I don't find it more realistic that a 10 year old would be so fed up with the daily grind that his ultimate aim is a cruise. He's a good couple of decades too young for that.
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I don't find it more realistic that a 10 year old would be so fed up with the daily grind that his ultimate aim is a cruise. He's a good couple of decades too young for that.
Bart's 35. He just has the body of a 10 year old
After the 2nd viewing, I thought this episode was a little better than the first. I'd probably up my rating to probably a 6/10 rather than a 1/10.
A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again
In an unexpected surprise, Matt Selman takes the reigns from Al Jean to do an episode that has loads of immense potential. Just think, Bart, a cruise ship, a mysterious thing that he'll never do; one could imagine the possibility and with Matt Selman (who executive produced one of the seasons best episodes "The Book Job") behind the boards, nothing could go wrong right?
Well, everything went wrong...
The episode starts off well enough though; the first half of the episode sees Bart trying to get on a ship which will supposedly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and he does stuff that actually has him acting like a child. Begging his parents, actually being excited and not acting like a teenager, these scenes showcase the true character of Bart, the 8-year old kid with a sort of punk-like side to him; however, the Bart shown is a far cry from earlier seasons (even Season 16). A lot of his scenes just don't seem natural, they seem like someone trying to act like a child but not knowing what it takes to act like a child; seeing it in action, it just has a bare resemblance to anything that a child would do. Adding to that awkwardness is the voice actor Nancy Cartwright who just doesn't give the tone, the wording, the impact or even the enthusiasm that Bart really needs; with that, the character could of thrived and the episode as a whole would of been better then what we got, still, he did seem like a child though and much of the plot actually seem to be tied to him (as in Bart providing the once in a lifetime cruise that everybody's so happy about), so that was nice... Much of the moments in the first half of the episode are good with barely any of them going on for longer then they should and a few missteps along the way; it actually sets up the episode nicely, gives you hope that the episode will be good what with it's non-overly wacky gags and it's moments which are as natural as possible, The Simpsons characters may play the sidestep to Bart but they play their roles well and they manage to get in good moments throughout; you may think that this episode will turn out okay...
But then they head to the cruise ship.
The cruise ship itself is grand and extravagant; adding to the feeling of fun that the episode provides but unintentionally providing a sense excess that detracts from the episode... while the point of the cruise ship may have been to be grand, take for instance the beginning of the episode; there is an ad which shows the grandness of the ship but just ever so slightly mentions that the cruise experience may not be as shown. The Simpsons has been known for doing satire and parody and they manage to reflect the real world well under certain conditions and they could of had the chance to show a cruise ship in the realest form possible (aka lacking expectations) so why counteract that by showing the grandness of the ship, it just undermines the satirical intentions that the ad has. Not only that but the grandness just undermines whatever comments they're trying to make, whether it's Lisa trying to comment on the crappyness of the Kidzone or... I think that's it. I don't know, they could of added some form of realness by having one bad thing but that ship is literally perfect, it may be a metaphor for grandness and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but having it overly grand just puts people off and gives off the sense that this is a fantasy world rather then a surrealistic world.
The jokes that happen abort the ship could offset the above complaints, I mean being on a cruise ship has it's advantages, the amount of humor that can be provided and the people behind the episode do take advantage of some of that, making some clever jokes that could remind you of the Simpsons of old. (there's even a decent Homer line in there, one which is classic homer.) But of course, the jokes end up being a part of the problem, there are barely any jokes that actually seem funny or even memorable; even after things change up completely later in the episode. Even though there are a smaller number of jokes then there are in the other episodes, a number of jokes shown do the obvious things "Modern Simpsons" is known for, put someone in a position and have them repeat stuff, go all googly eyed over stuff, maybe have them state something that's supposed to be clever and feels forced; you may think that when the episode changes up completely that there would be better jokes but the jokes in that segment rely on you being hooked into the whole "situation" that's going on; that's a problem because there are a lot of jokes like that and if you're not hooked then you may find things like the spa and the court not funny, and if they're not funny then they impact the episode as a whole. Point is, even with a unique situation; they can't seem to come up with jokes that are at least unique, it's like they're not recognizing the potential that's in front of them and they're staring at a cruise ship no less.
