“I’m surprised you don’t remember, son. It was only eight years ago.” – Homer Simpson
“Dad, thanks to television I can’t remember what happened eight minutes ago.” – Bart Simpson
In our ongoing mission to bring you only the shallowest and laziest analysis of Zombie Simpsons, we’re keeping up our Crazy Noises series for Season 22. Since a podcast is so 2004, and video would require a flag, a fern and some folding chairs from the garage, we’ve elected to use the technology that brought the word “emoticon” to the masses: the chatroom. Star Trek image macros are strictly forbidden, unless you have a really good reason why Captain Picard is better than Captain Kirk. This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (surprisingly enough, not on “aneurystic”, which I just made up and therefore can’t be spelled wrong).
For a single sequence of events that epitomizes the sloppiness of “The Ned-Liest Catch”, we need look no further than Edna’s escape from the rubber room. First, Bart magically enters the building and shows up to help her escape. It’s not explained why he would care or how he got there. He then climbs through the ceiling to allow himself to be attacked by a possum. Once that’s over we find them in the bathroom for a series of scenes that make the possum look downright brilliant.
First, Bart has replaced Edna with a dummy. We never see him do this, nor did Krabappel notice it when she was just in the same room, it simply appears (whatever). Second, after Bart climbs out the window, we see this:
Edna Krabappel: not that far off the ground.
Bart’s next line describes this as a “three story drop”. This is another one of those pieces of apathy or contempt that would make Michael Bay proud. They could’ve drawn a three story shot, they could’ve changed the dialogue, they did neither (whatever 2x). Third, the ladder breaks with Edna on it. Despite the fact that the previous shot made it look like she’d be about six inches off the ground if the ladder broke like that, it’s played for suspense before we see:
Fourth, without saying a word, Bart runs off. This is the same Bart who, just a second before, cared so much about Krabappel that he broke into this building, left a dummy of her, and showed her the exit. All of a sudden, without so much as a stab at a joke, he abandons her completely (whatever 4x).
Fifth, Flanders arrives out of nowhere. He wasn’t summoned by Bart; he wasn’t introduced into the scene in any way. He was just there (whatever 5x).
Finally, once the impromptu date is over and Edna is back in the bathroom comes the scene that ignores everything that just happened. Bart left a dummy of Krabappel in the main room so she could sneak out, but once she’s back in the bathroom the other teachers yell at her for being in the bathroom for three hours. Well, which was it? Was there a dummy so they all thought she was still there, or did they think she was in the can? This isn’t a continuity error that requires retconning of decades old episodes or events, this is a continuity error that requires a short term memory with a capacity of less than three minutes (whatever 6x).
[Note: Dave ditched us again this week. I’m beginning to think he doesn’t like watching Zombie Simpsons.]
Charlie Sweatpants: Ready to get to it?
Mad Jon: I think that is best.
The sooner we start, the sooner this season is in the books.
Charlie Sweatpants: Got that right.
Where to begin?
The poorly teased romance, the obstacle courses, the scene with all the hallucinated faces?
Mad Jon: My biggest problem, and this isn’t the first time that Zombie Simpsons has done this, although it is the worst offense, is that Ned Flanders is not a man in the sense necessary to start picking up woman on the street.
It is super convenient that the Ned’s super conservative views on relationships completely contrasts with Edna’s history, but that doesn’t mean you get to completely change both characters, especially Ned, to make the plot work.
Charlie Sweatpants: Ned’s dating life has always been something they’ve had trouble dealing with. In this case they solved that by having her literally fall into his arms . . . in that alley . . . that he just happened to be walking down.
Mad Jon: That he just happened to be walking down.
Charlie Sweatpants: The stranger thing is, Flanders and Krabappel know each other! I’ve seen them in scenes before, Rod and Todd are students at the school!
Mad Jon: Yeah, Ned is the president of the PTA or something.
Charlie Sweatpants: Well, that was a long time ago, and the writers have a, shall we say, selective memory about the past of the show.
