Season ten opens with a lesson we may not have seen coming. Apparently, there are some things that would make even Bart wish he were in school.
What we have here is not so much a failure to communicate but a pair of plots that have nothing to do with each other that somehow come together.
Plot A deals with Lisa having to deal with a hip new girl at Springfield Elementary named Alex Whitney. Alex is into fashion and shopping, has a cell phone and pierced ears, you know, all the stuff Lisa isn’t too anxious to get to yet. But all the other girls in school, Lisa’s friends for when she has friends, seem entranced by Alex’s grown-up ways. Mostly, Alex seems to just confuse Lisa. Sure, Alex loves Lisa’s name, and tells her not to be such a “Phoebe,” but that may be because Alex is voiced by Lisa Kudrow and they’re making the most subtle of all subtle possible Friends references.
Hey, among Lisa’s friends…is that Allison Taylor? Her voice is different. That means it isn’t…
Principal Skinner, meanwhile, should get his empty trophy case stories straight.
Alex’s ways convince the girls who aren’t Lisa, and by extension Skinner, to change the school’s apple-picking to a dance. Lisa isn’t all for that, and becomes even less for it when she learns everyone has a date for it except for her. Even Ralph Wiggum. Heck, Milhouse, who has been clearly crushing on Lisa, even has someone else to go with.
Well, one other student at the school may lack a date, namely Bart. There’s a good reason for that. Homer has basically pulled Bart out of school after Homer learned selling grease to the local rendering plant can make money. Just the grease from a few pounds of bacon doesn’t do much, and Bart clearly wishes he were in school. We’ll never see that again. Too bad for Homer one company controls the grease and the shovel rackets, and he has no hope.
The night of the dance, Lisa wants to stay home, but Marge convinces her to go. Homer and Bart, meanwhile, are going for one last score in the form of the school’s kitchen grease. The bad news there is the grease is Groundskeeper Willy’s retirement fund, and even though Homer’s claims to be from Scotland and the same town Willy comes from doesn’t work (because Homer realizes he made the town’s name up and says as much), but luckily for Homer since there is nary an animal alive that can outrun a greased Scotsman, the net result is an explosion of grease all over the school dance, resulting in a grease fight, the most fun anyone was having at that thing. Yes, the kids wanted to be kids, not pretend to be grown-ups like Alex wanted. And we shall never speak of her again.
I am a bit curious about Marge’s homemade Pepsi, though…