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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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    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
    Actually an Esquilax Venomrabbit's Avatar
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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
    don't quite cover all 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 Krusty introduced at the Krustycon convention but Bart sneaking into Lisa's room as she hears her laughing at the reboot (as she watched and filmed it as a reaction vid), laughing at it himself and Lisa posting the recording of it online to show his hypocrisy, making him shunned by his hateful group of toxic friends and finding refuge with a trio of feminist sixth-grade alt girls, joining their cause as they prank and vandalize the town while sending out their feminist messages was one of the most topical plots of some times and it was kinda interesting and fun (as was the subplot about Milhouse, now leading Bart's friends, and forming a Mens Rights Activist group in an funny side story). The ideas, themes and satire were presented quite well (depite not all of it coming out perfectly in the final product) and I didn't mind the modernisms (like the dialogue) and while it got a little messy and confused with the muddled messages it didn't make for an awful episode but rather an fairly good and interesting one with a lot of good points and ideas, ending up as far better than it could have.

    They did fairly decently with all these still current issues like gender politics with the gender wars and such and making it an entertaining one overall, even with the satire that was so obvious and in your face (spelling out stuff really, really clearly). I liked the basis of the 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 of liking what he told himself not to like), but running away from the hating Milhouse & crew and joining the Bossy Riot girl gang whom he sees as cool due to their pranks; I guess liked to see him being upbeat and being his usual mischievous self in a new group of aquantainces (who let him in due to being impressed with his phone-stealing prank that he had already committed, not to mention already being fans of the mysterious El Barto with his graffiti talens). Also, that subplot with Milhouse becoming the leader of the BRA (Boys Rights Activists) club and his parents Kirk and Luanne being proud of him for not only having so many friends over buy being the leader was also nice overall (having some of the best bits in the episode, making fun of mens rights activism with some nicely put humorous moments, plus ending with the Saving Private Ryan bit and the others turning on Milhouse, ending their crusade).

    Wasn't too into Lisa getting unreasonably upset and angry with Bart when she finds out he is part of Bossy Riot and their nightly town raids because he isn’t a 100% into their cause and that is so wrong to her. I felt that Lisa, if anyone, would appreciate that he is even in this group and finds it cool, even if he's not completely into their cause; I thought she'd support Bart when she found out but she got so bitter, overzelaous and petty to the point of her tirade not doing her any likeability favors. 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 of the protest movement) and asks her to join them, making her question her usual approach of her beliefs. Once the three girls turn on him once he finds out they were going to destroy every single original negative of the I&S cartoons (something that felt ill thought out since it would've changed nothing for them and was just out of sociopathic spite) since Milhouse's gang got Krusty to cave in stop producting the reboot (with their insane protesting by burning merchandise) he gets her full help and support as she's also a fan of I&S; it was neat seeing them team up over something they both like and it was nice the forced conflict between them was very short lived as it really didn't add anything.

    Still, even with the climax of the episode being good with Lisa stopping the girls from dropping the negatives in the vat of nail polish by kicking the vat aside and exposing the audience, Milhouse's BRA crew, to the fumes which makes them dizzy and cry (which the girls blows glitter sparkle on to make it worse), it didn't need to end on such a sour note with the three girls being outed as having used Bart and only let him join them to have someone to blame on (thereby invalidating much of the sympathy I had for them, rendering them essentially as one-dimensional sociopaths who tar all men with the same brush so not a nuanced representation of feminists; was it so hard to make them threedimensional and keep them likeable?). As for Lisa joining them even though they were going to destroying the past Itchy & Scratchy and even used her brother, it was kinda odd but understandable (there are probably things they agree on and her with the radical feminists is an intriguing idea I whish had happened sooner; she'd probably try to keep them from going too far like with the attempted I&S destruction). Also, Itchy & Scratchy were barely a part of the episode which was a shame (I though they would be more integral). Still, Bart wasn't unhappy and learned stuff & 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 a lot of good jokes and gags, ranging from the half-assed I&S reboot intro to Moe with his golf club bag with baseball bats to Bart and Homer's conversation about Boba Fett (and Lisa wondering why every debate about feminism ends up being about Star Wars). The animation was nice and expressive and the characterizations were fine though with some problems, such as that with Lisa being irrationally angry at Bart for being in the Bossy Riot gang since he's not fully into their fight (when she should be glad he's taking his first steps into a bigger world and be supportive, though jelaousy might have played a part) and her posting the video of him online was cruel (not completely out of character as she can be small at times and act carelessly plus he was a hypocrite but she still shouldn't have hung him out like hat) & some other stuff that made little sense (I don't buy Martin being sexist and why is Ralph there?) but due to satire sometimes using exaggeration some can be forgiven. Still, wasn't a fan of how the BRAs and Bossy Riot were kinda one-dimensional; there could've been more nuance than this black & white, cartoonish portrayal of each side so the balance lacked (and unfortunately, Bossy Riot ended up not too likeable). Other than that I think the portrayals were fine, especially Bart but also the likes of Marge and Homer (and even Lisa for much of it).

