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Thread: Has Bart become the Meg (Family Guy) of the show



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  1. #1
    Hercules Rockefeller Homer Samson's Avatar
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    Has Bart become the Meg (Family Guy) of the show

    I think Bart has changed from the legendary rebellious character we came to know and love to the writers' punching bag, or as I like to call it, the Meg of the show.

    Even since the Ullman shorts Bart has been strangled by his father. Peter also abuses Meg.

    And The Boys of Bummer exists.

    One thing that proves the writers just hate Bart nowadays is the events of E My Sports. Bart finally becomes good at something that could help him succeed in life, but then the writers decide Bart can't succeed and Homer ruins it. It ends on a bitter note and it is clear the writers just wanted to make viewers angry by turning a good episode into a "Bart sucks" episode.

    Honestly the fact that people think Meg is Lisa's FG counterpart just because they are both the family's main daughter is ridiculous. Bart is the true Meg, in how nowadays he is treated like he doesn't exist and has the worst fates when he does get to shine.

    Do you agree that Bart has become the Meg of the show?

  2. #2


    I've been thinking the writers don't care about Bart for a while. He'll get the occasional good episode ("A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again") but for the most part, the show is about Homer and Lisa.

    It's just a shame because at one point, Bart was arguably the most entertaining character on the show. He used to have a lot of charm and energy, and even when he was doing something he shouldn't be, you still root for him anyway because you wanted to see how he would get out of the situation. Nowadays, almost all the things that made him great have been stripped from his personality.


  3. #3


    Well there are a lot of episodes where Lisa is shown to be very unpopular and uncool, so there are sometimes similarities to Meg.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by toushin View Post
    Simpsons Guy is the best critique for Barts characterization given how much they screwed the pooch with that episode.

    They paired up Stewie with Bart and Lisa with Meg however Bart and Meg have far more in common with each other, even on a meta level.

    In universe the reason Bart and Meg are abused and neglected so much is that they are the first born and their parents resent them for that. This abuse causes them to act out to get some form of attention even if it’s negative and when they do get positive attention it causes a drastic change in personality. For Bart he becomes a much better person while Meg goes crazy. Finally both are shown to be better musicians than Lisa. On a meta level Meg is treated so harsh because the show writers don’t know how to write a girl so that’s their go to. The reason Lisa isn’t abused is because the writers refused to have Homer strangling a girl. The reason the abuse got worse actually is Al Jean’s fault. Lisa is his favorite character to write for because he has daughters. This leaves Bart out to pasture. I agree with everyone they’ve ran out of things to do with Bart so they rely of the abuse to the point where it has reached the Comedic Sociopathic levels of family guy.

    I still find it disturbing that for two consecutive episodes (29th finale/30th premier) Homer didn’t have a care in the world when his stupidity put his life in danger 30 also shows that he cares more about a statue then his son.

    The future episodes also play a big role in his characterization. I mentioned it in my thoughts of when the Simpsons lost its way. The new rules only the future episodes means that Bart is the only family member in the show that suffers consequences. Bart is a future loser because of the flaws he has at 10 years old. Yet Lisa’s flaws don’t affect her future. Not only is she always successful she always graduates 2 years early, even though its already established that she can’t handle being top dog. Then they added children into the mix and stated that children naturally like their grandparents better then their parents. The reason for Abe’s and Homer’s horrible relationship is because Abe was an abusive asshole. The reason for Homer and Bart’s horrible relationship is because Homer is an abusive asshole. While Bart is a bit of a deadbeat he’s never shown to be abusive.

    Barthood isn’t any better given the one shown to be in the wrong in that episode isn’t Homer who bluntly 'admits' that he doesn't want anything to do with Bart, and can't say one nice thing to his son that isn't backhanded. It isn’t Marge who while not as outright abusive as Homer, but like him continuously pits Bart and Lisa against each other (which is one of the more subtle but particularly odious forms of bad parenting/child abuse), and repeatedly tells him to his face that he’s an accident who will never amount to anything. At best she acknowledges there is a problem, but doesn’t do anything to solve it. It isn’t Lisa who Bart is frequently compared to and is always treated better (though this isn't her fault), downplays his sense of inferiority by comparing it to the fact she got into Yale University the second best school in the country and not the best college, constantly showed him up for no reason, with some of them being on purpose, repeatedly forced him to give up his chances at success because of jealousy and resentment. It was Bart who is told to get over it, and even then they show Bart has to cut his family out of his life if he wants to be happy.

    Its especially egregious when you realize that there is no reason for Barts future to be so bleak, his Oscar winning short, the money and royaties from his tea shirts, viagragain. The fact that it is means that you can add financial abuse to marge and homers list of crimes they’ve stolen thousand, hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of dollars from their ten year old son while continuously telling him that they hate him.

