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Thread: Rate & Review: "Haw-Haw Land" (XABF03)



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  1. #1
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Rate & Review: "Haw-Haw Land" (XABF03)



    Season 29, Episode 10
    Original Airdate: January 7, 2018
    Writers: Tim Long & Miranda Thompson
    Director: Bob Anderson
    Showrunner: Al Jean
    Synopsis: When the Simpsons go to a STEM conference, Lisa falls for a crooning jazz pianist named Brendan (guest star Ed Sheeran). Meanwhile, Bart discovers that he has an affinity for chemistry.

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    R&R Poll Average Score: 2.88 / 5 (as of September 22nd / 40 votes)
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 09-22-2018 at 05:10 PM.
    SEASON 31 RANKINGS
    The Winter of Our Monetized Content - 2/5 / Go Big or Go Homer - 2.5/5 / The Fat Blue Line - 3.5/5
    THOH XXX = Danger Things - 2.5/5 / Heaven Swipes Right - 1.5/5 / When Hairy Met Slimy - 2/5
    Gorillas on the Mast - 4/5 / Marge the Lumberjill - 2.5/5 / Livin' la Pura Vida - ?/5
    THANKSGIVING OF HORROR = ?????? - ?/5 / ?????? - ?/5 / ?????? - ?/5

  2. #2
    A source of fun Financial Panther's Avatar
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    This wasn’t very good. Brendan was an extremely dull character with no memorable traits, and the conflict between him and Nelson vying for Lisa’s affection wasn’t done very well. There was some really stupid stuff, like the things in the characters’ eyes. The way to separate Lisa and Brendan was pretty dumb too, with them saying that he couldn’t be at the school because his house was 50 feet into West Springfield or something like that. They couldn’t have let him finish the talent show and then kicked him out of the school? Eh, whatever. The chemistry plot with Bart was a little better, and I liked the twist at the end where he was going to use his chemistry project to commit dastardly deeds. A very mundane episode that was just another instance of Lisa falling for a guy. 2/5
    Favorite and least favorite by season
    1. Krusty Gets Busted There’s No Disgrace Like Home 2. Bart Gets an F Dead Putting Society 3. Homer at the Bat Like Father, Like Clown 4. Brother From the Same Planet Krusty Gets Kancelled 5. Cape Feare Lady Bouvier’s Lover 6. Homer Badman Another Simpsons Clip Show 7. King-Size Homer Lisa the Iconoclast 8. Homer’s Enemy El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer 9. Bart Carny 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. I, Annoyed Grunt)-bot Bart-Mangled Banner 16. A Star is Torn On a Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister 17. My Fair Laddy Bonfire of the Manatees 18. The Haw-Hawed Couple You Kent Always Say What You Want 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. Donnie Fatso 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 Moonshine River 25. The War of Art What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting 26. Sky Police Let’s Go Fly a Coot 27. Halloween of Horror Lisa With an ‘S’ 28. There Will Be Buds Moho House 29. Springfield Splendor Throw Grampa From the Dane


  3. #3
    insert usertitle here Egg's Avatar
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    -- Pretty dull song. There was some pretty bad singing in it.
    * Nice Hans Moleman scene tho
    * "Stu-Icide"
    ** Pretty nice piano song.
    Overall awful first act. 2/10.
    * "Bloody hell"
    ** "He used flipped with a double meaning"
    * 2020 Opiod Olympics
    --- Awful singing from Nelson. The cast just can't cut it from singing
    End of act 2, 4/10.
    ** Nelson's Washboard.
    * Ralph's line
    * Homer swallowing earrings
    Closing Thoughts:
    Really dull.
    The story was a generic Lisa/Nelson/Oneshot love triangle, with nothing to really distinguish it, and the humor was mostly bland. 3.5/10.
    You're a dolt with the IQ of a peabrain that probably loves lowbrow sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory, Frasier and Seinfeld to not grasp the biting satire and wit of the classic 65 (Rugrats).

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  5. #4
    in the back of a pick-up Ryan's Avatar
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    "This was supposed to be a parody of Moonlight, not La La Land!"

    what parody

    2/5
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  6. #5
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Okay, yeah the La La Land parody was half-assed. Frankly, heading into tonight's episode I was half expecting them not to pay homage to it outside of the title pun... so what little was there caught me by surprise even if it did come off as poorly executed.

