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View Poll Results: How would you rate this episode?
5/5 9 23.68%
4/5 7 18.42%
3/5 10 26.32%
2/5 7 18.42%
1/5 5 13.16%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll
Thread: Rate & Review: "Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy" (YABF10)
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Brad Lascelle 03:24 PM 03-24-2019

Season 30, Episode 18
Original Airdate: March 24, 2019
Writer: Megan Amram
Director: Chris Clements
Showrunner: Matt Selman
Synopsis: Krusty releases an all-female reboot of "Itchy and Scratchy," so Bart and his crew of all-male friends decide to boycott the show. After Bart's friends turn on him for laughing at the reboot, Bart joins a woke group of sixth-grade girls who commit crimes against patriarchy.

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- The A.V. Club - Dennis Perkins - B
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- WikiSimpsons - Loco87 - A
- Comedy To Watch - Alex Finch
- Phil Payton {YouTube} - B+


TV VIEWERSHIP - 0.8 Rating / 4 Share - 1.99 Million Viewers

R&R Poll Average Score: 3.26 / 5 (as of April 29th / 34 votes)
IMDB User Rating: 5.1 / 10 (as of April 27th / 396 users)

Financial Panther 04:48 PM 03-24-2019
So this was...something. The strong point of the episode was defnitely in its jokes. There were quite a few good ones, and the only one that didn’t land for me was the overexplanation of the BRA acronym. Other than that, I’m not sure what they were trying to say with this episode. Were they saying the patriarchy is stupid? Were they saying people oppressing the patriarchy are stupid? It seemed like they were trying to say all those things, but it wound up being super convoluted. Then at the end, Lisa joins the girls. But those girls wanted to ruin the Itchy & Scratchy tapes. Why would Lisa join a group that tried to do something she strongly opposes? Does she think they’re good otherwise? The characterization of Lisa was so weird throughout the entire episode. I can understand Bart’s wanting to join the girls because they pulled pranks, I guess, but I didn’t like the forced conflict they made by having Lisa be mad at him for that. I would think she would embrace her brother being part of that group. Maybe he’d learn something from them.

The BRA group was a decent subplot too. I like Milhouse’s being the group leader and getting some time in the sun. His parents’ being so relieved about his social life and friends was pretty funny too. The sex was disturbing, but not in a bad way. The end with Bart’s telling the group about girls was kind of cute too. Overall, this was a funny episode with weird characterization, and I don’t know if the writers were just bad at trying to get a message across or if they were just trying to have their cake and eat it too regarding both sides. 3/5 I guess.

BloodyGhostChibi 04:48 PM 03-24-2019
Meh. I give it an 6/10

Frankbags 05:41 PM 03-24-2019
Meh, straight off the start they underutilized the location and setting... a krusty kon with barely anything happening, I expected someone wearing a sideshow bob wig to scare bart.. I expected something to actually happen.

another mischaracterization with Ned flanders walking out of Krusty Kon with his kids.

the main plot wasn't entirely bad, I enjoyed the Milhouse storyline of the episode more than the girl's storyline. I'm all for poking fun at the MRAs.

I thought they did a good job in the beginning setting the stage and making it clear that krusty was pandering to an audience.. part of me wishes they had touched on that later on in this episode.


Venomrabbit 05:55 PM 03-24-2019
That was somehow worse than I thought it'd be. Like, it actually hurt listening to the "hip" speak, Bart once again gets jerked around constantly and boy Lisa is the absolute worst even for her usual. She doesn't bother trying to have any kind of talk with Bart or anything, just skip straight to public humiliation instead of one thing that would have made a much better premise. Once again Martin is used as a misogynist strawman (y'know, the one boy who's even girlier than the actual girls), Lisa being the worst and incredibly grating and despite the girls treating Bart like crap throughout and outright stating they never thought of him as part of the group but someone to frame, they get no comeuppance at all or even any ill will from Bart. And then I guess Lisa joins them because they're awful, she's awful, if anything they deserve each other.

I know I mentioned it sounding like Simpsons meets Sinfest but that was supposed to be a joke. Even with all its celebrity pandering Lisa goes Gaga couldn't even scratch the surface of how obnoxious this one was. There's a lot of different ways a premise based on Bart initially protesting and then liking the reboot and the fallout from it could have worked and this was basically what happened when you get everything wrong. And the closest thing to something clever (Bart trying to bring up how it doesn't matter, male or female, guts are guts/ect) gets cut off with yet another buzzword.

Definitely bottom 5 material. Y'know how things like "I want you (she's so heavy)" or "Teenage Mutant Milk-Fed Hurdles" sounded like the worst things ever but when they aired they turned out kinda decent at least because presumably someone with a clue was writing them? This is like that, minus the execution that's way better than it has any right being.

HitoftheMillennium 07:17 PM 03-24-2019
I also didn't really understand the message of the episode... if there was one. Those girls Bart joined were basically portrayed as being cool and maybe empowered even though they came across as being very anti-male in general for no legit reason. Bart was basically a tool until near the end when he gave that speech about how it didn't actually matter what gender Itchy and Scratchy are. A better way to end it would have been to have them realize he's right and listen to him. Instead, they try to destroy the tapes anyway and Lisa prevents them from doing so, only to join up with them for whatever reason in the end. Is it trying to say women are justified in being hostile and vengeful toward men in general? Maybe I'm giving the episode too much credit and it's just a poorly written modern Simpsons episode with no real meaning or message.

In any event, it was funny when the squeaky-voiced teen said to leave those bras on him. Otherwise, I really didn't care for it. 4 out of 10.

Beggs 02:26 AM 03-25-2019
I have to give the episode credit for trying to tackle a contentious and relevant issue, but I also have to agree that it wasn't clear enough in its message, or focused in its commentary. The pieces for some good satire are there, but they were put together a bit clumsily, resulting in mixed messages, undermined sentiments, and a bit of what I think is unintentional "both sides-ing".

Having the boys parody MRAs while spoofing the overreactions to reboots and gender swaps was good, and the BRA acronym lent itself well to that. The resulting puns were a bit forced, but I appreciated them all the same. The problem is that Bossy Riot was kind of portrayed unsympathetically and rather stereotypical, undermining them as the heroic figures in the story. In doing so, it unfortunately suggests that the people fighting for equality can be almost just as bad as the ones trying to maintain the status quo. Again, I don't think that was the intention, but it kind of comes off that way.