    When you think about it Bart’s characterization has always revolved around the fact that he’s an abuse victim. Compare Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie and Love is a Many Strangled Thing and their connection to Lisa’s Sax.

    Bart only started acting out after Homer and Marge had punished him then let him off. Postcards from the Wedge follows this principle as well Bart only started manipulating them after Marge told him not to do his homework.

    Now look at Bart does when they either follow through with their punishment or ignore him completely. In Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie he eventually becomes a Supreme Court judge, in the Parent Rap he almost gets on the honor roll, while in Postcards from the Wedge he attempted to destroy the town. Much Apu About Nothing had him do a full 180. This shows that Bart is not a brat he’s self destructive. His parents only seem willing to give him attention when he’s blowing something up so that’s what he does. And in those rare times when it looks like they are about to act like real parent and punish him for his bad deeds or make him do his work only to turn around and say forget it he makes his opinion known.

    In Bart of Darkness when he broke his leg they just locked him in his room and even after noticing that this was having a negative effect on him they still left him there by himself. This would also explain animosity towards Homer and Skinner. In Lisa’s Sax, Homer outright said "Screw Bart, Lisa needs our attention!" And Skinner never showed his face until after Bart started acting out.

    Even that has disturbing undertones Lisa’s Sax is a physical representation of how little his parents care about him.

    As the abuse got worse Barts behavior reflected it.
    I entered this awhile ago
    also Lisa is unpopular because she is a bully that doesn't count


  5. #5
    Hercules Rockefeller Homer Samson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rover Hendrix View Post
    Well there are a lot of episodes where Lisa is shown to be very unpopular and uncool, so there are sometimes similarities to Meg.
    I still think Lisa is more like Brian than any other characters. They went from the regular voice of reason to complete assholes that try to shove their beliefs on everyone.
    Best and Worst Episode per Season:
    1: Krusty Gets Busted/Homer's Night Out 2: One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish/Bart's Dog Gets an 'F' 3: Bart the Murderer/Saturdays of Thunder 4: Homer the Heretic/So Its Come To This: A Simpsons Clip Show 5: Cape Feare/Lady Bouvier's Lover 6: Homie the Clown/Another Simpsons Clip Show 7: Raging Abe Simpson and his Grumbling Grandson in " The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"/Scenes From the Class Struggle in Springfield 8: The Springfield Files/The Old Man and the Lisa 9: The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson/Miracle on Evergreen Terrace 10: Mayored to the Mob/Homer Simpson in: Kidney Trouble 11: Grift of the Magi/Eight Misbehavin' 12: Trilogy of Error/I'm Goin' to Praiseland 13: The Blunder Years/The Lastest Gun in the West 14: Moe Baby Blues/The Strong Arms of the Ma 15: My Mother the Carjacker/Co-Dependent's Day 16: The Heartbroke Kid/Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass 17: The Seemingly Never-Ending Story/The Bonfire of the Manatees 18: The Mook, The Chef, The Wife, and Her Homer/The Boys of Bummer 19: Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind/Husbands and Knives 20: Gone Maggie Gone/Lisa the Drama Queen 21: The Squirt and the Whale/The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed 22: Homer Scissorhands/The Fight Before Christmas 23: The Book Job/Lisa Goes Gaga 24: The Saga of Carl/Love is a Many-Splintered Thing 25: Brick Like Me/What to Expect When Bart's Expecting 26: Sky Police/The Musk Who Fell to Earth 27: Barthood/Every Man's Dream 28: 22 for 30/The Caper Chase 29: Flanders' Ladder/Singin' in the Lane 30: Woo-hoo Dunnit?/I Want You (She's So Heavy)


  6. #6


    True, they are both pretty much liberal mouthpieces now.


  7. #7
    Hercules Rockefeller Homer Samson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rover Hendrix View Post
    True, they are both pretty much liberal mouthpieces now.
    I actually hate Political Lisa more because at least Brian is an adult in dog years. Lisa is literally an 8 year old girl.

  8. #8
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say that he's the Meg of the show (as the mistreatment hasn't gotten that bad), but as of recently it does come off as he's not too far away with how the show treats him.

    He's really turned into such a punching bag whom his own parents seem to sort of disown and treat as a lost cause not worthy of spending much time with, give real support and guidance to & encourage to do something with his artistic skills and creativity (not to be mentioned treated as mentally handicapped sometimes) and the writers seem to love to torment him and pull out the rug from under him, maybe especially when he's good at something, not to mention warping him into some sort of dangerous sociopath who doesn't have much empathy or regret and doesn't mind hurting people. I've written several times about Bart's degradation in the later parts of HD era and I really don't have more to add.

