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Thread: R&R: "Moaning Lisa"



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  1. #91
    Nature's Cruelest Mistake Infinity183's Avatar
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    One of the better and, in my opinion, most overlooked episodes from Season 1. I tend to enjoy Lisa episodes a lot, and I feel like this episode is the first and one of the best times the series really examines her character. She constantly feels depressed in life for various, incoherent, and often subconscious reasons, and due to her personal isolation, her saxophone is her best outlet for her emotions. I relate to this episode a lot because I come from a jazz-playing background myself, and sometimes, under the vague stress I deal with in life, playing on my trombone is the best way to make something productive out of it. I think Lisa's relationship with Bleeding Gums Murphy is especially touching because even though they come from completely different environments and thus seem completely unlikely to ever cross each other, they share that same passion for the blues and can therefore empathize with each other through music. Bleedings Gums is actually probably one of the only real friends that Lisa ever had aside from her family, which I think says a lot.

    The lesson I got out of this episode is that happiness comes naturally when you let go and express yourself genuinely. Lisa initially feels really off about her misfit life but eventually rediscovers herself when her family allows her to be herself without any interference.

    Of course, the boxing competition between Bart and Homer is hysterical and definitely serves as great comic relief to an otherwise bleak episode. It's quite funny how Homer is completely fretting over beating his son in a mere video game, going so far as to get help from an arcade expert, even if it means making a fool out of himself in public. Such a silly, one-dimensional conflict contrasts starkly with the vague sense of trouble that Lisa has to confront.

    5/5


  2. #92
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    One of the worst in the classic era. No laughs for me. Might switch with Homer's Odyssey one day. Super low 2/5. Horrible. Just horrible.

  3. #93
    A Lonely, Insignificant Speck Insanity Pepper's Avatar
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    This episodes reminds me of a Season 2 episode. It is entirely character-driven and puts the focus on emotion rather than humour (which isn't a bad thing at all). Furthermore, it is remarkably well-done for Season 1, and Lisa's characterization is perhaps the best characterization of the season. My main complaint is that the subplot is kind of boring, but it also offers some relief from the heavier subject matter of the main plot (and not a lot of time is spent on it anyway). 8/10
    Last edited by Insanity Pepper; 10-12-2013 at 09:59 PM.

  4. #94


    Quote Originally Posted by HerbertMcHoover View Post
    One of the worst in the classic era. No laughs for me. Might switch with Homer's Odyssey one day. Super low 2/5. Horrible. Just horrible.
    Its an episode about a child's battle with depression and low self esteem, don't think its the type of episode where laughs is needed or appropiate.

    As a long term suffer of depression, prone to really sad days, i can really identify and appreciate this episode. Yeardley as always, was amazing in this 5/5

  5. #95
    Pin Pal lovedartsandsimpsons's Avatar
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    First of a number of "Lisa and her emotions" episodes that all leave a similar impression and yet still work. This one isn't the best (that honor goes to Lisa's Substitute imo) but it's good nonetheless. 4/5.

  6. #96
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    This is the episode when they began to fully develop Lisas caracter. This episode is looked on as being boring and laughless by some people, but personally i dont see it. While the mainplot is not the funniest, it is still enjoyable because of its wonderful plot and emotion. Plus it has that classic Lisa/Bleeding Gums Murphy song about her family, and she saying her dad belong at the zoo and Homers reaction at the end of the episode is hilarious. So yeah, the mainplot might be a tad low on laughs as there are barley anything stand out as being hilarious but plot and emotion make up for it. Maggie hugging the tv, and Marge telling Lisa too smile was very amusing though. The mainplot however is hilarious. All the boxing fights, Homers reaction when he loses are all a threat too watch. Plus, this also an episode i can relate too. As i will also sad at times because of all the suffering in the world. Overall an great episode. Not an classic on par with Lisas Substitue but still a classic. Grade:A
    Last edited by Jerkass Homer; 07-14-2013 at 06:06 AM.

  7. #97
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    Wow, I always thought people hated this episode because of the fact that "an 8 year old was depressed."

  8. #98
    Junior Camper kid_gruesome's Avatar
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    5/5

    2nd only to Bart the General for Season 1.

    The moment when Homer is having nightmares that Bart is beating him to death he gives one of his all time greatest screams!

  9. #99
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    Good episode with a lot emotion in it but isn't 5/5 worthy but I give it a 4/5

  10. #100
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    I thought I already gave my review on the episode but I didn't... anyways, I will now.

