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Thread: Rate & Review: "The Girl on the Bus" (YABF04)



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  1. #1
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Rate & Review: "The Girl on the Bus" (YABF04)



    Season 30, Episode 12
    Original Airdate: January 13, 2019
    Writer: Joel H. Cohen
    Director: Chris Clements
    Showrunner: Al Jean
    Synopsis: When Lisa spots a new best friend from the window of the bus, she gets a taste of what life could be like with a different, more cultured family, and proceeds to try and live a double life.

    Previous R&R
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    INDUSTRY REVIEWS
    - The A.V. Club - Dennis Perkins - D+
    - Den of Geek - Tony Sokol - 3.5 / 5
    - Bubble Blabber - Jesse Bereta - 7.5 / 10
    - Phil Payton {YouTube} - C-
    - Max Power {YouTube} - 4 / 10

    SIMPSONS REDDIT DISCUSSION THREAD

    TV VIEWERSHIP - 3.2 Rating / 12 Share - 8.20 Million Viewers

    R&R Poll Average Score: 3.19 / 5 (as of April 27th / 31 votes)
    IMDB User Rating: 6.7 / 10 (as of April 27th / 282 users)
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 04-27-2019 at 05:53 PM.

  2. #2


    I just finished watching it.

    I'm kind of tired of these "Lisa makes a new friend" episodes. You just know she's never going to appear in another episode.

    Other than it was... meh. It's decent in terms of the story line and has a moral about not being ashamed of your family but lacks brilliance and isn't terribly funny or entertaining.
    Last edited by HitoftheMillennium; 01-14-2019 at 06:54 AM.

  3. #3


    +Meta jokes - Homer with the bush gif from Homer Loves Flanders on his phone
    +Homer Flanders
    +Opening bus scene with lots of the Springfield Elementary kids
    +Homer's four lines
    +Sideshow Mom line
    +Nelson talking to Homer
    +Ralph "Lies are like stars. They always come out."

    -Boring plot and one off characters
    -Intertitles were awful
    -Lisa complaining about needing a friend who's "smart with a good heart" with Allison right there in the background
    -No climax whatsoever, the plot literally went nowhere and there was barely a conflict (Lisa's lies was resolved in about 30 seconds)
    -Sam was an unnecessary character and didn't add anything
    -Lisa feeling ashamed of her family is a plotline where it's really hard to feel for her at this point

    3/5 episode for me, saved by the bus scenes, meta jokes and appearances from characters we don't see a lot, dragged down by the one off characters and (lack of) plot

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  5. #4
    Pervert Financial Panther's Avatar
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    This was pretty much the opposite of last weeks episode in that the plot was heavily recycled and unoriginal, but the jokes weren’t bad. It felt like a mix of Lisa the Drama Queen and Double Double, Boy in Trouble, with Lisa worrying about how her family would act being reminiscent of Lisa’s Wedding. Sam didn’t have much character at all; she was fairly bland. Of course, we got another song, because that’s season 30’s theme. Also, the sudden shift to Bart changing his room and having a bunch of people there was really weird and out of left field. It was such an odd way to end the epiosde.

    There were some good jokes that saved this from being a below-average episode. The joke with Ned being unable to stop and then working at the plant actually made me laugh out loud, and there were some others that made me chuckle too. I’d call it one of the funnier episodes of the season. The only bad joke was the addiction one.

    I’ll give this a 3/5.
    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

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  7. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Financial Panther View Post
    This was pretty much the opposite of last weeks episode in that the plot was heavily recycled and unoriginal, but the jokes weren’t bad. It felt like a mix of Lisa the Drama Queen and Double Double, Boy in Trouble, with Lisa worrying about how her family would act being reminiscent of Lisa’s Wedding. Sam didn’t have much character at all; she was fairly bland. Of course, we got another song, because that’s season 30’s theme. Also, the sudden shift to Bart changing his room and having a bunch of people there was really weird and out of left field. It was such an odd way to end the epiosde.

    There were some good jokes that saved this from being a below-average episode. The joke with Ned being unable to stop and then working at the plant actually made me laugh out loud, and there were some others that made me chuckle too. I’d call it one of the funnier episodes of the season. The only bad joke was the addiction one.