    It's such a bitter shame that the writers have degraded him to such a joke who is severly misportrayed and get so much crap, alternatively get ignored and pushed aside by his own parents as a useless failure (and they even fear him at times, especially Marge) when they could and should do so much more for him, but seem to favor and focus on Lisa. It's depressing.
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 09-04-2019 at 08:59 AM.


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    My biggest complaint about this season how Bart now just excepts the abuse. when Lisa admitted she pretended he didn't exist he just went okay. he just sat and let his teammates pummel him with food for something homer did. and when he does complain he's treated as wrong.


  10. #10
    don't quite cover all CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Yes, those moments where he just outright doesn't care when get crap get blatantly thrown his way, like that with Lisa outright lying that she had no brother and he seemed to be happy and proud about it, are ghastly and really are the kicker for me (also still think Lisa should have had the general decency to intervene in the food pelting and point out to the team it was all Homer's fault; it had nothing to do with Bart so why let him be punished?).


  11. #11
    Getting carried away on you Venomrabbit's Avatar
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    Lisa's kinda the anti-Meg, for all her unpopularity, she becomes popular really easily like in Stealing First Base where everyone suddenly wanted to hang out with her because of a bad grade or if she wears a slight bit of makeup. And when she doesn't, there's always the undertone that everybody's just jealous because she's so much better than everyone else in every way. Maybe still in that unpopular place but for completely opposite reasons to a Meg. And I'm not even sure when the last time she went through extreme misfortune since Bye Bye Nerdie. It's not like she, say, had the entire town calling for her head or got thrown out the house due to a restraining order or turned on over something due to literally no fault of her own or struck by lightning or, to borrow from some of the other kids including other girls, electrocuted and falling limp, trapped under a melting statue, caught in a furnace, hit by a bus, drowned or crushed to death and certainly not played for laughs. For all the "sad Lisa" episodes she really seems to have the least woobie-ish out of almost if not all the other kids on the show.

    Bart on the other hand, frequently, and I mean frequently, undergoes a lot of really over the top pain and misery and humiliation, sometimes through no fault of his own whatsoever and outside of maybe Barthood, it's always presented like it's funny. Like oh, he got beaten black and blue by Lisa for badmouthing the man that regularly strangles him, that's funny! Laugh at how scared he is!.. I still don't think Lisa was even told to go to her room for that one. It's supposed to be hilarious that he has no future and that pretty much everyone will hate his guts at the drop of a hat including his parents! Being unfortunate alone (if Lisa even had it bad in that regard) isn't what makes a Meg, it's when it's purely played for comedy. Bart more or less exists now to get screwed over in every regard.


  12. #12
    Hercules Rockefeller Homer Samson's Avatar
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    I still think lots of shows have their Megs. Squidward from SB, Klaus from American Dad, and Butters from South Park are quite similar.

  13. #13
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    I dunno... I don't think Bart wasn't treated THAT badly!

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    the season finale had homer throwing him in a lions cage. not to mention caliously put his life in danger for two consecutive episode showing that he cares more about a statue then his son.

  15. #15


    So have there been episodes where Homer says "Shut up, Bart"?

  16. #16


    The Simpsons Guy is trash! I really hated that one. It left a vile taste in my mouth. It's sad that Bart has been reduced to this. Twenty years later and Family Guy still doesn't know how to write for girls. Bart has so much potential and so does Meg but it gets flush down the toilet. Time for Homer and Peter to get their comeuppances.

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    Homer is Peter a moronic Jerkass, but with the increasing number of marriage crisis episodes he also has elements of stan smith.

    Marge is peter griffin as well with her other half being the standard seth wife no matter what she does she is the victim, even the show has already told up it is wrong.

    Lisa being the new Brian makes a lot of since when you really look closely at their character even if you ignore their flanderization from only sane man to writer mouth piece. They both have massive inferiority complexes and need to be perceived as better then other. they also are both big hypocrites often changing their stance on a cause when it suits their needs sometimes in the same episodes.

    What really makes them similar is the fact that despite all their flaws they keep being presented sympathetically without actually doing anything.

    lets look at Brian’s more recent infamous momemts brian’s an bad father and herpes love sore. In the former Brian willingly took advantage of Dylan and never cared about him unless he had something he could benefit from. when he’s finally called out you’re supposed to feel sorry for brian and Stewie's argument to make Dylan forgive him basically he’s related to you so you have to that’s it. In the former later he knowingly infected both Chris and Stewie with herpes, tried to pass it off as no big deal. then apologized for lying about something that was impossible to keep hidden.