That's not to say the actions on the cruise ship are without merit, it plays into Bart's plot by showing them the positive sides of cruises and it also reinforces Bart's reasoning to do what he does when he realizes the obvious; however, a lot of that stuff is obvious and to make it worse they make it even more obvious through that song which in my opinion is overproduced and contains poorly written lyrics that don't try to be clever or subtle. If I were Bart and I was on that ship then I would want to listen to something that would be about having the good things in life and that could go away at any second that did not include lyrics about how things on the ship like friends or Hawaiian shirts or even alcohol would be different back home; being eerily foretelling is better then being obvious because it gives the feeling without spoiling the overall message, I mean no one listens to songs to have them blurt out what you're supposed to be feeling right? Being obvious is one thing but being obvious while being subtle is another; I mean what's wrong with being subtle, what's wrong with showing the good side yet hinting that it'll be over in a week?
The majority of the plot is coherent and flows naturally making what appears to be the best use of the four act structure yet; (with appropriate act breaks no less) there is barely any scene that feels out of place and mostly every scene progresses the plot in a way that feels like it's going somewhere; it's definitely refreshing to see a coherent episode in this day and age with a clear direction of where it wants to go, I like that... but even though it knows where to go, it seems to get itself into a number of bad situations; for example the virus plot. It is interesting at first to see society collapse as the ship turns into a state of disrepair and slowly descends into chaos... Some of the Mad Max inspired visuals are interesting and the idea of it is good but they never make it anything special, in fact it just ends up bringing down the episode as the initial spark of the idea wears off; why is that? alot of the stuff shown is mind-numbingly boring, never have I seen a collapsed society lack excitement or life and the idea behind that was it's supposed to be chaotic. They do manage to do some good things with the plot; for instance they manage to take three separate unrelated shots and use that as plot points for the episode. I'm impressed at the way they managed to do it, I was not expecting those things shown to be used in a plot related way (especially the cruise ship scene) and for them to add to the plot is impressive; so much in fact that it actually gives depth to the episode. To see one thing contrasted with another and one DVD ultimately become the point of the episode where everything changes, it just proves that the writers still have it in them when they're inspired.
And yet it's ultimate goal was to capture the nature of being a kid, a "prank gone right" in their own terms... While it is true that Bart is acting like a child in this episode, I don't think they even succeeded at capturing the nature of being a kid at all. The nature of being a kid is just being a kid, letting one's imagination roam free and being spontaneous, it's not knowing what to expect, it's doing the unexpected and living it up while you still can; the people behind "The Simpsons" don't seem to understand that as much of what we're shown doesn't feel natural, instead it feels planned all the way to the littlest detail. There is little to suggest that this is what he would of naturally done, even the moment where he pulls that infamous prank feels like something that the episode called upon to move it's plot; that lack of suggestion and spontaneity undermines what they were trying to do, and the intentions of the writers can only go so far as the execution of the episode which makes it feel as if it were planned while making people think that it was spontaneous. Even the scenes which are supposed to be cute and charming end up stale, I mean don't get me wrong, they're trying to be cute and one of these scenes has good animation (the animation itself did feel like it was trying to homage Pixar for the 80,000th time though and I've seen better in "Winnie the Pooh (2011)") but when the entire thing ends up being stale then all of creativity and all the intentions in the world can't save those scenes.
