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Thread: Rate & Review: "Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy" (YABF10)

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  1. #31
    her cocoa is so chuggable PreciousBodilyFluids's Avatar
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    Jan 2008

    Today is the day Megan Amram finally wrote a Simpsons episode

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  3. #32
    Stonecutter angeldeb82's Avatar
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    Here's Phil Peyton's review of the episode:

  4. #33
    I'm not your friend-o Cartoonnetwork's Avatar
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    I haven't posted here for a while but I watched this episode and it's kinda interesting to discuss. Like most of you I thought it was pretty good but lost opportunities to be better or even a classic.

    Milhouse becoming the leader of the BRAS was by far the funniest part of the episode. I'm not totally in favour of modern narratives that paint the 'good guys' or 'nerdy' types as almost worse or more toxic than bullies or aggresive people. I still think that in most scenarios bullies are the most dangerous- but yeah, some nerd people that don't have the ability to relate to women can develop some toxic traits. Here they don't even paint it like that. Milhouse just finds a way to gain some respect once in his life, which makes his role in the episode sad, pathetic, funny and even a little endearing at the same time. Even though he creates this toxic group he doesn't come up as (totally) unlikeable. The other BRAS are a little unlikeable but I didn't find it extremely heavy handed in this aspect. Nelson fits in the role too, and even Bart at the beginning. The only one that feels a little out of place here was Martin, as other people has pointed out. I think they just needed a big group of characters. But just taking this subplot as a whole, it worked perfectly. Most of their lines were spot-on satire of what this kind of groups often say.

    Bart's subplot with Bossy Riot was decent except for the somewhat fast and half-assed conclusion. The girls characters could have been a little more developed but the aspect of Bart having fun with the pranks in company of girls was interesting.

    However, like others have pointed out, the whole thing of the title, Itchy and Scratchy, felt underused. I understand it could only be an excuse to develop the rest of the episode but they could have done much better with Lisa and the depiction of the reboot itself. Again, it's implied that it was pandering and it is implied that Lisa is somewhat in the wrong with some of her reactions but at the same time it looks like they are mostly trying to defend her and it's not done in the best way. Yeah, you can sort of get the general idea that feminism has valid claims but sometimes it can get a little out of hand but Lisa's behaviour was a little too over the place. I'm not saying they should have picked one side and be totally defensive of it, just that they could have explained the pros and cons a little better. And yeah, it would have been interesting to see more of the new Itchy and Scratchy and get a sense of its quality. It seemed that it was just like the old show but with girls instead of boys. They could have explored that a little more. If that made the show different or not, if it was pandering or it had some good consequences like developing a bigger girl fanbase or something.

    Also the final graffiti did feel a little heavy handed. If it had been placed during the prank montage it would have worked fine but Bart writing it at the very end felt like an attempt to appear woke 'just in case' the message hasn't been well balanced.

    The end credits reunion, as every other scene with the BRAs, was cute and funny, though.

    Maybe that was the intention to defy expectations but Bart did come up as a better ally than any of the girls characters as 'good' feminists. Both Lisa and the Bossy Riot girls didn't show a lot of well-thought reflections behind their actions.

    Overall it's a 3,5/5 Pretty good but even without initial credits or introductory acts modern episodes feel 'shorter' than the old ones, it seems as if they can't include as many subjects and scenes as the classic ones or they don't spend time in the adequate places. Maybe it's a problem of having to include some kind of action climax at the end, like the destruction of the tapes here, which was not always a priority in classic era.
    Last edited by Cartoonnetwork; 03-27-2019 at 06:14 AM.
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  5. #34
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    Actually, that is another good point and I think it explains a big chunk of why this episode bothered me so much. It's extremely poorly thought out.

    Lots if not all MRAs and internet conservatives are toxic, unbelievably so. Like I'm not going to pretend there isn't some really fucked up shit they've been doing. Like that racist campaign against Leslie Jones in particular, Elliot Rogers, the hate against Steven Universe when it's not even an anti-male show and its two most prominent male characters are actually pretty damn progressive and positive. Thing is, outside of turning on Bart for "betraying" them and later Milhouse, nothing the BRAs do is particularly awful. They stage a protest with stuff they probably bought and even when the old I&S is brought back, they're getting it back yes but both before and in this episode there's evidence that girls already enjoyed the original so they're not even really losing anything. On top of that, as mentioned, Milhouse was mainly just excited to have friends and even his former (and then later again) bullies hanging on his words.