    Bob Anderson was in way over his head when it came to recreating the energy of that opening number even if the music department (surprisingly) delivered. Given the tone of this year one would have expected the opposite to occur.

    That flash-forward bit at the end where Lisa visualized herself with Nelson in a what-if scenario of what could have been was also a nod to the movie (Mia did the exact same thing with Sebastian). And, of course, the forced Moonlight gag referencing last year's Oscar flub I appreciated - but I'm probably the only one here that did.

    This episode needed a better animation director and a full commitment to a La La Land parody (at least as full as Barthood was) in order to come off as more than forgettable. Sadly, they fell way short of the mark here.

    Lastly, Ed Sheeran was miscast. Having a clearly adult voice performer say his character is 11 isn't enough to excuse them sounding like they're easily much older than that. I mean, Topher Grace had the same problem in The Debarted but was at least able to overcome that with his performance. Ed was never afforded the opportunity. Brendan's entire gimmick was to play this pretentious liberal-minded pretty boy who spent the entire episode going, "why would you ever choose Nelson instead of me; I mean look at him".


  7. #6
    太った猫😊 The Goode Family's Avatar
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    yeah this was autopilot simpsons to a t. the opening dance scene was really awkward in hindsight, like it's the only element of the episode that's a direct la la land parody, and then it has nothing to do with the rest of the episode? ed sheeran's character was also nothing, he's just this regular nice dude and then suddenly he's a dick. even as thin as he was written i didn't buy that. sheeran's actual voice acting though wasn't that bad even if he clearly didn't sound like a child (which isn't that much of a crime imo) so uh Props. and that moonlight ending, lol how topical. didn't they ref it in the bowling episode a few weeks back too? what a great mine of pure komadi. 2/5

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovebender.com View Post
    I love women.

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  9. #7
    Your Neighborhood Average Joe Purpleberries's Avatar
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    Well, that was kind of a weird episode. The main plot seems to be going for a La La Land parody but the main plot then regresses into some pretty meh love triangle with the parody barely in mind. Brendan felt pretty generic and indistinguishable from most of Lisa's past love interests. The resolution where Brendan gets moved to a different school because he lives a couple of feet within West Springfield was pretty stupid and contrived. The B-plot where Bart becomes interested in chemistry was actually pretty decent. I'd rather have an episode with that as the main plot instead of this. There was some decent humor, I guess. The music was actually mostly pretty okay although like others here have said it could've used some less sterile animation. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Bob Anderson was also directing the next episode seeing how sterile it looks in the promos.

    Currently, I'm not sure what to rate this exactly. I guess a 3/5(B-/C+) for now. And now, I would like to redirect you to a far superior love triangle episode, Two for Tina from Bob's Burgers.
    Last edited by Purpleberries; 01-07-2018 at 08:49 PM.


  10. #8
    Mmmmmmmm, floor pie
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    This is the fourth time the show has used Grampa as the "old year" and Maggie as the "baby new year" in the opening. All four times were at the start of even-numbered years.

    The heaven scene in the opening song has Rabbi Krustofski, Bleeding Gums Murphy, and Helen Lovejoy, but not, for example, Enda Krabappel or Homer's mother.

    Lisa says Springfield Elementary is a K-6, but in "Mr. Lisa's Opus," she's attending the school in eighth grade.

    The German chemist Bart listens to sounds like Dr. Nick Riviera with a German accent.

    The trophy case is empty? What about the trophy the Mathletes team won?

    "Bart's teacher" says he has an affinity for chemistry; does this mean Bart now has a new permanent teacher?

    Lisa forgets that Springfield has a rather widespread bus system and a subway.

    Cancel the show - not because of the singing, but because Lisa said one of the "forbidden words" - "vulnerable."

  11. #9
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    Best joke "German Chemistry!"

    Here is where it could have suceeded:

    Make Bart story the main story. The writers could have made the kid who doesnt like school, ACHIEVE in something that not only Marge could be proud of but he could be proud of. Without the stunt at the end. No tricks.
    Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy the little devil in Bart, but the writers cheapened and missed out, AGAIN!