    I’ll give this a 3/5.
    I honestly thought the best parts of this were the parts that didn't involve the actual plot of the episode

  8. #6
    The Devil in Blue Shorts BloodySimpsonChibi's Avatar
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    This episode made me chuckle quite a bit. Especially the "Flanders can't stop acting like Homer" and "SIDESHOW MOM!" jokes. I really enjoyed this one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaine View Post
    I'd imagine patting Lisa on the head would sting, damn kids with their spiky heads.


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  10. #7


    This episode was slow to develop in the beginning. +0

    The story wasn't very interesting. +0

    The episode did have a few funny one-liners "AH! SIDESHOW MOM!" and when Ned appears at Homer's work. And that reference to Homer moving back in the bush was nice. +1

    The ending also was funny. +1

    The voice acting and animation is talented as it is always. +1

    Overall, the story was just lackluster but had funny one-liners enough for me to give it 3/5. Definitely the weakest episode of this season and it had a lot of potential.

    It was, however, better than the new Bob's Burgers that also aired the same day though. I never found the show that funny. The animation is totally lifeless and the story doesn't move anywhere within the 22 minutes it has the limelight.

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  12. #8
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Tonight's episode was better than I was expecting it to be going in. Having a handful of winning jokes goes a long way towards that. But if soft-balled the ending... and I'm not talking about Lisa's proclamation of "my first happy ending" as if THAT matters. These characters will vanish into irrelevance just like all of the ones from her multitude of sad endings. The writers did the 'ole bait and switch putting the focus on Homer not making a spectacle of himself and the distraction of Bart's nightclub room instead of resolving any of the elements leading up to that in a meaningful way.

    Here's where the ball was dropped and where the episode could have amounted to something more substantial than a 3 out of 5 that will be quickly forgotten amidst a sea of 3 out of 5s in Season 30 outside of its hedge meme reference.

    There was a certain conceit about Lisa's game of deception tonight that was never really touched upon. She lied to this new family about her family and her upbringing but never once lied about herself. She didn't invent new interests, a new identity, a new way of speaking, dress differently or feign being anything but who she was. She just lied about everything else. (I say, family, because Sam didn't matter. Lisa never even said Sam's name once in the entire episode. In fact, "the girl on the bus" wasn't Sam at all. It was Lisa.)

    Lisa lied about herself in Summer of 4 Ft. 2 because she wanted to fit in with kids whom she deemed to be "cool" (which Lisa knows very well she is not). The deception was different here in that Lisa's audience were those whom she deemed to be her social and cultural equals. A sanctuary within the raw sewage she considers to be her family and her peers.

    And while it's great that Lisa has the self-esteem and confidence to feel that way, it would have been nice to see her confront the reality that she would not be who she is without the very things she considers as anchors weighing her down. She's been shaped by the people around her and learned from the experiences that have made her who she is. I'm not saying she should be giving Miss Hoover kudos (she shouldn't), but she should at least have her eyes opened to the idea that she would not be the special person she considers herself to be without the people in her ACTUAL life (the one she so callously lied away without a moment of regret).
    SEASON 30 RANKINGS
    Bart's Not Dead - 2.5/5 / Heartbreak Hotel - 1.5/5 / My Way or the Highway to Heaven - 3/5
    THOH XXIX = Intrusion of the Pod-Y Switchers - 1.5/5 / Multiplisaty - 2.5/5 / Geriatric Park - 2/5
    Baby You Can't Drive My Car - 2/5 / From Russia Without Love - 3.5/5 / Werking Mom - 3/5
    Krusty the Clown - 4/5 / Daddicus Finch - 5/5 / 'Tis the 30th Season - 2/5 / Mad About the Toy - 1.5/5
    The Girl on the Bus - 2/5 / I'm Dancing as Fat as I Can - 4.5/5 / The Clown Stays in the Picture - 1.5/5
    101 Mitigations - 3/5 / I Want You (She's So Heavy) - 1/5 / E My Sports - 3.5/5
    Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy - 4.5/5 / Girl's in the Band - 4/5 / I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say D'oh - 1/5
    D'oh Canada - 2.5/5 / Woo-hoo Dunnit? - 3.5/5 / Crystal Blue-Haired Persuasion - 1.5/5


  13. #9
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    So, am I the only one who was bored watching this episode ? As a matter of fact, in my opinion it's the worst of the season so far (though it's not the season 30 equivalent of Dad Behavior either). I think Joel H. Cohen should just stop writting so much episodes, I don't say he has only written bad episodes, he's got a number of good ones but since some time, that's a poor performance he gives.