Lisa's characterisation wasn't great either, which led to Bart's motivations and attitude shifting to put her in the right, something that felt contrived (and a missed opportunity to drive home the episode's message). Again, it's a bit confusing what they're trying to say there. Is Lisa supposed to be seen as hypocritical, or rightfully calling out Bart? I think it would've been a better story if Bart and Lisa had teamed up on this, if Lisa was pleased that her brother was taking an interest in the cause (and that he genuinely was), and they tried to change the other kids' minds and defend the new Itchy & Scratchy. I know they did kind of team up there at the end, but it was still Bart vs. Lisa for much of the episode. In fact, it was more Bart vs. Lisa than Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy! As a result, we're left with mixed messages.

Was the point that even if the methods are questionable, two wrongs can sort of make a right and the people fighting for change are simply the lesser evils by default? Is it meant to be commentary about people who are so invested in being "woke" that they pander or lose perspective? A couple of moments suggest that, but it isn't really fleshed out. The clearest satire comes through the petulant reactions to the rebooted Itchy & Scratchy (and the well-deserved shots at MRAs), but overall, the cartoon doesn't play that big of a role in the plot. That's perhaps the biggest problem with the whole episode. Sure, it kicks things off, and there are the tapes at the end, but we see all of one short. It passes up so many opportunities to comment on the concept of gender swapped reboots, from the fair criticism to the boorish hating, but for an episode called "Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy", the cartoon itself feels like an afterthought, even though it was admittedly threaded through the entire plot.

If there'd been more focus on the cartoon with more shorts throughout the episode - say, like in "The Front" - a whole lot more could've been said about that topic. Assumptions regarding quality, petulant and sexist boycotts, dismissing fair criticism by lumping it in with the sexism, using a gender swapped reboot as a gimmick to rehash old stories rather than doing something really creative and positive with representation (imagine if they recreated some classic I&S shorts with the new female versions; there's a lot of comic potential there), pandering, stubborn fanbases, gatekeeping...if they'd focused on Itchy & Scratchy and not branched out to activism in general, I think they could've done something special and profound commenting on all of those intertwined issues.

I think there are some positive messages and good intentions in the plot, but they're also mishandled and bogged down by a lack of focus and stereotypical one-off characters. Again, I think this could've easily been about Bart and Lisa finding common ground and teaming up for a good cause; Bossy Riot weren't really needed here. Also, thinking back to "Marge vs. Itchy & Scratchy", the messages were clear: violent entertainment is something to be monitored and it's fine to object to it, but outright censorship isn't the answer either, and can easily lead to hypocritical stances. It even touches on the pettiness of creative people ("I'm so funny!"/"Take that you dumb squirrel!") in responding to criticism of their work.

This time around, we don't have the same cohesiveness to the commentary, and messages that don't resonate as strongly because they're slightly mishandled. In trying to add some balance, they ended up muddying the satire. It kind of still worked, but it could've been done so much better, especially if they had focused more on Itchy & Scratchy in terms of its content, and the kids watching it (or refusing to). As I said, Bossy Riot felt a little superfluous, and they did fall into the tired stereotype of man-hating feminist to some extent, which adds to the sense of false balance and botched messages.

There were some good jokes, though. As I said, the BRA wordplay was good, as was Krusty flip-flopping between trashing and pandering to his fans, his dub over the I&S intro, the email quip, Marge not knowing what to be liberal about, Moleman on the treadmill, and Lisa preparing two comebacks. The scene with Kirk and Luann was also pretty funny, while also being a bit sweet in its own way, since a lot of their scenes since they reconciled still revolve around Kirk being a loser or the relationship being rocky and doomed.

Some decent jokes, a fine premise, good intentions and a message that suits my politics just fine, though they did somewhat bungle said message and the overall commentary. That was a letdown and it drops my grade to a solid 3/5. That's not bad, but given the ambition and potential in the premise, this could've been a modern classic. As it stands, it's got a few too many problems in its execution to be that.

Venomrabbit 07:54 AM 03-25-2019
I'm pretty sure Bossy riot is meant to be sympathetic. As said, it's like Sinfest, where they're way too aggressive and ultimately don't have any redeeming qualities but you're supposed to side with them. Y'know, like how you're supposed to side with the protagonist of Holy Terror as he acts like a racists POS. And if you don't think they're the greatest characters ever then I guess you're just another fragile MRA. It's why they couldn't even have Bart tell them to get bent, like he would with anyone else that backstabbed and tried to set him up back in the day (see: Bart the Murderer).

But the worst part by far is that they could have had, y'know, meaning or a genuinely feminist and positive message instead of this brainless plot. Where they have to exaggerate or bastardize half the cast to pretend they had a point (Bart, Milhouse, Martin and Nelson didn't exactly have a problem with Sophie being in their gamer team last ep for instance, nor should they have. And I guess Homer suddenly “manspreads” despite usually just lying down on the couch).

Like, how about instead when Bart finds the reboot funny but isn't willing to be open about it (because again, Jimbo, Dolph, Kearney and Nelson were all there. How entitled do you have to be to demand he opens himself to a beating for you?), Lisa instead takes him in and they end up bonding over being "secret reboot buddies" or something. Bart has a more feminine side (granted, often played for laughs) and when it is discovered, the confrontation at the school could be near the end instead where Bart actually gets through to them via the whole "guts is guts" speech. There's one that'd have a positive look on feminist media without being shitty about it, and might have made up for last week instead of making Lisa even worse by embarrassing him entirely on purpose... and not even saying anything about Bart standing up against the other boys.

Or, something a bit more like the original premise. Like Bart ends up laughing at the reboot, the boys turn on him but then gets taken in by a group of girls (preferably, Janey and the twins, explain why in a bit) who think his unintentional laughter was him being brave and essentially draft him into a fanclub for the reboot. Except Bart still likes the old one a bit better overall but thinks his new friends would turn on him as soon as he admitted that. So the conflict amounts to the fact that he likes both versions, making him not fit entirely into either because he likes the old better but also comes to appreciate just how happy the new is making the girls. Overall message could be along the lines of A) It's okay for guys to like girl orientated things (especially since by the looks of things, said reboot wasn't shitting on guys in any way) and B) Just because you like one version, doesn't mean you have to hate the other.