    Meanwhile our "heroes", Lisa and Bossy Riot, are aggressive, bigoted, take pleasure in the pain and humiliation of others (again, why couldn't Lisa try talking to Bart in case he was, y'know, just afraid to speak up due to peer pressure but she gets told to get lost, then taking a video without his consent for the purpose of humiliating and provoking cyber-bullying would have a reason), closed-minded (did Lisa even try and see if Bart maybe had an actual change of heart before ranting at him? No) use and totally plan to betray a young boy who, though naive, was originally on board with their ideals and despite not understanding them, seemed eager to learn.

    By comparison, the BRAs are the way more reasonable and sympathetic side who we're supposed to hate just because they're boys and they didn't like that something was, well, not even being taken since the girls were already enjoying the show before the reboot. They could have made fun of how the reboot didn't even seem degrading to men and that getting bothered by it was a total false alarm in the end. And considering there is a very obvious taking of sides here ("The Patriarchy Is a Wiener", "manspreading", the fact that Bossy Riot and Lisa get away with everything and are celebrated while the boys are degraded on live tv and we're clearly supposed to think it's a good thing) they basically fucked up writing an antagonist strawman so hard that they become the far more sympathetic side. And it's supposed to be mocking a group that has actual mass-murderers held up as heroes and a serious overlap with neo nazis. Why not have the BRAs actually do something despicable that echoed that? Like hounding and belittling the girls around them, breaking their stuff while trying to claim they're the good guys? Or that the merchandise they burned was stolen off the other girls? Their irl counterparts basically are villains so how do you screw up villainizing them so bad? In other words, even the plot as it is could have worked, but it's bogged with terrible writing all around.

  6. #35
    blocks your path CousinMerl's Avatar
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    (I'm probably gonna repeat a lot that has been said as there's been so many opinions on the episode so far, many of which pointed out some interesting stuff that I agree on, but hopefully I'll have some new things to add. My review turned out quite long even after a lot of changing and editing so sorry for the long post that perhaps is longer than necessary, but hopefully you guys will bear with me and read):

    I have to admit that I liked this one. The story of Bart and friends being intent on boycotting and "not-hate-watch" the new all female 'Itchy & Scratchy' reboot introduced at the Krustycon convention but Bart sneaking into Lisa's room and laughing at it along with her (and her posting the recording online to show his hypocrisy), making him shunned by his hateful group of friends and hanging out with a trio og feminist sixth-grader girls as they prank and vandalize the town while sending out their messages was one of the most topical plots and it was interesting (as was the subplot about Milhouse forming a Mens Rights Activist group in an nice side story). The ideas, themes and satire were presented well (depite not all of it being perfect) and while it had some issues it made for a solid one

    They did welll with hese still current issues like gender politics and making it an entertaining onel, even with the satire that was in your face and kinda simplistic. I liked Bart plot and think it played out fairly well, with him being outed by Lisa as having enjoyed what brief bit he saw of the I&S reboot (and she wants him to face the consequences of his hypocrisy), but running away from the Milhouse & crew and joining the Bossy Riot gang due to their pranks; I liked to see him being upbeat and his usual mischievous self in a new group of aquantainces (who let him in due to being impressed with his phone-stealing prank). Also, the subplot with Milhouse becoming the leader of the BRA (Boys Rights Activists) club and Kirk and Luanne being proud of him was also nice (having some of the best bits in the episode).

    Wasn't too into Lisa getting angry with Bart when she finds out he is in Bossy Riot because he's not into their ause. I felt that Lisa would appreciate that he is even in this group and I thought she'd support Bart but she got so bitter, overzelaous and petty. Even so, he got her on her side by confronting her well (turning her words against her by calling her out on being content on the sidelines complaining than being an active part) and asks her to join them, making her question herself. Once the girls turn on him when he out they were are to destroy the original I&S cartoon negatives (something that felt ill thought out since it would've changed nothing for them) due to Milhouse's gang got the I&S reboot cancelled he gets her help and support as she's also a fan; it was neat seeing them team up it was nice the conflict between them was short lived.

    Even the climax e being good (Lisa stopping the girls' plan and accidentally hurting Milhouse's BRA crew with the nail polish vat tipping over), it didn't need to end with the girls being outed as having used Bart (thereby invalidating the sympathy I had for them, rendering them essentially as one-dimensional sociopaths so not a nuanced representation of feminists). As for Lisa joining them even though they were going to destroying her favorite cartoon and used her brother it was kinda odd but understandable (there are probably things they agree on; she'd probably try to keep them from going too far again). Also, Itchy & Scratchy were barely a part of the episode which was a shame (I thought they would be more integral but no such luck). Still, Bart wasn't unhappy & the credits scene where he tells his friends about his time with Bossy Riot was a good capper.