    Like I said in the season thread, the writers shouldn't confuse simple plots with telegraphed plots and that's exactly what The Girl on the Bus is in my opinion. If at least there's a good storyline but unfortunately no. It's recycling a lot of previous episodes without adding anything new and they even forgot what they were doing for a time, I can't remember if Sam had a single line during the last act and I saw this episode an hour or two ago, what was the point to create a new character that is apparently the main element if they just drop her in the background during the episode itself (Lisa talks much to her parents than to her), instead of using a regular character that could have worked much better (seriously, I really miss Allison) and doing a better storyline with it. And they didn't know how to conclude apparently because what we get here is out of nowhere.

    Lisa herself is annoying by lying about her own family without a regret (she made excuses at the end but that sounds more like she was forced to do it, instead of seeing the good in her family and what the people she knows have given to her). So there's a boring, uninspired plot with forgettable one off characters and lack of heart, and I don't think this episode is that funny either. I remember three jokes : Sideshow Mel's "this boy is mooning me" during the song, "Sideshow Mom" (it's out of nowhere but I admit this was funny) and Ned at the plant. That's pretty much all the jokes that made me chuckle.

    In short, I don't think this episode is awful, but clearly uninteresting for me. 1.5/5
    Last edited by Wile E. the Brain; 01-14-2019 at 09:40 AM.

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  15. #10
    Actually an Esquilax Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    "First happy ending" yeah, good one.

    But yeahhhh, they probably need to stop with these sorts of episodes. Well, at least stop when Cohen's writing since they not only lack much emotional punch despite that being their angle but go out of their way to make her look like an even worse person which I'm pretty sure is the inverse of what they were trying.

    As was pointed out, while complaining about not having a "smart friend with a good heart" Allison's right there. Someone who was entirely forgiving of a jealous peer sabotaging and humiliating her in front of most of the school. And it doesn't make that much sense since the twins' inclusion in that shot was almost certainly their idea of representing people who don't have those qualities. And even then, as bad as the latter two get, they've also done a few kind things to Lisa for no apparent gain that haven't been reciprocated at all. Obviously Allison and Lisa haven't interacted much after the former's ep due to guest voicing but going by the few moments they get in other things like the comics or tapped out, we have Lisa throwing a large pumpkin right in Allison's face, pranking her for "getting on her nerves" (not because of anything Allison was doing to *her* mind you) and in Tapped Out acted condescending towards her and after Allison doesn't engage in schadenfreude Lisa... gains "Sabotage Allison" as a permanent task. If anything, Lisa seems to be an outright bully towards her.

    Thing is, Sam didn't seem that different. Has decent parents, nice house, plays instruments. But as Brad Lascelle pointed out, she didn't matter and Lisa didn't even mention her name and spent more time talking to her parents than her. But her lack of importance and similar lack out outright mistreatment has some unfortunate implications. Sam has many of the same qualities but she's not threatening. It turns that supposedly deep cry for someone who understands her into an incredibly shallow want for someone she can use as a prop to make herself look better and more special as opposed to Allison who had many of the same qualities but surpassed and made her feel not as great as she thinks she is. And this ain't the first time Cohen's tried to dial up the sympathy and only succeeded in making her look like a manipulative piece of work at best. And like that other time she says and does horrible things with no repercussions at the end. Cohen really seems to have issues writing a protagonist that's supposed to be likeable... or not specifically terrible.

    As for positives, Ned was absolute gold, the stuff on the bus was great, "Sideshow mom!" (so they *do* know how to throw in unexpected jokes, and it works well for that), sideshow Mel, Tim at the Synagogue, basically a bunch of little things strewn about.

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  17. #11
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    For all the folks trudging up Allison, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned that she was sitting beside Hubert Wong (aka Male Allison) in her bus scenes. Although that probably goes to show just how much window dressing he is.

    Thing is, I think the main reason they used a new girl... and it's not like this was token casting for a celebrity because they only used one to voice the mom... is that they wanted to have the back-and-forth dynamic of Lisa lying to her Kevin Michael Richardson-voiced father.

