“Mom, this is a little ahead of schedule, but I need help with my love life.” – Bart Simpson
“Oh, my special little guy has a sweetheart.” – Marge Simpson
“I knew it! Alright Bart, who’s your girlfriend?” – Lisa Simpson
“Mrs. Krabappel.” – Bart Simpson
In what I assume was an unintentional irony, early in “Beware My Cheating Bart”, the writers had Bart say, “Doesn’t anyone realize I’m only ten years old?”. The episode certainly didn’t, and it managed to be worse than most “Bart gets a girlfriend” stories to boot. Bart seems to vacillate between being an experienced teenage dater and a little kid, sometimes within the same scene. One moment he’s happily going down a slide, and then next he’s getting hot and heavy with Shauna (who is herself of indeterminate teenage years). It would be creepy if it weren’t so dull.
However, just one oft repeated story wasn’t enough for Zombie Simpsons this week, so they also had Marge and Homer go through a marital spat. That one got resolved in the most pointless way possible when Marge decorated herself and the bedroom in an island theme, but managed not to notice Bart and Jimbo out the clearly open window. Again, this would’ve been creepy if it hadn’t been so boring and nonsensical.
As for the unimaginative Lost parody “Stranded”, I was reminded of their equally insipid Inception parody from a few weeks ago. Lost has been off the air for two years now, and everyone knew it was going to end in 2010 beforehand, which means that if you still want to parody it, you’d better come up with more than the same tired jokes (nothing makes sense, there’s no resolution, it’s all just empty plot twists) people stopped making two years ago. The Futurama alien language plug (it reads “watch futurama thursdays at 10”) was the only thing that was even kind of clever.
The Bill Plympton couch gag was kind of interesting, though it could’ve been half as long and gotten through pretty much the same stuff. I suppose it’s true that this is better than the usual, but the novelty of having someone else do the opening is starting to wear off. And speaking of wearing off, Kavner is really having a hard time doing Marge now. She’s been kinda off for a couple of seasons, but the number of times I’ve thought to myself “wow, that really doesn’t sound like Marge” has been way up since the middle of this season. She just doesn’t have the same range she used to, which makes it really tough to put much feeling into anything.
Anyway, the numbers are in and they are absolutely atrocious. Just 4.86 million viewers briefly lost all interest in sex last night. That’s the second lowest of all time, displacing “How I Wet Your Mother” in that spot. Four of the five least watched episodes ever are now from Season 23, and the average viewership this year is below 6.5 million. Season 22’s was 7.10 million, and there are still at least three episodes to go. Presumably Lady Gaga will give them a boost at the end of the year (and I’m not looking forward to putting Reading Digest together that week), but even her fame isn’t going to be enough to rescue that average.