    The plot was well paced and had some good jokes like the half-assed I&S reboot intro, Moe with his golf club bag with baseball bats & Bart and Homer's conversation about Boba Fett. The animation was nice and expressive and the characterizations were fine though with some issues like Lisa being irrationally angry at Bart for being in Bossy Riot (though jelaousy might have played a part) and her posting the video of him online was cruel (thought not completely out of character as she can be small at times) & some other stuff (like why is Ralph in the BRA gang?) but I can forgive those since satire sometimes need exaggeration, though the BRAs and Bossy Riot could've been given more nuance as they were cartoonish portrayal. Other than that I think the portrayals were fine.

    So all in all, I think the episode worked well and was a decently good one. It had some muddled messages due to the writing, rather one-note stereotyped characterizations, a lack of nuance & some strange characterizations but a lot of it worked. It presented the themes well and the satire, the pacing and the humor came together nicely. The idea of Bart becoming a part of the girl gang after not being able to side with his former friends due to the sexism he could support anymore (great to see him stand up for his beliefs) was good one and him not being so downbeat in the end was nice. Could it have had explored it's ideas and plot points better? Of course, but even so it was interesting and well plotted (and a lot of it the satire was on point like Krusty doing the reboot to cash in on the diversity side).

    It's not quite the perfect HD era episodes but while it missed a lot of marks with some aspects (like both groups not learning anything and kept being these one-dimensional angry sexists), the confusion with some of the messages & the lack of nuance (not to mention Bart ending up as kinda being walked over with him having meant nothing) it was a nice one (even without that nuance and duality I wished would've been there to spice it up) with a well paced and funny story with some interesting stuff (and I did like how in-your-face it was; it had the right idea to stir things up and annoy people). The modernisms like the use of current words and slang (ranging from "pwned" to "manspreading" to ) were worked into the episode well (though I can see the annoyance by some who refuses to accept The Simpsons using current linguo).

    It simplified a lot of things but it worked out well and the attempt at satre was a good one overlal and with some great and interesting timely themes and ideas. I'd say an above average and an fine outing from showrunner Matt Selman. Maybe the next time they'll try something similar they can get it down better but as for this one, it wasn't bad at all and pretty good. One of the season's better episodes.

    3.5/5 rounded up to 4/5
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 09-10-2019 at 11:01 AM.

  7. #36
    No to cooties and sisters. Shoskin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    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...

    @Nitsy came up with the best callout while I was crafting this response.

    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.
    I was thinking that this episode reminded me of the new Ghostbusters movie. Where the left, feminist and so force attacked people, mostly men, who were against the reboot. Basically they were called misogynistic sexiest and fanboys. It was any easy way to attack those who opposed this movie. It was mostly bullshit. I didn't want to see it for one reason, it has been done before. Why couldn't the writers write a new script? To me the original is a classic. Rarely are reboots successful. The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven (1960) and Italian Job movies (1969 and 2003). Plus it has Charlize Theron; so hot, want to touch the hiney.

    Now do the girls understand that Bart was using them as well? Bart is a rebel rouser. He likes to stir the pot. I like to stir the pot. But the idea of them thinking he was only good for finger prints and DNA is prosperous. I said it before, He's El "f'in" Barto. He doesn't care. However, would it have been wrong for Lisa to give her brother the benifit of the doubt? In a way I think he understood what was going on.

    Lisa needs to be called out sometimes on her bullshit. There has been a few times she's been a hypocrite and no one calls her on it. I'm still pissed they fired Comic Book Guy in girl code. If it was opposite and they fired the only female she be on it like shit on a shingle. Furthermore, for her to give in to petty vandalism goes against what she believes, especially a Buddhist. Plus I don't not equate vandalism as civil disobedience. Vandalism tends to shut people off from the protest itself and just make people mad when it is happening in a place where they live and work. Plus why attack Lard Land?

    Another problem with this episode is why do it in the first place? Especially with 10 Year old boys. Most boys, realistically, at that age don't understand what's going on and just see this as something they love being change. This was writers trying to make a point and it backfired. They pandered to social norms. Would Lisa character two years ago been for this drastic change in programing. How about would have this episode been made if we didn't have the greatest president in office (cough)? They didn't need to change the characters. They could have just added the characters to the cartoon. Like Princess Pennelope.

    Lesbian feminists... no. Bullshit... yes.

    Millhouse seems to do better out of Bart's shadow and some of his arguments have some merits in a way. Plus why blame him? It wasn't his fault.

