(originally aired January 25, 2009)
Since it aired, I’ve been confused for the longest time about what the hell the deal is with this episode, now I see it’s a parody of the film Heavenly Creatures. From what I can be bothered to read, it’s about the obsessive, borderline sexual relationship of two girls who immerse themselves into their own fantasy world. And in the end they kill one of their mothers. That sounds like perfect fodder for a story about eight-year-old girls. At a rec center art class, Lisa meets Juliet, an enlightened English girl who she quickly develops a friendship with. Should I mention the girl in the movie is also named Juliet, and her father is also a professor who just moved to a local university, and the girls met in an art class where they were being stifled creatively? Just a coincidence, I’m sure. The two create their own girly fantasy world Equalia, and end up getting more and more distanced from the outside world and other people. At first it seems like Lisa will realize that Juliet’s gone mad, seeing fantasy creatures outside her mind, but then it turns out Lisa sees them too, the two of them having a mutual hallucinogenic trip. What’s going on here?
As to be expected, Juliet has no real character and is boring. Emily Blunt is beautiful and a great talent, but a little girl, she ain’t. There are moments in this episode that really feel quite disturbing, where the girls talk about how much they mean to each other, they hold hands, and in their fantasy, they slow-dance to a romantic Josh Groban song… Like… what am I supposed to think here? The movie features lesbianism, and it looks like there’s a lot lifted from it in this episode, like Lisa and Juliet sitting in one hammock mirrors a shot where the two girls are naked together in a bathtub. What the ever loving fuck is this? The turning point in this show, I feel, is when it’s quite clear that Juliet is crazy; she tells Lisa she sees her fantasy world in her backyard, Lisa looks concerned, we hear dramatic music… then all of a sudden, Lisa is insane too. Couldn’t they turned the source material on its ear and had Lisa concerned for her friend’s sanity, Juliet could have snapped and she would have to talk her down from doing something drastic? Instead, they run away together, escape from the bullies, and stop being friends on a dime, with Juliet chastising Lisa for wanting to live in reality. A very frustrating… confusing episode.
Tidbits and Quotes
– So the scene with the art teacher criticizing Juliet’s work and Lisa coming to her defense is apparently right out of Heavenly Creatures. With all of these flagrant similarities, I don’t exactly know how this can be considered parody, it’s bordering on plagiarism. I hope one of my readers has seen this movie and can comment on this, I know very little about it.
– We kill thirty seconds by having Lisa and Juliet sing a Josh Groban song. I guess that means they’re bonding. Also, I hope Groban sent a gift basket or something for all of the name drops in this show. Also, this sequence is awful. There have been several instances of late of characters singing padding out shows, but this is the most blatant I’ve seen. Also, Yeardley Smith and Emily Blunt together is pretty painful to listen to.
– Lisa is nervous about having a first date… er, play date (“Not that I couldn’t get one if I wanted…”) Later, Marge forbids Lisa from seeing her girlfr… I mean, friend (“There are limits on how much two people should be together!” “Well you can’t keep me and Juliet apart!”) Then Juliet urges Lisa to run away with her (“Equalia needs you! I need you!”) There’s so much of this kind of stuff in here; it’s not even lesbian subtext, it’s the actual dialogue.
– The ending is so unbelievably sloppy. They escape the bullies by wooing Kearney over with their stupid story, who then proceeds to fight with Jimbo and Dolph so they can get away, to the tune of another goddamn motherfucking Josh Groban song. Also, there are holes in their cages for some reason so Lisa and Juliet could hold hands. Identical cages, with one having the hole on the left side, and the other on the right. Good thing they made those cages like that. Then Juliet leaves when Lisa says she wants to live in the real world (“The real world? The real world is for people who can’t imagine anything better. Goodbye, Lisa.”) It would have been good if they had addressed Juliet’s psychosis earlier in the episode, wouldn’t it, instead of brush it off completely.