teddy Roosevelts and less Franklin Roosevelts!

    15 12.20%
  • 4/5 Felt like being a member of the Rough Riders.

    53 43.09%
  • 3/5 SKINNER!!!!!!!

    30 24.39%
  • 2/5 Damn Roosevelt!

    16 13.01%
  • 1/5 Felt like being shot and having to immediately give a 90 minute speech.

    9 7.32%
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  1. #1
    Food-Crazed Maniac Oh, that's raspberry!'s Avatar
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    Rate and Review: "Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts" (NABF17)

    October 2, 2011: When Superintendent Chalmers manages to make learning about Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders fun for Bart and his class he is promptly fired. Bart and the class decide to hold the school hostage to get Chalmers his job back in the all new "Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts" episode of The Simpsons. Discuss!


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    Last edited by Oh, that's raspberry!; 10-02-2011 at 09:56 AM.

  2. #2
    Junior Camper IceDoesntHelp's Avatar
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    That couch gag...was kind of creepy. (Didn't get the reference obviously)
    The first and second act were actually very good. I enjoyed the story. The jokes weren't carried on to long either. But a very sloppy way to make things back to normal.
    I was surprised they let Jimbo say "bitches."

    Parts I found funny:
    The father bear trying to eat the baby bear
    "Just drive" *Otto steps on it, and hits a tree*
    "You guys need to get a women"
    The time for change poster with Ralph
    Willy's line.
    Milhouse was pretty funny overall.
    Well if the Muppets can take Manhatten

    give it a 3.5/5 round it to 4.
    Doesn't mean it's true

  3. #3
    Has glower power Financial Panther's Avatar
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    That episode...I didn't feel it. It was a lot like Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song, an episode I don't care for much. I can't really buy Bart becoming obsessed with Teddy Roosevelt. Maybe if there was a legitimately good reason, but there didn't seem to be one that could realistically captivate Bart like it did. I also feel that the episode tried to explore Chalmers a bit more, but it didn't really work. Chalmers is a pretty flat character, and I think they tried to find more than there was with him. It was also a little light on the jokes. Still, nothing was offensively bad. 2/5.

  4. #4
    Food-Crazed Maniac Oh, that's raspberry!'s Avatar
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    This one had aspects of several other episodes going on. I was reminded of Sweet Seymour Skinner, Grade School Confidential, and Lisa Gets an A at some points. This one was definitely more of an interesting, story driven episode than gag fest. As such laughs were minimal but I still managed to enjoy it. The couch gag by Ren and Stimpy creator John K. was alright but I felt pretty neutral about it honestly.

    The opening at the fundraiser was pretty slow but things definitely picked up when Skinner told off Chalmers. I enjoyed seeing this new side to his character including learning about his wife and his thoughts on the education system. The episode's resolution was really rushed though. Parts I did laugh at include: The pic of Roosevelt punching Burns, Homer's first trip up the treehouse about cyber-bullying, Lisa and Bart's little Roosevelt debate and Grampa's diatribe, and Nelson duct taping Martin to the door. Easily the funniest gag of the night though for me was the Breakfast Club reference.
    Overall I'll say similar quality to last week actually, 3.5/5 rounded up to 4.

    PS: Was not expecting the Night at the Museum reference at the end so that got a smile out of me as did the basic design/look of Bart wearing the hat and spectacles.

  5. #5
    Hired Goon
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    My god, what the hell was I watching?

    The very idea that a bad egg like Bart could be turned around that fast, even by a really good teacher, is very implausible. Soon, it becomes a rehash of Seymour Skinner's Badass Song, but with Chalmers as the subject. After that, Bart's group takes over the school, followed by him being rehired as "super-duper-intendent?" WTF? While it was a little better than last week, it was still a very weak and nonsensical episode. It barely even raised a smile.