    I was happy to see Bart and Lisa fight to save the original Itchy and Scratchy strips. Just think if they wanted to do that to the original Merry Melodies cartoons?

    What was with the glitter?

    Is this the worst episode ever? IDK. Is it worst than "Bart of Bummer" and "Lisa go Gaga?" Probably not. "Bart of Bummer" was just a cruel episode and "Lisa Goes Gaga" was just terrible.

    Men do not envy women either. I don't mean that in a negative way. However, why would any man think they do in the first place?

    I hate the word "woke." There must be another word.

    Women have a lot more power than they think.

    Just my two cents. Sorry if I repeated myself from my earlier post.

    @Welcome to Moe's

    Bonus: Beavis and Butthead reference: Diarrhea Cha Cha Cha.
    Last edited by Shoskin; 03-28-2019 at 02:33 AM.

  8. #37
    Birthplace of the Flaming Moe Welcome to Moe's's Avatar
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    I do feel there needs to be a bit more in regards to Beavis and Butthead, just seem like they're missing a good couch gag opportunity, just one.

    '"Uh, Hugh Jass! D'oh, somebody check the men's room for a Hugh Jass"

  9. #38
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    Well, well, well, this episode. To be honest, I watched it twice those last days, to be fully sure on what I thinked about. I kinda expected this episode gonna divide people but not to the point of having the lowest IMDB user rating after Lisa Goes Gaga. In my opinion, this was one of the strongest episodes of this season.

    First off, I think this episode was very funny. At least, more funny than a lot of episodes from this season. Sure, I had slight issues with some "on the nose" puns, but otherwise, I laughed a number of times, and I could remember the jokes I liked before rewatching it. Among my favorite jokes, there was the whole concept of "hate-not-watch", "Girls aren't funny, they're hot or moms - Or both", Eloise Barto, Skinner not negociating with terrorists, Bart with Skinner's cellphones, Bart revealing to Lisa he's in Bossy Riot, "Why does every discussion about feminism turn into an argument about Star Wars ?", the girls who don't envy the boys and pretty much all the jokes with Milhouse as the leader of the BRAs.

    Secondly, unlike a number of episodes from this season, I really had the feeling of an episode that had a very good pacing, and a story that is never rushed in any form. This time, the plot is clear, takes its time but not too much, and is well conducted in my opinion. That is really a bonus in comparison of the general level of season 30.

    So, about the main topic of this episode... Well, that's funny that @Brad Lascelle talked about BlacKkKlansman because, in some way, I also thinked about this movie regarding the supposed lack of nuance. In the movie, Spike Lee sure is on the black people's side, but he also had make fun of the way they are sometimes too much radical from time to time. And I had the same impression about this episode, which is clearly on Bossy Riot girls' side, but also makes fun of radical feminism.

    Maybe this episode had too much topics to talk about, but overall I think it did well. The fact that it doesn't matter if someone makes an all-female reboot of something if it's still good (that reminded me the Ghostbusters reboot case; it was a bad movie and a useless reboot, but not just because it was an all-female reboot; if the movie had been good, even if it is an all-female reboot, well it still would have been good) while some people pejudged it without giving it a chance, and also the fact that some people do this just to cash in on the whole gender thing, and the war between toxic maculinity and drastic feminism. And Marge's line "I don't know what to be liberal about anymore" is perfectly placed. And even if the last moments with Bart's "Patriarchy is a wiener" message are on the nose too, that didn't really bothered me. I guess it was made in case people didn't get on which side they were, while still making fun of it from time to time. And once again, that reminded me the way BlacKkKlansman ended with the archive videos.

    The biggest clumsiness to me was the portrayal of some characters. Like a number of people, I found Lisa unnecessary cruel towards Bart when she upload the video with Bart laughing in front of the reboot at the beginning, and after at the school when she makes fun of him (a revenge after what Bart did to her in Flanders' Ladder ? You know, in case the show still makes continuity). The characterization of the boys almost gave me The Girl Code vibes (which is not a compliment), but in my opinion, while their misogynist side in the aforementioned episode was out of nowhere, here I think it was better handled. Their interpretation of the difference between boys and girls felt like it really came from kids minds, who think like kids. And I liked Bart in this episode : while he joined Bossy Riot just to make more pranks throughout the town, which is coherent with his personality, he seems to have some good thoughts on the subject after all ("It doesn't matter if it's boy guts or girl guts"); and that's funny to see that after Lisa said to him he can't be a part of Bossy Riot because he doesn't have a full understanding of the subject, and basically because "he's not a girl", according to her words.