The lesson they try to teach us in the end is this, "we should enjoy what life gives them and the small things in life rather then trying to expect big things." It doesn't seem to be worth it to try to teach the lesson considering the inconsistencies we've seen, mostly regarding The Simpsons themselves; I mean Bart isn't that oblivious to not realize what's going on, he can easily notice the mess that he caused just by looking around; I dislike it that they have him be oblivious to the entire situation, it's just an insult to the audience and the plotting of the episode. The way the blame is pointed on the entire family instead of Bart is really cringeworthy; I mean why blame the family when Bart was the only one who did it? his parents have no knowledge of it, he was acting on his own so why blame the entire family; especially like they caused the damage themselves? Plot or no plot, there are some things that can't be excused. Those inconsistencies harm the overall message that the episode is trying to provide and the intentions that Bart did those things for because when you're thinking about how Bart is oblivious to the entire thing and how the entire family is blamed, it overshadows the scenes where Bart is trying to explain what he did or the scenes where they try to teach us something and the whole climax of the episode. It's nice that they want to teach us a lesson but honestly, they fall flat on their face doing it and the overall magic of childhood, the lesson learning; "Babar" does it better to be honest...
The title behind the episode is good but it's not good enough to salvage the episode; there are some things that are good like the pacing of the plot and most of the first half but a lot of the episode falls apart around the second half and barely recovers and there are inconsistencies that muddle the overall message the episode is trying to provide; inconsistencies revolving around Bart no less. A lot of these problems are fixable, if they took the time to notice the problems then the episode could turn out better but I guess something happened that caused them to get glossed over. The episode does have an interesting idea and the writer's intentions are good but really, does it matter if the episode ends up disappointing you that much? Well at least The Simpsons can say they've gone to Antarctica; so there's that...
I must admit Zombies your posts are always the ultimate endurance test and once again I failed.
Anyway has anyone mentioned this is Matt Warburton's last episode for the show yet? If you liked it that's bad news, otherwise congratulations!
This episode was GREAT by modern standards! True, the idea of Bart suffering from ennui, Bart, the boy with the attention span of a goldfish and an attraction for fun like Homer on a donut is a little nonsensical, but hey, it worked. We've seen plenty of Lisa episodes being disillusioned with life, it was cool for Bart to break out of character and take that over for an episode! I guess that even a feisty spirit like his can get bored when it's forced into the dull day-to-day activities that come with attending school. Anyways, loved the opening montage and the music! I thought it was very visually stimulating! The middle of the episode was forgettable the first time I saw it, but it worked the second time. I was a little unnerved by the very old Bart... he's always been the character on the show that was the most full of life, it was depressing to watch that vision of him dying after leading a boring life, all emaciated and hopeless... I thought the plot, while not outstanding, was original enough, I can't think of another episode that it seems to ripping off of! The whole Simpson family trekking through Antarctica thing could have been done better, I mean, cruise gear? Really? But whatever, in the grand scheme, it seems inconsequential. The music at the end coupled with a happy old Bart dying really got me... you know, choked up, chills, the whole shebang... Loved the photos of the happy moments in his life, loved him admitting to it being a great ride and dying while hugging the picture of his family, smiling... wow, getting choked up again just writing this. I wish there had been a photo of him with both his sons but whaddya gunna do. The ending was perfect though, it definitely had the heart that so many episode of late have been lacking! Changed though they are, I really do care about the members of the Simpsons family and I'm happy to know that Bart is happy with his life when he dies, especially after he's always been shown to live a completely pathetic life in other flash-forwards. If the rest of the episode was good, the beginning and the ending are the two parts that really dragged this episode to 5 status, and those two minutes on both sides of the episode will be the parts that I will rewatch over and over again.
PS though is it just me or is Bart's voice getting really whiny in all the episodes?
@yeahmkay You do know that the future seen on the show isn't set in stone right?
And for the episode getting a 5 star rating because of the ending and beginning, just because it's cinematicly presented does not mean it elevates the quality of the episode; I mean sure, it's fancy but people watch these episodes to be get invested in the characters, watch 30 minutes of quality programming and be entertained, not to watch specifically those cinematic scenes that seem to come from "The Simpsons Movie". If people watched these episodes for the cinematic scenes then there wouldn't be much in terms of plot, character or jokes.