    D+ is my final grade.
    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


  6. #6


    I liked the premise in which there was a outstanding set up with the auction. We had some great interaction with Bart, Superintendent Chalmers, and his peers. The discussions of Teddy Roosevelt was interesting. But it took a dumb turn and dragged into a situation that was like "Whacking Day" meets "Grade School Confidential"

    3/5

    Now we have Lisa playing a tuba in the intro and John Kricfalusi of Ren and Stimpy fame writing the couch gag?

  7. #7


    3/5 It was good. Had an interesting storyline to it, however, I find it hard toRoosevelt believe that Bart would have become that interested in Teddy Roosevelt. However, with the way commericals are anymore they really have to get to the point a lot quicker than what they use to. Anyway, I got a couple of chuckles out of it but nothing that was laugh-out-loud funny to me but still it was good for what it was.

  8. #8
    Bake 'em away toys! The Wiggs's Avatar
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    I liked it. It had a very fresh feel to it. It's not often Chalmers gets this much attention and he seemed like a pretty cool character. I especially enjoyed the fact that the story kept moving. There wasn't a boring/pointless/annoying B-story getting in the way. Some good laughs too. I liked this one. 4/5

  9. #9
    Hired Goon
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    Sorry, Wiggs, but I disagree. I thought this episode needed a B-story. It was obvious that this premise was too thin to be a single plot.

  10. #10
    Food-Crazed Maniac Oh, that's raspberry!'s Avatar
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    Too thin? I actually think the episode could've used more time, both to give some time for Bart's Roosevelt obsession to sink in and make it more believable, as well as to better flesh out the ending, so no B plot was necessary and the main plot was probably too thick for one episode actually, certainly not too thin.

  11. #11
    Samule L Brockowitz zartok-35's Avatar
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    The relationship between Chalmers and Bart and the boys was very nice. The forest trip was the best part of the episode. I didn't see a whole lot after that, though.
    I thought the couch gag was particularly funny, considering how long it was.
    Last edited by zartok-35; 10-02-2011 at 06:35 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by biffwestwood View Post
    But it took a dumb turn and dragged into a situation that was like "Whacking Day" meets "Grade School Confidential"
    Yeah, I found it a little derivative in that regard as well, especially when you factor in the whole "Sweet Seymour" thematic connection that others have pointed out. From the writers' point of view, this observation is unfair. We all realize that doing a completely original plot is going to become more difficult, the farther you go into the series. So the similarity is understandable, I guess. But these kinds of observations kinda come with the territory for such a long-running series. It's another one of those indications that The Simpsons isn't really a fresh show.

    Overall, kind of a mixed bag. I feel like the dialogue writing was noticeably stronger here than in other episodes, with not as many stilted "Who would actually say that?" kind of moments. And some of the jokes worked all right for me. I laughed pretty hard at Chalmers and Jimbo's exchange about the school failing. A nice clever wordplay joke right there.

    I also liked the heart of the episode with Chalmers teaching the kids. It makes a lot of sense that a more hands-on experience approach would work with that group. I picked on the episode earlier for that "Sweet Seymour" similarity (this time with Bart/Chalmers), but at least having all the other kids there made the episode feel a little different.

    How they got to that point and how they finished it was the problem. The opening setpiece with the fundraiser worked pretty well and Bart's "prank" was all right. Bart just strolling back in there afterwards felt a little OOC, though, like even he's not really trying anymore. And I don't completely buy the hand-off to Chalmers. They don't really do a good job of explaining what makes this instance worse (or different) than other Bart pranks, where Chalmers wants to step in. I get the "repeat offender" logic to it, but they don't do a good job establishing beforehand that Chalmers is cracking down (or changing his mood). It felt more like, "the plot dictates that I need to arbitrarily decide that enough is enough, so enough is enough."

    And then they have to raise the stakes by Chalmers being fired and the kids taking over the school. This kind of scenario has been seen enough times (on this show and others) that I just got kind of bored with it. There's nothing particularly memorable about it. It's just the kids taking over the school, the police show up, kids get what they want. Hooray for everything.

