(originally aired May 18, 2008)
We wrap up the season with a curious episode, one I really can’t figure out. A Simpson child becomes Krusty’s assistant, only to soon usurp his own fame for themselves. No, this isn’t “Bart Gets Famous,” though I wish it was. That episode felt like it was about something and had a purpose; this, I think I know what it’s saying… but it makes no sense given the characters it involves. Auditions are being held for a new “Krustketeer,” and Lisa tries to convince Krusty to hire Bart. This only ends up getting herself hired as his new intern, where she puts up with the clown’s demands. There’s even a scene that echoes “Famous” where Bart gets Krusty a bagel, except here it’s Lisa letting him use her necklace string as dental floss. The difference is while with Bart we saw him being run ragged by Krusty, calling him at school in a panic about burying a body, here, Lisa, I guess is working full time and is a great assistant, because nowadays Simpsons are perfect at everything they do. It isn’t long before Lisa takes Krusty’s show, because I guess she wants to be an entertainer now. Oh wait, she got the taste of laughter. That was supposed to be a thing, I suppose.
The episode is told with narration throughout by Sideshow Mel, the only good part of the show, if only because I love Castellaneta’s deliveries as the downtrodden thespian. He explains how Lisa got swept up in show business, neglecting to tell Krusty about an important network meeting so she could take his position. Act three opens and it’s the Lisa Show, with her now performing and managing her own production. Again, I guess she’s taken an extended school leave. This whole section moves so fast, I don’t understand why Lisa would want to do this, or even care about being a TV buffoon. No time for any of those explanations, because we need to cram in a worthless subplot where Homer and Bart collect coins. Very entertaining. Anyway, on the eve of an award night, Mel informs Lisa of the tragic tales of past recipients, himself included, and how far they had sunk for the sake of entertainment. Not wanting to suffer the same fate, Lisa shifts the spotlight back to Krusty and resumes her normal life. There’s nothing really aggravating about this one; it’s just rather confusing and empty.
Tidbits and Quotes
– The coin collecting subplot… okay. Despondent about not getting the Krusty gig, Bart sells all of his Krusty merchandise, in exchange for… an empty book for storing coins. He expresses no interest in it, but takes it anyway. He and Homer go off on a coin collecting spree and fill the whole book, save for one: the immortal double-print “Kissing Lincoln” penny. They discover it on auction, but are easily outbid by Mr. Burns. But of course since Burns is a doddering old buffoon, Homer easily swindles him out of it. And then the plot’s over. Rather than develop the main story and have it make sense, we waste precious minutes on this shit. Great job, guys.
– More bad CG with Krusty driving his car through the backlot. The characters look like they’re cardboard. How can they do 2D-3D integration so well on Futurama, episodes from almost a decade ago, but here it looks like shit?
– Mel ends his tour of the past with Lisa to his portrait. You can tell it’s him, but he ends his dialogue, “But that was before he took the bone…” His shadow casts over the portrait and we can see it matches. I like all that, it works. Then Lisa dusts off the plate, and reads it, “Melvin Van Horne.” Gasp! “Sideshow Mel! That’s you!” No shit. They could have had her just say, “Oh my God, Mel! How could this happen!” But no, let’s kill time and spell it out for the dummies in the audience as much as possible.
– I really don’t have much to say on this one; it may be one of the most innocuous episodes of the entire series. It’s just… nothing.
Season 19 Final Thoughts
One season left. One season left. I’m sorry, I’m sure all of this feels very redundant and repetitive at this point, it’s just there’s not really that much left to say about a lot of these episodes. The series has the same problems, they just keep getting a little bit worse each season. It’s a slight downward curve, but at least I’m almost at the drop-off point.
“Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind”
“The Homer of Seville,” “Husbands and Knives,” “E Pluribus Wiggum,” “Papa Don’t Leech,” “Mona Leaves-a”