    Here's where is failed:

    Well other than being another Lisa episode, it was dull. Brendan was dull. Nelson was a more likable likable character. For fuck sake he played the keytar, that is not cool daddio. The music was dull (Jazz is not America's only purest music form).

    But hasn't this episode been done before, just with Nelson in place of Milhouse? I also think Ed Sheeran was just another flavor of the week character they just thought they had to have in an episode. At least it wasn't as bad as the boy crush episode with Elon Musk.

    2 of 5
    HOMER, YOU'RE DUMB AS A MULE AND TWICE AS UGLY. IF A STRANGE MAN OFFERS YOU A RIDE I SAY TAKE IT!


  12. #10
    Remember Me As I Was 1010011010's Avatar
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    RIP Carl, Jasper, Dr. Hibbert, Skinner, Snake, Agnes, Lovejoy. I guess. Like all bad musicals, gotta start with a pointless musical number.

    Lisa having the munchies >>>>>>>>>Drunk Lisa

    Piano audio of two hands playing while playing only one hand. Whadda faker, a FABULOUS FAKER BOY if you will ha ha ha ha ha.

    BLOODY HELL. I’m British you see, that means I'm charming.

    Eye shapes/something in the water is kinda funny.

    He turned his suffering into entertainment, like the jewish people! –Dolph, 2018

    Like the idea of Nelson doing Jazz to woo Lisa and not being very good at it.

    Shitty rushed ending to Lisa plot of course.

    YEAH XMEN APOCALYPSE

    2/5, LIKE XMEN APOCALYPSE LOL. Yeah whatever.
    Just because I'm stupider than them, they think they're smarter than me!
    Simpsons Season 27 Ratings:
    Every Man's Dream-4.8/10 Cue Detective-6/10 Puffless-7/10 Halloween of Horror-8.4/10 Treehouse of Horror XXVI-(4.5, 5, 3.5) 4.25/10 Friend With Benefit-5/10 Lisa With An 'S'-5.5/10 Paths of Glory--/10 Barthood--/10 The Girl Code--/10 Teenage Mutant Milk-Caused Hurdles--/10 Much Apu About Something--/10 Gal of Constant Sorrow--/10 Love Is in the N2-O2-Ar-CO2-Ne-He-CH4--/10 Lisa the Veterinarian--/10 The Marge-ian Chronicles--/10 The Burns Cage--/10 How Lisa Got Her Marge Back--/10 Fland Canyon--/10 Simprovised--/10 To Courier With Love--/10 Orange is the New Yellow--/10
    Futurama Season 7B Ratings:
    2-D Blacktop-7.5/10 Fry and Leela's Big Fling-7.9/10 T.: The Terrestrial-8.2/10 Forty Percent Leadbelly-6.8/10 The Inhuman Torch-8.4/10 Saturday Morning Fun Pit-(9, 7, 8.5) 8.2/10 Calculon 2.0-8.7/10 Assie Come Home-8.5/10 Leela and the Genestalk-7.2/10 Game of Tones-9.2/10 Murder on The Planet Express-9/10 Stench and Stenchibility-8.5/10 Meanwhile-9.5/10
    Jumping the Shark since 1998...
    Alternate Ending Winner of NHC Survivor Season 1

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  14. #11
    Intergalactic Mod Mr. Teenie's Avatar
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    This one was pretty bad. The musical number at the beginning was kinda decent but was basically just filler. Ed Sheeran's character was boring and existed just for a cliched love triangle story. The way they got rid of him was kinda lame too. Is the romance plot supposed to be a parody of La La Land? I have no idea but at least they dropped a sick Moonlight ref. Bart plot was slightly more interesting. Had a predictable ending though. 2/5

    Also, no Wilhelm scream. Yay.

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  16. #12
    Wrote the book on flimflammin Grifty McGrift's Avatar
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    Brendan... Is eleven? Eleven years old? He looks and sounds like a fucking grown man, with the exception of his small stature.
    It feels so weird when they suddenly decide to continue the story from Lisa's Date with Density. I seem to recall them doing that recently as well, but I can't remember what episode, or what it was even about. It's just to weird since there's been a ton of Lisa-Nelson moments since then, and there's been no indication of a relationship forming.
    You're literally in public. Even if the bullies get to you, what are they gonna do?

