Monday, 9 August 2010

STEALING FIRST BASE

SEASON 21 EPISODE 15 (EPISODE 456)

THIS IS IT:
This is a quirky little episode more about two set pieces than an actual story.  Ultimately this is how it tends to be these days.  It begins with Homer taking Bart and Lisa to school with the aid of his new GPS.  Unfortunately things go bad from the off as it is metric and the mere mention of Metres screws with Homer’s mind.  From here the gadget leads them into a construction site and the inevitable destruction ensues.  When the kids finally get to school it is to the news that Mrs Krabappel has had to go to Portland and as a result the two fourth grade classes have to be merged.  As the classes have to share desks Bart ends up with a girl called Nikki Mckenna while Nelson sits with a blind boy called Kevin.  Meanwhile in Lisa’s class when they receive their recent tests back it turns out that the whole class did well except for Lisa who got an F.  Initially she thinks it is just a bad dream and denies it is real until she launches herself off her desk and lands painfully square on her face.  Back in the fourth grade while Bart reads “The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar”, Nikki reads “Red Moon” which prompts them to argue about what vampires really are.  Surprisingly Bart makes a very good argument by way of a good drawing which Nikki describes as an “awesome picture” before allowing him to draw a Sharpy tattoo of a robot barfing screws on her arm.  Back to Lisa and she is worried about Harvard discovering her F, as unfortunately their space satellite already has.  At this point she is joined by various classmates who since the bad grade suddenly seen Lisa as being a bit cooler.  Sadly her new found popularity proves only fleeting as Miss Hoover discovers that there was a mix up with her test and she actually got an A+++ as it seems the F belonged to Ralph.  At this point she is verbally assaulted by a “gifted!  Gifted!” chant.  Back to Bart and he soughts female advice from his dad who is pretending to be repairing Marge’s car but has actually just placed a fake pair of legs beneath it.  At this point Marge rumbles Homer who is to busy to help Bart and suggests he go ask Grandpa’s advice who suggests the best way to a female’s heart is to “steal a kiss.”  Back at school Bart discovers that Nikki skateboards too and then when parked at the top of a slide off the back of Grandpa’s advice he kisses her which only prompts disgust and a scream.  With this both sets of parents are called into school for a meeting with Principal Skinner.  Her parents refer to the kiss as “engaging in inappropriate mouth on mouth contact”  Grateful for getting him out of work Homer says that he could kiss Nikki’s mother before she points out that she is an attorney and her husband a federal prosecutor.  They insist to Skinner that the school become an “affection free environment” otherwise they will sue.  Back home Marge and Homer grill Bart before taking him to the cinema as a “wholesome way to take your mind off girls.”  The movie Bart and Homer watch is Koyaanis-Scratchy: Death Out Of Balance.  Back at school Lisa updates her blog “Monday Mulchings” stating that she is too sad to do a proper entry at which point a user called FLOTUS1 leaves a comment encouraging her to continue.  At this point Skinner announces over the intercom for all students to report to an “attorney mandated school assembly”.  With this the assembly hosted by Superintendent Chalmers contains a “skit or sketch” featuring Principal Skinner as Bart and Groundskeeper Willie as Nikki re-enacting the kiss and demonstrating the behaviour Chalmers wishes the students would save for middle school.  When the pupils fail to take things seriously Chalmers forces the roleplay to last past sundown.  As a new tone grips the school Bart opens his locker to discover Nikki waiting inside to kiss him (“now look who’s all confused”).  At the same time outside in the playground a helicopter lands just as Willie is raking up some leaves which are blown towards and cover Lisa.  When it lands Michelle Obama emerges to meet a fellow overachiever.  At this point Nelson reveals himself to be a huge fan of the First Lady.  It turns out that she is FLOTUS1 and an avid reader of her blog.  She offers Lisa some encourage words and tells the kids to be nice to her “because some day the overachievers will be running the country.”  As they watch the helicopter fly away Bart and Nikki sat on the roof discuss whether they are boyfriend and girlfriend now.  After a minor argument Bart bangs his head and falls off the roof.  At this point Nikki thinks he is dad and begins crying declaring that she loves him only to retract the statement when she notices that he’s breathing and calls him a loser.  By now most of the school have surrounded Bart lying on the floor as Willie prods him with a broom handle to see if he is still alive.  When he spots that he is still breathing Willie calls out to see who knows “gob to gob” (also known as “mutton hole to mutton hole”).  Unfortunately due to the recent legal threats Chalmers insists that nobody goes near Bart until the ambulance comes (“any physical contact violates our school’s No Touch policy”).  Suddenly Nikki emerges through the crowd saying she knows CPR but Skinner refuses to allow her to save Bart.  Despite this she gets past him and to Bart where a lifesaving montage occurs featuring famous screen kisses through the ages.  When Bart comes around Willie complains about the standard of the kiss and grabs Skinner.  Suddenly a nice, more casual atmosphere is returned to the school.  And Kevin the blind kid tells Nelson that he is no longer needed to help him with him touching his face to tell what he looks like and commenting “I said your face, not your butt.”  With the kid now seemingly comfortable enough to mock him Nelson punches Kevin who says “your punch restored my vision” to sucker Nelson (“the student has become the master”).  The episode ends with Bart thanking Nikki for saving his life at which point she requests “can we just pretend that never happened”.  Bart responds “I don’t get you, you’re hot, you’re cold, what is your deal?” garnering the response “oh Bart, you’ve got a few things to learn about women….and I will never tell you what they are.”  Bart then gives up saying “smell you later” only for Nikki to run after him and give him a long peck on the cheek prompting him to yell out “I love you”.  What a nightmare, so accurate and real, a prized portrayal of life and the human condition.

