July 13, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “Wild Barts Can’t Be Broken”

In which Springfield's children fight back against an unfair curfew.

You ever see an episode that, for whatever reason, just doesn’t seem to work?  I mean, I know there are, like, whole seasons of The Simpsons coming up where we can make that claim, but this one here?  Just doesn’t work.

It more or less begins and ends in song, too, though I don’t think the national anthem is supposed to sound like that, Cyndi Lauper!

In a surprise turn of events, due to a sniper at the All-Star Game apparently, the Springfield Isotopes are actually in contention to win the championship.  And though Homer is the sort of bandwagon fan that would blow the team off if there was even a hint of losing going on, he’s also the sort of bandwagon fan that would go overboard celebrating a team he was bashing badly earlier in the episode.

Consequently, when Springfield Elementary is trashed and Chief Wiggum decides kids did it and establishes a curfew, it wasn’t the kids at all.  It was Homer and his drunken buddies who were too drunk to remember what they did.

Curfew is no fun, since it means being stuck inside with board games missing pieces and prime time television sitcoms that suck so bad they probably outsuck the suckiest suck of a suck you can think of.  Suck that!

But when the drive-in is running one night only of an old horror movie that looks an awful lot like Village of the Damned, the children of Springfield break curfew to go see The Bloodening, where creepy English school children with glowing eyes know everyone’s secrets.  They get caught and punished, and I really wonder how Wiggum got the sort of authority to do that.

Except, it seems, that the kids realize they’re being treated unfairly (true) and they can get back at the adults because they already know the adults’ secrets.  And when you have a brain trust like Bart, Lisa, Martin, Nelson, and Milhouse, well, at least Lisa and Martin make it something of a brain trust while Bart is good at general mischief.  Setting up a pirate radio station to give out the adults’ secrets–particularly Homer’s–until curfew is lifted seems to do the trick.

You know, until they get caught and there’s a sing-off where each side gives their positions, and it might not get anywhere…until Grampa shows up with the town’s old folks.  Another generation with stuff to complain about, and nobody that isn’t Rod or Todd Flanders is going to respect any curfews at all.  Why did it take this long to pelt Rod and Todd with tomatoes?

As it is, the old folks win because they actually vote and pass a ballot measure for a curfew against anyone under 70.  Sure, they won by one, and Homer didn’t vote, but…

See, this episode just didn’t strike me as very funny.  Oh well.  We did learn someone is practicing medicine without a license, a fact that made Dr. Hibbert look a little nervous.

But then we learned it was Homer.