    That said, he could have been used to voice Janey's father. But then they would have had to conjure up a different storyline because, presumably, Janey's parents should already be fully familiar with Lisa's family and upbringing. Hence why a new girl was manufactured that Lisa could barely bother to interact with.

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  19. #12
    Actually an Esquilax Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    I didn't even notice that one. Though it's a natural result of putting something next to a bootleg... and not the unintentionally funny type either.

    Well, coulda used the excuse that Janey's dad was in jail any time Lisa was over. Not much is known about him but according to one of Janey's tasks in the latest update, and a line during her unlock questline, he's a known counterfeiter (apparently all her family's last names were because he keeps dodging the ban from using credit cards) but then that's not exactly prestigious at all.

    But I think the overall plot is probably why I'm a bit softer on Sam compared to... whoever that kid from Krusty The Clown was (I mean for a start, I remembered her name :P). It probably wouldn't have worked without her, it's just they take an easy way out that involved dropping her involvement altogether. Like if the lie itself was directed more towards her personally. Or maybe taking issue with being overlooked, especially since she also thought it was going to end badly. I dunno, if someone saw me twice in passing and broke into my home just to make a friend and then completely ignored me in favour of my dad, I'd probably be offended. Or very creeped out. Maybe that'd be some sort of hot-button issue with her, that she keeps getting overlooked in favour of her parents all the time. Basically she's one of those that are annoyingly underused in their one chance to exist, rather than needing to just not exist at all like whatsisface.

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  21. #13
    her cocoa is so chuggable PreciousBodilyFluids's Avatar
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    I love when OFF rips off DOUG!

    Also @ALjeen make Lisa gay already

    0/5

  22. #14


    Lisa's not gay... there are already gay characters and probably other closeted characters that would be more suitable...

    On to the episode itself... meh, everything was recycled, nothing original. It seems that there's so many affluent neighborhoods in springfield.. complete with ironically named and expensive shops.... except I remember the shop names being much wittier than this.

  23. #15
    Actually an Esquilax Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    they seem to hint at least being bi in flashforward episodes. Though that's probably mostly down to her being the apple of tumblr's eye than anything else considering their track record with the lgbt cast.

  24. #16


    I think it's just a rite of passage for college girls in movies/tv shows to experiment in college.

    she's had a lot of male crushes over the years, it just doesn't make sense to turn her gay.

  25. #17
    her cocoa is so chuggable PreciousBodilyFluids's Avatar
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    @Frankbags she's gay dawg

  26. #18
    her cocoa is so chuggable PreciousBodilyFluids's Avatar
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    [Lisa casts a besotted gaze at the pretty new girl in town, infiltrates her household and enacts a tortured farce lifted from situation comedies involving explicit sexual relationships]

    nothing gay here!
    Last edited by PreciousBodilyFluids; 01-14-2019 at 11:34 AM.

  27. #19
    her cocoa is so chuggable PreciousBodilyFluids's Avatar
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    meanwhile milhouse is implied to be gay in this very episode (and reverend lovejoy is jewish )

  28. #20
    her cocoa is so chuggable PreciousBodilyFluids's Avatar
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    let's not forget Helen Lovejoy is trans (actually let's do forget, it's none of our business!)

  29. #21
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    I'll be updating the OP (among others) with this week's AV Club review shortly but there's one person that was clearly not impressed with it.



    Needless to say, we've been far kinder to this episode here. In fact, The A.V. Club's review is very much an outlier. Both Den of Geek and Bubble Blabber reviewed last night's episode favorably.

    Additionally, this was the most watched episode of The Simpsons over the past 4 years thanks to the lead-in from the Eagles-Saints game. The show seems virtually assured to lead the 18-49 scripted broadcast overall ratings for the 2nd time in its past 3 episodes.
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 01-14-2019 at 03:59 PM.

  30. #22
    Actually an Esquilax Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    So I guess Smith's lines were directly recorded from a probe in her brain and she was frozen for the past twenty years.

    Sometimes I do wonder what the fuck AV Club is talking about though. Like sometimes they miss the point so hard it's like an alien wrote the review. And of course, the "THIS IS THE WORST THING EVER AND THE WRITERS SHOULD BE SHOT FOR THIS TRAVESTY. D-" tone.