    Can you guys PLEASE stop fucking writing episodes AROUND guest stars? Write good episodes first, and should your plot require a new character, come up with a fitting guest star then, like you used to. STOP fucking writing episodes that originates from "Okay, Celebrity McGuestStar needs a character!!!"
    Last edited by Grifty McGrift; 01-08-2018 at 01:40 AM.


  17. #13
    Troy McClure aficionado M.'s Avatar
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    Aw, Nelson was just so damn adorable. I couldn’t help but laugh at Wiggum nervously telling his son to give him back his hat instead of his gun. The ending to Lisa and Brendon’s relationship was so abrupt and was executed pretty lazily.

    As usual, no episode stood out this season so far other than the Sideshow Bob one (which was surprisingly very good). I’m rating this ep a fair 2/5.

  18. #14
    Professional Teleporter Mícheál's Avatar
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    Poll result 2/5 or 4/10

    I was looking forward to this episode. There had been some really good episodes so far (Mr. Lisa's opus and Gone Boy) and I thought they could do a lot with this.

    While there were some lines from the episode that were genuinely very funny, it overall was pretty disappointing to be honest.

    Ed Sheeran's character was REALLY unlikeable. I didn't like him at all. This did ruin a potentially very good episode because ignoring Ed Sheeran's forgettable character, Nelson was really good and Lisa wasn't bad either this episode.

    Bart showing interest in chemistry was okay I thought. I just sorta wish they put a bit more emphasis on the fact he was interested in creating explosions and pulling pranks using his skills, rather than the science itself.

    And also "FIFTY FEET INSIDE THE WEST SPRINGFIELD LINE?" Is that seriously the best excuse to get rid of Brendan they could come up with? The Simpsons has some of the best comedy writers in television and they stuck with a line that I could come up with? Remember when the writers used to say they spent hours coming up with perfect lines for certain moments? Something tells me they didn't spend too long on that one...

    I think it would have been better if they did a Nelson/Milhouse type rivalry and maybe have Ed do a cameo as a judge for the talent show. Anyone else agree?


  19. #15
    Breathtaking Nitsy's Avatar
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    -The opening musical number was fun. It seems random and out-of-place when you first watch the episode (aside from fitting with the title), but it's harmless.
    -I liked seeing Bart take an interest in something academic. It's a nice break from Bart being a useless moron in the rest of this season.
    -Ed Sheeran's voice acting is not bad at all, but the character is just bland. He reminds me of that obnoxious Hemingway kid. Bart and Lisa's love interests (most of them at least) are just vehicles for guest stars. There's no effort to create a compelling character. Yeah we get it, Ed Sheeran can sing. So what?
    -The "Flanders finger" made me laugh. First real laugh of the episode.
    -Nelson suddenly going after Lisa feels a bit random. I get that they needed a rival love interest, and Milhouse isn't much a rival, but there's no build-up. They just picked the only character who would work in this role.
    -Lisa talking to Willie of all people about her love triangle problem? I don't know, I liked this. Apparently even Milhouse confides in Willie.
    -So Lisa actually did make a choice, but it came to nothing (as it had to). Yes, the "50 feet" cop out is pretty stupid, but they need to think of something to get rid of these guest star characters. It seems to be even worse when they bring them back (Mary Spuckler).
    -I liked the fact that Marge continued to trust Bart, even if he acted completely in character by filling the school with "elephant's toothpaste". Another episode where Bart was characterized well. It shouldn't be that hard.
    -Yeah, the ending fourth-wall breaking just seemed unnecessary. It wasn't much of a parody. La-La Land deserved the Oscar though.

    3/5

    Mediocre. Not overtly bad. But a lackluster guest-star was the focus of the episode, and those are never worth much.