    Overall, we'll call it a 2/5. I do appreciate its effort to flesh out Chalmers' character a little more, just didn't care for the execution of the plot.

  13. #13
    Αdministrator Sam's Avatar
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    Better than the craptacular premiere. I honestly enjoyed this one, as Gary Chalmers is probably one of my favorite underdeveloped characters on the recent episodes. I thought Teddy would have a slightly bigger role for some reason, but it was good enough.

    Anyone notice Theodore and Mr. Burns boxing, and Teddy's knocking him out?

    Overall, a pretty good episode. 4/5.

  14. #14
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    Interesting idea for a story, executed moderately well. Humor not bad, but a bit lacking. Loved the Breakfast Club part (particularly Chalmers' line at the end), though a bit peeved they didn't use the same exact song from that scene in the movie.

    Probably around a B-, so I'll be nice and give it 4/5.

  15. #15
    Zombies Rise from the Sea
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    Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts

    Well; we haven't had a Chalmers episode in like ever, so I'm guessing this is it... Frankly it's disappointing...

    For one... I do appreciate the efforts to flesh out Chalmer's character but it's all for naught; as the episode mainly focuses on Bart rather then Chalmers... The stuff they do expose for Chalmers do does seem to be moderate, as in "He's a guy who wants to be known was a strict educator but deep down wants to live his way of education by taking the kids out and connecting with them on a deep level/cowboy." (That flashback/refrence added something but I did not enjoy that Breakfast Club reference, it just felt really, really cheap.) I would of liked to see more of Chalmers as it would of made his character more unique and less cliched but I guess they don't know how to utilize the four acts for a Chalmers based episode.

    The episodes focus on Bart does somewhat work as he delivers some good lines (and a good imagination sequence, I'm very susprised by that.) but other then that he feels unbelievable and this obsession with Roosevelt is sudden. I mean there's no natural buildup; there's no buildup with skinner. It's like he's suddenly obsessed with Teddy Roosevelt (though a mention set it off, it still feels sudden as he reads through books, looks through websites and well, suddenly gets excited. I mean buildup is needed to understand why Bart loves Roosevelt, why Chalmers wants to teach Bart and how this entire thing is bonding them together; without buildup you have to rely on the suspension on disbelief, which means that you'll have to trick yourself into believing that Bart is genuinely interested in Roosevelt; and you always feel bad when you trick yourself...

    The time Bart and Chalmers do spend does feel a bit magical and with work, could resemble an old-school Simpsons episode; I mean the bullies dialog adds to the episode (could of needed more of it even though they were forced in to the story.) and the various stuff they do have the basic elements, but since this is a modern-era Simpsons episode, most of it does feel awkward and forced, such as that Nelson thing where he instantly mentions that life is getting better but it's immediately going to get worse (the good thing then a bad thing moment) and it's executed in the most cheapest way possible; had they put some more time in it, we could of had more of Chalmers character (I mean just look at Bart and Skinner, that was a natural relationship and one that was not done in a forced/unnatural way.), we could of had the feelings of Nelson and we could of had a better scene with the school board which results in Chalmer's firing (which is sudden, and yet we don't get more of Chalmer's character.), but aside from that, they do seem to have somewhat of a good chemistry and again with work; it could work naturally (as in a natural Bart and a natural Chalmers bonding and forming a relationship.)

    Of couse, Bart and Chalmers isn't the most important thing; I mean we do get some scenes at the school and while we get a glimpse of the school board and some of the teachers, it just isn't pulled off in a way that can help the episode. I mean most of the board members remain silent, the ones that we've come to seen constantly have the lines and it just doesn't seem to expand pass the (school is cheap, horrible to work at and everything is valuable.) Hell, some of the scenes in the school during the first act is good but it just plays part to a Bart prank which I can't even question anymore, I'm guessing Bart has the ability to convince operators now; how else can his pranks work in every episode possible... Also it wasn't a very good prank, I just felt bored while watching it but hey, anything to move the episode along right.