    Now lets look at Lisa. the main things the show focuses on is that she has no friends and she’s the middle child.

    Friends
    The only to describe Lisa is a bully. She doesn’t have friends for the same reason Nelson doesn’t. She constantly belittles the others with the regular kids she talks down to them for not sharing her interest and with the ones that do as shown in Jazzy and the pussycats she talks down to them by reminding them that she is their better. there’s also her constant flip flopping stressing that they are trying to grow up to fast then turning around and yelling at them for being children. also like bart if someone is better then her she gets jealous and sabotages them. Paypal bluntly stated and showed why she doesn’t have any friends.

    Quote Originally Posted by toushin View Post
    Remember Harper Jambowski she's initially nice to Lisa, but begins to treat her like dirt after their fathers become friends. Harper is very pushy, and tries to take control of Lisa's life. The irony is that’s exactly how Lisa treats the other student’s. even Harper had her good moments people kept pointing out that at least she brought her a bike, but Lisa doesn’t even do that much. Lisa wants in a friend the same thing Mary Spuckler wants in a boyfriend sit in the corner be quite and allow them to pretend they’re not alone. hoover even flat out stated this is the reason in pay pal. When the lie was revealed Tumi admits that she does like Lisa only for Lisa to abandon her the moment she reveals she is not a vegetarian.
    We have repeatedly been given numerous reasons why the other kids don’t like Lisa. Despite this they are treated as in the wrong and Lisa the victim. This is actually a major the complaint many of the kids, especially the girls are just treated as the bad guy and punished for not liking Lisa.

    Family
    Lisa is unquestionably the favorite not only is she constantly showered with praise whenever she does something wrong she’s instantly forgiven or treated as the wronged party. But the stuff Homer and Marge would ignore if it happened to Bart they would fight tooth and nail to make sure it doesn’t happen to Lisa for example a a teacher bullying them. even a lot of the abuse bart goes through are them pitting the two against each other. telling lisa she’s the only good one, the only one who would amount to anything. the multiple times homer and marge have thrown away success for no other reason then lisa told them tp. when she crippled bart and marge told him it wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t better then her at something. they keep playing up how she has trouble fitting in with her family, and they have trouble understanding her.

  18. #18
    Hercules Rockefeller Homer Samson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toushin View Post
    Homer is Peter a moronic Jerkass, but with the increasing number of marriage crisis episodes he also has elements of stan smith.

    Marge is peter griffin as well with her other half being the standard seth wife no matter what she does she is the victim, even the show has already told up it is wrong.

    Lisa being the new Brian makes a lot of since when you really look closely at their character even if you ignore their flanderization from only sane man to writer mouth piece. They both have massive inferiority complexes and need to be perceived as better then other. they also are both big hypocrites often changing their stance on a cause when it suits their needs sometimes in the same episodes.

    What really makes them similar is the fact that despite all their flaws they keep being presented sympathetically without actually doing anything.

    lets look at Brian’s more recent infamous momemts brian’s an bad father and herpes love sore. In the former Brian willingly took advantage of Dylan and never cared about him unless he had something he could benefit from. when he’s finally called out you’re supposed to feel sorry for brian and Stewie's argument to make Dylan forgive him basically he’s related to you so you have to that’s it. In the former later he knowingly infected both Chris and Stewie with herpes, tried to pass it off as no big deal. then apologized for lying about something that was impossible to keep hidden.

    Now lets look at Lisa. the main things the show focuses on is that she has no friends and she’s the middle child.

    Friends
    The only to describe Lisa is a bully. She doesn’t have friends for the same reason Nelson doesn’t. She constantly belittles the others with the regular kids she talks down to them for not sharing her interest and with the ones that do as shown in Jazzy and the pussycats she talks down to them by reminding them that she is their better. there’s also her constant flip flopping stressing that they are trying to grow up to fast then turning around and yelling at them for being children. also like bart if someone is better then her she gets jealous and sabotages them. Paypal bluntly stated and showed why she doesn’t have any friends.



    We have repeatedly been given numerous reasons why the other kids don’t like Lisa. Despite this they are treated as in the wrong and Lisa the victim. This is actually a major the complaint many of the kids, especially the girls are just treated as the bad guy and punished for not liking Lisa.

    Family
    Lisa is unquestionably the favorite not only is she constantly showered with praise whenever she does something wrong she’s instantly forgiven or treated as the wronged party. But the stuff Homer and Marge would ignore if it happened to Bart they would fight tooth and nail to make sure it doesn’t happen to Lisa for example a a teacher bullying them. even a lot of the abuse bart goes through are them pitting the two against each other. telling lisa she’s the only good one, the only one who would amount to anything. the multiple times homer and marge have thrown away success for no other reason then lisa told them tp. when she crippled bart and marge told him it wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t better then her at something. they keep playing up how she has trouble fitting in with her family, and they have trouble understanding her.
    Other than the grammar, which could be greatly improved, your long posts about how the show treats Lisa vs. how the show treats Bart are quite good. I actually read these entire posts because of how much I relate to them.

