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Thread: R&R Lisa the Simpson

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  1. #91
    Edgy McEdgeEdge LukeMM95's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
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    This episode has always left me somewhat uncomfortable. It's weird because on one hand there's a lot to love about this episode. It's funny, the directions great and the focus on Lisa is handled nicely. But it all falls apart with the stupid 'Simpsons Gene' thing. It's just makes no sense and ultimately ruins Homer and Bart's characters. This episode paints them out to be a couple of retards which they're not. This is no better shown than in the candy bar scene, where Homer and Bart are basically a pair of animals with no shame. I mean, they've always been pigs but eating dirty, melted candy bars off the floor is really pushing it. It just goes against their established characters.

    Bart's just your everyday ten year old who loves getting into mischief and hate school work. Like many kids his age. Homer on the other hand has always had a very child-like mentality mostly due to his poor parenting from his father since his mother wasn't there for most of his life. It's kind of tragic but it makes sense. Homer's still thinks like a average human being and even when he's at his dumbest, we've seen that a part of his brain is at least decently intelligent. But now because of the Simpson gene, they're a pair of idiots who are just going to get dumber and more pathetic as they get older. How depressing. Also from what we've seen of Grampa in flashbacks, he wasn't an idiot, just a very grumpy and stubborn man. So how does the 'Simpson Gene' affect him? Because he's senile? It all comes across as a cheap explanation for something that really didn't need explaining.

    But the reason I have such a big problem with this is all due to the last act of the episode. The Simpson gene could have easily been a load of crap Grampa thought up and Homer calling up his family tree could have proved that. But instead it's revealed that only men become retards and the women become geniuses. And I guess we're all supposed to be heart-warmed that Lisa is saved. It gets worse with these lines:

    Lisa: "Oh Dad, I've never been happier to be your Daughter."
    Homer: "Thanks honey. Remember, there's nothing that says you can't be a Simpsons and a success.
    Marge: "Unless you're a man."
    Bart: "So wait a minute, this means I'm going to be a failure."
    Homer: "Yes son, a spectacular failure."

    Awful. How is that a nice ending? The show has always been cynical but usually there's a silver lining at the end. Here it's just: "Thank God, Lisa's a girl or else she'd grow up to be a pathetic loser and she'd probably hate Homer's guts." Also with Bart now doomed to grow up to be a failure, I guess we can forget about all the episodes that showed he could better himself like Separate Vocations or The Itchy and Scratchy Movie. Sure in Lisa's Wedding they show Bart became a simple demolition man, which isn't exactly Chief Justice of the Supreme Court but at least it's something I imagine he chose to do. Couldn't the moral just be that it doesn't matter what your genes show, the future is what you make of it? Instead we get this, which just makes me feel uneasy.

    I've gone on about the ending for too long now but honestly, that's what really kills this episode for me. The first two acts are pretty good. The pacing of the story, the jokes, the great B-plot. It could have been a classic and a nice send off for the showrunners Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein. But I just can't stand the ending and I don't know how the episode gets such high praise. Honestly I think this episode does just as much damage to the Simpsons characters as The Principal and the Pauper did to Skinner's character. At least that episode was just around one side character. So while the episode has is pros, the Simpson gene stupidity just ruins it. It's definitely one I'll usually skip and pretend doesn't exist. 2/5
    Last edited by LukeMM95; 02-04-2015 at 08:20 AM.
    Season 1: The humble beginnings -- Seasons 2-8: The classic era -- Season 9: The first season where noticeable flaws began to appear -- Season 10: The last decent season -- Season 11: The first BAD season -- Season 12: The last season with episodes worth watching -- Seasons 13-Present: Zombie Simpsons

  2. #92
    The Chosen One Walid's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    what i liked:

    -Ralph offering to tell Lisa because "You're suffering!"

    -Lisa's imagination with her married to Ralph in the future

    -the sub plot with Jasper being frozen. "Moon pie? What a time to be alive!"

    -the other Simpsons

    -the ending

    this is a pretty good episode. 5/5

  3. #93
    To Professionalism! DarkDiamond's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
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    This is one of my favourite Lisa episodes. Good character development, and Apu was hilarious. A
    Zombie Simpsons - Season 26
    Clown in the Dumps - F The Wreck of the Relationship - F Super Franchise Me - D- Treehouse of Horror XXV - D Opposites A-Frack - D Simpsorama - D+ Blazed and Confused - D Covercraft - D I Won't Be Home for Christmas - D+ The Man Who Came to Be Dinner - C- Bart's New Friend - D The Musk Who Fell to Earth - F Walking Big & Tall - D

    Family Guy - Season 13
    The Simpsons Guy - B The Book of Joe - C- Baking Bad - C+ Brian the Closer - C Turkey Guys - B+ The 2000-Year-Old Virgin - F Stewie, Chris, & Brian's Excellent Adventure - B Our Idiot Brian - B- This Little Piggy - D Quagmire's Mom - C

  4. #94
    A World Without Lawyers HerbertMcHoover's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    New York

    5/5 - one of my top 75 or so. A fricking classic.