Alternatively, maybe the girls do celebrate the old and new versions, appreciating the latter on another level. And while Bart still likes it, those bossy riot girls hate it (“Repackaging patriarchal violence to girls!” or just “too girly” or whatever) or pick on the aforementioned trio for those reasons, even more so when Lisa signs up with them. Which ends up Janey and the twins giving giving both them and the BRAs a serious dressing down that amounts to “fuck you, you don’t get to tell us how to be girls or Bart how to be a boy” and that it’s about not being forced into one role or another. You could even have a fakeout with Bart stepping up to give that speech but then he gets overtaken by Sherri. Then you can still have those guest stars and actually give them a point to existing.

And for a supposedly feminist episode, the one we got had none of the girls outside of Lisa and Marge and Luann have any lines let alone part of the plot. Luann only even had one or two lines. it was all the cardboard stereotypes that didn’t even have names. You wanna do something really feminist, there's about ten or twenty characters in sore need of some screentime, development and a chance to be something other than a satellite to either their husbands or Lisa/Marge or just ditched entirely (the aformentioned Janey, Sherri and Terri as well as, off the top of my head, Kumiko, Bernice, Helen, Sarah, Ruth, Martha, Ms Pennycandy, Luann), coulda done something with them. They’d exist after this episode, it’d mean something.

And that’s what gets me about this one. They had a chance to do something meaningful, that might have had a lasting impact and made a difference, it could have easily turned out to be the Halloween of Horror of the season even, that deserved a spot with the classics. Instead they took just about anything clever or nuanced and threw it away, or threw it under “mansplaining” because I guess only men get to be a voice of reason? You’ll never go broke appealing to the lowest common denominator and panding to twitter and tumblr feminists with bloated and fragile egos that rival Trump’s.

Nitsy 12:04 PM 03-25-2019

-Off to a good start so far. The Krusty gag reel was funny and I love his “see, girls like my pandering!” comment. These are the kinds of appearances I like Krusty for. We don’t need whole episodes of this.
-So far Bart is acting immature and unreasonable and Lisa is being very level-headed.
-“I don’t know what to be liberal about anymore”. You and me both, Marge.
-That Moleman sketch was a bit more visceral and FG-esque than usual.
-Homer’s over-the-top laughing at Bart did make me laugh.
-So Bart’s friends are full-on chauvinist incels in this episode. Okay. That’s par for the course since the Simps writers seem to be incapable of subtlety when they try to be “relevant”.
-So Milhouse sits down to pee. I'm glad we all know that now.
-Bossy Riot are “fighting against misogyny" by pulling pranks on random men? Alright. Surprised that Lisa seems to be so sympathetic given the lack of a link between their actions and their cause. They're just doing what Bart does but with a "feminist" twist. It's not much of a cause that the rational Lisa should be interested in.
-“Moe and his bats”
-“Why does every discussion about feminism turn into an argument about Star Wars?!”
-Good to see Lisa isn’t all talk.
-So Bossy Riot are satisfied because they got their male tears, I guess.
-Very heavy-handed ending graffiti. We get it, writers. You're woke.

So as usual, the Simpsons writers don't know the meaning of "nuance" when it comes to tackling current issues (just recall their recent "woke" dumpster fire, "Caper Chase"). It was Milhouse who stated what the real problem behind this episode's initial conflict was: "we judged it without giving it a chance". And yet that wasn't really touched on much, it was just "gender war!!!" for most of the episode. Of course the whiny "boy's club" men who get bent out of shape any time women are featured in a reboot are worth ridiculing, but the opposition was not presented in a good light here. Bossy Riot are the feminist representatives in this episode and they believe that "fighting for women's rights" involves pulling pranks on men, seemingly for antagonism's sake. Is this what the writers think feminism is? I'm disappointed that Lisa seemed to be interested in the group's actions as she generally has more sense than that (even when she disagreed with one of their actions, the destroying of the Itchy and Scratchy tapes, she still wants to join them).

This episode was saved from being awful by its humor. More laughs than the last couple episodes combined. I can give them credit for that. I did genuinely enjoy the opening, and going after the "reboot" controversy is not a bad episode premise. But once again, they exaggerate all the perspectives, so the men's side is overblown, the women's side is overblown, and there does not seem to be a clear message. Messages are hinted at, as I said, with Milhouse's satirical line about not giving the show a chance, Bart saying "guts are guts", and Lisa ranting about women being called "shrill", but even then the messages are obscured (by having Lisa citing manspreading and a lack of pockets as genuine feminist issues). Bossy Riot were mostly unsympathetic--we only got a brief hint of what they were against (like that exaggerated History book cover or Krusty caving on pulling the reboot), but mostly they were just portrayed as being anti-men, which unfortunately only plays into many people's misconceptions of women's rights.

Shoskin 12:28 PM 03-25-2019
This episode was all over the place but I give it a try. Sideshow Bob's Prison Art made me chuckle since it sounds like something he do. Bart laughing at girl Itchy and Scratchy wasn't the problem, its the idea that they changed it to pander to another audience. It was pure pandering. Krusty has said in "One Upon A Time In Springfield" that his show is watched by boys. Why would Krusty who only cares about money, alienate a big money maker.

Some ask about Lisa joining the group and going against her principles: she's a hypocrite. You missed that writers. Lisa is a pacifist. Lisa didn't even give Bart a chance.

Bart doesn't care about DNA and fingerprints ladies, he's El Barto.

The sexiest names they called Bart were funny. Which btw, is a little sexiest. I'm just saying.

Putting Saran Wrap on the urinals, not really that funny.

Millhouse being alpha dog was cool. His parents getting horny off it, eww. But it was nice to see them have a moment.

The glitter scene, remove it, no point to it being in the episode.

I remember when one of my best friends stood in front of my other friend and I and she farted. I responded, "Girls don't fart." She just laughed.