    But this is what the Family Guy counterparts to the Simpsons are in my eyes:

    Peter - Homer
    Lois - Marge
    Chris - Ralph
    Brian - Lisa
    Meg - Bart
    Stewie - Mix of Burns, Smithers, and Frink

  19. #19
    Breathtaking Nitsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CousinMerl View Post
    Yes, those moments where he just outright doesn't care when get crap get blatantly thrown his way, like that with Lisa outright lying that she had no brother and he seemed to be happy and proud about it, are ghastly and really are the kicker for me (also still think Lisa should have had the general decency to intervene in the food pelting and point out to the team it was all Homer's fault; it had nothing to do with Bart so why let him be punished?).
    Agreed. It's bad enough when Bart is treated like crap, but even worse when he seems to relish in it. Season 29 overall was horrible for Bart's character, with several episodes in a row portraying him as a loser ("Gone Boy" was the exception and felt like a return to classic Bart, showing the writers do still have it in the them)--the worst being "Singin' in the Lane" where Bart seems ecstatic that he's being treated "like dirt" (and he also gives the wonderfully awful line "I think I've finally found my path in life: socio").

    As for whether Bart has become the Meg (or the Jerry or the Lutz), I do think it's somewhat accurate. I think what has happened is the writers seemed to have largely lost their ability to write for Bart and have latched onto a few things they think makes his character funny: being a loser and being a sociopath. In Meg's case, the writers simply found her unfunny and so decided that making her a punching bag was the solution to her character. But then the FG writers are terrible in general because they decided the solution to the lack of humor on the show was to make every character (including Meg) a cynical asshole who hates everyone else around them.
    Last edited by Nitsy; 09-01-2019 at 08:13 AM.
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  20. #20
    Doh and Donuts Shoskin's Avatar
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    Someone wrote here once that the writers don't know how to write for Bart. I think it is a generation thing. The early writers seemed to be able to write for him as a smart ass but now they are pushing this agenda that he is a sociopath. Also, by Lisa calling him one doesn't help. Plus if Bart is a sociopath, Lisa is a naraccist. Which makes more like Brian than Meg. Lisa isn't treated bad by the family as she is the favorite, though she cries and moans her talents are going to waste. If Bart is like anyone, maybe it is Chris. Seth Macfarlane and the writers aren't any better when it comes to abusing a character. He's been treating Meg terrible since Family Guy came back after they were first cancelled.

    I would love to ask Al Jean why the writers can't write a good episode for Bart. That has nothing to do with Lisa. If he does something wrong. He figures it out. If it has anything to do with Bart, Lisa spoils the fun. In the older episodes Bart came to his own realization that he did something wrong and tried to rectify his own actions. When he killed a bird, he took care of the eggs. In Path of Glory, he went to the place that had the kids kill innocent people, he broke down. He was also pissed off when he looked at the definition of the word.
    "Bart, a woman is like beer. They look good, they smell good, and you’d step over your own mother just to get one!"

  21. #21
    Hercules Rockefeller Homer Samson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoskin View Post
    Someone wrote here once that the writers don't know how to write for Bart. I think it is a generation thing. The early writers seemed to be able to write for him as a smart ass but now they are pushing this agenda that he is a sociopath. Also, by Lisa calling him one doesn't help. Plus if Bart is a sociopath, Lisa is a naraccist. Which makes more like Brian than Meg. Lisa isn't treated bad by the family as she is the favorite, though she cries and moans her talents are going to waste. If Bart is like anyone, maybe it is Chris. Seth Macfarlane and the writers aren't any better when it comes to abusing a character. He's been treating Meg terrible since Family Guy came back after they were first cancelled.

    I would love to ask Al Jean why the writers can't write a good episode for Bart. That has nothing to do with Lisa. If he does something wrong. He figures it out. If it has anything to do with Bart, Lisa spoils the fun. In the older episodes Bart came to his own realization that he did something wrong and tried to rectify his own actions. When he killed a bird, he took care of the eggs. In Path of Glory, he went to the place that had the kids kill innocent people, he broke down. He was also pissed off when he looked at the definition of the word.
    Bart is nothing like Chris. Chris is fat, stupid, and masturbates all the time (if you get the reference) while Bart is a tiny bit overweight, is an underachiever though not actually dumb, and OKAY I'll stop right there.