  31. #23
    her cocoa is so chuggable PreciousBodilyFluids's Avatar
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    wheres the lie

  32. #24
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PreciousBodilyFluids View Post
    wheres the lie
    We already understood that you do not like new episodes, my friend. It is not necessary that you want to highlight it in every useless comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    I'll be updating the OP (among others) with this week's AV Club review shortly but there's one person that was clearly not impressed with it.



    Needless to say, we've been far kinder to this episode here. In fact, The A.V. Club's review is very much an outlier. Both Den of Geek and Bubble Blabber reviewed last night's episode favorably.

    Additionally, this was the most watched episode of The Simpsons over the past 4 years thanks to the lead-in from the Eagles-Saints game. The show seems virtually assured to lead the 18-49 scripted broadcast overall ratings for the 2nd time in its past 3 episodes.
    Now, what matters. As for the controversy between those who work on the show and those who criticize it, I just want to say that it is nice to see how writers, voice actors and animators come together to defend the show. The episode written by Koh this season was a first blow, and I like to be revealed to unfairly ruthless critics.

    As for the record achieved in the rating, it is a fact that they have achieved such an important mark. I hope that from FOX they realize that the show is still profitable.

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  34. #25


    oh god no, don't get it in fox's head that they can make money..

    someone linked me this clip from family guy. it's so low https://twitter.com/spencerrascoff/s...18174024265728

  35. #26
    SuperFriend Kaine's Avatar
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    Incredibly mediocre episode. I didn't like the premise of Lisa finding yet another new best friend who she has a lot of common with, but it went more towards her whole family and Lisa dealing with all of her lies. The story was nothing special and rather unoriginal, but there were some good Lisa moments and some funny scenes.

    The Thanos couch gag was short and funny. The first act started off well with some good jokes in the flashbacks and the bus scenes. Liked Mel's reaction to the bullies mooning him and Lisa singing. Then it quickly got more boring because of the tired out premise of Lisa finding a new best friend, and I didn't like how the family got so invested in thrash programs on TV (which is out of character for Marge). I liked that Lisa ditched the bus and ended up walking uninvited in Sam's house. Sam as a character didn't add anything to the show and she came over rather bland. I didn't mind her parents as much as they added more to her plot for wanting to meet Lisa's parents. Then we get yet another TV dinner scene which at least had some funny jokes with the rollercoaster date and Homer turning into Abe after eating to much salt.

    At this point Lisa starting going way overboard with her lies, and it was hard to believe that a smart girl like her wouldn't realise that Sam's parents would eventually want to meet hers. She didn't plan anything out and then she luckily saw Ned where he was apparently okay with acting like he was Lisa's dad (also out of character at first, but later on he regrets it and tells Marge). The Ned scenes were some of the funnier gags of this episode though. Then she just continuous making lies where for once Ralph actually said something smart to her. I really liked the ''Sideshow Mom'' joke with Marge busting Lisa. Apparently Homer and Marge are okay with setting up an act while Sam's parents were already being lied to, but it lead to some funny jokes with Homer reading from a card. But Sam's parents didn't even realise that Maggie was just a baby, while Lisa told them that she was a teacher. Then they decided to wrap the episode up quickly with Lisa finally admitting that she was lying all the time. After that the episode fell more apart with adding random scenes of Bart turning his room into a hang out place. Not a great resolution for this plot, but its not like this was much of an interesting and original plot in the first place.

    For a Lisa episode I liked most of what I saw of her, and Yeardley did a great job voicing her and her song. I can't say the same for the rest of the family who instead has their characterisation all over the place. The new characters weren't any interesting, but I somewhat liked the dynamic of them acting like a succesful family towards Lisa and during the dinner scene. The jokes were pretty solid, with my favorites being all the Ned scenes and Lisa reacting to Marge as ''Sideshow Mom''. What the story lacks is what the jokes make up for it. And as others said its rather annoying to see them trying to pull off another ''Lisa finds a perfect friend who has the same interests'' while Allison is the exact girl that she already bonded with before, and she was in the same bus when Lisa started to feel that way. I don't know why they don't interact with each other anymore (obviously they'd have to bring back the celebrity voice actor). I expect this to be a forgettable episode, but there wasn't really anything that made me dislike the episode. But they could have done better than this.