Homerland (3.5/10) Treehouse of Horror XXIV (5.0/10) Four Regrettings and a Funeral (4.0/10) YOLO (4.5/10) Labor Pains (5.0/10) The Kid is All Right (3.0/10) Yellow Subterfuge (5.5/10) White Christmas Blues (1.5/10)
But what bugs me is the episode was 2 minutes of genuine emotion / funny stuff and 20 minutes of stinking shit on a stick and the episode would get a majority of 5/5 votes.
More broadly, you're assuming that many people who dislike the contrivenances are purposely digging for things they like to criticize, or focus on things they maybe shouldn't care about. That's simply not true, one of my biggest complaints is that for all of the problems here, this episode wasn't able to compensate for the unfunny, unclever surrealism with humor, which would've made these (and the classic era) contrivances almost unnoticeable.As for contrivances, I don't see an issue. No more contrived than any plot in a classic episode. There's enough room to breathe in this cartoony world, to allow for a ship's crew stranding them in Antarctica.
(and for the 85th fucking time, I know the classic era wasn't 100 realistic and it had SMART surreal humor, not boring "let's confuse it with actual wit" surreal humor)
I'd rather have the family wind up on a floating shithole from the get go because when something is show too good to be true on TV, it's...too good to be true. This episode was a double strike of fail: the ship was too perfect when things were going great and it was a war zone when bart's plot contrivance...er, prank kicked in.Personally, I really enjoyed it. Not perfect, but still very entertaining. I love the fact that the family actually had a truly great time on the cruise, without pain gags for once, at least until the plot twist.
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.
The name's........... RANGO!
Le Jake, can I be honest... I love Rango... but I am missing your old avatar and moniker.
I read Zombies' review and while it's a little too long and nitpicky he says things that are true.
Yes, Bart didn't act or felt like a child when he watched the cruise on tv and said "Want want want" (compare this to the Mt Splashmore scene, it just feels more energetic and childlike).
Yes, the fact that he purposely sold all his stuff to go to the cruise felt a little mature and awkward. He lamenting about his life is one thing, deciding and knowing that this cruise would be his ultimate life experience is another. Going on this cruise is not like deciding a career. It's not supossed to be the one thing that changes his life. So yeah, he can totally watch the spot and find it amusing and think it would be cool to go to be entertained for a change. But this plot turns that into his life goal from the start, when it would have been more natural to introduce it later.
It was nice that the family helped selling their things and that they were portrayed as poor for once, though. That's the thing with this episode. For every good thing there is a less good thing or vice-versa.
I also think that maybe they put too much effort in the backgrounds of the cruise looking fancy. I mean, it's important for the plot to make it look great, but it almost gets distracting from reality. I must say it is probably a written thing. Surely the writers wrote in the script that the cruise should have this and this and that, it wasn't the animators that wanted to draw more and more attractions.
I definitely agree that the prank looks too calculated and not very spontaneous, and the cruise becoming a Mad Max civilization seems too over the top again, on paper it may sounds funny to contrast the perfect situation with the awful one, but like Zombies says, Bart being oblivious to it feels odd. The cruise looks so terrible now that he should be aware people is not going to be happy. Even more, even if he's a kid, he knows he has told everybody that there is an awful virus that will end up with civilization altogether...of course people is not going to be happy. I think Bart is old and smart enough to expect that.
It was really an ambitious plot and I can't come up with a better prank myself, but maybe like some people thought when they read the synopsis, Bart could have just made them change the direction so the trip became much longer. That wouldn't make the cruise last FOREVER, but at least it would be longer. Then he discovers his family is not happy because...I don't know, they need to do things at home?
I also agree the whole family shouldn't be blamed because of Bart, or at least there should be some explanation of it.