    And I didn't had a problem with Lisa joining the Bossy Riot at the end neither. Like it was said, Lisa didn't disagreed with the group's principles, she disagreed with the fact that they going too far and that it was used against something she loved. I guess she think, while joining the group, that she can be some kind of its "moral conscience", by not letting them going as far as they did with the master tapes of every Itchy & Scratchy episodes. And by the way, seeing Bart supporting her in her decision for once was a pretty sweet moment.

    All in all, I trully enjoyed this episode. Maybe it could have been better handled on some points, but in my opinion, it worked well with what it is. It's pretty well-thought and interesting, and it's also one of the most entertaining episodes from this season. A very good one. 4/5
    Last edited by Wile E. the Brain; 03-28-2019 at 09:27 AM.

  10. #39
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    The moment of the most anticipated episode of the season arrived, and of the last years in general. A new and promising writer, with an impressive curriculum. Matt Selman with his last effort this year and with an attempt at redemption. A premise that involves Itchy & Scratchy for the first time in 20 years. And a promising social critique of the most controversial issue of these times.

    As there is no opening sequence or couch gag, the action starts quickly in Krusty-Kon, where they perform a funny parody of the atmosphere that is lived in these conventions. The clip that summarizes the 40th season of Krusty's show was particularly hilarious. I'm not sure about this, but the behavior of Clown fans is a parody of The Simpsons fans. I interpret that the negative reaction to the evolution and changes of the program, or the absurd attempt of boycott is a reflection of how many followers of this show behave. This would not surprise me, considering that Selman already mocked television critics this year. As we have seen, the Clown presents Itchy & Scratchy in female version. I must say that the designs of both are really pretty. I especially liked the joke that Bart and Lisa say the same words to express opposite feelings. The segment "Pitchfork Perfect" has nothing extraordinary, is as good as any other. I found it adorable that Bart can not resist the temptation to see him. I think it was hilarious how Homer mocked his son for being seen in this situation, and how he comments on what is evident. I admit that I do not understand why Lisa uploaded the video to the networks. Maybe it was to teach him a lesson, but yes, it was a cruel act for his character.

    The role of Milhouse here seemed excellent to me. It is not surprising that he betrayed his best friend for a little popularity. It was funny that he is the leader of such a large group in which even bullies participate. The scene in which we see Kirk and Luann in bed after having sex is disturbing and disturbing, but in a good way. The relationship between Bart, and Carmen, Erica and Piper was executed correctly. In contrast to what we see of Milhouse, here Bart is the submissive, the one who receives the orders. And the girls, who stand out as radical feminists, are the ones who give orders and even use the child. Each of the jokes (or claims) they make have their charm. The presentation of Bart as' El Barto 'and his cell phone theft of Skinner, the graffiti of Skinner's office in demand for the use of sandals, the invasion of the boys' bathroom or graffiti (Eve was framed and Eat my skirts). When Milhouse and her group make a failed but successful claim, and Itchy & Scratchy return to normal, the girls plan a coup, in which they will try to destroy all the episodes produced in the cartoon. Bart, logically, is opposed, but he can not avoid anything until he receives help from his sister, with whom he had previously argued. It was a good final conflict, since it gives a quick but efficient and convincing conclusion to each of the open frames. Milhouse returns to his losing status when, Bart is set aside by the girls to return with his friends, and Lisa is reconciled with her brother. In the course, there are interesting appearances of Brockman, Squeaky Voiced Teen and Wiggum, as well as fun interactions between the girls and Bart, and between him and his sister.

    For me, this episode was, by far, the best of the season, and one of the most polished gems of the HD era. Sublime writing, full of good jokes, with a hopeful message and interesting social satires. Good direction and performances by voice actresses. Great performance of the guest stars, and the return of Itchy & Scratchy to prominence. I have no complaints, this was amazing.


    Now, with my review made, I want to say that I find the absurd reception of this fantastic episode absurd. For this, I am going to extend a bit to answer some concerns that you have expressed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Financial Panther View Post
    Were they saying the patriarchy is stupid? Were they saying people oppressing the patriarchy are stupid?
    Patriarchy is represented by children belonging to the BRA. They oppose the evolution of feminism, refer to girls as sexy or mothers, affirm that their way of life is in danger (read: their privileges), and believe that women envy them. On the other hand, I suppose that when you say: 'people oppressing the patriarchy' you mean Carmen, Erica and Piper. Well, in this case, do not make fun of feminism, but the actions of some feminists. They claim surpassing the limits, they have an aspect and an attitude that would be considered "unfeminine", they treat the male badly for the simple fact of being male and even use terms like 'canceled'. I leave the value judgment at your discretion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Financial Panther View Post
    Why would Lisa join a group that tried to do something she strongly opposes?
    Lisa does not disagree with the ideals that sixth-grade girls handle. After all, all four are feminists and believe in the liberation of women from a system that harms them. The difference is that Lisa represents a liberal feminist, while the other girls do the same with radical feminism. By joining BR, she is not changing a position nor is she becoming another radical feminist, but she is taking her beliefs further than they ever had (that's what she thinks before accepting the proposal). In other words, it is decided to begin to actively claim for their rights instead of silencing every injustice or inequity. That, I believe, is the message of the episode.

