April 24, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “Lisa Gets An F1”

In which Lisa discovers the joys of go-cart racing.

Rachel Bloom returns for another guest spot as Lisa’s therapist Annette, and that’s nice.  Meanwhile, Matt Berry is there for a TV announcer named Chester Arborday, and while he’s great in the role, I don’t think he has more than the one scene.  That just feels like a waste for a comedic actor with a voice as fine as his.

The episode begins with a high speed go-cart race through the streets of Springfield with one car in particular suddenly losing control and spinning out.  Who is the juvenile driver of this vehicle?  Well, it’s The Simpsons, so it’s probably either Bart or Lisa, and putting Bart behind the wheel feels more appropriate, so of course it’s Lisa.  How did Lisa get here?

Time for a flashback!  Yes, there’s the family going off to Springfield Elementary’s Christmas pageant, and…oh, wait, I flashbacked too far.

No, the story for this episode begins in the same episode (obviously) with Lisa’s being incredibly nervous about Homer’s reckless driving.  That means a trip with her, Marge, and Homer to see Annette the counselor, where Homer is very proud of the breakdown of responsibilities at home:  Marge worries, so Homer doesn’t have to.  That leads Marge to a lot of knitting.  But then Homer learns Lisa is stressed out by the way Homer drives, and he storms off in a huff to say what a good driver he is.

Then he calls back for a video chat while he’s driving, gets into an accident, and finds out he’ll need to go to court.  Chief Wiggum, though, is happy to tell Annette that Ralphie is doing a whole lot better now.

Anyway, to help Lisa get over her fear of other people’s driving, Annette and Marge take Lisa down to the local go-cart racetrack to let Lisa feel in control of a situation involving a car, an idea she initially balks at until she finds she does have control and can start scooting around the track.  She’s actually good at it, leading to an international go-cart racing organization to set up shop in Springfield (naturally), something explained in a very condescending way by Chester Arborday, voiced by the great Matt Berry.

Again, what a waste.

Now, Bart’s plot involves the heavy favorite to win the big race, an Italian kid I found far more obnoxious than funny.  Bart takes to being the new kid’s friend when he starts attending Springfield Elementary where his wealthy Italian ways have him yelling stuff at Skinner almost immediately.  Bart brings in Luigi and soon finds himself being paid heavily in euros.

Lisa, meanwhile, is doing well enough that Marge stops worrying.  That means, by Homer’s logic, he needs to start worrying, and while his knitting skills are on-par with Marge, his worrying generally isn’t.  Can he bring himself to feel better about Lisa’s driving?

And why is it what should seem to be another Lisa plot is really a Homer plot?  I’m calling shenanigans.  Or not.  I don’t know how.

Anyway, Bart gets kicked off the Italian kid’s team because that guy hates Lisa what with her good sportsmanship and cheery demeanor once Marge introduces herself as Bart and Lisa’s mother,  but Bart wasn’t taken off the team’s group chat, so he learns the Italians sabotaged Lisa’s car, leading to Homer to need to go help his daughter not get hurt, something he can only do using the same reckless driving that made Lisa so nervous in the first place.

Also, she wins the race despite a lack of breaks, steering, and with only three wheels.  Take that, Obnoxious Italian Kid Whose Name I Never Bothered To Learn!

Oh, also many of the others car skid out of control and crash to get around Lisa and Homer hugging at the finish line.  So, this episode may have ended with a lot of injured children.

But at least Homer stopped worrying!