The episode could have hit an important point. You can't erase history just because you don't like it, agree with it or feel it it's acceptable to your beliefs. "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it," George Santayana-1905. What would it accomplish by destroying those tapes? Nothing. At least Lisa agreed with Bart. The girls could have learned a lesson as with the boys. Plus a bunch of 10 year olds rebelling against girls, oh no. At that age we, boys and girls are just trying to understand each other. I quote Bart, "Why would a boy want to touch a girls butt? That's where cooties come from."

This episode could have been a 5 if the writers balanced misogyny and misandry.

And another thing, men don't envy women.

Score of 3 for the jokes but loses points with some of the plot.

Brad Lascelle 01:33 PM 03-25-2019
Time to weigh in on the most polarizing episode of the season... which, in all honesty, I expected going in. This episode presently has the lowest IMDB user rating of any Simpsons episode outside of Lisa Goes Gaga... and I suspect it will even topple that giant before all is said and done.

First off, yes, this episode makes fun of both toxic masculinity and radical feminism. Yes, it can do both these things while still remaining unmuddled in its messaging and focused on telling a central story.

Was Bossy Riot given more sympathetic treatment over the Boys Rights Association? Sure was. Predominantly due to Milhouse's hilarious interpretation of what boys and girls are allowed to get away with and his warped sensibilities. That... and the Bossy Riot girls' cause of social equality isn't imaginary; it's actually something that exists. Feminism took its shots as well, largely conveyed over their outrage over trite nonsense like manspreading, herstory and pocket availability (Lisa was the butt of much of this) and Brockman's segment had some good material delivery as well (Gal Qaeda, Lard Lady Nonuts... Amram's inherent gift of punnery should hopefully energize the lazy attempts we've seen out of the rest of the writing staff of late). Bart's attempt to placate both sides with his "it doesn't matter if it's boy guts or girl guts, guts are guts" speech I felt helped convey the underlying message prior to the delightful send-up of Saving Private Ryan.

Why did Lisa choose to join up with the Bossy Riot girls at the end? Didn't they try to destroy Itchy & Scratchy? Bart and Lisa never disagreed with Bossy Riot's principles or ideals. They disagreed with them going too far and putting something they love in harm's way. Bart was pretty much happy to have a blank check to create mayhem after being spurned by his friends and Lisa's only issue was with Bart for standing up for feminism without having a full understanding of the plight of girls and women (and he turned this around on her brilliantly by referring to her as an ally that was content to remain on the sidelines). Women trot this line out against so-called male feminist allies all the time. To have Bart wield it against Lisa was masterful. This was the best line in the whole episode, IMO.

Furthermore, kids are kids. They're going to forgive and forget versus holding petting grudges. They largely disagreed with Milhouse and he'll be back to being Bart's sidekick again next week like clockwork.

What I'm seeing in this thread, on Reddit, Twitter, on various Discords and other forums is a number of people fixated on what the episode could have been or how it could have told a different story or utilized the Itchy & Scratchy property differently... in a flailing attempt to justify a reaction of "I did not like this episode and I feel I need to latch on to a good reason why". I'm also seeing a number of people who know exactly why they didn't like this episode and referred to it as... let me type this out correctly... "pollitical angry lesbian femenist bullshit". Hmm...

[MENTION=65363]Nitsy[/MENTION] came up with the best callout while I was crafting this response.

Originally Posted by Nitsy:
-Bossy Riot are “fighting against misogyny" by pulling pranks on random men? Alright. Surprised that Lisa seems to be so sympathetic given the lack of a link between their actions and their cause. They're just doing what Bart does but with a "feminist" twist. It's not much of a cause that the rational Lisa should be interested in.
You're not wrong. That's precisely what they were doing. I would contend that Lisa was won over to their side by how the media glamourized the idealism behind their civil disobedience. There's a story to be told about how media framing skews one's perception of celebrity or otherwise heinous actions and it would have been a nice rebuttal on Bart's part to point out what you said, but I'd say he put her in her place just fine without needing to tap that well.

I also echo his sentiment with regards to this episode lacking nuance. But then, that's hardly unusual for modern Simpsons... including the episodes that stand out from the pack. There was very little nuance in Steal This Episode, for one example. Hell, there was very little nuance in BlacKkKlansman, either. And that got nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

And yet - taking this back to my opening - seeing how we had a clear narrative with no hastily unresolved sideplots and clear delineation of every character's motivations, perhaps it is this struggle with nuance that is leading to such polarizing reactions to this episode. Or perhaps people just wanted to hear a different message from this episode (that also lacked nuance) than the one it delivered.

We have 713+ episodes of The Simpsons (a show that supposedly should have ended 500 episodes earlier) and we can't have one with a closing message that says "The Patriarchy is a Wiener"? I suppose not because now it's going to be the worst reviewed episode of all-time on IMDB by online Simpsons fandom. Makes ya think.

As for me, I consider this to be the strongest debut lead script for any staff writer since Dan Vebber's The Book Job back in Season 23... and I tweeted as much last night. I look forward to seeing what Amram brings to the table next when Crystal Blue-Haired Persuasion airs later this fall.

Tell ya what, though... I'll come up with one criticism for this episde that hasn't been mentioned ANYWHERE else.

Milhouse had 10 friends over for his inaugural BRA meeting but Luann only said he had 8 friends. Lewis and Dolph were somehow removed from the scene that immediately followed that line whereas all 10 boys were clearly shown in all of the scenes leading up to it. The fault for that faux pas lies with either the animation team and/or the quality control department. Whoopsie daisy!

Bonus points for the obligatory inclusion of Daria on Lisa's "Cartoon Women's History" timeline.

Frankbags 01:49 PM 03-25-2019
Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle:
Time to weigh in on the most polarizing episode of the season... which, in all honesty, I expected going in. This episode presently has the lowest IMDB user rating of any Simpsons episode outside of Lisa Goes Gaga... and I suspect it will even topple that giant before all is said and done.

Maybe I shouldn't have judged this episode so harshly, I am familiar with a few of Amram's works, she wrote 3 episodes for Childrens, 2 of which I liked and one that is probably my least favorite of the complete series. I really enjoyed The Good Place as well.