  20. #16
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitsy View Post
    -Ed Sheeran's voice acting is not bad at all, but the character is just bland. He reminds me of that obnoxious Hemingway kid. Bart and Lisa's love interests (most of them at least) are just vehicles for guest stars. There's no effort to create a compelling character. Yeah we get it, Ed Sheeran can sing. So what?
    I can think of two exceptions for Bart. The obvious one being Jessica Lovejoy - Meryl Streep took that ball and ran with it. The other - while not as impressive - is Nikki McKenna as voiced by Sarah Silverman. They didn't exactly develop her beyond the initial bipolar setup... but it was still executed in a compelling fashion if only due to the strength of voice acting and how effortlessly she managed to push Bart's buttons. (You could also make a case for Sara Gilbert's Laura Powers but that was just a one-sided crush... although that didn't dissuade the writers from giving Bart two reciprocated love interests her age down the road in Darcy and Shauna).

    Lisa's guest star love interests run the gambit of bland. I would argue the only one of any potential outside of the Milhouse/Nelson staples was Michael D'Amico... and he wasn't exactly a love interest and he wasn't voiced by a celebrity guest star. He was just voiced by Tress MacNeille.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nitsy View Post
    -Lisa talking to Willie of all people about her love triangle problem? I don't know, I liked this. Apparently even Milhouse confides in Willie.
    "Look at me, I'm Milhouse.
    I've tucked me shirt into me underpants!
    I've got no friends, so I confide in Willie!"


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  22. #17
    SuperFriend Kaine's Avatar
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    I didn't expect much out of this episode after they kept hyping Ed Sheeran to be the quest star for this episode. I have nothing against Ed Sheeran and I think he's a decent singer, but he felt miscast for his role in this episode. Brendan sounded to much like an adult, I guess its not that big of a deal and he did sing some good songs. At least Ed's choice of casting didn't feel as forced as the premiere of the latest GoT season...

    The intro reused the same gag with Abe and Maggie but with different years. This has been used how many times by now? Then the opening musical number came out so random but I found it a decent song. Moleman had a funny line and we got to see Jacques again. As for that giant finger crushing everyone down... was that supposed to be the ''Sky Finger'' from Tapped Out?

    First act was pretty fun during the Stem conference. It had some good jokes like Otto mistaking conference names for drugs, Smithers being forced to fool people, and got a good laugh out of Lisa being ''intellectually drunk''. Didn't like the gag with the suicide booth and the Al Gore gag was to random. Bart and the scientist had some ''good chemistry'' indeed. Then they had to introduce Ed Sheerans character for to long and I just waited for the jokes, which were delivered by Millhouse at least. I liked how Bart's story was progressing at that point and got another laugh with Abe being afraid of German science, then Homer's gag with not controlling his knocking due to music rhythm didn't do much to me.

    School scenes were pretty fun with the weird eyes joke. I didn't buy that Nelson would just be interested in Lisa again after a huge break since Lisa's Date with Density. I guess Brendan needed a rival somewhere? Why not use Millhouse then instead? I liked the treehouse gag with Homer getting help from Wiggum to climb up at least, and Homer signaling to Flanders about Bart speaking in tongue. Didn't care much for the rivalism with Brendan and Nelson as I couldn't recognise Nelson as the character he's supposed to be. Anything but a musical specialist who thinks he can win over a seasoned musician. I liked most of Bart's scenes and some jokes like Ralph using a gun and Hoemr swallowing Marge's earrings.

    The last act had a rather unsatisfying conclusion for Brendan, just transfering him away because he doesn't fall into the district. And that after Lisa knew she would prefer Brendan as she imagined how bad a future with Nelson would be. Bart's plot ended on a better note with the ending being kinda surprising. For some reason I liked how Chalmers and Agnes react to Skinner where he needs to settle down with Willy wanting to kill him. Then the ending after the ending... yeah haven't watched either movies so I don't know what I missed.

    Overall its slightly better then I expected where a lot of jokes somewhat save this episode from a below average rating. Brendan was a rather bland character and it felt like they hyped Ed Sheeran way to much for this episode. This is another thing that the show has been doing wrong for quite some time, focussing their episodes to much around quest celebrities while not going for a good story that doesn't need celebrity worshipping. The worst case is ofcourse Lisa Goes Gaga and I had hoped that they learned from that abomination. The saving grace is that Bart's sub plot with him being interested in chemistry is actually decent and it kept me interested trough most of the episode. There's some good jokes and even songs to be found, but what brings this episode down the most is to much focus on a bland new character who won't even appear anymore.

