Simpsons Did It!: “The Girl On The Bus”

OK…what the hell was that?

I don’t know what to make of this episode.  Apparently, it was parodying French farces, but I don’t know that I have ever seen one, so that didn’t work for me.  Lisa sang a song at one point, so I figured it was another parody of a musical I may or may not have seen, but she only sings one, so I guess not.  This whole episode just felt…weird.

So, basically, Lisa is riding home from school when she spots a girl her age, sitting on a stoop, playing a clarinet.  And this is in Springfield Heights, the upscale, socially conscious part of town.  At home, Lisa finds herself feeling depressed because the rest of her family would rather sit around and watch crappy reality TV while eating dinner.  And when Lisa asks why, it’s Marge who insists it’s good for the family.

Wait, Marge said that?  That doesn’t seem like Marge to be so into reality TV.  Homer?  Sure.  Marge?  I don’t see it.

Anyway, Lisa gets Otto to drop her off early the next day, goes to see the girl, and they do hit it off.  And she even meets the girl’s cool parents, one of whom is voiced by guest star Patti LuPone for some reason.

I mean that.  There is no reason for this character to have a guest voice.  They don’t do anything with Patti LuPone.  How do you pull that off?

Terry Gross also has a voice cameo as herself.  Lisa’s new friend’s father listens to her in the car.

So, the real problem is Lisa doesn’t want to expose her new friend’s family to her own family, and as such tells a lot of lies to keep the two families apart.  She says Homer is a sculptor, Marge is a chemist, Maggie is a professor of nonverbal language, and Bart doesn’t exist.  She even gets Ned Flanders to play along and be her father when she’s dropped off, and one of the few highlights of this…very weird episode is Flanders really taking to it and becoming Homer, even to the point of muttering, “Stupid Flanders…”

Of course, Ned tells Marge, who is pretty upset, and Homer, who actually understands exactly where Lisa is coming from.

Um, that is also weird.  Shouldn’t that be the other way around?

Point is, both families meet and seem to hit it off, particularly when Bart invites everyone up to his room that he has somehow converted into a cool night club type of environment.

Yeah, so, how did something this half-baked get this far?  Were they that desperate for scripts?

Oh well.  At least it wasn’t another parody of a musical I’ve never seen.

And we did get the comedy of Homer texting Lisa to ask where his phone is.  That was funny.

Homer answering with a meme of himself disappearing into some bushes was…still weird.

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