April 24, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “Girls Just Want To Have Sums”

In which Lisa goes undercover to keep learning math.

Something about this episode just doesn’t make sense…

Wait, this show is still a cartoon.  Let’s carry on.

The Simpsons are going out to see a stage show, namely Stabalot, a musical about Itchy and Scratchy that, despite the title, swipes more from The Lion King musical than Spamalot.  And it turns out the director is an old Springfield Elementary alumni, and when Principal Skinner takes the stage to congratulate her, he mentions she wasn’t good at math, but she’s a she, so it isn’t that surprising.

Skinner, obviously, gets in trouble for his sexist remarks, complete with angry protesters that unsurprisingly include Agnes Skinner, but his efforts to apologize don’t work.  Discuss women as if they are the same as men?  Well, now they aren’t special.  Discuss their uniqueness that makes them different, and now they aren’t equal to men.  Skinner can’t win, so Superintendent Chalmers fires him, replacing him with a hotshot new woman principal named Melanie Upfoot (guest star Frances McDormand).  Upfoot’s first act is to segregate the school along gender lines since boys are too aggressive and distracting to allow girls to learn.

Lisa, at first, is thrilled.  The new school design is much more artistic and academic and whatnot on the girls’ side, but then the math class is about feelings and not actually being aggressive enough to actually find an answer to a math problem.  Lisa wants, you know, to learn math.

And that’s why there’s something in this episode that doesn’t make sense.  If the episode is based off the idea that girls can be good at math, why aren’t they being taught math by the hotshot feminist new principal?

By the by, Homer does the same sort of sexist talk that got Skinner in trouble and ends up first banished to the couch, and then to the literal doghouse when he also suggests he’s smarter than Santa’s Little Helper.

Back at the school, Lisa tries to sneak over to the boy’s side, a regular war zone that actually is teaching math.  She’s caught and sent back by Assistant Groundskeeper Skinner.  Yeah, now he’s Willie’s assistant.  Lisa can’t stay.  What can she do?

Well, Marge decides to help Lisa learn math.  Marge used to be good at math, then one day something happened as she was studying for a calculus final on the beach…

Yeah, this is one distracting beach stud.

So, Lisa goes back as “Jake Boyman,” quickly nicknamed Toilet after she’s spotted with toilet paper stuck to her shoe.  And it doesn’t go well when Nelson beats her up.  Bart is amused at first until he learns Jake is Lisa, and as such offers to teach her how to be a boy.  It mostly involves being disgusting and punching Ralph Wiggum.

And then Jake wins the trophy for best math score, and Lisa unmasks herself in front of the entire school, showing girls can be good at math.  That pretty much discredits Upfoot, so Skinner gets his job back, right?

I dunno.  Probably.