I don't have any issues with the story itself, yes it could have been more, I expect more from the simpsons.. it might be petty but when I saw Ned Flanders walking out of Krusty Kon with his kids it really bummed me, if this episode aired in the golden age he would be outside the Kon picketing. I still have the episode on DVR so I might rewatch it.. the writing was good and if this were another show it might work but as a Simpsons fan it bothers me when writers don't seem to know the simpsons, and it's likely that the writer had nothing to do with the writing but the director looking to put a familiar face on screen.

so to summarize, good writing, wrong show.

Financial Panther 02:08 PM 03-25-2019
I have to disagree with you about your thought on how Flanders would be outside picketing in the classic era. If anything, Ned and the kids’ going to the show is more reminiscent of his classic self where he was more laid-back as opposed to the Bible-thumping fundamentalist he became. The picketing would be right in line with that character.

OldSchoolerSimpsons 02:11 PM 03-25-2019
Bart Vs. Itchy & Scratchy 1/10

# No intro besides the clouds. Okay then.
# Whoa, blurred out groin nudity. I think this is the only other instance besides Alone Again, Natura-Diddily.
# Sideshow Mel: "My legs!" Hey, don't steal from SpongeBob, buddy.
- (after Krusty announces the gender swapped Itchy & Scratchy reboot) Milhouse: "This is the worst change Krusty has ever made to the show. Even worse than Sideshow Leonard Cohen!" Oh man, I can't **wait** to see how that looks like! ... Wait, they're not showing it? Oh.
- "I thought Itchy & Scratchy were fighting because they're a married couple." "Mom, those are different species." "I don't know what to be liberal about anymore." Ummm... what? Weird joke.
# The graph of significant female characters Lisa has on the wall include Betty Boop, Daria, The Powerpuff Girls and Louise Belcher. Or well, there's also one after Betty, but I don't know who it is.

So far, this is just a regular boring episode. Nothing really special has happened in the first four minutes.

½+ Krusty hamfistedly adding girls to the regular intro was slightly smirkworthy, I guess.
½+ Surprisingly good animation when Bart panicks and runs out of Lisa's room.
-- Okay, so maybe Bart was hypocritical for turning out to like the female Itchy & Scratchy, but why does Lisa feel such a need to humiliate him publicly? She doesn't come off much better than he does.
+ Homer laughing and mocking Bart in an over-the-top manner at him getting publicly exposed for liking the new Itchy & Scratchy show was kinda funny.
--- "Well, Bart... How does it feel to be trolled, GIFed, memed... and dare I say, pwned?" This is what Lisa says after Bart's been exposed. That's right, LISA. LISA is saying these things. I know the "joke" is that she just read about them and decided to use them, but that doesn't make it any funnier. Fuck this episode.
--- Wow, what a charming fella Milhouse is. Sending the bullies after him just because he liked the new Itchy & Scratchy cartoon. Are the writers forgetting he's supposed to be Bart's best friend??? Also, what the hell is Ralph doing in the group?
-- The guest star girls when they see Bart in the girls' bathroom: "What are you doing in the girls' room, seat-soaker?" And the award for most hamfisted line to introduce your new characters goes to...
- Is it just me or do the voices for these characters sound really weird?
-- "We don't do "pranks", we drop awareness bombs." Jesus, these lines...
--- "Look at this HIStory book." AHAHAHA, GET IT, BECAUSE IT SAYS "HIS", AHAHAHAHAHA...

I'm dying inside...
# Well, at least Bart has gotten some new friends, I suppose. We'll see how it goes from here...
-/+ Milhouse comes up with the name BRA = Boys Rights Association. Except bras are something girls wear, so it sounds stupid when they shout it. One of those cases where I don't know if it's a good joke or a hilariously bad one.
+½ Okay, that "what the fuck" moment of Kirk and Luanne having sex after they see his son having a lot of friends was legitimately funny. Even if it's pretty screwed up.
# The name of the group Bart is in is called Bossy Riot. Oh, a reference to Pussy Riot. I get it.
-/½+ Go, Lisa! Fight back against manspreading! Okay, the irony aside, the timing of Homer spreading out over the couch was okay.
--- And because we need to make Lisa a jerk for no reason, she gets super angry once it turns out Bart is in Bossy Riot, even though he's fighting for her cause. This doesn't make any sense at all, didn't she get pissed when Bart protested the reboot before? Shouldn't she not only be happy that he admits to liking it, but that he's also fighting for equal rights? Hearing her ramble over a minute about how (irrationally) upset she is is also tiresome to listen to.
-- "There's a part of me that's scared. It's my body, and my head." Seriously, who writes this dialogue?
½+ Bart: "What's on the a-gender for this evening?" Bart saying something so corny to fit into the group is sorta cute.
- Squeaky-Voiced Teen sounds a bit odd. Guess the squeaky voice is getting hard to keep up.
--- Lisa when Bart tries to explain why the old Itchy & Scratchy tapes shouldn't be destroyed: "Bart, stop mansplaining!" Are you for fucking real... I'm getting so sick of this episode throwing in random buzzwords. I can't believe I'm even hearing this crap. Fuck this episode.
-- After the BRA group gets exposed to the pink acid the Itchy & Scratchy tapes were gonna be destroyed in, they start tearing up once the fumes reach their eyes. And then the Bossy Riot group shoots glitter at them. True comedy.
--- Lisa in her head when they afterwards ask her to join the group: "Can I do it? Can I push my beliefs further than they've ever gone?" Has the show mistaken her for Brian Griffin or something?
--- In a celebratory manner, we then see Lisa joining the group, with Bart then spraying "Patriarchy is a wiener" on the wall. More discussion on this later.
+/- The final scene of the episode shows Bart telling secrets about girls, and one of them is "They don't envy us." I'm not sure whether to hate it since it's a very forced moral cookie, or find it funny because of the boys' overdramatic reactions.