    In all seriousness, Chris is much more like Ralph. They are both braindead, unpopular, nose-picking idiots who are fat but not as fat as their father, and they both have really stupid fathers as well.

  22. #22
    Junior Camper Simpson's Fan's Avatar
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    The Simpsons has shown as nowadays that the characters aren't what the used to be. Let's take a look:

    Homer Simpson: Homer used to be a grouchy angry, but loving father and husband to his kids and wife. He wouldn't go to sleep if Marge was unhappy or cried, he wouldn't let Bart jump of that cliff (Bart the Daredevil), he would always support and try to make Lisa feel better whenever she was sad (Lisa's Substitute and Lisa's pony) and he would always love Maggie no matter what (And Maggie makes three). He WAS a loving and carrying man to his family. Now Homer is The Simpsons Peter Griffin, he is just a cold-hearted, uncaring and unloving man, who just drinks and watches television all day long.

    Marge Simpson: Marge used to be a loving, caring and understanding mother and wife with a little bit of an activist in her antics. She would always love and worry about Bart (Marge be not proud), she was always there when Lisa was sad and worried (Moaning Lisa) and she would always take care of Maggie and she will always try to make her husband feel better in every possible way. She may not be perfect, but at least she was trying. Now Marge is just The Simpsons Lois Griffin, uncaring, unloving and more nagging than she should be, but deep down I know that she hasn't lost her all of the touch that made her character great!

    Bart Simpson: Bart used to be the rebellious, pre-teenager, under achiever prankster of the family. Bart always loved his family no matter what and he didn't want to disappoint them, even though they weren't always good at him (Homer). I have to agree. Bart is The Simpsons Meg Griffin. He was treated bad by Homer in the classic era, but now this thing got worse. Everyone thinks that Bart is a disappointment and he will never be successful in his life. He would always be the black sheep in the family, the one that doesn't try hard enough and hasn't have the guts to have a good life. They think that probably is going to end up in prison! What an awful way to think about a 10-year old child! Even Nelson is treated better than Bart!

    Lisa Simpson: Lisa was the smart, talented and philosophical lady of the family, but deep inside her was a more childish side of her character. She could be smart and act like a child if she wanted, but after The Simpsons shorts and as the series progressed Lisa became an adult trapped in the body of an 8-year old girl. I don't think that she has anything in common with Meg Griffin other than the problems with friends companionship. Lisa is the favourite child of her family, Meg isn't. Lisa is the smartest child in her school, Meg isn't. Lisa is sympathetic young lady, Meg isn't. So what is left to look? Friendships: Lisa doesn't really need friends. She has always proved that she would rather be left alone and even if she wants friends she can't have them, because she always makes them walk away by telling: " Oh look, I am smarter than you so you have to be my friend! ", she always wants friends, but with her having the upper hand, because of her intelligence. If Lisa is like someone from the family guy universe, I think that she is a mix between Brian Griffin, Stewie Griffin and Chris Griffin. Brian is the voice of reason and the philosophical one, so is Lisa. Stewie is a genius, so is Lisa. Chris is the favourite one (yeah, I know how this sounds crazy, but Chris is at least treated better than Meg and Stewie), so is Lisa. So?

    Maggie Simpson: Maggie isn't really changed as character. She was always the baby. I think that when Maggie got a little of a personality is in " Who shot Mr Burns? ". There is where we got the joke about Maggie being good with guns. We also learned that Maggie has a bit of a dark side. In addition Maggie is a little like Stewie to a degree. Stewie was and is an evil baby genius, who is good with guns. I don't say that Maggie is like Stewie, but some of their character arcs match perfectly. She is also a little like Susie Swanson. You don't really understand how she thinks or acts, because she is a baby.

    Okay, now that I analysed everything about The Simpson family I will talk about Bart. I can empathise with him, because of how bad he is treated. He was always treated like Meg: the punching bag of the show. I have to admit, I didn't really thought about it that way, but it really makes sense. I feel bad for him! He is always the black sheep! The one that will never succeed in his life! I just wish ONE future episode had Bart as an adult with a bright future on his way! This will never happen! he is meant to be the bad one! I don't like how everyone thought of Lisa being the Meg of the show. Lisa is always the successful one! She never had a hard life! She is the one who plays the victim all the time! She is no better than the new Brian Griffin! Episodes like " Bart-Mangled Banner ", " The boys of bummer ", " Holidays of Future passed ", " Future drama ", " Barthood ", " Blood Feud " and other episodes prove the truth!

    P.S.: Okay, I wrote to much! I am really sorry. Also what I said about Lisa is true, but she is still one of my favourite characters.
    Last edited by Simpson's Fan; 09-22-2019 at 01:26 AM.


