THE SIMPSONS “Elementary School Musical” Review

The Simpsons (FOX) Season 22 Episode 1

THE SIMPSONS is such a staple of television comedy that it’s easy to forget the depth of the characters, especially as this show carries on into the twenty second season (last year surpassing Gunsmoke to become the longest running primetime entertainment show ever).

“Elementary School Musical” found Marge dropping Lisa off at Arts Camp, where she meets Lea Michele (Rachel), Cory Monteith (Finn) and Amber Riley (Mercedes) from Glee, and Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords. There she spends a week in bliss, discussing the wonders of performance arts.

The writing could have been better; there are so many theatre jokes The Simpsons writers did not tap into. No Spring Awakening puns? New Zealand jokes? Funny Glee parodies? Glee did a better parody of itself in the opening scene of its second season. I’m sure the writers of The Simpsons could have come up with something.

The thing that sets The Simpsons apart from shows like Family Guy and South Park are the depths of its characters. Lisa garners a lot of sympathy; a creative child growing up in a house where the arts are not appreciated; stuck in a town without a care for theatre or music (besides Roofi.) Her plight is a common and genuinely sweet one.

Meanwhile, less sweet, Homer and Bart are invited to go to Oslo with Krusty the Clown for his Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. Homer’s line about the Nobel Peaces Prize was priceless: “I would kill for that.”

The whole thing is a setup to get Krusty to the The Hague in the Netherlands so he can be charged for various crimes. The only way he can be exonerated is by showing at least one contribution he has made to western culture.

It is up to Homer and Bart to rescue Krusty, which they do without hilarious consequences.

Lisa, frustrated by the restriction at her school, flees to Sprooklyn, where she learns the horrible truth: artists are bums. Not all of them. Some have jobs in sandwich shops. But yeah, most are bums with a large vocabulary.

Overall, it was a disappointing episode. I really liked the storylines, but the jokes were non-existent, the song the auto-tuned Glee kids sang was horrible-that may have been the point, but I’d rather a clever satirical song than an unmemorable one, and Lisa’s time at Arts Camp was far too short.

What did you think of the episode? Disagree? Agree? Had you any favourite lines or scenes? Let me know in the comments below!

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