390. Little Big Girl

(originally aired February 11, 2007)
It’s time for a Bart-gets-a-celebrity-girlfriend show! What’s the gimmick this time? Sheeeeeeee’s pregnant! There’s two things here that are huge detriments to these kind of shows, this one in particular. But first, the road here: a fire started at Cletus’ farm show trails its way to the entire town, because I guess the entirety of Springfield is flammable and fire is now sentient. Bart ends up saving the day inadvertently riding a wagon powered by fire extinguishers, which I guess have enough retardant in them to engulf the entirety of the town-wide brush fire. For his deed, Quimby offers him one wish, because I guess he’s a genie now, and Bart chooses to get his driver’s license. This leads to him driving to North Haverbrook and meeting an older girl Darcy. Who is Darcy? Who knows? I can’t give you a single personality trait of hers. Not one. The show involves the two of them and their “relationship” heading to a serious place, but we know absolutely nothing about her. I once again point to Jessica Lovejoy; a one-off like the others, but with more character than all of Bart’s future lady friends put together.

Darcy wants to marry Bart, and soon admits it’s because she’s pregnant, hoping she could easily snag a surrogate father. So let’s figure this out: Darcy’s taller than Bart, but certainly short for a teenager, she may be… fifteen, sixteen? And she thinks that Bart, this childish imp who can barely see over his own steering wheel, is around her age? It’s another instance of the writers wanting to make the kids older, to write young adult stories for them. Bart seriously considering marrying this girl and becoming a father? What happened to the kid who still believed in cooties and derided all girly behavior like love and kissing? Well, he’s still here, it’s just one scene he’ll be immature, and the next he’ll be making out with Darcy and contemplating married life. They want to have their cake and eat it too, except it just doesn’t work at all. We get a cop-out ending that really isn’t an ending at all where Darcy’s parents are a-OK with her pregnancy, and she and Bart’s relationship is over for some reason. Another complete waste of a good guest star: why the fuck bother getting Natalie Portman if you give her absolutely nothing to do?

Tidbits and Quotes
– There’s also a B-story involving Lisa bluffing through Heritage Day claiming she’s descended from Native Americans, but it’s so unbelievably boring. That and it feels like an pathetic after school special about telling the truth. It eventually culminates in Lisa speaking at a big Indian conference, where she quickly peters out and admits she was lying; it’s as if she herself got tired of the plot and just wanted to end it. Nothing but worthless filler.
– The show gives a self-conscious nod with the “I’m flaming!” Smithers line, but like all of their fourth wall moments nowadays, it’s well after the show had beaten the joke into the ground, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing plenty more lazy Smithers gay jokes in the future.
– The recreation of the opening sequence with Bart driving the car is really more killing time; it was done much better with heavy Bart in “The Heartbroke Kid.”
– Rather than meet Darcy early in act two and give her a character, we waste time by having Homer force Bart to drive him places. First up, take him to the gas station to fill up a sack of volleyballs to chuck over the prison fence, to “create chaos and confusion.” For what purpose? Is this a joke? And also, can we please, please retire the loud Homer whisper voice? I’m so fucking tired of it.
– How is Bart able to drive without some kind of a booster seat? He’s got a book underneath the pedal, but how can his short little legs reach it at all? Oh, who cares. The writers sure didn’t.
– What do we know about Utah? They’re polygamist weirdos! (“So, how many brides will you be marrying today, Mr. Simpson?” “Just one.” “Pfft. What’re you, gay?”) What do we know about pregnant women? They get mad cravings! The satire on this show used to be through the roof; now it’s permanently stuck on the base level and seemingly content to be there.

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10 responses to “390. Little Big Girl

  1. Why does Homer need Bart to drive him places, anyway? Did he lose his license in this episode?

  2. This episode reminds us of a better episode called “Bart on the Road” and as I live in Britain what are After School Specials and what age group were they aimed at?

    • After-school specials are made-for-TV movies aimed at pre-teens that deal with “controversial” subjects and are aggressively moralistic. Kind of like “very special episodes” of TV shows, where there’s no real entertainment value, just an excercise in self-rightgeous preaching on stuff like drugs are bad, or if you’re molested, speak up, or in this case, how lying is wrong.

  3. I dunno, I thought the scene where she wated strawberries was pretty funny.

  4. This episode, among others, is proof that the writers have a hard time writing for Bart anymore. Aside from his prank at the start of the episode, Bart felt very out of character throughout. As you said, he’s written too old here. Which would be fine if the show aged the characters, but no, he’s still ten.

    “There’s also a B-story involving Lisa bluffing through Heritage Day claiming she’s descended from Native Americans, but it’s so unbelievably boring. That and it feels like an pathetic after school special about telling the truth. It eventually culminates in Lisa speaking at a big Indian conference, where she quickly peters out and admits she was lying; it’s as if she herself got tired of the plot and just wanted to end it. Nothing but worthless filler.”

    It was mostly a meh subplot, but I did like members of the audience admitting they weren’t really Native-American once Lisa came clean. “I just ski a lot.”

    “What do we know about Utah? They’re polygamist weirdos! (“So, how many brides will you be marrying today, Mr. Simpson?” “Just one.” “Pfft. What’re you, gay?”)”

    I’ll admit: Despite being a stereotype, this gets a laugh out of me, just because of how ridiculous the line of thought is. It’s like, doesn’t marrying a woman by definition NOT make you a homosexual? Not according to this minister; you’re only straight if you marry a BUNCH of women.

  5. Fuck this episode.

    I mean, it’s vaguely racist and also offensive to Mormons!

    and someone shoots a flaming arrow at an eight year old girl AND THEN DIRECTLY INTO HOMER’S FUCKING FACE

    let me repeat that

    HOMER GETS SHOT IN THE FACE WITH A FLAMING ARROW

    this show fills me with irrational anger

  6. There are so many things that bother me about this episode, but the single biggest is hold on, that is a fifteen maybe sixteen year old girl essentially planning on having a full adult relationship bwith a ten year old boy.

    I’m not even sure how far this goes physically, since they are definitely doing things that ten year olds shouldn’t be and essentially Darcy is then guilt tripping him.

    Reverse genders and ask if a fifteen year old boy trying to marry and make off with a ten year old girl would be okay.

    so we can add indorcing child molesting to all the other horrible things in this episode.

  7. Oh, and now I think of it this isn’t the first time Zombie simpsons goes down this disturbing route with Bart, his thing with mary goes equally off the rails.

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