    2.5/5
    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

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  37. #27
    Your Neighborhood Average Joe Purpleberries's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    I'll be updating the OP (among others) with this week's AV Club review shortly but there's one person that was clearly not impressed with it.



    Needless to say, we've been far kinder to this episode here. In fact, The A.V. Club's review is very much an outlier. Both Den of Geek and Bubble Blabber reviewed last night's episode favorably.

    Additionally, this was the most watched episode of The Simpsons over the past 4 years thanks to the lead-in from the Eagles-Saints game. The show seems virtually assured to lead the 18-49 scripted broadcast overall ratings for the 2nd time in its past 3 episodes.
    I think at this point, AV Club Simpsons reviewer Dennis Perkins is burnt out on the show which is why he is being relentlessly harsh on the show lately. Back in season 28, Dad Behavior got away with a B- and The Caper Chase got away with a C+. I think after No Good Read Goes Unpunished, he became more harsh on the show like someone on the forum pointed out before.

  38. #28
    Proud of Being Lame Nitsy's Avatar
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    This is one of those episodes that has an utterly uninspired plot but was actually decent on humor for the HD era. That's a solid middling 3/5

    Observations:

    +It's kind of fun to see Marge just as enthusiastic about Beast Blaster as Homer and Bart. Though she is a bit out of character this episode.
    +Lisa knows what Milhouse's back smells like Milhouse is mostly relegated to Ralph-like one-liners lately, but it's still nice to see him.
    -I've lost track of Lisa's various one-episode friends and acquaintances. They're as numerous as Bart's girlfriends and just as unlikely to make an impression on me. No offense to Sam.
    -"This is going to end badly". You said, it Lisa.
    -I guess I'm getting a little bored with these parodies of hip, "woke" families. We've seen all this before and these people are just as pretentious and one-dimensional as ever.
    +Okay, that use of the Homer in the bush meme was pretty awesome.
    +Bart and Homer's inane argument
    +Homer morphing into Grampa made me laugh. Not the first time that's happened either!
    +As a big fan of Terry Gross, that was an excellent cameo.
    +Ned as Homer made me laugh. I agree with most of you that this episode is noticeably funnier than the last several.
    +I would've reacted more to the Sideshow Mom joke if I hadn't already read about it in this thread, but yeah, that's a good line.
    +The epic music that started up when Mr. Monroe asked what was in Homer's head.
    +Love Bart's remodeled room. We've seen before that Bart does know how to entertain.

    Marge's characterization is poor in this episode. Marge is often set apart from Bart and Homer and while not being as enlightened as Lisa, it was a bit disheartening to see Marge, the one who once sat at the dinner table alone to "have a conversation" while Bart and Homer watched TV, be so dismissive and irritable toward Lisa. Nonetheless, Lisa was not very sympathetic. We've seen the family in worse characterization, yet Lisa seems to be going off the rails because of their eating in front of the TV? The Simpsons often eat dinner at the table, in fact, I'd say they're shown eating at the table more than they are shown eating in front of the TV, so to make this the crux of Lisa's complaints about them seems specious. To add to that, Sam's family is just bland. Yes, they're hip, I get it. But that's all I got from their presentation in the episode. Lisa lying about her family is a decent plot device, this at least hasn't been done outright, but it doesn't really go anywhere. It's quickly found out and then quickly resolved. Yet even though the Monroes do not reject Lisa, we all know we'll never see them again (which, despite their blandness here, could serve to flesh them out a bit more). Plot-wise, this episode doesn't deserve much praise. I will give them some props for the humor. The highlights I noted above are more numerous than most episodes this season. I will give them credit for being a little funnier, even if it had little to do with the unimpressive plot.
    "Your tears say more than real evidence ever could."


  39. #29
    Junior Camper Rutherford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szyslak100 View Post
    We already understood that you do not like new episodes, my friend. It is not necessary that you want to highlight it in every useless comment.



    Now, what matters. As for the controversy between those who work on the show and those who criticize it, I just want to say that it is nice to see how writers, voice actors and animators come together to defend the show. The episode written by Koh this season was a first blow, and I like to be revealed to unfairly ruthless critics.