    This episode gives a lot of opportunity to explore Lisa's character in-depth. Because it's from season one, we find that this episode is a foundation saying that Lisa is a far more insightful child through her views on society and herself battling depression. I personally think this is an impressive development to enhance the versatility of episodes coming from the show, and of course many people find this person vs society conflict prevalent in their own history as well. "Moanin' Lisa" also manages to exemplify Marge's conscience further; another supporting addition to making Marge seem realistic.

    To summarize; though this episode isn't heavy on humor, you can really connect yourself to all the main characters in this episode. It's a realistic representation of human nature and battles. The episode gives insight on how we naturally express the best of our moral selves, whether a supportive role of someone or a simple smile. While the subplot between Homer and Bart also creates a comic-relief scene that ideally balances the tone of this episode.
    For relatability, I can easily give this episode a close 5.

  11. #101


    she is still 8 years old it seems a bit to much and there have been way to many episodes like this although most of them not done as well .. "cough lisa goes gaga cough" I did enjoy lisa,s substitute.. it's an episode I would only watch because it's the simpsons. all in all I give it 2/5

  12. #102
    Stonecutter BrokenBox's Avatar
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    4/5

    Great for a Lisa episode. Up there with Lisa's Substitute and Lisa Goes Gaga(Joking).

  13. #103
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    Is it just me that doesn't really like this episode?

    I don't know why, I'm just not a fan of BGM or Jazz.

    1.5/5

  14. #104
    Edgy McEdgeEdge LukeMM95's Avatar
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    Pretty good episode for Lisa's first. This one isn't exactly filled with laughs but it's got a lot of emotional weight and is a classic in its own right. Lisa's depression feels real especially for someone who has felt the same way at some point in their lives. There's not really anything wrong with her life, it's just all the little things that have been piling up until now where she can't even raise a smile. I've been there and the episode really speaks to me. The scene with Bleeding Gums Murphy is classic Simpsons and I especially like his line after Lisa plays with him: "You know you play pretty well for someone with no real problems." It's both a sweet thing to say and also a little backhanded. Like Mr Bergstrom in Lisa's Substitute, Bleeding Gums is one of the few people who understands Lisa and is in many ways the father-figure she never had. Like Lisa, Bleeding Gums is an outcast, misunderstood by those around him and the short scene between the two demonstrates that so well.

    As mentioned before the episode is short on laughs but makes up for it with an entertaining and light-hearted B-plot around Homer trying to beat Bart at a video game. I just love how Homer takes it so seriously and I really feel bad for him when Marge pulls the plug and meaning he'll never get a chance to beat Bart. The nightmare sequence is also great with Homer's long scream being the icing on the cake. I'm sure that sequence paved the way for many similar scenes in later episodes. The ending with Marge realizing that forcing Lisa to be happy is wrong and later going to the jazz club is a sweet finale to an already great episode. Not one of my favourites but really well done. Proof that the show was ahead of its time even before it reached its prime. 4/5
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  15. #105


    7/10: One of the better episodes of season 1. First Lisa featured episode and it was a good one. Some good laughs hear. I enjoyed the Bart vs homer videogame act. My favorite part was when Lisa meets bleeding gums for the first time.

  16. #106
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    Very good episode. Highyly underrated. There is a lot of emotion here, when Lisa is sad with herself, and with the world. The Blues music is really powerful and soulful. I found Homer and Bart's subplot about the boxing game to be slightly unnecessary, but it was still pretty funny, especially when Bart announced his retirement just before Homer defeated him. The ending was really great, as we hear the blues singer sing Lisa's song.

    9/10
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  17. #107
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    5/5 great episode!
    Simpsons collector cince 2007 and i like it!

  18. #108
    Stonecutter Mazamaxe's Avatar
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    I have always felt little off watching this episode, I really don't know why, maybe because it's very different from other episodes before and after it? I don't know.

    Homer & Bart plot has always been to more interesting story until Marge unblocks the tv just as Homer was winning the game.
    I think that, what she did in that moment was unfair and she could had easily wait for a few seconds to the game to end, but NO!
    I also think that, if the situation was the other way around, something like that wouldn't happen (at least not that way).

    That is the worst moment in the episode and maybe the reason I really don't like this episode.