IS IT ANY GOOD:
It’s OK.  This is one of the modern episodes that feels more about sketches and gags as opposed to storylines.

WHAT IT TAUGHT ME:
It is not just me that gets driven insane by the erratic behaviour of females.

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:
To make room for the assembly the third grades performance of My Fair Lady has to be cancelled which is “rum news”.  Famous screen kisses during the montage include: Gone With The Wind, Lady And The Tramp, Planet Of The Apes, On Golden Pond, Ghost, Spiderman, Star Trek, Beauty And The Beast (TV series), Wall-E, Alien 3 and Godfather 2

BEST LINES:
“Stupid kid thinks he’s smarter than a computer.”  “Apparently the people she hired to deprogram her sister from the cult turned out to be an even worse cult.”  “And they (vampires) don’t put product in their hair like this loser.”  “I cheated wrong, I copied the Lisa name and used the Ralph answers.”  “Talk to Grandpa, he used to be a man.”  “This is awesome, if only real life was in 3D.”  “The glasses smell like the last guy who wore them had pizza.”  “Hey Willie, does he taste like failure?”  “I got As back when As were hard to get.”  “I want you to act the same way two days in a row.”  “Nikki no, I prefer a dead child to a lawsuit from your parents.”

BEST JOKES:
Nelson changing and being protective to the blind kid.  Bart “tuning up the old armpit”.  Homer’s fake legs beneath Marge’s car.  Grandpa trying to unpeel a banana (“give up the goods you yellow devil”).  Grandpa’s memory being like a fuzzy TV screen.  Grandpa thinks clubbing a lady and taking her back to your cave is getting to second base.

PERIPHERAL MOMENT:
Nelson’s Classy Girls lunchbox.  Nikki eats “Fruit By The Foot” bars in Franken Cherry flavour.  The latest young adult vampire book is called “Red Moon”.  Nikki’s parents are called Brody and Madison Mckenna, they are a federal prosecutor and attorney respectively.  Lisa has a blog called Monday Mulchings.  Abstinence posters include: “Alaska Nebraska Says “I Took The No Touching Pledge”, “Cooties Are Real” and “Loose Lips Sink (Scholar) Ships”  Ralph has the username FLOTUS because he “swims with his flotuses on”.

REALITY CROSSOVER:
Dating females called Nikki is trouble because they tend to be insane (says he who has dated two of them).

MVP:
Grandpa does some wonderfully confused things.

GUEST APPEARANCES:
Sarah Silverman as Nikki, Bart’s prospective girlfriend and Angela Bassett as Michelle Obama.

SONGS:
The Bart and Nikki skating montage is done to a song that sounds very much like Kraftwerk (but is not).

EPISODE LINKS:
No real explicit links

PERCULARITIES:
There is a second fourth grade class?  Who is that teacher?  What happened to Nikki after this episode?

BART ON THE BLACKBOARD:
World War II could not beat up World War I.

OTHER:
Ralph comes up with two very great lines in this one.

FINAL WORDS:
This episode is just painfully accurate.

No comments:

Post a comment