    3/5
    Episodes rated best and worst from each season:
    1: Krusty Gets Busted/Homer's Night Out 2: The Way We Was/Bart's Dog Gets an F 3: Colonel Homer/Dog of Death 4: Marge vs. The Monorail/So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show 5: Cape Feare/Bart Gets An Elephant 6: Treehouse of Horror V/Another Simpsons Clip Show 7: Mother Simpson/Homerpalooza 8: You Only Move Twice/The Canine Mutiny 9: Lisa's Sax/The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons 10: Lisa Gets an A/Sunday Cruddy Sunday 11: Behind The Laughter/Beyond Blunderdome 12: Trilogy of Error/The Computer Wore Menace Shoes 13: I Am Furious Yellow/Homer the Moe 14: The Dad Who Knew Too Little/Large Marge 15: The Way We Weren't/Diatribe of a Mad Housewife 16: Thank God Its Doomsday/Mommie Beerest 17: Marge's Son Poisoning/Bonfire of the Manatees 18: Marge Gamer/Revenge is Best Served Three Times 19: Treehouse of Horror XVIII/That 90's Show 20: Gone Maggie Gone/Coming To Homerica 21: O Brother, Where Bart thou?/The Devil Wears Nada 22: Homer Scissorhands/The Fool Monty 23: Holidays of Future Passed/Moe Goes From Rags To Riches 24: Adventures In Baby-Getting/Whiskey Business 25: Brick Like Me/White Christmas Blues 26: Bart's New Friend/The Musk Who Fell to Earth 27: Halloween of Horror/Every Man's Dream 28: There Will Be Buds/Moho House 29: Gone Boy/Throw Grampa from the Dane


  23. #18
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Just to give the few bits of La La Land homage in this episode some context, here's the opening scene from the movie for reference...



    The show pretty much played it straight here aping the music exactly with just some lyrical changes.

  24. #19
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    I really liked this episode It wasn't the best but wasn't the worst but was very entertaining and I love musical episodes!

  25. #20
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    Ehh, it's just your typical "kid Simpson falling in love with a one-character voiced by a celebrity" episode. Nelson was decently written here instead of being a crybaby he's normally is in later seasons. But most of the plot was just bland and uninspiring. Ed Sheeran isn't the worst celebrity guest ever, but his voice acting isn't that interesting to hear (good singing voice though). The subplot was better and funnier, but it still suffers from its groan-worthy scenes. Also, did I forgot to tell you that ending wasn't needed, just like the show been doing with these 30 seconds scenes before the end credits? 5/10
    Simpsons: 4 > 6 = 7 > 5 > 3 > 8 > 2 > 14 > 15 > 13 = 10 > 9 > 16 > 20 > 1 > 24 = 21 > 26 > 22 = 25 > 23 > 19 = 27 > 18 = 28 > 12 > 11 > 17 = 29

    Family Guy: 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 > 5 = 6 > 15 > 16 > 10 > 14 > > 7 = 11 = 9 > 8 > 12 = 13

    American Dad: 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 > 6 > 5 > 8 > 9 > 7 = 11 > 10 > 13 (so far) > 12

    The Cleveland Show: 2 > 1 > 4 > 3

    Futurama: 5 > 4 = 1 > 2 = 3 > 7 > 6

    Rick and Morty: 2 > 1 > 3

  26. #21
    Mod, eh? Tomacco's Avatar
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    The opening song was directly lifted from La La Land, which is fine in its own right, except the animation direction was so stiff and boring that it took so much of the fun and energy out of it (especially when you compare it to the fluid long take of the actual La La Land opening song). Kind of felt like they threw this part of the episode together after the episode was already finished, and then threw in a couple other left-field nods to La La Land and called it a parody. Felt like they had a pretty weak Lisa love triangle story, and tried to gussy it up with the LLL stuff. The Bart story wasn't much better in that it built to a Marge & Bart trust story, which is something we've seen done way better in the past. Like so many episodes the past few years with potential, a shallow messy execution ruined it overall. Half-assed shoehorned parody. Unnecessary B-plot. Shallow characterization of Lisa (she jumped all over the map on this one - anytime a boy plays an instrument she falls in love, which is a far cry from the Lisa from "Lisa's Date with Density" for example).

