01
May
17

Behind Us Forever: Looking for Mr. Goodbart

“Mr. Goodbar to the front desk. The front desk is looking for Mr. Goodbar.” – Candy Convention PA

Season 28 has only a few episodes left, and the most distinct thing I can say about “Looking for Mr. Goodbart” is that it is one of them. They once again switched to a voiceover narration for (some of) the exposition, there was a subplot about Homer and Lisa playing a barely renamed Pokemon Go thing, and Bart spent much of the episode being nice to old ladies before he learned a lesson about it, or something. As usual, none of it makes sense, characters appear out of nowhere frequently, and what passes for the plot is too incoherent to really wrap up.

(No, I have no idea what’s with the title. It worked as a throwaway joke in Season 6, here it’s just part of their sick need to make every episode title a pun.)

– Since Zombie Simpsons never misses an opportunity to celebrate a meaningless milestone, this one opens with the first Ullman short (that was also in the “138th Episode Spectacular”) because it just passed its thirtieth anniversary (two weeks ago, but who’s counting?). There’s also a song.

– The first scene is Bart getting gussied up in the bathroom before he goes out into a fancy restaurant and gives a table of old ladies a cup of tea. It then lurches right into voiceover narration:

“I know what you’re thinking, this must be some kind of prank. Is there laxative in the punch bowl? Well, there is, but they’re doctors prescribed that. I’ve changed. I’ve become pinchable. You look confused. Why don’t I start from the beginning?”

After that we go to the school with a “Two Months Earlier” subtitle. This is gonna be really dumb, isn’t it?

– At grandparents day, Skinner and Chalmers are mad at Bart for adding some lyrics to some song. I’m glad they retired Krabappel after Marcia Wallace died (like they should’ve done for Lunchlady Doris), but it speaks to the creative bankruptcy of the show now that they don’t bother coming up with a replacement. This looks to be a very ordinary day in the fourth grade classroom, yet it’s being headed by Skinner and Chalmers. The nominal superintendent then yells at the nominal principal via text messages because Zombie Simpsons will cling to the rotting skeleton of The Simpsons and repeat jokes no matter what. Later, in Skinner’s office, Agnes shows up for no reason and Skinner makes Bart walk her to the bus stop because that’s totally in character for everyone.

– Meanwhile, and in a highly timely parody, Lenny is playing “Peekymon Go”. (Ripped from the headlines!) He walks into the reactor core. Then Homer starts playing and does the same thing.

– On their way out of the school, Bart and Agnes bond by messing with Martin’s grandma for some reason. In a completely believable and not at all inhuman turn of events, Martin’s grandma then gets mad at her grandson because she was lightly taunted by them.

– Later, in a graveyard, the show has a parade of characters walk over Frank Grimes’s tombstone playing their very insightful Pokemon misnaming. I think this counts as fan service because at the end Gil shows up to tell us that he didn’t catch the monster.

– After some more Pokemon scenes, Homer gets sprayed by a skunk. We then see him sitting in a tomato juice bath in the garage with Marge.

I’m going to transcribe it because it neatly illustrates several of this show’s repetitive problems:

Marge: Sprayed by a sunk. Homey, that game is too dangerous.
Homer: The game was fine. Reality was dangerous. Now could you move a little to your left, there’s a stumblebee right behind you.
Marge: Is there any fad you don’t take too far?
Homer: The aerobics ones.
Lisa (Out of nowhere): Mom, what dad could use is a co-layer who’ll make sure he doesn’t get hurt, because the game is good for him. You can see that he’s lost weight from the walking.
Homer: I’m using the factory holes on my belt.
Marge: Wow! Wow! Lisa, why are you interested?
Lisa: Because it’s the greatest game ever! In this world, I can throw a ball!

Let us count the terribleness here: first, Marge exposits what we just saw. Then Homer acts like an invincible jerk. Then Lisa, who could’ve plausibly been there anyway, walks in from nowhere like she’s been a part of the conversation the whole time. (At this point, they’re so used to having people walk up to conversations that they do it even when they don’t have to.) Then Homer repeats a joke from “Brush with Greatness” (nearly word for word). Then Marge invites Lisa to exposit, and Lisa promptly does so. The scene is hacktacular in so many ways that it’s almost impressive.

– Speaking of hacktacular, we get Bart narrating more now and he explains that kissing up to Agnes got him free sneakers, so now he’s going to kiss up to other old ladies too. This is promptly followed by a montage of grandma nicknames.

– There’s an Itchy & Scratchy that ends with a human character killing himself with a revolver. It has nothing to do with the rest of the episode (we see Bart laugh at it while watching with an old lady, but that’s it) and seems, well, a little out of place.

This is TOH level gore and is very far from the violent but cartoon-y antics of Tom & Jerry. 

It’s not the violence or the gore that bothers me. It’s the fact that it’s random, pointless, and unconnected to everything else in the episode. A chef killing himself can be funny, but it’s not funny when that’s all there is to it.