This was one of the most tedious episodes I've seen in a while. Instead of going for any kind sublety and approaching the subject in a smart manner, they scream the message right in your face. In fact, they focus so hard on trying to have a message that they forget to make it funny. Or well, it **did** have jokes, but they made you fucking cringe. Please, whoever wrote it, NEVER have Lisa say "pwned" again. EVER. I am 100% all for a thoughtful story with a powerful message about feminism and equality, but I can't stand it when it's mishandled this poorly. For the love of God, Simpsons team, go back and watch Lisa Vs. Malibu Stacy and look at why it resonated so strongly with people.
And just like The Girl Code (another terrible episode trying to go for a feminist angle), I also can't tell if we're supposed to hate these characters or cheer for them. Except here it's even worse, since they overreact to things such as a cover saying "history book", and advocate for the old Itchy & Scratchy tapes to be destroyed, as if erasing old history would help anything. We do see Lisa turn against them when they threaten to destroy the Itchy & Scratchy tapes, but after that she decides to join the group anyway, for the one and only reason that she can push her beliefs on people. What a likeable character, am I right? Classic Lisa with a respectable moral conscience. Wait... no.
Of course, they try very hard to make us root for them since they turn all the boys at the Elementary School into a bunch of misogynist douchebags, especially Milhouse. Hasn't Milhouse been shown to like feminine things as well? Why would he go out of his way to harrass Bart for liking the female Itchy & Scratchy? It's completely out-of-character, and it's just uncomfortable to see him turn against Bart like this just to fit in with the hivemind mob mentality.
But by far the most hideous aspect is how Bart is treated. I've complained many times about the way he is written nowadays, but the strange thing is in this episode he's actually very sympathetic. Which would have worked to the episode's advantage if it wasn't for these things: he gets humiliated, he gets bullied by his best friends, and even when he starts to support Lisa's cause, she then screams about how he really doesn't understand women's struggles and is only in it for the pranks. Even if that's the case (which it isn't at all, since it's clear by the end that he actually cares about gender equality), is there really something so wrong with that? He lost all his friends after they turned against him, it's only natural he would try to make some new ones.
Let's get back to when she posted a video of him laughing at the new show too. Why did Lisa feel it was so important to embarrass Bart like that? Sure it showed he was a hypocrite, but it used to take a lot more for her to do something so devious against him. Even in Girly Edition (which I think is the earliest unlikeable characterization of Lisa), there was **some** kind of reason behind what she did, since he pretty much taunted her, plus it went a lot worse than she expected. Now it feels like she just to take a dump on him every chance he gets and do everything to make sure he ends up miserable and left out. Seriously, fuck Lisa and fuck this episode.

Fuck this episode.

PreciousBodilyFluids 02:19 PM 03-25-2019


TERF much?

0/5 matt selMAN retire bitch

PreciousBodilyFluids 02:23 PM 03-25-2019
[MENTION=53986]OldSchoolerSimpsons[/MENTION] retire to 4chan

Frankbags 02:37 PM 03-25-2019
Originally Posted by Financial Panther:
I have to disagree with you about your thought on how Flanders would be outside picketing in the classic era. If anything, Ned and the kids’ going to the show is more reminiscent of his classic self where he was more laid-back as opposed to the Bible-thumping fundamentalist he became. The picketing would be right in line with that character.
I said the Golden Era not the classic era.. I'm referencing the episode in the 7th season where rod and todd watch itchy and scratchy. no no.. that's just raspberry jam....

okay! maybe flanders wouldn't picket but he wouldn't let his kids watch itchy and scratchy... anyway, it's really petty but it bothers me.

It seems that the critics really love this episode.. it's not a bad episode, I just don't think it's a good simpsons' episode, it could be better. I just don't think any critic will talk badly about an episode focused on feminism and equality. that's the state of 'professional' critics out there in the blogosphere. The backlash would be horrible.

PreciousBodilyFluids 02:42 PM 03-25-2019
tf is the Golden Era rofl

Venomrabbit 04:08 PM 03-25-2019
"flailing attempt to justify a reaction of "I did not like this episode and I feel I need to latch on to a good reason why""

... there were plenty of good reasons why it was bad. Just about all the protagonists except Bart unlikeable (again, why skip immediately to publicly embarrassing Bart instead of, y'know, talking or trying to get through? Or the trio berating Bart despite helping them, does not an endearing character make) half the characters involved were bastardized to fit a premise that otherwise wouldn't have worked at all (Martin as a straw misogynist. Hell, he, Martin, Bart and Nelson had no objections to Sophie gaming with them just last episode. Same goes for playing alongside girls in quite a few of the sports episodes) and the way the episode framed it, it felt like Lisa had no reason to join in the climax, she was entirely down with the group and sure she was a fan of I&S in previous episodes but then previous characterization didn't matter when it came to the boys. Oh and most of the plot was taken up by guest characters that won't show up again and were so unimportant they didn't even have names or distinct personalities. Just like The Falcon and the D'oh-man and Pennywise-Guys

And the whole "well the show doesn't usually do things well" excuse might have worked if it was John Frink, Joel H Cohen, Matt Selman or any of the other regulars that's stuck in a rut but it was an entirely new writer. That and they had what would have been a good moment with Bart trying to reason about how it didn't matter that Itchy and Scratchy were girls, that a funny cartoon was still a funny cartoon. But then it got tossed aside because I guess Bart was in the wrong for trying to dissolve a situation. Maybe if he made that appeal and then both sides just shrugged it off it might have worked. Same with the whole "Patriarchy is a Wiener" thing, maybe it'd make any sense for Bart to hold anything but ill will towards them if their line about only using him for fingerprints was instead something like "Yeah, you're out, shame, we were kinda starting to like you" or something... and would have showed some sort of redeeming qualities to the characters we have to follow.

Actually, wasn't last week's review thread fully of what-ifs to how it could have been better? Does that mean there's suddenly no legitimate complaint about the ending to that episode? I mean it's by the modern Simpsons writers so we can't expect them to do a thing right.

But sure, ya want some positives? Fine. There were funny moments, like Krusty's dubbing, at least two moments from Nelson (mentioning he didn't even light the merchandise on fire, "we're all united, in blaming you!") if anything Nelson's had a pretty decent ratio of good lines this season. And it skirts close to having an actual point but again, deliberately chucks it out.

3t8yb 05:14 PM 03-25-2019
This episode was underwhelming, to put it mildly. It seemed like a more liberal version of The Girl Code, but didn't strongly commit to taking a side, which made the social satire come off as very weak. Ignoring that, the plot contrivances were irritating and nonsense, and everyone seemed wildly out-of-character. However, there were more than a few moments I laughed at, so I guess it's not a complete waste. But overall, thinking about what this episode was trying to get across just gives me a headache. It seems like HD Simpsons is always the most painful when it's trying to be in your face about the fact that it's still a modern show that can tackle modern issues - it never turns out well.