    That being said, this is a comedy, and there were thankfully a good amount of jokes that made it fun enough to watch. Homer, Willie, and Wiggum (with his fat guy courtesy) all had some good moments, and I actually liked the "must be something in the water" eye gag. A bit Family Guy-ish, but funny. So, when all was said and done, I enjoyed the episode enough, trying to ignore the parts that could've been done so much better.

    3/5 by modern standards
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  27. #22
    Junior Camper Mikesuper26's Avatar
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    This episode could have been much better. I liked the idea of both Brendan and Nelson fighting over Lisa, but I also felt that Ed Sheeran was definitely miscast. Its hard to look at Brendan as an eleven year old child when he sounds like a grown man. I thought the Bart plot was far more interesting, as we have seen in the past that once Bart's interest is peaked in a particular academic subject then he has the potential to embrace it and strive to learn as much as he can. It was nice to see Bart not be a loser and actually be intelligent in both this episode and the last.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoskin View Post
    Make Bart story the main story. The writers could have made the kid who doesnt like school, ACHIEVE in something that not only Marge could be proud of but he could be proud of. Without the stunt at the end. No tricks.
    Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy the little devil in Bart, but the writers cheapened and missed out, AGAIN!
    My thoughts exactly. The episode ending was too predictable and I assumed Bart would pull some type of prank, although I began to think I was wrong once it was revealed that Willie was the one who poured sulfuric acid in the drink. I wish I was wrong. Just another meh episode IMO. I would give it a 2.5/5 but for rating purposes 3/5.

  28. Thumbs Up To This Post by: Shoskin

  29. #23
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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  30. #24
    Doh and Donuts Shoskin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikesuper26 View Post
    This episode could have been much better. I liked the idea of both Brendan and Nelson fighting over Lisa, but I also felt that Ed Sheeran was definitely miscast. Its hard to look at Brendan as an eleven year old child when he sounds like a grown man. I thought the Bart plot was far more interesting, as we have seen in the past that once Bart's interest is peaked in a particular academic subject then he has the potential to embrace it and strive to learn as much as he can. It was nice to see Bart not be a loser and actually be intelligent in both this episode and the last.



    My thoughts exactly. The episode ending was too predictable and I assumed Bart would pull some type of prank, although I began to think I was wrong once it was revealed that Willie was the one who poured sulfuric acid in the drink. I wish I was wrong. Just another meh episode IMO. I would give it a 2.5/5 but for rating purposes 3/5.
    Why the hell our the writers doing this. Three episodes about Lisa. Three episodes that have been done before. Why don't they let Bart grow. How the hell does he become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?

    Also, I was going into this episode of was going to be a disappointment with Ed Sheeran and if was.


  31. #25
    SuperFriend Nameless's Avatar
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    Was George Takei in this as advertised? He's not listed on Wiki or IMDB
    Season 30 Ratings
    Bart's Not Dead C- Heartbreak Hotel ​D My Way or the Highway to Heaven ​D- Treehouse of Horror XXIX ​C- Baby You Can't Drive My Car ​B+ From Russia Without Love ​B- Werking Mom ​C Krusty the Clown ​B Daddicus Finch B+ 'Tis the 30th Season ​D+ Mad About the Toy ​C+ The Girl on the Bus ​C I'm Dancing as Fat as I Can ​C- The Clown Stays in the Picture ​C- 101 Mitigations C+ I Want You (She's So Heavy) ​C E My Sports ​B- Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy ​C- Girl's in the Band ​B- I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say D'oh ​B- D'oh Canada ​C- Woo-hoo Dunnit? ​B Crystal Blue-Haired Persuasion ​C+

  32. #26
    Junior Camper Martin_PrinceBR's Avatar
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    Tim Long went back to doing what he does best: bad episodes. This was only 21 minutes wasted with two generic plots, a bad guest star, poor songs and terrible resolutions.

    1.5 / 5 (rounded down), unfortunately, The Simpsons did not start 2018 well.

