“I don’t think we should hang out together anymore. You’re turning me into a criminal when all I want to be is a petty thug.” – Bart Simpson
As part of our efforts to bring you only the finest in low class, low brow, and low tech internet Simpsons commentary we’re applying our “Crazy Noises” series to “Marge Be Not Proud”, the “One Bad Episode” our Manifesto has in Season 7. Because doing a podcast smacks of effort we’re still using this “chatroom” thing that all the middle schoolers and undercover cops seem to think is so cool. This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on on “Lollapalooza”).
“Marge Be Not Proud” is the black sheep of Season 7. It’s so utterly out of place, so completely incongruous with those around it that I’ve always kinda wondered how it was even produced. Was a bad batch of donuts delivered to the studio that day? Was half the writers room getting divorced that week? Did someone spike the water supply? We’ll never know. All we can do is watch the rest of Season 7 and avoid this one like the plague.
Charlie Sweatpants: It’s time we scale the unscalable cliff and talk about that most depressing of all episodes: Marge Be Not Proud.
Mad Jon: If there were patron saints of unholy reasons to start a blog this would be in the running.
Charlie Sweatpants: Pretty much.
Dave: You mean the episode in which absolutely nothing happens but the strings of sadness tell us we need to feel shit?
Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, except it was the first time ever and this episode felt like getting hit by a train.
I remember being embarrassed that it was even happening it was so bad.
Mad Jon: I remember being very confused when it happened
Dave: My memory is apparently very imprecise. But, I don’t like the episode. At all.
Mad Jon: I felt like Millhouse when he saw the Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie show. “When are they gonna get to the Fireworks Factory!!??!”
Charlie Sweatpants: There really is surprisingly little redeeming value in it, I mean, it’s Season fucking Seven.
It should be good.
They cut off the Troy McClure video, there are multiple horribly long “suspense” sequences, the morality play on display would be considered “too much” by the people who used to do those After School Specials.
It was just bizarre from start to finish.
Far and away the worst part though is when Bart admits to Marge “I did it.” This is a kid who became famous for saying that he didn’t do it.
Mad Jon: And seriously, theft? Bart? No. He’s admittedly more of a petty vandal.
Charlie Sweatpants: It was played in the most television-y way possible to heighten the drama.
Mad Jon: It really was. Especially when they were going to get the picture taken.
That was brutal.
Charlie Sweatpants: Oh indeed. There’s like half a minute there where literally nothing funny is even being tried, it’s just “tension” as to whether or not the security guard is going to see Bart.
Mad Jon: They could at least have had someone famous voice the guard. Preferably a Brooks Family member.
Charlie Sweatpants: It’s especially painful coming just two episodes after Sideshow Bob decrying an ending “so formulaic it could’ve spewed from the Powerbook of the laziest Hollywood hack!”
Mad Jon: Indeed.
Mad Jon: Now I’m gonna haul ass to Lollapalooza!
Charlie Sweatpants: Actually I didn’t mind the guest voice so much, he was the old guy in Reservoir Dogs, so I’ve always kinda had a soft spot for him.
Mad Jon: Lawrence Tierney?
Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah.
Mad Jon: Huh I didn’t know you were into old dudes.
Charlie Sweatpants: “In” is rather vague concept there, isn’t it?
But that’s neither here nor there, nor does it have any bearing on the unbelievably weak structure of this episode, it’s molasses-like speed or its terribly cliched plot.
Mad Jon: No it really doesn’t
If I remember correctly, not only did Bart’s present have a receipt stapled to it, didn’t it also say “Paid” on the receipt?
Dave: That’s correct.
Mad Jon: Isn’t that what a receipt says just by existing?
Dave: Also correct.
It’s fun to be redundant.
In the grand tradition of sitcom handholding, of course.
Mad Jon: Just thought I would throw that out there, I’m not feeling as creatively hateful as Pants seems tonight.
So obvious it is!
Charlie Sweatpants: But that isn’t even the worst part of the whole “got his picture taken thing”. Why the hell is Bart trying to hide it from Marge when she sees it? They drag that scene out interminably and then – surprise – he did right by his mom.
Mad Jon: Yeah that don’t make no muthafuckin’ sense.
Charlie Sweatpants: This episode already has like five long ass sequences like that, did they really need another one?
Guh, I loathe this episode and whenever I do go back and watch it all it does is piss me off again.
Mad Jon: Yeah, it makes me feel weird, like I stole something myself. I don’t like feeling that way unless I actually stole something.
Dave: Easy solution – delete it and never think about it again.
Charlie Sweatpants: If only that were possible.
Mad Jon: Nah, We learned so much from the pain.
We’ve taken that anger, balled it up inside, and finally, about 12 years after this crapfest leaked out of the broken pipe that was this episode, used it to start a blog.
Charlie Sweatpants: I can’t say I learned much. It’s like watching the Zapruder Film.