(originally aired April 19, 2009)
Alright, what old episode are we rehashing this week? Oh, “Bart’s Girlfriend,” except if the first act was the entire episode with no interesting twist? Or anything interesting whatsoever? Greeeat. So here’s the story: Bart meets this girl Jenny, who’s a goody two-shoes good Samaritan, and must pretend to be good to get her to like him. That’s the episode. That’s it. In “Girlfriend,” we saw similarly with him trying to win over Jessica Lovejoy, but then it actually went somewhere. Here, it’s just… nothing. But I’m not even going to try to compare these two, because it would be way too unfair. So who is Jenny? Why, another celebrity-voiced one-off with zero personality to speak of, of course! She’s voiced by Anne Hathaway, and again, mighty fine actress, nondescript, forgettable performance. You could swap dialogue tracks with Natalie Portman from a few seasons back and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. It’s just another throwaway role.
The “conflict” occurs when Milhouse discovers the two together; he had previously taken the fall from a massive prank at the school and gotten suspended, and finds Jenny is the reason Bart stopped visiting him. He then goes into creepy stalker mode, which totally fits him, as Bart gets more and more nervous that his mischievous past will come back to haunt him. So, build-up, build-up… and then Bart just comes clean with Jenny. Then he makes up with Milhouse and the episode ends. It’s astonishing just how uneventful these shows are getting; there’s barely anything to speak of because barely anything happens. There’s a B-story featuring Lisa’s pessimistic world view being quelled by happy pills, reducing her into a whacked-out stupor where she can only see smiley faces… and then in the end, she stops taking them. Like, stuff will start happening… and then they’ll stop happening. Stories used to have arcs that made sense and were impacting. Now we’re lucky if we even get one at all.
Tidbits and Quotes
– Last season we had Skinner and Chalmers go through absurd, ridiculous lengths to get Bart suspended. Here, they’re so dumb they can’t figure out who Milhouse’s accomplice was. Whoever could it be? Ridiculous.
– Ignorital: more obvious product names. Also, it’s not a lot of fun to see Lisa completely out of her gourd, and is a very, very subtle satire on mind-altering medication.
– Lenny visits his grandmother’s grave, which reads… “Lenny’s Grandma.” They already have the joke with him bringing the Duffman standee there, couldn’t they have just put a frigging name?
– I’m really at a loss here, this is one of the most empty, boring episodes I’ve ever seen. It may trump the astronomy show, actually.