    2/5

  19. #109
    Junior Camper GeniusEthanFoley's Avatar
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    5/5
    I really like this episode from season 1 simply put. It's one of the episodes that gets pushed under the bus to some degree by many, I guess it's more of an emotional roller coaster of an episode more than anything, but i love it. Everything from the first appearance of Bleeding Gums Murphy and I always found the B plot of Homer/Bart funny as well, especially with Homer going to the arcade. Good one!

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  21. #110
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    Did you notice the video boxers look like Homer and Bart and I think the referee looks like Akbar or Jeff from Life in Hell?
    Last edited by Regulus; 06-20-2015 at 03:58 PM.

  22. #111


    I dislike most "Lisa is Sad" eps, but this one is pretty good. Subplot makes me laugh every time. 4/5
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  23. #112
    Junior Camper Gollywock's Avatar
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    This episode embodies what I like about early Simpsons. It's grounded, relatable and realistic, with true emotion. There's also some nice characterisation for every family member. Sure it's slow-paced but I don't mind, I'd much rather have an episode like that than a episode that's wacky for wackiness' sake. 4/5.

  24. #113
    happy colored marbles pax's Avatar
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    This episode has a nice combination of wackiness (from the subplot) and emotion (not being overly sappy + a solid build-up, and because the depression aspect feels real and hits home quite hard). Also, the animation for this one is spectacular, with the bridge scene being the most noteworthy partly because of the lighting choices.

    The 2nd best episode of S1 in my opinion, only behind that spectacular Christmas premiere you might've heard of by now.
    Last edited by pax; 04-08-2017 at 07:10 PM.
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  25. #114
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    I really like how Murphy was established as a character in this episode. It's a shame he passed away not long after. Lisa herself... meh.

    Homer's "oh no!" when Marge unplugs the TV just as he's about to finally beat Bart gets me every time, though. Those few seconds is a solid 11/10.

    4/5 compared to the other classics.

  26. #115
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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  28. #116
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    Meh, a lot of people seem to like this episode, but I personally find it just another strange season 1 outing. It has a unique charm which puts it slightly above some other episodes in the season, but I can't ignore its faults. I understand that sometimes kids get sad for no reason, and it's very relatable in that respect, and I really did sympathise for Lisa, but later episodes do a much better job of establishing her reasons for misery (isolation, unpopularity, bullying, difficult homelife), in this episode she "just feels sad". Now obviously, depression doesn't need a reason, but it's a very dark and miserable tone for an animated comedy like the Simpsons to embark upon. This eight year old girl actually has depression. That already made it difficult to mine any humour from this plot, and the show would handle emotion with a lot more skill as it grew. Although, it's not quite as dark as Homer's suicide attempt a few episodes ago. Ignoring the serious theme, the story is surprisingly thin too. They tried to write an entire episode just around the premise "Lisa is sad". And while Lisa is my favourite character, I get the impression she's the hardest character for the writers to come up with good episodes for, and it shows in their first real attempt with her. Also, I liked the Bleeding Gums Murphy and Marge stuff - but it did feel a tad tacked on.

    But some positives: It did a good job of establishing Lisa as the more sensitive Simpson, up until now she'd been overshadowed by Bart and Homer, and we didn't really have a grasp of her personality. However, Lisa wouldn't truly get a great episode which fleshed out her character until late in season 2, 'Lisa's Substitute'. And the B-plot I enjoyed. Starting to see shades of the Homer we know, less of the 'Homer's Odyssey/No Disgrace Like Home' Homer. Overall, 6/10

  29. #117
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    Lisa and depression; Homer and frustration.

    Moaning Lisa is not the episode that has received the best reviews of the first season, but it has something that stands out above others. And it is so compelling for a 10-year-old boy who just wants to laugh, as for an adult of 30 who is looking for a good story. The presence of two such opposing plots generates a sense of conformity. For the first time, we had a 2x1.

    With the passage of time, I began to like more the principal story than the secondary one.

    On the one hand, we have the sadness and anguish of Lisa. A girl who looks for her place in the world and the meaning of life, who does not get the support she needs either from her parents, her brother or her teachers, who thinks too much, who does not feel like smiling and who feel frustrated But, on the other hand, we have the funny fights between Homer and Bart, where we have a father being defeated by his son, being mocked for his humiliating record in the video game, prioritizing this problem over his daughter's, spending coins to learn to play and that, when finally trained, is interrupted in its success and remains with the desire to beat Bart. The contrast between sadness and fun plays a big role. In addition, it is likely that at least one of the plots -perhaps, both- make us feel identified to many of us, which is always a good thing.