Kaine 06:27 PM 03-25-2019
Mixed feelings with this one. I don't mind this episodes premise which has gotten quite relevant in todays time. The moment I watched the first act I was thinking back of South Park's ''Eat, Pray, Queef'', which did largely the same thing with their popular show-in-a-show. Its interesting to see how the boys from either show do different things to get their original show back. In this episode I'm not quite sure where they were going for though, the plot started to go all over the place after the first act. Some things felt like it needed some more clarification like justifying Itchy & Scratchy turning into females, despite that (as far as we see) all the females that already watched the show quite like it already. So would Krusty really gain more viewers if all the boys decide to boycot? And since Itchy & Scratchy are animals it feels so unnecesary to appoint them a gender.

The first act was the most enjoyable troughout all of KrustyCon. The opening went by to fast and I would've liked to see more of the actual convention, would've been a good place for some clever jokes. Liked that Marge didn't even know what to be liberal about anymore. And while Bart inviting his friends to not watch Itchy & Scratchy feels kinda pointless, I thought the actual idea was kinda funny and it was done well with them ending up blindfolded. I don't think it was in character for Lisa to simply upload a video that could destroy Bart's reputation with all the other boys, if anything she would have rather used the video to blackmail Bart or something. The ''Josh.O'' parody was pretty funny where they could've tried to quest star Daniel Tosh to voice himself instead. Homer making fun of Bart was probably one of the better gags in this episode.

So now Lisa learns a lot of internet words and and calls Bart ''owned'', then we have Millhouse actually becoming the groups leader, and then we have Bart befriending a woke group of sixth-grade girl... quite a shake up for this show. I like a lot of jokes that came with it like delivering the sandals message to Skinner, Bart owning both of Skinners phones, Millhouses parents actually getting sexually aroused for having so many friends over. Millhouse avoiding the prank by sitting down to pee and most of the montage was pretty funny. Bart admitting to Lisa for joining the gang was also one of the better gags in this episode, loved Lisa's reaction to it. Every discussion about feminism is apparently turning into an argument about Star Wars (and yes Boba Fett is overrated). The last act went well for most part with some good jokes, like the squeeky voiced teen being okay as he's strapped with bra's, Krusty's sponsors, the Vietnam flashback kind of view that Millhouse was having while all the kids were cryin gout glitter. A good gag with Wiggum aswell. The rest of the ending didn't feel as good with Lisa being fine with joining the girls gang.

It feels like this episode could've been a lot better if only they focussed more on the actual Itchy & Scratchy reboot that was introduced in the first act. But instead we get 2 seperate plots with Bart joining the girls and Millhouse rallying the boys group, which didn't really go anywhere and instead they just tried to pull off random gags with Millhouse being the leader and Bart being played around. A lot of the jokes were pretty good which is where this episode scores the most at. Some of my favorite gags are Homer's reaction to Bart when he sees his clip on TV, and Bart revealing to Lisa that he is actually in the girls gang. For the rest of the episode it feels like both Homer and Marge are very underutilised while Bart and Lisa have rather inconsistent characterisations. As it turns out its a rather average episode, good premise but lackluster execution.


wiley207 06:31 PM 03-25-2019
Here we go, a Matt Selman episode that's written by one of the show's consulting producers in her first writing effort for the show!

Wow, did anyone else notice hearing those old Alf Clausen stock music cues at parts of the episode?

The Krusty-Kon bit was full of fun freeze-frame bonuses!
Awww, they cut off after the first couple words of the "Conga" song! At least "Sesame Street" had Gloria Estefan sing the actual song in 1991 (when I was watching the show when I was little!)
I'm kind of not surprised the Simpsons is making fun of all those cartoon reboots we've been getting. Complete with Bart complaining "They've ruined my childhood!" I'm not surprised Lisa enjoys the idea of the female "Itchy and Scratchy."
Marge thinking Itchy and Scratchy were a married couple did get a chuckle out of me.
I also loved Kearny complaining about if they made a female Mr. Magoo. (But what about Mr. McGrew from Season 15?) And Krusty altering the lyrics to the Itchy and Scratchy theme was hilarious, too!
Why am I not surprised Tress MacNeille voiced the female Itchy? But then Lisa uploading the video of Bart laughing at it was pretty harsh.

I liked Bart standing up for himself while his male friends were mad at him.
A school fire exit closed due to budget cuts?! Sheesh! I remember my middle school having some of their outdoor exit doors chain-locked in the winter. And this was a school built before that Our Lady Of The Angels school fire that changed standards and fire codes!
Wow, it's been a while since I've seen Bart in action as El Barto!
I thought it was pretty cool seeing those "bad" sixth grade girls accept Bart. And now I know Springfield Elementary is at least a K-6 school. My hometown of Brockton's elementary schools used to also be K-6 or even 1-6, but now they are all K-5 (save one, which became a K-8 school.)
Lard Lady Nonuts looked pretty funny! I'm also glad Lisa thought Bossy Riot was so cool. The last part of the second act when Bart revealed to Lisa he was part of Bossy Riot was funny too!

I'm glad they went back to featuring Itchy and Scratchy in the main's plot with the third act. I also liked how right after Bart tells Lisa what the other girls are gonna do, it cuts right to Lisa and Bart hurrying to stop them.
I'm glad Krusty was able to point out how the Itchy and Scratchy master copies have been backed up, being the computer techie-in-training I am, until he found out they WEREN'T backed up! Hopefully they did back them up into a digital archive afterward!
I'm glad Lisa realized the vat of nail polish was on wheels, and thus was able to kick it out of the way.

It sure was an interesting episode, and I give it a 3.5 out of 5 (3.5 for the poll.) If Matt Selman wasn't co-showrunner here, it probably wouldn't have been as good.

Mr. 06:35 PM 03-25-2019
4/5 I like the story which felt stick to the point (which is rarer and rarer in modern seasons) and most of the jokes land for me. I did nejoy Milhouse being in charge of the guy for once.