    Quote Originally Posted by HitoftheMillennium View Post
    Is it trying to say women are justified in being hostile and vengeful toward men in general?
    No, of course not. Through Carmen, Erica and Piper, the writers also make fun of extremist women who mistreat men without any justification. They do not represent an ideal, but an extreme. That is why many of its facets are objectionable (crimes, physical aspect, relationship with men). In addition, his deal with Bart is framed in an intrusion of the boy into a space built by and for women, so the rules of the game are written before he enters BR. He, as a man, has no voice or vote there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beggs View Post
    Is Lisa supposed to be seen as hypocritical, or rightfully calling out Bart?
    Here, the personal appreciation of each one matters. The truth is that Lisa has a reason to question the presence of Bart in feminist claims, and that he is not a feminist. Not even a woman. As she says, Bart only wants to do graffiti and some jokes, but feminism is not a space with which you can play. I'm left with the second option that you propose. Lisa does the right thing by being offended by Bart's place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beggs View Post
    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?
    Well, it is not that the methods are very questionable. They are not showing that girls in the sixth grade are hunting men or something like that. They are doing some graffiti and graffiti so that their claim is heard, and nothing more. It is true that the issue of destroying episodes of Itchy & Scratchy goes too far and blurs the cause. And that's the reason why Bart and Lisa oppose that particular claim. But I insist, we should not see Carmen, Erica and Piper as a total example to follow, because they are not. Although, on the other hand, they are the lesser of two evils, if you want to call it that, if the other of the evils is patriarchy, machismo and misogyny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nitsy View Post
    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?
    But they say explicitly that they do not make jokes. Erica says that what they do is throw awareness bombs, while Carmen says that they are pushing against the recoil. There is an abyss of difference between what you think they do, and what they really do. Writers argued that the struggle for women's rights should be employed. They do not say how to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchoolerSimpsons View Post
    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?
    One can believe that Milhouse is affected by the change because it represents a before and after of his favorite cartoon, and the changes are not well received by the fans, especially if they are controversial. So, even if he likes "feminine things", he does not have to like this. Even he says that the girls already have everything, and mentions things like emotional films and two-piece swimsuits, so they did not forget that facet of Milhouse, On the other hand, he harasses Bart for an issue of popularity, for an obvious need for recognition and attention by children who have always seen it as inferior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaine View Post
    So would Krusty really gain more viewers if all the boys decide to boycot?
    Evidently. Krusty says that children are replacing him with video games, so he decides to focus his efforts on the girls. It is not crazy to think that girls can like the show, after what we saw in Once Upon a Time in Springfield.
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  11. #40
    Pin Pal wiley207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PreciousBodilyFluids View Post
    Today is the day Megan Amram finally wrote a Simpsons episode
    I wonder if she'll write another episode of the series, or just go back to being a consulting producer?

  12. #41
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    Dec 2012

    I agree with Phil Peyton's review. I’m not going to sing its praises, but the episode was alright and Megan Amram is a great writer. The limitations of the episode is mainly the limitations of the show itself. Like we discussed in is the Simpsons sexist the show doesn’t handle feminism well do to the overuse of gender stereotypes with the men being idiot slobs and woman are both helpless victims and paragons of virtue. Basically the episode pits two strawmen together so they cancel each other out.

  13. #42
    Junior Camper
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    Dec 2004

    Maggie has not appeared in several episodes before, but this episode had no couch gag, and so she appeared neither in the couch gag nor in the episode proper, perhaps for the first time.