    So all in all, I think the episode worked well and was a decently good one. It was kinda overcomplicated in parts and had some muddled messages sent due to the writing, rather one-note stereotyped characterizations of the two groups, a lack of nuance & some strange characterizations but a lot of it worked, surprisingly. It presented the themes and ideas well and had 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 the plot came together decently and him not being so downbeat after finding out he was only an accessory as he did have a good time was nice (as was him cooperating with Lisa). Could it have had more dimensions, been more about I&S reboot and could Lisa have bonded with Bart over liking the reboot and went up against the haters together (and not been the only one of the two who got rewarded)? Did they mismanage the likeability factors in some places? Absolutely, but even so it was interesting and well plotted and had nice satire (a lot of it was on point like Krusty doing the reboot to cash in on the whole gender thing and Milhouse leading his toxic MRA group).

    With a bit of reworking it could've been one of the best HD era episodes but while it missed a lot of marks with some aspects (to add to this, that Bossy Riot didn't learn anything or change even the slightest from being just these angry, one-dimensional sexists was annoying, not even with Bart making sense with what he said and he was one of the most sensible people here (aside from Lisa) once the plot got going, but his thunder was stolen and maybe smartest thing he said was passed off as mansplaining; they missed the mark of having the feminist characters be fully sympathetic and learn to think less black & white as I felt that they should be better than the BRA crew, whom ended up as a bit more likeable to a point despite being meant to be the villains), the confusion with some of the messages and understanding exactly what the episode tried to say at times (sometimes it felt like it sent some iffy signals) & the lack of nuance (not to mention Bart ending up as kinda being walked over with him having meant nothing) and some real heavy-handedness it was a nice one (even without that nuance and duality I wished would've been there) 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).

    Not everything was thought out too well and it simplified a lot of things with the gender war (and had Bart, Lisa and the others been older or had the plot been done with adult characters, it would've been a better fit as most of the kids and preteens/teens here acted above their ages & heck, as already said, the Bossy Riot girls weren't even necessary to build a plot around such a premise which could've been an Bart & Lisa tale of fighting the toxic BRA crew, who should've been portrayed more as those who were in the wrong) and the Itchy & Scratchy reboot should've played an integral part in the story (not just been a catalyst and a plot point) but the attempt was a good one and with some great and interesting timely themes and ideas even though the episode was a little too sprawling, confused and the execution lacked a little.

    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 so bad at all and actually pretty good all things considered. One of the season's better episodes, all in all.

    Last edited by CousinMerl; 03-29-2019 at 01:47 PM.

  7. #36
    Release the Hounds 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.
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  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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    Jul 2017

    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.

  11. #40
    Pin Pal wiley207's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Brockton, MA

    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
    Junior Camper
    Join Date
    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.
    Bart's Not Dead - 2.5/5 / Heartbreak Hotel - 1.5/5 / My Way or the Highway to Heaven - 3/5
    THOH XXIX = Intrusion of the Pod-Y Switchers - 1.5/5 / Multiplisaty - 2.5/5 / Geriatric Park - 2/5
    Baby You Can't Drive My Car - 2/5 / From Russia Without Love - 3.5/5 / Werking Mom - 3/5
    Krusty the Clown - 4/5 / Daddicus Finch - 5/5 / 'Tis the 30th Season - 2/5 / Mad About the Toy - 1.5/5
    The Girl on the Bus - 2/5 / I'm Dancing as Fat as I Can - 4.5/5 / The Clown Stays in the Picture - 1.5/5
    101 Mitigations - 3/5 / I Want You (She's So Heavy) - 1/5 / E My Sports - 3.5/5
    Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy - 4.5/5 / Girl's in the Band - 4/5 / I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say D'oh - 1/5
    D'oh Canada - 2.5/5 / Woo-hoo Dunnit? - 3.5/5 / Crystal Blue-Haired Persuasion - 1.5/5

  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.
    Pokemon Moon Friend Code 5473-2104-2310
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  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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    Dec 2004

    The road to hell, good intentions, and all that

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

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