  33. #27
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    I didn't like this episode very much and found it really bland. I didn't expect much but was hopeful it would be an at least somewhat enjoyable episode, but even with those low expectations it was a letdown. The idea of a La La Land parody seemed good and interesting enough and I thought they could do something good with it (despite not being a fan of the movie), but this was was really poorly handled, having a flat and boring generic love triangle story with Lisa falling for Ed Sheeran's character Brendan who s finds a rival in Nelson, an surprisingly small amount of music and singing for a musical parody and pretty poor humor all while it the same time balances a subplot. It wasn't awful and had some enjoyable stuff and bright spots but it really fell flat on it's face, especially the La La Land spoof elements.

    I felt that Sheeran was indeed miscast. The performance wasn't bad but it wasn't good and his voice which was too old for the character (a common problem as stated) screwed it up. Brendan was bland, uninteresting & kinda unlikeable so I didn't care for him (I think they should have played up him being an snobby, pretentious jerk as hinted to but they never did anything with that). I also think Lisa got a little unlikeable at times. The triangle drama with Brendan competing with Nelson was pretty dull and unremarkable, but some of the stuff with and about Nelson was good (he was pretty likeable and sympathetic). The resolution with Brendan getting disqualified from the talent show and booted off the school (and the plot) just because he lives in another district was a forced and nonsensical way to get rid of him (although I did like the epilogue scene from the post-show party with the spoof of the Moonlight oscar flub; it was pretty lame but I liked the X-Men Apocalypse joke and how it concluded with Lisa's being the only one in the crowd who wants to see Moonlight over it).

    While the main plot didn't work, the subplot about Bart becoming a hobby chemist and both his parents (and Skinner who tips Marge off) becomes worried that he might attempt to do something destructive with his skills and become some sort of terrorist was somewhat entertaining and had way better humor (it had pretty much all of the good jokes). I liked how it showed Bart being good at something unexpected and how the story progressed with the gradually increasing worry of Marge who convinces Homer that something is up but ultimately decides to stick up for her son and be there for him at the school talent show no matter what happens. It ends on an amusing note with the reveal that Bart wasn't the one who spiked the teachers' coffe with sulfuric acid (it was Willie, who also had a few nice moments in the episode) & the final joke with his hidden chemistry prank going off. It wasn't great but I liked it for what it was; a decent Bart story with good involvement from Marge who doesn't back down from supporting him.

    However, even though it had it's moments it never rose above mediocrity; the parody was pretty much non existent (save for just a few scenes), the love triangle was lame and most of the humor & the songs were lackluster. The script was problematic and missed a lot of opportunities for some stuff that could have elevated the episode (such as Lisa starting to get turned off by Brendan because of his arrogant and condescending streak but he remained boringly "perfect"); it was another "Lisa falls in love with an new boy" premise with a love triangle which made up most of the plot while Lisa stands on the sidelines and reacts to it. The bright moments came from Nelson, the subplot, some pretty good jokes (Chief Wiggum's fat guy courtesy, Ned giving Homer the Flanders finger, Nelson punching away his tear and some more) & the animation which was nice (but needed to be much more expressive and less static).

    Overall, it wasn't terrible because of the elements I enjoyed well enough (especially the subplot) but it did fall into the very average section so definitely one of the weakest of this season so far. This should have been a lot better.

    2.5/5
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 01-11-2018 at 02:10 AM.


  34. #28
    Your Neighborhood Average Joe Purpleberries's Avatar
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    I'm pretty surprised by the average rating for this episode currently, which is 3.06/5. I expected an average around 2.8 or 2.9.

  35. #29
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    The lack of 1s makes a significant impact here. It was trending ahead of The Serfsons briefly but I suspect it'll fall behind it soon enough if it hasn't already.

  36. #30


    It wasn't bad but it wasn't great. I think that Bart's plot should have been the main story. It was cool to see him use chemicals. There was so much more potential than Lisa's plot. Another Lisa falls in love and loses a boyfriend. Lisa had more interetin boyfriends than Brandon. I laughed at Flanders giving Homer the finger. (didn't Flanders had it in him!) This gets a 2.



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