  23. #23
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    It's an apt comparison in some ways, but I don't think Bart's treatment is on the same level as Meg's, as she not only gets dumped on in-universe but via meta/fourth wall breaking gags as well. Bart still gets his moments every now and again, but Meg's mistreatment and inability to pick up the occasional win (so to speak) are downright misanthropic and depressing.

    On that note however, I'd agree that The Simpsons wanders into that kind of acerbic humour too often these days, and it's not their strong suit. I don't think Family Guy does it well anymore either, but at least it's more their tone. When The Simpsons delves into that level of cynicism and misanthropy, it really scrapes the bottom of the comedic barrel because it's not their style. Its characters weren't devised that way, and so Bart does tend to get the short end of the stick when it happens.

    I also think part of the problem is that Bart is very much a throwback character (as is Lisa, to some extent). He was cool in the 90s, and a more acceptable archetype; not so much anymore. His classic line about being "this century's Dennis the Menace" has become kind of accurate, albeit not in the way it was originally intended. It's become easy to let his character drift into "sociopath" and "problem child" than "cool kid who's naughty but deep down has a good heart", and that characterisation doesn't lend itself well to the underdog hero/anti-hero he was in the classic era. I don't think "underachiever and proud of it" resonates as sympathetically as it once did. Lisa's character holds up a little better because particularly gifted kids can have trouble relating to their peers and fitting in socially, though the idea that smart kids are always unpopular is an outdated nerd/geek stereotype, and frankly it was being defied in the 90s as well. I started school in 1990, and remember quite a few of the brainiest kids were in the popular groups. That's not to say Lisa's current characterisation is flawless because it isn't, but I think it's a better fit on paper, if not always in execution.
    A little less Generic than before.

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    I agree with Beggs. The whole Bart being an underachiever doesn't hold up well today as it did back in the 90s. How many stories can you do on Bart being this kind of character? There aren't many. Lisa is somebody you can still relate to. She maybe flawed but she is still more real.

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    Something I think goes severely unchecked in the show is Lisa's treatment of Bart in the HD era. There are multiple instances of her taking pleasure in Bart failing or suffering, or getting jealous when he succeeds at something, because her fragile ego cannot handle it if she's not the only one in the family with talent. The writers seem to rely on our (the viewer's) knowledge that Bart is the show's "bad boy" (even though he's not anymore, he's pretty much just a normal kid) to justify him getting dumped on by other characters and recieving a "comeupance", even if his behaviour in the episode doesn't warrent it. I think the writers assume that because Bart has pranked Homer and Lisa in the past that we'll appreciate it when they mistreat him, but that doesn't work if you do it in EVERY episode. That just makes them look like the abusers. In the classic years Bart and Lisa were more often than not portrayed as friends, and I really miss the relationship they used to have. They used to team-up so often to achieve a common goal. 'Bart of Darkness', 'Bart's Girlfriend', 'The Day the Violence Died', 'Sideshow Bob Roberts', 'Wild Barts Can't Be Broken'. Even episodes in which they mistreated each other has satisfying resolutions and didn't feel like one of them was being treated callously by the writers. 'Summer of 4 Ft. 2', 'Bart vs. Thanksgiving', 'My Sister, My Sitter', 'Girly Edition'. Think how the show would butcher an episode like 'Bart Sells His Soul' today. Lisa (and the writers) would relish in the fact that Bart is suffering without his "soul", and would never retrieve it for him like she did.

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  29. #26
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    Bart and Lisa's relationship has definitely been handled poorly for well over a decade now, and it contributes to the issues discussed in this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sideshow ken View Post
    I agree with Beggs. The whole Bart being an underachiever doesn't hold up well today as it did back in the 90s. How many stories can you do on Bart being this kind of character? There aren't many. Lisa is somebody you can still relate to. She maybe flawed but she is still more real.
    but what would be the equivalent now of what an underachiever used to be in the early 90s? there have to be things that could be done with Bart aside from what he's been turned into.

    I feel they're just clueless and don't know what to do with most of the characters.
    Having such a vast vocabulary really embiggens my pride


    4>3>2>6>7>5>8>9>1>10>12>11>14>15>16>13> the rest I don't know how to organize but they share the quality of not being as good as S13 to me

  31. #28


    Quote Originally Posted by J.J.Watts View Post
    The writers seem to rely on our (the viewer's) knowledge that Bart is the show's "bad boy" (even though he's not anymore, he's pretty much just a normal kid) to justify him getting dumped on by other characters and recieving a "comeupance", even if his behaviour in the episode doesn't warrent it. I think the writers assume that because Bart has pranked Homer and Lisa in the past that we'll appreciate it when they mistreat him, but that doesn't work if you do it in EVERY episode.
    I doubt the current writing staff pays any attention to the past. They either haven't seen the old shows, or the people who have been there since the beginning, like Jean himself, proably haven't seen them in a very long time.