  14. #43
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Kitchener, ON

    Quote Originally Posted by wiley207 View Post
    I wonder if she'll write another episode of the series, or just go back to being a consulting producer?
    Megan Amram has another script on deck from this production run in what's shaping up as the likely Season 31 premiere, Crystal Blue-Haired Persuasion.
    The Winter of Our Monetized Content - 1.5/5 / Go Big or Go Homer - 2.5/5 / The Fat Blue Line - 3.5/5
    THOH XXX = Danger Things - 2.5/5 / Heaven Swipes Right - 1.5/5 / When Hairy Met Slimy - 2/5
    Gorillas on the Mast - 3.5/5 / Marge the Lumberjill - 2/5 / Livin' La Pura Vida - 5/5
    THANKSGIVING OF HORROR = A-Gobble-ypto - 3/5 / The Fourth Thursday After Tomorrow - 5/5 / The Last Thanksgiving - 3.5/5
    Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? - 3.5/5 / Bobby, It's Cold Outside - 2.5/5 / Hail to the Teeth - 1.5/5
    The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson - 2/5 / Frinkcoin - 3/5 / Maggie Simpson In "Playdate with Destiny" - 4/5
    Bart the Bad Guy - 5/5 / Screenless - 2/5 / Better Off Ned - 2.5/5 / Highway to Well - 4/5
    The Incredible Lightness of Being a Baby - 2.5/5 / Warrin' Priests - 2/5 / The Hateful Eight-Year-Olds - 4.5/5 / The Way of the Dog - 5/5

  15. #44
    Your Neighborhood Average Joe Purpleberries's Avatar
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    Apr 2017
    Central Valley of CA

    So I finally got around to watching this episode. I personally thought this was one of the stronger episodes of season 30 I've seen so far.

    This was probably one of the funnier episodes of the season in my opinion with some highlights being scenes with Milhouse as the leader of the Boys' Rights Association(or BRA) and some unforeseen things going wrong on camera for Krusty. Milhouse, who is usually portrayed as a wimpy character, being the leader of a misogynistic movement was humorously ironic to me.

    The story was paced well which could probably be credited to the fact that the show didn't have to juggle an actual second subplot(well the BRA is kinda a subplot). I think some of the political satire was decent although it did get a bit ham-fisted at times like Bart spray-painting "The patriarchy is a weiner". The episode satirized both extremes of the gender war with the BRA representing toxic masculinity and Bossy Riot representing radical feminists. So, I'll give it to the episode for trying to make fun of both sides.

    If there was one real complaint I had, it would probably be Lisa's characterization in this episode. Lisa secretly uploading the video of Bart's reaction to the I&S was uncharacteristically sadistic of her.

    Overall, Bart vs. Itchy and Scratchy was one of the stronger episodes of this season. 4/5(B+)

  16. #45

    It would have been much better if the video upload was an accident- Lisa setting up to do a reaction video live, accidentally catching Bart's laughter in the background and it was uploaded before she could realize and stop it.

  17. #46

    This episode stinks... i threw up after watching this. Worst. Episode. Ever. I can find good in other episodes, but not this.


  18. #47
    SuperFriend Nameless's Avatar
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    The road to hell, good intentions, and all that

    Season 31 Ratings
    The Winter of Our Monetized Content C+ Go Big or Go Homer ​C- The Fat Blue Line ​C+ Treehouse of Horror XXX ​C- Gorillas on the Mast ​B Marge the Lumberjill C- Livin La Pura Vida ​B- Thanksgiving of Horror ​B Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? ​C Bobby It's Cold Outside ​B- Hail to the Teeth ​D- The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson ​B+ Frinkcoin D+ Bart the Bad Guy ​B+ Screenless ​B Better Off Ned ​C- Highway to Well ​C The Incredible Lightness of Being a Baby ​C+ Warrin' Priests ​C- The Hateful Eight-Year-Olds ​B

  19. #48
    blocks your path CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Spittle County

    I did a rewatch of this one today (third time seeing it) as I wanted to give it another shot after it ended up on the NHC Worst 50 Episodes list also since I found it a decent but flawed episode and wanted to see how I'd view it now that it has sunk in.

    I decided to see it with the mindset of not trying to find any side to root for in there and overlook the lack of depth and nuance (which I complained about before) and just go with it as this purely satirical view on the whole topical gender wars thing with radical feminists and manbaby-like Mens Rights Activists and to my surprise, it has improved quite a bit.

    First off, I still really like them tackling these subjects as it's very timely and something important to shed some light on an Bart is the perfect character to do it with; he's so very likeably sympathethic in this one (as soon as he sheds that tough guy veneer of trying so hard to "not-hate watch" the female Itcy & Scratchy reboot but ending up drawn to it and loving it) standing up for himself and as he meets the sixth grader girls in Bossy Riot having this very positive outlook and looking up to them as cool pranksters, not judging them for being girls at all. His journey here (in which he learned to be more nuanced with trying to save the I&S original negatives since it doesn't matter if it's boy guts or girl guts) is entertaining and he never lets himself be beaten down or bossed around (even taking it really well once the girls reveal they just used him). He was the best part of the episode to me and had one of his best portrayals in the era.

