This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.
The Simpsons Season 28 Episode 20
The Simpsons‘ season 28 episode 20, “Looking for Mr. Goodbart,” gets old pretty fast, but passes like an overhyped fad.
The Big Bang Theory opening plays right into the couch gag diminished return theory, the longer the couch gag the less funny the episode. Although the gag was short, and the couch gags are there to fill space for scripts that come up short, it was long enough to contain parody lyrics, and was coupled with a rerunning of the “Cradle will fall” short from The Tracey Ullman Show Days. So they must have had a lot to fill. “Looking for Mr. Goodbart” has a good premise, Bart hustles ladies in their eighties, and a more than competent guest star in Absolutely Fabulous’ Jennifer Saunders, but it doesn’t bequeath enough laughs.
The new twist on fifty shades of grey begins at Springfield Elementary School, where the great grandparents are being feted. Most of the kids want to celebrate their parents’ parents, like perennial brownnose Martin. He and his gram gram bonded over his endearing tattling ways, but we all know he’s just lying in wait for his college fund. It would be cute to look at, if not for Martin’s nippling.
Bart cuts the treacle with some vaguely funny lyrical changes and is assigned a walk with Skinner’s mother as punishment. What could possibly go wrong? The two characters who thrive most on belittling the little principal get together and, bond. There is no collusion in their shared interests. It is only a fast track to lead Bart on his con man path.
The Simpsons are nowhere near as callous as they can be, though they continue to plough the graveyards for stone cold humor, like enslaving a Pikimon who is hiding at Frank Grimes’ grave. Grimes, for those who may not remember, died in an nuclear plant accident while demonstrating what an idiot Homer is. This was before Mr. Burns had a safety hook lock installed at the reactor core. Homer fell asleep at Grimes’s funeral. Everyone laughed. It was a high point in television cynicism. This episode gives the elderly more of a pass.
Bart has all the tools of the trade, breath mints, combs and cufflinks, needy eyes, a bag of hobo teeth and an undeniable knack for taking the piss out of things. This is important in an old folk’s home. But he get called out by the observant Phoebe, played by Saunders. She maintained her sharp eye because she is a nature photographer – two things that won’t exist in 20 years.
Egg yolks scare us all, but the staff at the Sunny Day Nursing Home pull out all the stops when they go into panic mode. Bart has already suffered the panic of having to look up the word bequeath and shelling out library kickbacks. He realizes that the best and the brightest in town are too busy ignoring reality for their newest game app and makes a serious game of the search.
Homer and Lisa are really starting to like each other now that they both found an overhyped passing fad they can each enjoy. The whole town of Springfield is finally getting into the craze that hit the nation last summer. The Simpsons would have gotten to it sooner, but had to score a gratuitous Pikimon Get takeoff song that seems more gratuitous than memorable. Making the episode come across as an unfinished clip show. We’re shooshed by the invisible Pikimon.
The notoriously difficult Cybil Shepard proves she is who she is by being notoriously difficult.
The best line is probably when Marge asks Homer if there is any fad he doesn’t take too far, and he cites aerobics. For the most part, Marge disgruntles in silence. Even after learning that Lisa and Bart have been keeping things secret from her, she is comforted by the thought that she will have something new to worry about very soon. And so will we, on next week’s Simpsons.
“Looking for Mr. Goodbart” was written by Carolyn Omine and directed by Michael Polcino. The Simpsons stars Dan Castellaneta as Homer and Abe Simpson, Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson, Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson, Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson. Hank Azaria plays Kirk Van Houten, Chief Wiggum and Moe. Harry Shearer is Kent Brockman, C. Montgomery Burns and Waylon Smithers. Tress Macneille and Pamela Hayden also star. Guest stars Jennifer Saunders as Phoebe, and Valerie Harper.
Chalkboard – by guest detainee Grandpa: I just wrote one and I’m already tired.
But It All Went By So Fast: Grandparents Day – Great Grandparents: Not your day. Lamo-Land, West Undies, Butt-swana, Stinkville, Jerkistan, Zitserland. Channel 6 News – Kent Brockman. Now at 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 1 and 2.
Bleeding Gums Murphy’s grave stone – Catch me at the jazz hole in the sky. Ding Rings. Budget Club.
No Bathrooms. Don’t ask how I go.
Orchid Show – check your pistils at the door.
Curl up and Dye.
Bart Simpson – Grandson. Available during school hours.