Unless there is some episode I am forgetting, I am surprised it took this long to get Martin Short on The Simpsons. That guy seems willing to do, well, anything.
Lisa has been having nightmares involving lockers, so that means she may need therapy. Now, Homer used up all the insurance coverage for therapy when he had to go after all the Halloween candy was finished, but the local community college offers cheap therapy from students, and Lisa can go there to see a pregnant student therapist named Annette (guest star Rachel Bloom). Annette is warm and friendly, and her professor is watching behind a two-way mirror because she’s still a student, but he’s doing better than the class being taught by guest star Dan Harmon on TV writing. He’s getting pelted with stuff.
As it is, Annette thinks Lisa’s problem is school-related, so she should draw some comics to explain why she’s so anxious at school. Lisa can’t draw very well at home, but Marge can, and she draws the story for Lisa. Lisa unfortunately drops the pages on the way to her next session, but they are found by Comic Book Guy and his wife Kumiko. Actually, Kumiko finds them. Comic Book Guy is fuming over her trying to get him to give up his online obsession in the form of unboxing videos.
Lisa and Marge shortly thereafter find out Kumiko packaged the story as “Sad Girl” and was selling it as a graphic novel. Lisa isn’t happy at first, then finds out her book is popular. She and Marge decide to make more.
That leads to a comic con where Lisa and Marge are on a women-in-comics panel run by New Yorker artist Roz Chast and featuring Persepolis creator Marjane Satrapi and indie artist Alison Bechdel. Yes, all playing themselves. Yes, Marge fails the Bechdel Test inside of five seconds. Yes, everyone there wants to talk to Lisa and ignores Marge. That causes the pair to split.
What are Bart and Homer doing during all this? Well, they try to go fishing with some stolen fishing rods and get beat up. Plus, Homer orders pizzas to share with Maggie.
But then there’s a reversal. Marge had felt bad for being ignored, but when Broadway type Guthrie Frenel (Martin Short) shows up looking to make Sad Girl into a stage show, he isn’t at all interested in Lisa’s story so much as Marge’s visuals. Heck, he makes the show look just like Marge’s art while adding all kinds of characters that weren’t even in Lisa’s story. The only person missing is Lisa.
Lisa goes back to Annette only to see she’s since given birth and she isn’t so brimming with kindness anymore. Heck, she says the father is the professor behind the two-way mirror. Lisa backs out slowly…
And when Marge sees how upset Lisa is during the premier performance, she quickly draws Lisa’s face over a spotlight to put Lisa in the show, allowing the two to make up.
And then Frenel goes nuts about it, kicks the light, causes mass chaos, and gets bad reviews.
He deserved it.
Marge then makes a more Marge-ish story about the adventures of Sad Girl’s Mother, but even Maggie thinks it isn’t very good.
She maybe doesn’t deserve that.