    Bart's truly the one who learned something important while neither Milhouse's "Boys Rights Activists" or the Bossy Riot gang didn't; really both of the sides were these angry sexist assholes fighting the other side and I think we're not meant to root for either of then since they are both really petty and spiteful in their own ways (I'm thinking their simplistic portrayal is intended; it just shows how crazy things have gotten with the blind hate). Bart is just caught between them in a sense and tries to make the most of it (and have fun at the same time). I wish Lisa was more sympathetic (and not spitefully out his hypocrisy online) and tried to support and guide him once she found out he was one of the Bossy Riot hoodlums pranking the town (instead of being this angry bitter jerk who just complains and whines) but I liked how Bart faced her and got her to question her morals, before helping him (as she loves Itchy & Scratchy too and has morals and standards) and ending up joining the girl crew in the end for a while (with some support from Bart, whom she should've given hers to earlier).

    Overall, it's definitely nice episode and an challenging one too (especially with how in your face it presents is themes) and underrated in a sense. Bumping it up to a 4/5. It's not perfect and still has some writing kinks that could have been worked on a little more and smoothened out but it's still a solid one, well paced and well timed for the most part. I think everyone who thought it was just okay (or not even impressed with it in any way) should give it a go again (had I not done that with for example 'Mr. Lisa's Opus' I hadn't seen the goodness of that episode).

    Finally, how the hell is it in that worst list again? I never even considered for mine. It's not bad at all, has some good satirical writing and a lot of surprisingly funny moments (and Krusty was funny here too and he's a character whom I doesn't think is usually all that hilarious) so what makes it that deserving? I thought that NoHomers was one of those boards that viewed it more favorably.
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 03-21-2020 at 02:29 PM.

  20. #49

    I honestly don't get it, how those feminists forming some kind of antifa group can be heroes at the end, and Lisa being proud of joining them? I just don't get it...
    They turned the character that was about loving kindness and culture into antifa member... Way to go, girl...
    Ah how they fallen from grace compared to "Separate Vocations" time...
    Last edited by Net; 05-04-2020 at 10:39 AM.

  21. #50
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    Jul 2018

    I don't know how many of you guys watch Mysterious Mr Enter's videos but I saw that he made a video about Bart vs. Itchy and Scratchy that was posted yesterday and it's an Animated Atrocities.

    So since we were quite a few to actually like this episode and there also was some people here who didn't, I thought it might be interesting to debate over Mr Enter's opinion about such an infamous episode (for the right or wrong reasons, depending on people). What do you guys think ?
    It ate EVERYBODY, stupid !

    The Winter of Our Monetized Content - 2/5 / Go Big or Go Homer - 2/5 / The Fat Blue Line - 3.5/5 / Treehouse of Horror XXX - 2.5/5 / Gorillas on the Mast - 3.5/5 / Marge the Lumberjill - 2/5 / Livin' la Pura Vida - 4/5 / Thanksgiving of Horror - 4/5 / Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me - 2.5/5 / Bobby, it's Cold Outside - 2.5/5 / Hail to the Teeth - 1.5/5 / The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson - 3.5/5 / Frinkcoin - 2/5 / Bart the Bad Guy - 4/5 / Screenless - 3.5/5 / Better Off Ned - 1.5/5 / Highway to Well - 3/5 / The Incredible Lightness of Being a Baby - 2/5 / Warrin' Priests: Part One - 3/5 / Warrin' Priests: Part Two - 2.5/5 / The Hateful Eight-Year-Olds - 3.5/5 / Way of the Dog - TBA

  22. Thumbs Up To This Post by: Net

  23. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wile E. the Brain View Post
    I don't know how many of you guys watch Mysterious Mr Enter's videos but I saw that he made a video about Bart vs. Itchy and Scratchy that was posted yesterday and it's an Animated Atrocities.

    So since we were quite a few to actually like this episode and there also was some people here who didn't, I thought it might be interesting to debate over Mr Enter's opinion about such an infamous episode (for the right or wrong reasons, depending on people). What do you guys think ?
    I liked it because of it's good social commentary. Mr. Enter seems to hate social commentary episodes, and Phil Payton would totally disagree with his video.

    Also, Mr. Enter needs to do better research. The episode has only been out for a year, not two.
    The Central, King of Harts, Burger-loving, American family guy.

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