    As for the record achieved in the rating, it is a fact that they have achieved such an important mark. I hope that from FOX they realize that the show is still profitable.
    If the show gets renewed for a new season, it would be Disney reaping all the benefits from merchandising. Fox would be the licensee, so I'm not sure if the expense is worth it for them. Al Jean is pretty confident they're getting renewed, though.

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  41. #30
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    The episode was alright. There was almost zero originality as the whole plot about Lisa finding a new friend (sort of) in the also lonely Sam and her fairly well-off and successful family to connect with in a time of feeling especially lonely in her own family who doesn't care about her very much her was insanely derivative of previous episodes and taking inspiration from several similar Lisa stories. It was bland and mostly another uninspired "Lisa is lonely and sad" episode with nothing really new to offer (and stuff like the old-timey intertitles felt excessive and didn't contribute anything) but there was some good stuff like the overall humor which was pretty good and had some good jokes but also a few of the character moments and interactions so some decent stuff in there.

    The plot itself, while too familiar and nothing special, was for all it's unoriginality well told and well paced and as bland and boring as the new family Lisa met were there were some good moments with them, though I'm disappointed that Sam felt like a blank slate, and was completely pointless, but I guess it would've been wierd to have Lisa being drawn to an childless couple (still, Lisa barely talked with her). The scenes of the Simpson family having TV dinner weren't bad as far as conflict scenes goes, but they did come off as forced with the rest of the family being excessively boorish and ignorant and only caring for bad TV (especially Marge) as a means to sell Lisa's plot. Wasn't too impressed with the aspect of Lisa being ashamed of her own family to the point of cooking up lies when asked about them but I like the conflict after Marge catching Lisa during her nightly trips and forced her to owe up to her lies by inviting the new family to dinner; Homer reading off a cue card made it work and an decent but quick and unconvincing climax, including an sudden reveal of Bart having pimped his room which becomes a nightclub in an silly last scene.

    So anyway, while the plot was pretty basic (though it having it's moments), many the jokes and gags were fairly funny such as the meta joke with Homer using a GIF from 'Homer Loves Flanders' as a reply to Lisa's answer to his text, Lisa having Ned pretending to be her dad and him not being able to stop the Homer impression (the power plant bit was funny) and Lisa's "Sideshow Mom". The animation was good and the characterizations were a mixed bag as I think Lisa lying without feeling bad about it or even questioning it was excessive and really made her kinda unlikeable (and something like not coming up with a lie about Bart but rather pretending he doesn't exist was insulting and Bart not caring when finding out was dumb) & her crying after she had to rectify her misdeed rang hollow (kinda came off as she was trying to score sympathy points) and Marge being uncharacteristically dismissive and angry (even spooking Maggie with her dinner outburst) in the first half was bad; she was way too aggressive and dismissive. Other than those they were fine, I guess.

    In all honesty, this episode was better than I though it would be due to the decent humor, fairly good pacing (unfortunately broken a little with those useless intertitles that had no place in the episode and the ending) and solid animation (also liked Lisa's song), but it still wasn't very good due to the overused plot of Lisa befriending a new girl and her naturally perfect family in a time of feeling out of place in her own imperfect one; I just wish they could do something new instead of rehashing this kind of plot with barely any variation to it (it felt forced and unconvincing and that Sam had no personality and was like a non-character was annoying; they still haven't managed to match 'Lisa's Rival' and Allison Taylor who has sadly been neglected despite showing up in the background from time to time with no lines. Heck, the episode would probably have been better off with a plot of them reconnecting but running into troubles or something). In short, it was super mediocre and not too interesting save for those good aspects.

    Yet, I didn't really hate it at all. Sure it's bland, mediocre and nearly without a single original bone but aside from some characters being out of characters and Sam and her family being so bland (and her herself being maybe the most pointless of Lisa's friends thus far as she was barely part of the episode) that's really all it is and doesn't reach being awful, just really meh. With the nice humor (the part that held it together), the decent animation and the good character bits it did elevate itself a bit from being bottoml material and I didn't feel it was a complete waste of time. Mostly pretty dull and uninteresting but better than expected and not without it's moments so an okay one at best.

    2.5/5 rounded up to 3/5
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 01-16-2019 at 01:33 AM.

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