The only joke I do think they butcher was Homer calling Bart to see what's on Tv. If he was only calling him about the silly thing he seen that would be funny "Homer missing the point moment" but then he had to add "Aslo you are on TV" and that's sort of ruinned great joke.

As for what poin the epiosde was trying t o make...

I think it felt very "South Parky" in the sence that satire tried to mocked all the sides of the issue, which I personaly prefer... It's better then if episode comes of as very one-sided which sometimes can feel like propaganda if you don't agree with all the point it is making. I think they handle it mostly good... exept at then in the last minute it took a clear side, which I guess was what muddle the issue for some people.. I would prefer some "All sides can have extremes "message at the end, but I take it for what it is. It was fine, I guess, even if the Bossy Riot don't take any punishment for their attempt to destoroy Itchy and Scrathy... It's one thing to make Banksy like statmens but destroying property of a studio? I don't know. There is some serious lack of Karma there .

Also... Hey Simpsons creators! See how uspet Bart was that epiosdes his favorite show will be destroyed? Maybe take example and spare "Stark Raving dad", eh? sorry... Sorry... off-topic...but seriously, there is some irony there... I would be happy to one day learn Bart had some line about not changing history of a show that turn out they cut last minute to not feel to hypocritical...

Mikesuper26 07:26 PM 03-25-2019
There are some interesting responses to this episode to be found in this thread. There are some who loved it, some who absolutely hated it and some who were in the middle between good and bad. I find myself to be a bit in the middle. There were some good jokes and decent animation, but my biggest takeaway was that this episode was a tad all over the place, as a few have already said. First off, this episode is named "Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy." I was expecting this to be an episode centered around Bart and perhaps Krusty (or something along those lines) but this episode instead essentially descended into a gender war. While I am not saying this is bad per say, it did catch me off guard and was unexpected. Perhaps the biggest issue here for me was trying to understand the message that the show was attempting to deliver. Was Bart wrong for trying to become friends with the Bossy Riot group without fully understanding their message? Was Lisa wrong for throwing in with a group that she and her brother had just stopped from destroying old Itchy & Scratchy tapes, thereby abandoning her law abiding principals? There were quite a few questions such as these that remained on my mind when this episode ended, and moreover I feel that they should have used adult characters to tackle these types of issues. This goes back to a long standing issue I have seen with the children characters taking on issues that are far beyond their age. Lisa has always been a child prodigy, so it sort of makes sense for her, but Bart has always had a very childlike view on many serious issues. It is for that reason that I feel like Lisa's disdain towards Bart for not understanding the issues at stake (at least initially) was a bit out of line.

I have noticed an increased amount of anger towards Lisa over the past two episodes. While I have said many times that there is a double standard in the Simpsons universe about how Bart is treated compared to Lisa's far more favorable treatment, I defended her in last weeks episode. Unfortunately, I do not feel as though she was justified in most of her actions against Bart here. For example, posting his reaction to the cartoon on the Internet was uncharacteristically cruel and largely unprovoked. As a side note, I didn't find Homer's long winded mocking of his son to be amusing - it just reminded me of how Homer can be a major jerkass most of the time. Bart's realization that girl cartoons can be funny was a logical and mature thing for him to realize and say to his friends. While Bart did seemingly join with the Bossy Riot group to simply have an opportunity to pull pranks, I wouldn't expect much more from a mischievous ten year old boy who has lost his friends due to something that was largely his sister's doing. Further, at the end of the episode, Bart had come around to understanding the issues at hand and even acted as the voice of reason while trying to diffuse Bossy Riot as they were attempting to destroy the tapes. I really enjoyed his characterization in this episode, though it is a shame that the girls pretty much just used him to pull pranks and never really considered him a part of their group. Just another example of shitting on Bart I suppose. I will say that I am glad to see that I am not the only one who dislikes the constant abuse Bart suffers from. I really wish there was an episode of him having a positive male role model. While Flanders is nurturing towards Bart, I doubt that Bart sees Flanders as much of a role model...perhaps more of a quasi friend and surrogate father at times. It would be nice to see Bart have a true role model for once in his life to at least help him believe in his own potential, and someone who actually cares about Bart and isn't just doing it for some ulterior motive - sort of like Bart's version of a Mr. Bergstrom. Just a thought.

A few other points that I thought were funny/interesting include Milhouse being a leader and actually having friends over to his house. While his parents reactions to this were a bit odd, and watching Milhouse turn on his best friend so easily was strange, it was nice to see Milhouse take the lead for a change. Wiggum's feeble and incompetent attempt to stop Bossy Riot was pretty funny. One interesting note is when Bart mentioned getting tased. I can't help wonder if this was a callback to the Season 22 episode "Homer the Father," wherein both Homer and Bart were tased for running onto a baseball field. At the time I thought it was a bit brutal to tase a subdued ten year old even in a cartoon, but I suppose we have seen worse. I believe Homer has mentioned this before ("the last time I stepped onto a baseball field I got tased") so maybe this was Bart's memory of the event...or maybe it was just a joke to make Bart seem a bit more hardened then he actually is.

Overall I enjoyed this one, despite its confusing and rather complicated messages. 3/5

PreciousBodilyFluids 08:13 PM 03-25-2019
Originally Posted by Mikesuper26:
Unfortunately, I do not feel as though she was justified in most of her actions against Bart here. For example, posting his reaction to the cartoon on the Internet was uncharacteristically cruel and largely unprovoked.
not like he'd become a MRA or anything...

PreciousBodilyFluids 08:17 PM 03-25-2019
Let's face it, Lisa is infallible and anyone who paints her as a "spoilsport" or "meanie" is a big ol' woman-hater

I will hear no dissent, thank you

ThunderGirlFlying 01:28 AM 03-26-2019
Another "we'll tackle and then screw up an issue" episode?

What else is new?

Ryan 08:26 AM 03-26-2019
what a lame both-sider filled with unfortunate dialogue brimming with awkward puns, surely a bunch of dads crapping on the otherwise talented amram's script

fire exit gag was cute


PreciousBodilyFluids 10:42 AM 03-26-2019
Wish Amram's script were available so we could see how it's roughly as garbage as the finished product

PreciousBodilyFluids 10:43 AM 03-26-2019
Imagining stellar first drafts is a great form of criticism

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