    Everything does move up to a point where Bart and the Bullies he's bonded with team up to take over the school (and with mostly no buildup whatsoever, mostly to play way for a lame Homer line.) and while it does provide some interesting possibilities, it's mostly wasted for Jokes and a parody of a hostage situation... I mean we don't even get the sense that he's scared or that he's in way deeper then he is. All we know is that he's doing this to get the Superintendent back and it doesn't even seem like even they take the situation seriously. Chalmers and Bart converse like in the movie "First Blood" and many other movies but it just isn't there, there's no emotion or character; nothing... I blame the 4 act structure for this, with a 3 act structure it could be more coherent, more involving just more... good... and it ends with seconds on the clock with Wiggum shooting the guy just before he would of took over the school by having his gun drop and shoot the school guy who gives his job back for mostly some reason other then getting shot before they invade the school. And everything returns to normal with Chalmers and Skinner pals and a small scene with Bart just to close everything out; I'm guessing Bart and Chalmers will become enemies again once the next episode airs...

    So, while the intentions are well mannered. It's poorly paced, it's very sudden and it doesn't even go in depth with the character and the emotion; I have to give them props for focusing on the story rather then the jokes but if the story isn't well developed and if the characters aren't fleshed out in a natural way then the stories a waste, and if the jokes aren't memorable/really funny then they're just cheap laughs. This episode is the example of what The Simpsons has turned into, disposable entertainment meant for a quick laugh or two. Well, except for a few who are still entertained by it, most of us wish that this show gets better soon or most us wish that this show would just end... But still, nice try Simpsons.

    4.0/10
    Last edited by Zombies Rise from the Sea; 10-03-2011 at 08:18 AM.

  16. #16
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    Holy crap, for Zombie Simpsons that was really good! 1.5/5

  17. #17
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    I pretty much wasn't expecting anything knee-slappingly funny out of this, but it had the potential to be A LOT worse. IMO, Bart suddenly taking an interest in T.R. just was too off the cuff to believe and it could've helped to have a tiny bit of drama behind his motivations, i.e. Bart sees Teddy as a strong male-role model that Chalmers introduces Bart to and the conflict would be to have Homer's 'weak' fathering ability brought into question with Bart. Granted that's a bit of "Lisa Substitute" but that's better than Bart and the "Nerd Bullies" (who wouldn't have given a crap about any Roosevelt back in the early years).

    Pro's:
    --"Theme Drowning in Debt"
    --"You just can't turn the tractor on and off!"
    --Selling the shirts with other School names on it.
    --Homer trying to eat ice cream with a fork.

    Con's:
    --No strong, stand-out jokes.
    --No resolution to the lawsuit
    --The adults were too stupid to try to break in another door/window. (I know IT'S A CARTOON, but still...)


    Overall, nothing gained, nothing lost...just another episode in the stepping stone to #500. 3/5, or C+.


    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.

  18. #18
    German cunt Üter's Avatar
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    boring yet not too bad. 2/5
    Don't make me run! I'm full of chocolate!

  19. #19


    well this episode was better than the first one
    and ofc better than american dad and family guy
    btw i didn't read all the post yet but i think no one notice this :P
    http://s1224.photobucket.com/albums/...rent=ralph.png
    hehe :P

  20. #20
    Stonecutter Blobulle's Avatar
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    Worst couch gag ever !

    A good episode, better than the first episode of the season.
    The story is good, the fundraiser at the beginning reminds me seasons 8-10, I like Homer inventing money. Good idea with Roosevelt, good scenes with Gary and Bart, and I'm glad to see where lives Chalmers! There's no bad scenes for once, except the joke of Bart about horses... I wasn't disappointed, but at the end it was too Grade School Confidential and a bit annoying, I didn't appreciate the leg bleeding. A lack of gags, but I'm still happy to find a good story.
    3.5/5 rounded down to 3/5 in the poll.
    Last edited by Blobulle; 10-03-2011 at 08:43 AM.

