“I’ve had one of my unpredictable changes of heart.” – C.M. Burns
About three quarters of the way through “The Daughter Also Rises”, the episode took a weird turn. Lisa went to ask Grampa for advice, which led, without any setup whatsoever, to her, Grampa and “Nick” being chased by the police, which in turn lead to her and “Nick” rowing a boat out to an island. No reason is given for why things went from relatively sunny and untroubled to dire and suspenseful. They just did.
Similarly, “Nick” went from being suave and charming and generally very Colin-from-the-movie to a whiny weirdo. We didn’t see what changed his mind or why he might suddenly have become skittish around Lisa. One moment he was charming everyone in the Simpsons’ living room, and in the next scene he was a wet blanket. Pretty much the same thing happened with Bart and Milhouse’s B-plot, one minute it was going one direction, and the next minute it was going the other way.
What makes these weird plot turns so frustrating is that, sometime last summer, a group of professional writers sat around a table at Zombie Simpsons HQ. They read aloud a story about Lisa getting a boyfriend, which for some reason turns into a chase, which is only resolved when Marge puts on giant water shoes. Not one of those trained, experienced professionals asked why the chase happened, or why it suddenly became so dire, or whether or not Marge should care. It’s malpractice.
Anyway, the numbers are in and last night’s terrible excuse for an episode is the new champion of low ratings. Just 4.33 million people were confused by that ending. That shatters the previous record of 5.00 million set by Season 22’s “The Great Simpsina”. Even better, we’re only four episodes in to the typically lower rated post-New Year’s part of the season, and three of those episodes are in the bottom five all time:
|Season-Episode||Airdate||Viewers (in millions)||Title|
|1||23-13||12-Feb-12||4.33||The Daughter Also Rises|
|2||22-18||10-Apr-11||5.00||The Great Simpsina|
|3||23-10||8-Jan-12||5.11||Politically Inept, With Homer Simpson|
|4||21-11||31-Jan-10||5.11||Million Dollar Maybe|
|5||23-12||29-Jan-12||5.12||Moe Goes from Rags to Riches|
Season 23 is now a mortal lock to be the least watched season in the history of the show. The only question is how low it can go.