June 12, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Simpsons Did It!: “Yokel Chords”

In which we have another musical parody. I need to see more musicals. I might enjoy these episodes more.

Wait, another musical parody?  But I’ve never seen The Sound of Music!  Do I have to get Ryan to take this column over?  He won’t do it, you know.

He’s smarter than me.

Yes, another chance to show off Yeardley Smith’s singing voice, only Lisa doesn’t sing that much.  There’s also, like, five guest stars.

Our story begins with Marge having a dream where she rides off with author James Patterson (guest star #1!) to help him write more mystery novels.  Well, it’s no weirder than her Lee Majors fantasy.  Anyway, Marge oversleeps, but Homer was up.  Up early or home late makes little difference.  He does fix lunch for Bart and Lisa.

Homer fixing lunch apparently amounts to drawing a picture of a sandwich for Lisa and giving Bart Grampa’s medication.

As such, Bart realizes the best way to get a lunch is to scare the crap out of his classmates, like so:


That “Dark Stanley” thing works well enough that when Bart fakes his own bloody death during lunch, every kid in school runs out, as does the school’s psychologist.  Man, they really worked up the story something bad.  Groundskeeper Willie has to go fetch all the missing kids, and he has to bring them back alive, which he says is not Willie being Willie.  Willie is scary.  As it is, he comes back with seven extra kids.  They’re Cletus’ young’uns, and they get homeschooled because otherwise the school’s test scores would go even lower.  Lisa, writing for the school newspaper, is appalled.  Appalled I say!  After a song wondering what to do, Skinner asks her to tutor the Spuckler kids, which leads to another song and so on.

By the way?  The kid’s names?  Britney, Jitney, Dubya, Incest, Crystal Meth, International Harvester, and Birthday.  Let us never speak of those names again.

As it is, Lisa finds opening the Spuckler kids to new experiences rewarding for all involved, and they sing yet another song, and that’s where the problems start.  Krusty overhears and manages to get Cletus to sign a contract making the kids acts on his show.  And Krusty, being Krusty, exploits the hillbilly children as stereotypical hillbillies, to Lisa’s disgust.

Meanwhile, the school pays for Bart to see a psychiatrist five times.  Dr. Swanson, as played by Meg Ryan (guest star #2!), actually gets through to Bart on many levels, and he is heartbroken when those five sessions are up and he has to make way for couples counseling for Apu and Snake.

Lisa is further outraged when the kids stop learning and Krusty signs them for his low-brow “No Collar Comedy Tour,” that for some reason features Andy Dick (guest star #4!).  That’s right.  Andy Dick is guest star #4.  Stephen Sondheim is guest star #3.  He played himself writing songs for the kids.  Krusty is upset to learn he didn’t write Cats.  Sondheim, that is.  I don’t think Andy Dick wrote Cats either.

Marge, meanwhile, has to swing into action and use all the money the family had been saving for Homer’s breast reduction to get Bart one more hour with Dr. Swanson.  As it is, Bart manages to work through all his issues in 40 minutes, including the bad dreams he has where he and his family are animated cartoons that support some awful thing he calls “Fox News”.  Bart leaves feeling fine, and now Dr. Swanson is the one who’s a mess.  Her own nameless psychiatrist voiced by Peter Bogdanovich (guest star #5!) speculates that Bart represented her own son, a boy who was killed by Dark Stanley.  She’s not ready to go there yet.

Wait, Dark Stanley is real?!

How does Lisa resolve her own issues?  She contacts Cletus’ wife/sister/something Brandine and gets her to come back from a tour of duty with Iraq.  It turns out Cletus was only the father of two of those kids, so Krusty’s contract is null and void.  And since the two owe Krusty $12,000, they’re better off than they were.  Happy endings all around.

You know, if crippling debt and child serial killers being real make for a happy ending.