|I'm using this image to remind myself why I scored the episode|
so low. I'll probably forget in the future.
If you're not familiar with ESPN's 30 for 30 series, basically its sports documentaries usually done very well. This episode is basically that.
Bart, whose latest prank ends up with him in eternal detention, develops basketball shooting skills while in detention. He becomes so adept at shooting he joins the school basketball team to annul the detention. He quickly becomes a star player and, with it, the spoils in every sense of the word. With Willie no longer willing to coach such an annoyance, Homer volunteers to coach, but even he has enough of Bart's showboating, and politely asks Bart to be a team player.
Fat Tony takes note of Bart's anger at Homer over this and convinces Bart to point shave (win by only a single point or two to be under the spread) to infuriate Homer while, unknown to Bart, Fat Tony would make a killing in bet winnings. Bart was happy to oblige, despite his antics now drawing the ire of everyone in town because of how obvious the point shaving was, but Bart finally realizes his error when Fat Tony tries to give Bart some of the winnings then asks him to outright lose the finals.
Eventually, with the guidance of Homer and others, Bart defies the mob and just wins the finals for the team. Fat Tony attempts to get Bart for the betrayal, but Lisa steps in, having found embarrassing information about Tony that forces him to relent. Afterward, Bart stops playing after a tall kid makes him realize he's not that good.
This episode has lots of ups and downs. Let's review them, shall we?
- Fat Tony was pretty good for the most part this episode. He basically salvaged it, as much of it could be salvaged.
- Some of the cutaway "interviews" were funny, like with Krusty and especially Grampa. Milhouse's were mixed.
- Most of the "security cam footage" bits were funny, as was the "FBI audio" bits.
- So, like four or five times this episode, it cuts to a guy who is clearly a mimicry of Stephen A. Smith. Smith, for those who don't know, makes a living "debating" on ESPN morning/afternoon shows, but his style of "debate" is basically loud yelling at whatever "point" his poor counterpart may have made. The mock Smith in this episode has no counterpart so its just him loudly yelling in general. Easily, easily the worst part of the episode, he singlehandedly brought its score down by a whole point, he's was that bad.
- There was a little sidebit which mentions Nelson's once-again-missing dad only to find out at the end of the episode that the narrator was Nelson's dad all along. He reunites with his family only to disappear again. Keep in mind, there was an episode during the early Zombie seasons which was supposed to bring his father back permanently and nothing happened to explain why he disappeared again.
- Oh here's a fun episode with Bart and Fat Tony and Homer I guess how will they get out of it this tim- oh, its Lisa again. Yawn.
- Did you know basketball star Stephen Curry was a guest voice, but only provided his voice at the end? And that he was actually paid (I presume) to say "nothing but nerd"? Please fire the person who set up that "joke". If it was Curry himself, please tell him his humor needs work.
- Louie, Fat Tony's goon, was rather chatty in this episode. It was meant for gags, but it got annoying pretty quick.
So you might notice the downs are more lengthy than the ups. I wanted to enjoy this episode, it has a some goodwill going for it, but there was just too much against it. It ends up being a weaker episode for this season, which is saying quite a lot.
Final Score: 5.8