Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Looking for Mr. Goodbart (S28, E20-616)

This stuff is cringe central when the Simpsons parody it as poorly as it does
for someone familiar with the source material.  I wonder how stupid it looks
for those who aren't familiar?  Does it actually work for them?  It doesn't, right?
Note: this is the first episode to air following the 30th anniversary of the first Simpsons short Good Night.  It celebrated that fact by airing the Maggie portion of the short followed by a quick song about the anniversary.

Plot Summary
After Bart pulls off more tomfoolery, this time on Seniors day which gets even Grampa in trouble, Skinner gets the idea of his mother, Agnes, be escorted by Bart.  Quickly, though, Bart realizes how much Agnes dotes on the boy just because he shows basic affection for the old lady and decides to make a con out of it.  Soon, he's approached by another old lady, Phoebe, who is on to Bart's scheme but nevertheless offers Bart $100 to help out leave her retirement home for four straight days.

Meanwhile, Homer becomes part of the Pokemon Go Peekimon Get craze, which includes him walking into all sorts of dangerous situations in search of imaginary rewards.  Lisa agrees to join him because she, too, is a big fan of the game.  Eventually, Homer and Lisa agree to just spend real money to acquire the creatures, $600 worth.

Phoebe reveals to Bart that she's a nature photographer and the two enjoy the four days together. Afterward, Phoebe bequests Bart her camera.  Unaware of the meaning of the word 'bequest', Bart eventually learns that its to give an item away before dying.  Recalling relevant memories, including one where Phoebe admits she's going to off herself, Bart realizes he needs help, and recruits Homer and Lisa, whose wilderness experience have improved thanks to their time playing the game.  The two, alongside other veteran players, start their search in perhaps one of the worst animated sequences in recent memory, but ultimately Phoebe is found.

Evidently, Phoebe has found a new meaning in life and decides to not die, requesting back her camera though Bart gets her to agree to have the two of them go on more nature walks.  It turns out this was all a story (albeit apparently true) Bart told Grampa to explain why he was sorry for getting him in trouble.  Also, during all of this Skinner tries to man up but can't.

Quick Review
This episode was unfortunate.  The main storyline with Bart and eventually Phoebe was actually very decent and set itself pretty well for a good, emotional ending.  However, the Pokemon Go-ripoff sidestory, which was nearly a year late in being relevant and even less so in doing the reference well, ruins the main story by becoming a major factor in Bart's search.

The search, which turns into a simulation of the game with Lisa singing the song from the American version of the original anime, was probably the worst thing the show has done since maybe the Ke$ha incident.  The song, which as far as I know isn't even in Pokemon Go itself, was poorly sung and the visuals during the song was both unimpressive and unnecessarily edgy as well.  It completely destroys any emotional impact of Bart's story and, as a result, hampers what could've been one of the season's better episodes.

Final Score: 6.0

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