So, I think this episode is trying to do some kind of parody of The Wire. Or not. It’s maybe a little more timely than a When Harry Met Sally riff.
I get that a lot more than I do Roblox.
So, apparently, Bart is tossing off some really hardcore swearing while playing an Assassins Creed style game on a VR set. Marge, horrified, won’t let him play anymore. Where could Bart have learned such language? You know, besides from Homer, whose initial guess was Selma? Somehow, that didn’t feel like a bad guess coming from Homer. Bart, who hasn’t had a whole lot to do this season, asks what game he can play, and Marge’s answer is Boblox.
Yeah, I just reviewed the other episodes this season, and this is the first one with a decent Bart plot line. And when I say “decent,” I mean length, not quality…though this episode did feature some Scottish contractors tossing I-beams into holes in the ground caber-style. That was a clever gag.
Also, lots of scenes inside the world of Boblox, not Roblox. Marge also decides that Maggie can play, but it turns out Maggie takes to it easily on a tablet. Marge logs in and learns Maggie can answer questions and communicate using emojis, so Marge takes to playing the game more. Homer and Lisa follow, and the B-plot ends with a horrified Ned Flanders bringing the family’s large pile of uncollected newspapers inside. But that’s neither here nor there. This is a Bart episode.
See, Milhouse–because of course it would be Milhouse–comes by to show Bart some of the ropes, and because Bart is playing on the family’s ancient desktop computer, the game glitches a little. Milhouse’s avatar has a mohawk that he sells to another player for one Bobuck, but as soon as Milhouse turns the mohawk over, a brand new one appears on his avatar’s head, and he can sell that one too. Then another appears and so forth. Bart and Milhouse basically have an unlimited supply of mohawks, and they can set up shop and maybe make some actual money selling them in the school where there are even older computers with even worse glitches. Soon, Bart has enlisted a room full of students selling an endless supply of mohawks for player avatars.
At about that time, Superintendent Chalmers has come by to yell at Principal Skinner over low test scores. China is using Springfield Elementary as an example of poor American educational systems, right up to showing Ralph Wiggum trying to solve a math problem at the blackboard while writing with a hot dog instead of chalk on the cover of a newspaper.
Really, how did Ralph get that far in his education?
Anyway, Chalmers hits Skinner with an ultimatum to improve those scores, and that may be possible thanks to Bart’s scheme that allows him to eventually convert the Bobux or Bobucks or however it is spelled to Danish krones.
Hey, I just learned Denmark doesn’t use the Euro!
Anyway, Skinner finds out, and Bart offers to cut him in on the deal and turn Springfield Elementary into whatever it was Skinner always dreamed of. And what was that? He wanted to make it a Magnet Performing Arts School. See, if the students are all into acting, singing, and dancing, there won’t be any test scores that can go up or down!
I don’t think it works that way though Chalmers seems to be onboard with all that.
Well, Bart and Skinner on the same page. What can go wrong?
Turf war. Students at a nearby charter school where the “Principal” does what one little girl perpetually stroking a live chicken says managed to take out the Springfield kids. Skinner and Bart go over to negotiate, and Bart actually cuts a deal.
Skinner doesn’t want a deal.
He says something about how if you come at the king, you’d best not miss.
See? The Wire reference. Much better than Skinner’s singing. And that happened too.
Regardless, Bart gets cut out, and Milhouse’s sudden elevation doesn’t mean much until Skinner opts to run things over with a rented bulldozer in the real world. Bart talks him down, and I think everyone might have learned a valuable lesson. I don’t know what that lesson is, but I am sure it was valuable. My guess is even with the renovations half-done, the school will be back to normal next week.
Isn’t it always?