Monday, April 30, 2012

Simpsons: Life Has Its Ups and Downs

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I can't really blame Bart. I love cruises, too. And, the song was right - the future does seem parabolic when you realize that more than half of your vacation is over and you'll soon be back to the mundane drudgery that is your life. On my most recent cruise, I even kinda hoped for a small delay to give us an extra day... there was a medical emergency that stalled us a few hours, but that was it. Using a random never-heard-of catastrophe movie to fool everyone into thinking there was a worldwide quarantine was a bit far-fetched, though. I also don't believe that there is only one way to connect with the shore on that ship... wouldn't they still have radios or telegraphs or something? The worst part of the episode falls on VeryOldBart, who didn't impress me at all. What did you think of him? And of his younger self's ploys, for that matter?

The Simpsons "A Totally Fun Thing Bart Will Never Do Again" (S23E19): [Boo on a repeat couch gag! They showed the one where the words for the items are seen but not the items themselves.] Bart is tired of the same thing day in and day out and wants to go on a cruise, but the family can't afford it. So, the kid takes it upon himself to raise the money by selling everything in his bedroom, even if it means he has to sleep on the floor. [raptured/craptured was good. Moe eating baby teeth? notsomuch.] The rest of the family decides to sell some of their stuff to make up the difference, like some of Lisa's rare jazz records, the (stolen) good family china, and a mini pool table. [I liked how Lisa tried to defend jazz once again. And Homer did a great job of complaining about the trials and tribulations of being a father when on vacation!] It's even their lucky day - the ship was overbooked so they are upgraded aboard the Royalty Valhalla.

The kids go off on their own while Homer and Marge enjoy some lovemaking. We never see what Maggie does (though I bet she showed up to "onesie bedazzling class"), but Lisa enjoys KidZone Elite, where she can attend Junior TED Talks and participate in a writers' workshop, while being around the children of diplomats. Meanwhile, Bart tries to do everything - water slides, go-karts, indoor skydiving, even the cruise ship history lecture. [I haven't seen that option before...] At dinner halfway through the cruise, the cruise director sings about enjoying the cruise life while you can, which angers Bart. So, he wants to make the vacation last forever. He airs clips from a DVD to make it seem like there's a worldwide quarantine because of a deadly Pandora virus. [haha] He also destroys the ship-to-shore communication center. [I understand why he felt the need to do that, but I think that was going a little far.] The bulk of the ship panics, and in another 12 days, everything has fallen apart. They're even dining upon seagull, barnacles, and jellyfish. [bleh!] A cult has sprung up, parents are worried about the inevitable doomsday, the elite kids have taken to copying books for future preservation, and the course is set for Antarctica. Somehow, Marge and Lisa discover that the "news report" is from a movie, confront Bart, and force him to come clean. [loved how one of the actors was on the ship and didn't recognize the movie!]
The family is left in Antarctica, and Lisa uses penguins to teach Bart that fun can't last forever, but it's still worth having to break up the monotony of everyday life. [nice lesson.]

And, in case you were wondering, some of the activities on the "Fun Schedule" included: XBOX with PS3 controllers, Human Super Mario Brothers, chimp sign language, astronaut training with certified cosmonaut, tie-dye your own cowboy hat, Sith training with certified Sith lord, punch through paintings, real life Tetris, Power Ranger lessons from a former Pink, sell your cruise ship thriller screenplay, fake Broadway auditions, advanced mess with an octopus, hull painting, and Norwegian swearing.
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