“Worked for the Carter Administration?” – Marge Simpson
“Well, you voted for him, twice.” – Lisa Simpson
“Lisa, shh, someone might be listening.” – Marge Simpson
It’s never been all that hard to poke fun at Republicans and Democrats, but doing so would require Zombie Simpsons to make some jokes instead of spending all their time expositing an inane and nonsensical story. And when I say inane, I mean in-fucking-ane. Lisa meets the new kid in her class outside of class, for some reason, they do a project on FDR together without, it seems, ever talking to one another about the subject, and all that’s before Burns and a real life vampire get involved. Oddly enough, the episode did have a singular bright spot, a Simpsonization of an eighty-year-old Disney cartoon called “Silly Symphony: Music Land” where people are musical instruments and there is great conflict between different genres. Burns tries to stop Lisa from playing jazz, which is made retroactively funnier as the actual episode involves Burns trying to rig a second grade election for some reason.
- I know it’s just them redoing an old Disney cartoon, but the opening was entertaining. It’s not quite “The Longest Daycare”, but it’s pretty cool. They really are at their best when they don’t have to write dialogue.
– For further evidence, see Lisa singing a song for the first minute of the episode.
– Another case in point, why did they have Bart say “And the best part is, I’m bombarding her with her own homework”? You could’ve just showed that to us.
– I’m not going to transcribe the whole episode or anything, but they are seriously bad at this:
Lisa: “That’s a reference to the Bronte sisters!”
Isabel: “You got my reference to the Bronte sisters?”
We just saw that, less than two seconds ago! Please to not be explaining everything as it happens.
– Oh, hello there, silent Mr. Bergstrom fan-service.
– I guess it’s nice that they bothered to include a conflict in this plot, but when they do things like have Lisa not realize this girl’s politics until they’re both on stage together it sucks the life so completely out of this that I’m not even sure why they bothered. (And, as if on cue, Skinner walks on to tell us what we just saw again.)
– This 1980s party in the attic is almost existentially sad. Remember cassettes and VHS? Remember? We said remember, damn it!
– Republican Headquarters keeps getting less inventive and fun.
– Why, Nelson, so kind of you to appear out of nowhere and then disappear again.
– There are a lot of things wrong with this ice cream parlor scene, but having the squeaky voiced teen first remove the wheelbarrow of ice cream and then drive another giant thing of ice cream into the scene thirty seconds later is illustrative of them all. It makes no sense, is all exposition, and indicates that they, once again, seem to think things that just happened have no bearing on what’s about to happen.
– Uh, what was with Pig Pen from Peanuts showing up and then disappearing?
– Lisa is smacking, punching and kicking Bart. I don’t even know what to file that under.
– That scene with Lisa pretending to be drunk was so good they repeated it with Bart.
– I could say something about the empty-headed time wasting that was Lisa’s “liberal” speech, but Harold Ramis said it better.
– This scene with Clinton and the Democratic losers sure takes a long time.
– And a pointless flash forward ends with a call back to the musical opening. That on repeat ten times would’ve been a lot more fun than this episode, and it even has a better Burns plot.
Anyway, the ratings are in and they remain embarrassingly bad. Just 6.65 million people were glad this isn’t an election year last night. That’s the highest all season; in fact, it’s the highest since last January. But it was with a football overrun, will probably come down when the final numbers are released, and is well below what the show was averaging just three seasons ago. That’s as good as they can do these days, and it’d be historically bad if it weren’t for all the other historically bad numbers they’ve been putting up the last couple of years.