  21. #21
    Junior Camper Mr.'s Avatar
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    BEST COUCH GAG EVER... Ok, maybe not the "best ever" but one of the bettr ones I've seen in few seasonse. I'm John Kricfalusi fan and I didn't see it comming but I actually enjoy it. It was something new and fresh...

    As for the episode I enjoy it! The story was solid and while the jokes waren't the strongest, there where few that made me laugh (I love the jab about the atheism) and It was interesting idea do have Chalmers as the main character. In a way this episode made him more 3Dimentional and I don't think this episode would work out better with a naw substitute character... I know it won't gona happend but I would wish they woud reffrence Bart/Cahrmers friendship in the future episodes.
    To be fair I found the idea of Bart wanting to lern by getting interested in Roosevelt convincing (I know kids who didn't care much for learning until they found that one character/subject that got them hooked and the rest of education was sort of snawball efect) even if he turn out for the better too quickly... but hey! It's a 20 minutes show so they don't have too much time to spare.

    The only weak part was first few minutes - Bart pranks wasn't that clever or funny, as well the whole auction thing... Simply - Meh!

  22. #22
    Why should they be happy?! The Law-Talkin' Guy's Avatar
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    That was awesome. Homer's comments in the treehouse were great. 5/5.

  23. #23
    Hired Goon
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    Quote Originally Posted by THUG LIFE View Post
    well this episode was better than the first one
    and ofc better than american dad and family guy
    btw i didn't read all the post yet but i think no one notice this :P
    http://s1224.photobucket.com/albums/...rent=ralph.png
    hehe :P
    Wow, Sherri and Terri have a new father, too.

  24. #24
    also known as andy? Homer the Moe's Avatar
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    i actually quite liked this episode. the story was nice and not too formulaic, and it was good to see a previously quite one-dimensional character fleshed out a bit.

    ratings were 6.12 million, btw. down on last week and the equivalent last season.

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  25. #25
    the bear who loves to love c l o n e's Avatar
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    Well as predicted it was a good idea but executed not that greatly. Whilst I liked how plot driven it was (compared to last week's filler ridden episode), it was kinda done poorly, there was almost too much for 21 minutes and various things just appeared and disappeared. Bart's love for Teddy Roosevelt happened too quickly, the bullies being interested also happened too quickly, and the ending was really rushed. Plus there were typical Jean-era gags that go on too long (Bart with the desk, Homer with the invisible money, the milhouse photocopier thing which I think would have been funnier if the photocopier just dropped with no explanation) and generally the plot lacked focus. First it was Bart's prank, then Chalmers comes in, then the bullies come in, then some lawsuit comes up and disappears, suddenly the kids are locked in the school which is resolved too quickly. Homer was also way too groany. Tim Long just cannot write Homer well.

    Whilst I like how they tried to develop Chalmers, it wasn't perfect because by the last half he wasn't very prominent and I didn't really feel any connection between Chalmers and the kids. I mean, it was there, but it just didn't feel right like it did in Seymour Skinner's Badasss Song.

    There were some good chuckles here and there (though I can't really remember them), but the plot needed simplifying and to be more dramatic. With this I think we would have had better Chalmers development and it would help the story flow more naturally. Alas, however, it did not have these improvements and whilst an entertaining outing it could have been much better.

    C
    Last edited by c l o n e; 10-03-2011 at 10:39 AM. Reason: changed my mind.

  26. #26
    Zombies Rise from the Sea
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    Quote Originally Posted by irvine_11 View Post
    Wow, Sherri and Terri have a new father, too.
    So did Nelson, who's mom seemed to be like something out of Jersey Shore.

    Side note: this episode has become overrated faster then anything I've ever seen before.

  27. #27
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombies Rise from the Sea View Post
    So did Nelson, who's mom seemed to be like something out of Jersey Shore.

    Side note: this episode has become overrated faster then anything I've ever seen before.
    For Zombie Simpsons, it doesn't take much.