    This scene breaks my heart.

    A very positive aspect is that, on this occasion, and after watching her act as a female version of Bart during the previous episodes, we meet the real Lisa Simpson. She who acts as the voice of reason, who suffers because she is a more intelligent and wise girl than others and who finds it difficult to adapt to the mediocrity of her environment. In addition, it is shown for the first time -excluding the opening sequences, of course- his virtuosity as a saxophonist and his taste for jazz, which he can only share with Bleeding Gums Murphy, one of the few characters that works perfectly at the moment of an emotional moment, although it is not very useful when it comes to fun. The couple that formed Lisa and her mentor demonstrated a remarkable potential, giving us the first great musical moment of the series.

    She's the saddest kid in grade number two.

    The rest of the members of the Simpson family also acted as is appropriate. Marge focuses on returning happiness to her daughter, trying this by all possible ways, suffering her suffering and being happy for her joys. Meanwhile, Homer acts like an excellent father. It is true that he seems unconcerned about Lisa's depression, but the truth is that he does not understand the situation and seeks a solution despite its limitations. Also, it's great to see him share time with his son and fight the fear of being overcome by him. Bart, on the other hand, shows some typical facets in him: he loves to make jokes, he struggles to help in his home and he is fascinated by videogames. Even Maggie has a great time, choosing the TV over any of her brothers.

    The baby made a wise decision.

    Humor is the weak point here, and this is a problem. The games between Homer and Bart generate some laughter, but not because there are good jokes, but because the situation itself has that quality. The funniest moments are in the first act, with the brief pranks of Bart, and in the end, when Homer cries disconsolate for not winning the fight. But that is all and, sadly, there is no other scene capable of making a laugh. It is true that the episode constantly points to a second objective, which is that of emotion, but the same thing happens: there are only some shocking scenes: the one that starts the episode -when Lisa looks in the mirror-, when she does not feel encouraged to play the burned, or when his father asks him to silence, but little else.

    The nightmares of Homer and Marge, for example, were extensive and not so good.

    Moaning Lisa is a fulfilling episode. It reaches the expectations but its lack of humor leaves it far from being a great one. Even so, it does an excellent job with the characterizations and a very good one with the balance and the contrast between plot and subframe. Overall, it's good.

    4/5
    Last edited by Szyslak100; 11-09-2018 at 07:18 PM.

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  31. #118
    Professional Teleporter Mícheál's Avatar
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    Moaning Lisa is not the funniest episode of season one, but the focus here was not on the jokes.

    It tells us so much about essentially a new, main character in the series. Showing us all of Lisa's intelligence, interests, and traits that will be referred to for the rest of the course of the series.

    They hinted a little at Lisa's intelligence in Simpsons Roasting, but this is essentially the first time we had ever seen how Lisa is sometimes depressed by things that a normal eight-year-old would never be burdened by.
    "I may or may not die young. I haven't decided yet."

  32. #119


    5/5 - Easily one of my favorite episodes of The Simpsons, "Moaning Lisa" really promises that the show can be more than a series of humorous gags and wackiness.

    The episode's premise, a character grappling with the unpleasantness of the world, is one I've rarely (if ever) seen elsewhere. There's a definite isolation in being an observant and thoughtful young person that this episode captures. To keep going on in this world, you can't really think about all the horrible things going on in the world. You either have to distract yourself (which is easier if you're not prone to contemplation) or learn to chill yourself emotionally to it all (which is hard when you're young). This episode shows Lisa learning to use self-expression as a coping mechanism, and that there are accepting spaces that will allow you to feel your feelings. Pretty deep for a cartoon sitcom!

    As for humor, there is actually a good deal of it - a lot of it's just subtle and/or dark. The teachers' blatant disregard for Lisa's feelings or creativity, exaggerated only slightly, is familiar for anyone who's opposed public ed's narrow-minded focus on conformity and pointless busywork. Maggie hugging that TV, instead of her brother or sister. Homer and Bart's Oedipal dilemma facilitated by video boxing (“I think the saddest day of my life was when I realized I could beat my Dad at most things, and Bart experienced that at the age of four.”).

    Plus, it's got my favorite Homer scream take:

  33. #120
    Stonecutter ComicBookGal's Avatar
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    probably the first time Lisa is fleshed out in an episode (but then again this is the very first lisa episode anyway)



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