I thought the song was ok, though. Yes, it wasn't exactly subtle, but the conflict of the episode wasn't introduced yet. We knew about it because we read the synopsis and watched the clips, but for a viewer watching the episodes for the first time they need this scene where Barts realizes his fun trip is not going to last forever. I quite like the dramatic zoom in in Bart's face during the song.
Still, even with all these flaws, the episode was ambitious and had a lot of good things going for it. Most of the problems come from lack of very funny gags or characters not acting exactly like themselves, but the plot absurdity only bothers me cause it's The Simpsons and I like The Simpsons to be a little more realistic and character-driven, even with the rubber band reality and all that. But the virus prank would have fitted perfectly in a South Park episode, for example, much more because Cartman is the kind of character that wouldn't give a sh**t about other people suffering if he can enjoy the cruise forever. Even more, him being oblivious to his friends not having fun even in the apocalyptic situation would have made more sense since he's so egocentric and hedonist that he tends to think that everybody thinks like him and that him and his friends could have fun without bothering about the rest of the cruise.
Like I said before it would have probably fitted Futurama or American Dad better too, it just needed some fixing or a slightly different approach to feel totally like The Simpsons.
My Simpsons homage!
Initially, I gave it a 3/5 - Is there any way to change my vote? After reconsidering and thinking the episode over, it's probably closer to a 1/5.
looking at the mixed reviews I decided to watch it, It was good... this is not the best chapter of the show but this is far far away to be the worst chapter ever! I loved the plot, I loved the execution, I loved the jokes
The first and second act were really solid, the third was weak and the four was weird but for a random reason I really enjoyed the lisa's speech about the life and the family with the penguins has no sense but I could enjoy that too!
I don't care what you guys says that was a good chapter!
Matt selman, the show needs you!
you are going to kill me because I am not sure how write in english
The Simpsons - Season 24:Moonshine River: B+ |Treehouse Of Horror XXIII: A- |Adventures In Baby-Getting: B+ |Gone Abie Gone: B+ |Penny-Wiseguys: C+ |A Tree Grows in Springfield: B- |The Day the Earth Stood Cool: B+ |To Cur with Love: B |Homer Goes To Prep School: A- |A Test Before Trying: B+ |The Changing Of The Guardian: B+ |Love Is A Many-Splintered Thing: B- |Hardly Kirk-ing: B+ |Gorgeous Grampa: B |Black-Eyed, Please: B- |Dark Knight Court: A- |What Animated Women Want: C |Pulpit Friction: B |Whisky Business: B+ |The Fabulous Faker Boy: C+ |The Saga Of Carl: B- |Dangers On A Train: B+
Family guy - Season 12: Finders Keepers: C+ |Vestigial Peter: B+ |Quagmire's Quagmire: C+ |A Fistful of Meg: B- |Boopa-dee Bappa-dee: C | Life of Brian: B+ | Into Harmony's Way: B |
American dad - Season 9: Steve & Snot's Test-Tubular Adventure: A- |Poltergasm: B |Buck, Wild: B |Crotchwalkers: B+ |Kung Pao Turkey: C+ |Independent Movie: A- |Faking Bad: B+
Bob's burgers - Season 4: A River Runs Through Bob: C+ |Fort Night: A- |Seaplane!: B- |My Big Fat Greek Bob: B |Turkey in a Can: B+ |Purple Rain-Union: B |Bob and Deliver: A-
This was a surprisingly great episode, one of the few i won't forget from this season. I don't comment or even vote much these days, but i felt like i should give this one some praise. As Selman should exec. produce more.
Jean's "Zombie" Simpsons is like the classic "slow zombie that lumbers along and brings you down with numbers" while these Selman "Zombie" Simpsons are the fast paced kind that'll actually chase after you, raising the excitement level.
