(originally aired April 27, 2008)
Some have commented that it seems like the writers come up with the stupid episode title parodies first, then write the actual episode tenuously based on said title. In this case, I honestly believe the inception of this show was, “Bart says, ‘Don’t have a cow, man,’ so why don’t we give him a cow!” So they did, and cobbled together a bunch of stuff that can barely be considered a plot. Upon seeing Martin driving a cool harvester, Bart joins the 4-H club to drive one too, and ends up getting invested in doing farm work. Or something. Real exciting. He’s tasked with raising a calf to full health, and his reward in the end is seeing his full-grown bovine be first in line for the slaughter. This show has shades of “Lisa the Vegetarian,” where Bart grows remorse for this creature he’s eaten dozens of before, but shakes off any dietary qualms he may have in one infuriating scene with li’l preachy Lisa. It’s also akin to “Bart the Mother,” where Bart is in pathetic namby-pamby wimp mode, moping about the cow and its plight. It’s yet another example of how the writers seem to have no idea how to write Bart anymore.
Bart rescues the cow and offers it safety at Cletus’ farm, in the care of one of his daughters Mary, also a 4-H member. Unbeknownst to him, giving a young lady a cow is considering a marriage proposal to hillbilly folk, so to keep his cow safe, Bart must go along with this marriage, which neither he nor Mary want to go through with. Could he not explain the situation to Cletus? Nah, forget that. Plus, the marriage is in no way legally bound considering how young they are, so I’m not quite sure what the stakes are here. It’s all just a stupid farce that I could care less about. Then we cap things off with the cow being sent off to India thanks to Apu, and a high-larious sequence of Homer trying to escape the slaughterhouse factory floor. This episode is just empty. Empty of any believable character actions, clever jokes or commentary, interesting stories… it’s just a big, big vacuum of nothing. But it’s no different than most of the episodes nowadays. Twenty-seven shows left…
Tidbits and Quotes
– Trans-Clown-o-Morphs has nothing on the Mattel and Mars Bar Quick Energy Chocobot Hour
– Bart drives over a pile of manure with his harvester, and it spits out DVDs of Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Zing! I’ll say once more, this show has lost its right to decry someone else’s quality. They’re probably just bitter that it made more money over the summer of 2007 than their movie did.
– Zooey Deschanel voices Mary, who I can commend for actually giving an honest performance with a Southern accent, and also because she’s Zooey and she’s adorable. Of course now they’ve brought her character back since she’s under the FOX umbrella with New Girl; who was once Cletus’ hick daughter is now a trendy New York musician! Or something! Whatever, who cares, fuck you!
– Bart hears animals moaning in pain in his sleep, and what he believes to be his conscious is actually just from a stereo Lisa planted under his bed to make him feel bad. Remember the end of “Lisa the Vegetarian” when Lisa learns that she shouldn’t brow-beat or vilify others for having different beliefs? Well fuck that, now she’s a loud and proud vegetarian, and wants everyone else to be too! This scene made me want to rip my face off.
– The only bit of the episode I liked is when Homer and Marge do a little sock puppet show to get Maggie to eat her spinach. It has nothing to do with the story, but it’s a nice little scene; when Lisa runs in so the plot can continue, Homer’s sock does a spit take. That sentence totally makes sense.
– I feel like we haven’t seen Apu in a long time. But in the one scene he’s in, he’s nothing more than a prop. Once the plane takes off, he just disappears when Marge calls Homer.
– Why the fuck didn’t Homer get out of that cow costume the second he was put on the conveyor belt? There are countless opportunities he could have escaped on his own, the entire ending is just fucking stupid.