– As usual, the only good part is the occasional sign gag.

Gotta admit: Curl Up And Dye is a pretty good name for a hair salon full of old ladies.

– But whatever good I was feeling is immediately blown away by more pointless exposition and random character appearances. In this one we meet Phoebe, an old lady who yells at Bart and then exposits his scam. She will be the focus of Bart’s story for the rest of the episode. As much as I don’t like to play Monday Morning Screenwriter here, I dunno, maybe it would be good to introduce the main character of the A-plot before the halfway mark.

– I don’t feel like explaining it, but the weird Cybill Shepherd thing is just bizarre.

– Sometimes my bare notes don’t need to be elaborated upon: “Comic Book Guy wanders by”

– I guess Phoebe is British because her presence let Bart frequently repeat the phrase “taking the piss”.

– Skinner’s in bed expositing about his life.

– Phoebe paid Bart to check her out of her nursing home. Now Bart’s worried she’s going to kill herself and goes back. The receptionist there neatly explains a bunch of things we didn’t see.

– And now there’s a flashback to what we saw two minutes ago. These episodes have the structural consistency of playdoh that’s been left out in the sun.

– Homer and Lisa playing Pokemon is still going on. They decided to buy cheat codes or something, which Homer is now burning, and then Homer starts talking about knives and cakes for some reason. No, it didn’t make any sense on screen either.

– Bart is looking for the supposedly suicidal old lady, and out of nowhere a bunch of Pokemon players show up to help, which leads to the . . .

– Searching montage! (In which a Pokemon rendered version of Maggie is told to “stab and kill and maim”. Lotta weird bloodshed in this one.)

– Phoebe is found, and exposits that it was all pointless anyway, “I’ll admit I had some dark thoughts, and I used you to escape form the home. But once I got out here by myself, completely free, I realized there’s so much to live for.” Thanks for wrapping up the plot, exposition lady!

– Homer now meta-expositing to run out the clock.

– And since event that couldn’t kill the last of the time, we have a Skinner sketch to end things, including Milhouse expositing.

Last night, a scant 2.26 million viewers sat through that doughy mess of an episode. Near as I can tell, the networks are taking another (well deserved) overall beating this year, so I have no idea how the drop in the absolute ratings for Zombie Simpsons compares the rest of the schedule. Still: incredibly low ratings are incredibly low ratings.

 


6 Responses to “Behind Us Forever: Looking for Mr. Goodbart”


  1. 1 Dman
    1 May 2017 at 10:17 pm

    This show’s gonna end real soon.

    • 2 The bastard of Bolton.
      2 May 2017 at 3:55 am

      Surely no show in history can getaway with such low viewing figures. I can only think of Peep Show in the UK but Channel 4 were smart enough to keep it going knowing that DVD sales and the skills of the 2 lead actors were more important than viewing figures. Zombie Simpsons however doesn’t have any of those things.

  2. 3 Anonymous
    2 May 2017 at 10:37 am

    Oh look, another well-plotted piece of non-claptrap that never made us want to wretch. Aren’t those the lowest ratings ever now? They deserve it for this utter garbage.

    And yeah, the idiotic title puns can go rot. Half the time they don’t even make sense, as you said.

    Since they so callously un-retired Lunchlady Doris, I wouldn’t be surprised if a “Mrs. Crabapple” (or Krandall, if someone’s memory reaches far back enough) shows up in the future.

  3. 4 Sarah J
    3 May 2017 at 12:36 pm

    “Peekymon Go”. Ugh, I hate how lazy ZS is with parodies. I wouldn’t mind if they did that kind of thing a little, but every parody they do has that kind of naming.

    I wonder why they haven’t replaced Mrs. Krabappel yet? Maybe they’ve been doing it out of respect for Marcia, and you can’t completely replace the character, but it is one of those roles you need to fill eventually. And it shouldn’t be that hard to come up with a funny new teacher character. Maybe like, a hippie teacher who lets the kids get away with all sorts of crap and tries to get everyone to talk about their feelings. Or maybe someone who used to teach at a college or a fancy private school, and gets upset when the class doesn’t understand what s/he’s talking about. Or like, a new teacher who thinks that real life is like in those inspirational teacher movies and s/he is always trying all sorts of “fun” and “modern” things to get the kids interesting but it doesn’t work. I dunno. I suck at comedy and just came up with those ideas off the top of my head, I’m sure someone else could come up something better.

  4. 5 Tibor
    4 May 2017 at 9:36 pm

    What I can’t believe is that 2.2 million people actually tuned in live for the live a current Simpsons episode. The only possible explanation is that there are now 2.2 million consulting/supervising producers on the show. The ep definitely played like it was written by 2 million people.

  5. 6 Anonymous
    6 May 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Curl up and Dye is the name of the salon in The Blues Brothers. Not even an original joke.


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