I kind of like the episode more and more the more times I re-watch it. "Ocean sex is better than land sex. Go to hell, land sex!" I should really stop posting in R&R threads until I see the episode a few times.
I'm not sure howr that's funny. It's like Homer yelling "walking downhill is SO much better than walking up hill!"
That "Ocean Sex" line was full retard Homer. The only way it could've been funnier is if there were crickets chirping or a tumbleweed blowing by, but since they were in the middle of the ocean...
It was just something to pull out of this mediocre at best episode. I look for positives and negatives in all the episodes I watch and like I said, I squeezed all I could out of this episode and that's what I got.
i agree with Rango, that joke was cringe-worthy.
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque
The original Favorite and least favorite by season
Shorts: 1: The Pacifier Watching TV 2: World War III Maggie's Brain 3: Bathtime Scary Movie
Episodes: 1: Krusty Gets Busted The Telltale Head 2: Bart Gets an F The War of the Simpsons 3: Homer at the Bat Separate Vocations 4: Marge vs. the Monorail Krusty Gets Kancelled 5: Cape Feare Lady Bouvier's Lover 6: Homer Badman Lisa on Ice 7: King-Size Homer Lisa the Iconoclast 8: Simpsoncalifragilisticexpialad'ohcious Lisa's Date with Density 9: Girly Edition The Trouble with Trillions 10: Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble" 11: Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner? Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder 12: HOMЯ Tennis the Menace 13: Tales from the Public Domain She of Little Faith 14: The Dad Who Knew Too Little Helter Shelter 15: The Ziff Who Came to Dinner Bart-Mangled Banner 16: Don't Fear the Roofer She Used to Be My Girl 17: My Fair Laddy The Italian Bob 18: The Haw-Hawed Couple The Boys of Bummer 19: Funeral for a Fiend All About Lisa 20: Gone Maggie Gone The Good, the Sad and the Drugly 21: The Bob Next Door The Color Yellow 22: Homer Scissorhands Love is a Many Strangled Thing 23: The Falcon and the D'ohman A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again 24: Hardly Kirk-ing What Animated Women Want
A sign of the end.
My Simpsons Season Rankings:
6 > 7 > 3 > 5 > 8 > 4 > 2 > 1 > 9 > 15 > 13 > 14 > 10 > 16 > 12 > 11 > 22 > 21 > 17 > 24 > 18 > 19 > 23 > 20
My Simpsons Season 25 Ratings
Homerland - C Treehouse of Horror XXIV - B Four Regrettings and a Funeral - C- YOLO - B Labor Pains - C The Kid is All Right - C+ Yellow Subterfudge - B White Christmas Blues - B-
It's not that I hated it, but I didn't especially like jokes like this. The line sounds a little forced. They should have probably ended it at "Ocean's sex is much better than land sex" in a normal voice, without the yelling part.
The idea that sex would be "easier" or "better" in the cruise because of the ocean movements is kind of funny. The attempt at a Homerism by making it a little too obvious and yelling is unnecessary.
On an unrelated note, does somebody else think that maybe Homer and Marge have too much sex recently? I mean, in older episodes this subject was occasionally brought to attention, but now they are either yelling at each other or having sex. It's as if everytime they leave the kids they start to have sex. A marriage normally means less sex than a single couple and in Grampa vs Sexual Inadequacy that was kind of the problem.
This week's upcoming episode will undoubtedly show them having it too, making three episodes in a row, but do I think they show/use it too much?? Naw, watching Bart's Friend Falls In Love today they had it, they had it pretty often in the classic era. Julie always said their sex must be great...
I disagree with that, I mean marriage crises being repeated ad nauseum are one thing, but showing Homer and Marge's positive side is always welcome and certainly unlike the other animated shows on FOX except perhaps Bob's Burgers, I dunno. But I can see why you'd feel that way though it isn't surprising 23 seasons in...
HOMER: Hey, Marge, that's lady GaGa! Let's have good ole fashioned GaGa sex!
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