Mad Jon: He wants to put the pal back in principal.
Charlie Sweatpants: That too.
But they made a huge scene of the introduction, and yet we know they know each other, not as a one off story in some past episode, but just based on the general structure of the show and who each of them are.
Mad Jon: All very true.
Charlie Sweatpants: I could see Ned and Krabappel hooking up. I mean, why not? They’re both single. But to pretend that they don’t know each other so you can jam in a meet-cute that wouldn’t pass muster in a January romantic comedy was pissing right in the audience’s face.
Mad Jon: Couldn’t agree more. Even if you ignore the chance encounter that rewrites what we obviously know about them, and even if you ignore the ex-husband/soccer dad manner in which Ned picks up Edna, you can’t ignore the fact that every scene with Ned and Edna was more uncomfortable and embarrassing than the one before it.
Ned doesn’t think and feel these things, he praises Jesus and raises his kids like happy little Mormons. Even though they aren’t Mormons.
Sorry, that’s been eating me up all day.
Charlie Sweatpants: Right. Their scenes together were painfully awkward because they never really gave us a reason why they’d get together.
They moved immediately into a montage, like that’s going to explain things.
But that wasn’t even the most absurd pairing in the episode. Why the hell did Flanders go to Moe’s with Homer? Why was Bart – BART! – alone at the house with Rod and Todd?
Mad Jon: Both excellent questions.
Charlie Sweatpants: This episode was filled with moments like that, where Bart and Homer were just instantly involved in other people’s shit. Not only was there no reason for that to happen, it’s completely against both of their characters.
Mad Jon: Homer went out of his way to help Flanders, he even wrestled a fucking octopus.
Charlie Sweatpants: Precisely, why did Bart show up to get his enemy out of the rubber room? Why did Flanders and Krabappel knock on Homer’s door for no reason?
Why the hell were Comic Book Guy and Skinner (not to mention Joey from Aerosmith) just hanging out at Moe’s?
Mad Jon: Oh god, the Joey Kramer thing was death. He must have finally got his drumsticks back.
Charlie Sweatpants: Which led to the face hallucination thing which went on for forever and a day. Sometimes you can pull off one of those jokes where something that isn’t funny becomes funny when it goes on for a long time, but this wasn’t even trying. It was a rehash of a scene at Moe’s that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Mad Jon: Right, but they have to keep going or they can’t get CBG in the episode like ten times.
Also Santa’s Little Helper can do triple digit subtraction.
Charlie Sweatpants: And the jack-in-the-box thing.
So few bad ideas, so much time . . .
Mad Jon: Well put.
Also, Bart’s face, is um, indifferent to possum attacks. So he’s got that going for him too!
Charlie Sweatpants: Alright, I think the only thing I think we haven’t mentioned yet is the aneurystic way they started the episode.
Remember when Bart used to torment the teachers by painting the parking lines close together, or creating fake candy hearts? What the hell was all that about?
Mad Jon: How much damage can one boy do in 35 seconds? Let’s find out!
Charlie Sweatpants: Plus the whole Lisa comes out, Skinner calls things off, Lisa starts talking . . . the small riot was one of the least nonsensical things in the entire scene.
Mad Jon: Riots do seem to just start themselves, even in Classic Simpsons. That doesn’t mean they are funny when they end up with children doing impromptu floor routines.
Charlie Sweatpants: Ugh. Though that scene did lead to the only joke I liked in the whole episode, Chalmers saying that they had a zero tolerance policy when things occur in front of witnesses. That I laughed at.
Mad Jon: Yes, I almost forgot that. That was a good line.
Charlie Sweatpants: Do we have to talk about the bullshit cliffhanger, or can we do what they did and just call a halt to the season unfinished?
Mad Jon: I don’t want to address that at all. I think the voting is actually a government conspiracy to locate the IP addresses of idiots so that they can use their homes for UAV target practice.
Charlie Sweatpants: That’s how they got me to vote for Lyndon LaRouche!