  28. #28
    Tyrant:helpsOrphanHarvey cats D DEBBS's Avatar
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    Favorite line:

    NELSON: WOW! The forest is beautiful...it's as beautiful as the forest on a can of 'COORS!'

    4/5...good ep!

  29. #29
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    Not Too Shabby

    'Bart Stops To Smell the Roosevelts' never sounded like it would be the standout episode of the season, but neither did it sound that it would be that bad. In the end, it was neither, it was a so-so episode, that could be simply described as 'inoffensive'. There just wasn't really anything terrible to find - but then again, there weren't many (or any) 'great' things about it.

    I won't do this review going through the episode chronologically, but I'll mention the couch gag - Tim Long indeed tweeted that it was something worth looking out for. Uhh, it was... well.... odd. I'm guessing it was meant to be a cultural reference, but the reference flew over my head. It didn't 'melt my brain' like Tim Long said, but it was... interesting. It did go on for a bit too long though, like many new couch gags - though there have been worse offenders (couch gags that drag AND offer nothing interesting to look at). During the past few seasons, it seems that they've been experimenting with different styles of animation. Whilst this is usually just a bit of fun, and farily unobtrusive (like this couch gag), it can sometimes be blatant filler - like in 'Angry Dad: The Movie', where the episode is almost entirely filler. Anyway, I won't spend any longer on the couch gag. The episode itself... wasn't bad. The premise was okay. I guess it was nice to see an episode involving Chalmers, who until now, had never had an episode. It added something to his character, although ultimately, the end character they showed Chalmers as wasn't very interesting. When I first heard that the key cause of the events of the episode would be Bart pulling a prank, I wasn't enthusiatic - Bart pulling at school, which ruins some event, is an overused plotpoint. However, at least Bart's prank here had some substance, and wasn't just random chaos - 'sensless destruction with none of (Bart's) social commentary'. The pacing of the episode was mostly alright, though looking back, there were some scenes that happened too quickly. Bart and co. taking over the school then getting their demands happened too quickly. I look back to 'Grade School Confidential', which had a similar climax, and can't help but notice that they did being locked in the school better than in this episode - so somewhere along the line, they got the pacing wrong. Also, comparing to past episodes, it was a shame that the Skinner and Chalmers interaction wasn't very funny. I wasn't really expecting '22 Short Films About Springfield' levels of humour, but they could have had funnier scenes together (though I do acknowledge, that the episode wasn't really about the two of them together). So their interaction wasn't very funny. Neither was any of the episode really - though that might be a bit too much to ask from some of the latest episodes. At least the episode wasn't 'anti-funny' with horrible gags. There were a few dud lines though. Jimbo's in the meeting at Chalmer's house was just overly-stupid - like Ralph level intelligence. I know he isn't an important character, but he just acted too dumb. Joke-wise, I can't really think of anything I liked much. I did sort of like Homer asking if cyberbullying was going on in the treehouse. I'm usually the first one to through a hissy-fit over unecessary technological/pop-culture references, but they didn't execute the line badly. It is true 'bout everyone worrying so much today about cyberbullying, and not really 'getting' it. Also, in the scene where Bart looked up Roosevelt on the library computer, they didn't stuff in some unfunny jokes about different websites, so kudos to the writers on that part. Characterisation was generally good. Bart's relation with Chalmers was alright, but not as memorable as Bart's with Skinner in 'Sweet Seymour Skinner'.

    Anyway, I've rambled for long enough. As you can tell, I didn't mind this episode. I didn't think it was great, but I didn't think it was too bad. 'Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts' was not memorable, but in the end, not a bad effort either.

    3/5
    Poochie needs to be louder, angrier, and have access to a time machine

  30. #30


    I'm absolutely at a loss with this episode.
    Chalmers has so little to do, he makes Bart's education his top priority. However he doesn't teach him anything but facts regarding one American president. Then he gets fired for a kid falling on a field trip regarding said president. Then Bart takes over the school to get Chalmers rehired.

    So uh, what about Bart's education?



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