  5. #95

    This isn't a great episode in general but one of the best from Season 9.

  6. #96

    “Lisa the Simpson” for me is not only a fitting end to the Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein era, but it also serves as a loving epilogue to the series as well. It is one of the best if not arguably the best episode the duo ever produced under their creative leadership during the seventh and eighth seasons. The story itself has a special place in my heart because it contains just so many layers to absorb from.

    After all, this was the last one they made for the series as show-runners. The episode also appears in a great season I personally regard as the final year of the series’ nearly decade long Golden Age. To me the plot perfectly epitomizes all of the best qualities Oakley & Weinstein had to offer as it contains a deep character-driven storyline with a very fun subplot shedding light on a beloved minor figure. And the plot contains subtle and dry references to the writers’ very own personal thoughts towards the creative longevity of the series and its future down the road. What better way than to express this thought than through Lisa Simpson.

    I believe Lisa was perhaps the duo’s favorite character of all the figures on the show because of the wit, intellect, and iconoclastic nature she possessed that came to represent what they had in mind for the series. In this plot-line, however, Lisa finds herself questioning for the first time in her life all of those noble qualities because of her fear of losing it all to age. You know, like the loss of innocence when one realizes that nothing lasts forever in this world or life. If you think about it reads like a classic Brian Wilson song from the Pet Sounds era of the Beach Boys back in the 1960’s which is the type of feel you would expect from Oakley & Weinstein. It is a great angle that really delves into her psyche not only as an old soul ahead of her years but as an eight year old kid afraid of what may become of her in the future. Lisa comes to grips with this by accepting the inevitable and makes the best of what time she has left with those fleeting qualities still intact. It is hilarious, heartbreaking, and quite poignant to watch unfold which is why I really love this episode.

    When the show was still being done on cells the seventh and eighth seasons stood out particularly for its high quality of animation. Even as the series moved on to the digital era those two seasons remained the gold standard of visual quality for the show to look towards. “Lisa the Simpson” symbolizes that aesthetic of the day through the amount of care and detail that went into the animation. As an animator myself there are moments in the episode that are always a blast to watch and observe. The first moment being the dynamic lighting of the Simpsons’ living room as Lisa joins Bart and Homer on their diversion. The second showing the camera rotating around her as she somberly writes in her diary about her final days. Lastly the great staging of Lisa reading her last intellectual speech to the whole town of Springfield.

    Finally the thing that always struck me the most of the Oakley and Weinstein era was how self-aware the series was of itself. Lisa's age in the story is in reference for the eighth season to which the episode was originally produced. By the time it aired as a holdover the show had been around for nine years that were defined by high quality writing and animation, yet beneath the surface the writers were asking themselves how they could keep topping themselves. The narrow minded criticism the series unfairly received from time to time also made it a harder task to overcome. This attitude was reflected in Lisa’s dismay at her projected decline and her attempts to leave at a high note. In that sense “Lisa the Simpson” is very much the series’ valedictorian speech, with the message being that the show could continue to go on their creative high should it: continue to evolve, have an open mind, and not lose sight of what made them special in the first place. In hindsight the speech reads as a self-fulfilling prophecy as the series did lose its way after that season which all the more makes this episode so special and unique on its own.
    Last edited by C.MontgomeryBurns; 02-01-2015 at 10:24 PM.

    Hey, come check out my animation website:

    The Golden Age: Seasons 01-09 An era defined by an extraordinary consistent display of emotionally powerful and damn hilarious episodes
    The Bronze Age: Seasons 10-12 The period where the show loses direction and becomes creatively unstable.
    The Silver Age: Seasons 13-26 The series returns to solid footing while it tries to remain fresh as an institution
    The Renaissance: Hey, if it happened to a revered institution like Disney in the 90's whose to say it would not happen with "The Simpsons" one day...

  7. #97
    Newbie itsbeendone's Avatar
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    Feb 2015

    One of the better Lisa-centric episodes, but the Freezer Geezer subplot puts it over the top for me.

  8. #98
    Junior Camper Noxonius's Avatar
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    May 2015

    Lisa's struggle was well handled, but there was definitely a bit too much overly stupid and wacky things like the Springfield people being fascinated at a metal can and Homer's relatives. They were funny though, 4/5.