  32. #29
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    I think one good route might be going more the underdog route, he's definitely got that going. After all, he's frequently abused by one or two members of his family. One of them tends to soak up all the love and attention amongst their parents, the school, practically everyone that's not her age and even then often them too. Meanwhile he's looked upon as an embarassment and a complete lost cause before he even entered the double digits just because he wasn't Lisa. It's a problem that seems to plague him all his life, he's not Lisa so he's worthless, even to people who never met Lisa like that Kindergarten Teacher. His love life is equally a trainwreck. I think Barthood opened up a pretty good angle of him trying to find some place in life he could belong without just being "Lisa's good-for-nothing brother". Said sister is also demonstrably smarter, stronger and better than him in literally every way.

    Though since it was mentioned, there is a bit of an irony to the "underachiever and proud of it" quote. I think that's brought up in the show and comics ("How old is this thing!?") because a lot of the time he didn't seem to underachieve for the sake of it, usually because he either hates school (likely thanks to his early days) or just can't do better for whatever reason, some episodes like Separate Vocations might imply he's too beaten down and hopeless to even try considering he does much better when presented with a possible bright future while Lisa is the exact opposite, she gives up because she no longer sees anything to hope for. If anything in episodes like Bart Gets an F, he seems like he's actually ashamed and in the most recent episode, he's cheating, sure but it's to get good grades.

    He lends himself really well to being an underdog. It's just pretty rare when anyone on the staff remembers any of that and just goes for "the sociopath" instead. There's probably a lot of people out there who also feel/are made to feel like they're nothing just because they're not some overblown superstar or the best at everything like Lisa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monty_Burns View Post
    but what would be the equivalent now of what an underachiever used to be in the early 90s? there have to be things that could be done with Bart aside from what he's been turned into.



    I feel they're just clueless and don't know what to do with most of the characters.


    That’s the thing they already gave Bart a good equivalent by making it so that he acts the way he does because of his abuse and neglect. While they keep flip flopping on the origin of his behavior the reason is always the same even when they started making him a sociopath they still they still kept this freudian excuse he still becomes a much better behaved character when he’s given positive attention. This is why the signs that he’s stopped caring is such a big deal, because all that’s left is a depressed 10 year old who takes it as his family abuses him.



    Quote Originally Posted by Beggs View Post
    Lisa's character holds up a little better because particularly gifted kids can have trouble relating to their peers and fitting in socially, though the idea that smart kids are always unpopular is an outdated nerd/geek stereotype, and frankly it was being defied in the 90s as well. I started school in 1990, and remember quite a few of the brainiest kids were in the popular groups. That's not to say Lisa's current characterisation is flawless because it isn't, but I think it's a better fit on paper, if not always in execution.


    Lisa’s character is the same I’ve said it before. She’s always had pride in her intelligence but in the early episodes it came across as vulnerability. She didn’t have a lot of normal interest so she was afraid to put herself out there yet when she finally did she proved to be likable. The problem is that now the writers want the appearance of vulnerability without actually making her vulnerable. I’ve heard it referred to as the over dog posing as underdog.



    Now Lisa is a bully constantly belittling and talking down to the other kids yet not only is she still presented sympathetically when the other kids don’t want to hang out with her, but they’re also villainized.



    It’s the same with her parents they keep doing this ignored middle child plot yet she is constantly praised and help up on a pedestal. Even a lot of barts abuse involves doing things like telling her that she’s the only good one. Ask yourself would homer and marge ever intentionally put lisa’s life in danger or sacrifice her in favor of bart. She comes across as an ungrateful spoiled brat.



    If you want to be generous instead of comparing her to Brian Olga Pataki (who to be fair below the surface isn’t that very likable either). I’ve noticed that despite all this talk about what an over achiever Lisa is whenever she comes across an actual obstacle she gives up. When told she had stubby fingers so couldn’t go far in the saxophone, when told there would always be some better then her in Lisa get’s the blues, whenever she meets someone better, or she’s taken out of miss hoover’s class and put in one with actual standards she never actually tries to overcome the obstacle herself she just wallows in misery until the obstacle is taken away, she sabotages the person, or returns back to being a normal fish in a small pond. This is an interesting dynamic just like bart acting out it could be a response to Homer and Marge’s abuse. Lisa expects to succeed, so can’t handle it when she doesn’t. the show just doesn’t seem to want to follow through with it.



    Finally Barthood was the worst mistake the show writers made because it introduced the narrative that Bart can’t be successful as long as Lisa is in his life.



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