Simpsons Did It!: “Barthood”

It seems only appropriate that an episode that features Homer getting stoned would be published on 4/20…

No, I didn’t plan it that way.  It just happened.


Ever see the movie Boyhood?  You know, the one Richard Linklater spent 12 years filming off and on, showing a kid grow up in the space of the movie’s run time from kindergarten to college?  Yeah, well, this episode is kinda like that.  It’s about Bart growing up, and unlike the Linklater film, this one had a plot.  Not that Boyhood needed one, and that was sorta the point, but this episode does have a plot.

Starting with a moment when a three-year-old Bart is grilling Homer on some questions while the two lie on the Simpson front lawn (before we learn Homer is down there because he stepped on one of Bart’s toy cars and fell down), we see that Bart bonds with Grampa but then lives perpetually in Lisa’s shadow, and it drives him nuts.

Everywhere Bart goes as he gets older, he comes in second to Lisa.  Sure, there’s also something there about not bonding well with Homer, but the Lisa thing is a real problem for Bart.  Even after Grampa dies and Bart takes up BMX biking, he’s one second away from a championship, reveling over being out of Lisa’s shadow, when he sees Lisa’s shadow come over the track, he panics, and falls to a painful landing.  Oh, and Lisa revived him with her CPR training, causing her to get the top honors.

As it is, Bart’s twin passions for biking and art (he’s actually a better artist than Lisa even though she painted the sailboat over the Simpson sofa) comes to be his salvation as Lisa points out he is a good artist when she shows him up again at Milhouse’s graduation party.  And his anger showed up Krusty, who came with a live bear in a hot air balloon shaped like Milhouse’s face.

And that’s that.  I actually rather liked this one, even the occassional (silent) glimpse into Maggie’s future and Bart painting a nice mural of Lisa to remind himself who really helped him out in life.  Plus, Nelson finally learned who El Barto is.

And yeah, that stoned Homer thing happened.  It’s OK though.

Chief Wiggum was getting high next to him.

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