|"My eyes! The goggles do nothing!"|
Bart and Milhouse learn from the comic book store owner that a movie about comic book hero Radioactive Man is in pre-production. When learning to see who is going to be in the title role, comic book guy learns that it'll be Rainier Wolfcastle (of McBain fame), and that the movie will be filmed in Springfield, as it possesses a nuclear plant, a gorge and support from public officials. Despite that, as soon as that news hits everyone in town starts price gouging at incredible rates. In addition, the producers of the movie look to the elementary school to find a young man to become the movie's Fallout Boy (Radioactive Man's 'Robin', as it were).
Bart feels this is a dream opportunity for him, and makes every effort to not let it escape. He more than dazzles at his audition for the part, however he's turned away by the otherwise impressed director for being an inch too short. Bart attempts to grow that inch overnight, but grows 'only' half an inch instead. He tries to go back wearing thick-heeled shoes to make up the height difference, but its too late and the direction has found his Fallout Boy: Milhouse, who only auditioned because his parents made him. Instantly the fame is too much for Milhouse to handle, while Bart is advised by Lisa to be a good friend to Milhouse by sucking up to him now.
As filming of the movie goes on, Milhouse becomes all the more tired and irritated of the process and repetition of filmmaking. Before a major, one-time scene, where Fallout Boy is supposed to save Radioactive Man from an incoming wave of real acid, Milhouse goes missing, running away from the scene, and the shot is ruined.
Production is halted as the search for Milhouse begins. Bart eventually finds Milhouse in his treehouse, but neither he nor the incoming Mickey Rooney can convince Milhouse to return to his role. Despite Mickey's best attempts at filling in the role instead, combined with having their entire budget gouged by the town, the producers are forced to stop production and head back to Hollywood where, as they say, "people treat each other right" apparently.
Radioactive Man, another good, fun episode, was also the first episode to use digital coloring, whose effects can clearly be seen as everything looks crisper, cleaner, if slightly not as smooth. Its something that would be used once more in Season 12 before the series switches to it permanently in Season 14. The jokes in this episode, not to mention the references to comics, were excellent, and continues Season 7's strong start.
Final Score: 9.1