  9. #99
    Perfect Organism AngusCastle's Avatar
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    Jan 2013

    Honestly, Lisa's attitude was awful in this episode - I can't see how people can defend her actions. So ashamed of her family for being stupid, I hated her character. The B-plot was fun though and there were some funny moments here and there but Lisa was just a massive bitch so for that reason, this episode is just good and not great.

  10. #100
    Junior Camper mrserious's Avatar
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    Dec 2017


    In a vacuum the episode was was extremely enjoyable, and well written. It had good jokes, and a great story. I think it's a pretty relate able story as well from Lisa's POV. A lot of people have worried about becoming like their parents.

    However, I do agree with other posters who have said that is a good indication of the negative trends that will follow the show going forward. Several posts have already been made about how this episode violates the continuity of the show, which I agree with completely. My biggest gripe though with this episode was that I found it to be extremely sexist. ALL the women in the family were smart, and successful and ALL the men in the family were dumb and unsuccessful. Not only is this blatantly sexist, but we know it's not true. Bart has proven to be extremely clever at times, as has Homer. I'd also argue that being a safety inspector at a nuclear power plant isn't such a bad gig for a guy with no college degree. Not to mention, he married a beautiful woman and has 3 kids with her, and they live in a nice big house. Far from an unsuccessful life I'd say.

    Nonetheless, these points aren't enough to lower my rating. It was an excellent, entertaining episode and one of the best of season 9.

  11. #101
    Junior Camper JoeyShabadooJr.'s Avatar
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    Jan 2018
    South Korea (from L.A.)

    All continuity issues aside, this might very well be the last excellent episode of the classic era. I re-watched it for the first time over fifteen years the other night and I was quite pleased. Through the years, I've really just re-watched seasons 1-8 (primarily seasons 1-5 due to having those DVDs the longest), so I had forgotten how strong this episode was. It is definitely a top 5 from Oakley and Weinstein as show-runners.

    I'm a fan of the B-plot too.


  12. #102
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Kitchener, ON

    There's only one episode I consider as part of the Classic era after Lisa the Simpson.
    And that's the holdover from the Jean/Reiss era, Simpson Tide - which felt incredibly dated upon its release.
    It legitimately feels like a Season 3/4 episode that aired 5 years too late. And I don't consider it to be terribly good.

    So yes, I would concur that Lisa the Simpson is the last excellent episode of the Classic era.
    The Winter of Our Monetized Content - 1.5/5 / Go Big or Go Homer - 2.5/5 / The Fat Blue Line - 3.5/5
    THOH XXX = Danger Things - 2.5/5 / Heaven Swipes Right - 1.5/5 / When Hairy Met Slimy - 2/5
    Gorillas on the Mast - 3.5/5 / Marge the Lumberjill - 2/5 / Livin' La Pura Vida - 5/5
    THANKSGIVING OF HORROR = A-Gobble-ypto - 3/5 / The Fourth Thursday After Tomorrow - 5/5 / The Last Thanksgiving - 3.5/5
    Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? - 3.5/5 / Bobby, It's Cold Outside - 2.5/5 / Hail to the Teeth - 1.5/5
    The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson - 2/5 / Frinkcoin - 3/5 / Maggie Simpson In "Playdate with Destiny" - 4/5
    Bart the Bad Guy - 5/5 / Screenless - 2/5 / Better Off Ned - 2.5/5 / Highway to Well - 4/5
    The Incredible Lightness of Being a Baby - 2.5/5 / Warrin' Priests - 2/5 / The Hateful Eight-Year-Olds - 4.5/5 / The Way of the Dog - 5/5

  13. #103

    I really like this episode and it made me feel smart that I solved the puzzle right away. It was cute Homer trying to cheer up Lisa by gathering all the Simpson relatives together. It is sad all the men are destined to be failures though. I also think of this as a classic episode there's lots of humor. My favorite bit is Ralph wanting to offer Lisa a hint because she is suffering, followed by Lisa saying woo-hoo and then quickly correcting herself after solving the puzzle.

  14. #104
    Stonecutter ComicBookGal's Avatar
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    Aug 2014

    you know to be honest I may have to call Bull on the Simpsons gene considering that the men are not successful business owners and yet Herb Powell had two businesses. And well maybe Lisa was kind of unfair to Homer, he didn't do anything wrong really she just didn't want to feed into Homer and Bart's habits (oh yeah not to mention the crayon in the brain thing)

    I mean come on....I don't know why Lisa is beating herself over not solving a brain teaser that the boys easily solved (we never really saw their answers either they could have been wrong)

  15. #105
    Junior Camper Gollywock's Avatar
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    Apr 2017
    Normandy, France

    Possibily the last classic-feeling episode. Great character-driven, emotional story with plenty of laughs too. The best episode in an otherwise mediocre season 9. 5/5

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