The Simpsons: Jazzy and the Pussycats
(S18E02) I thought the season premiere was decent enough, but this episode was even better. We begin at a funeral for Homer's Vegas wife, where Lenny explains how she met her demise:
Lenny: I'll tell you how she died: you know that sign that says "do not stand up on the roller coaster?"
Lenny: She overdosed right in front of it.
Like any little kid forced to go to the funeral of someone he doesn't know that well, Bart starts to find ways to entertain himself. When the ball comes loose from his paddle ball and sets off a chain reaction that chokes half the congregation, Homer and Marge decide to see a child psychologist to figure out how to help Bart behave.
The psychologist suggest a drumset to help Bart focus his energy on something productive. It turns out Bart is a natural on the skins, and even finds himself in a trippy chase scene with the White Stripes, a nice little homage to the Michel Gondry video for their song "The Hardest Button to Button."
Unfortunately, Bart loves drumming so much he never stops, and Homer's solution of using Marge's white noise machine to drown out the drumming with the sounds of rush hour traffic and a circus fire doesn't work too well. Homer tries to ignore the cacophony, screaming to Marge: "Let me know when and if you want sex, honey!"
Lisa offers to take Bart to a junior jazz recital at Jazzy Goodtimes, and it's there that Bart impresses two jazz legends who ask him to join their group. Lisa is outraged and jealous, though she does end up on the cover of Dream Denied Magazine, which I figure is better than nothing. To make her feel better, Marge lets her pick out a puppy from the animal shelter, but when she picks a healthy puppy over a mangy one, the sick dog visits her in a vision to tell her she sucks. Stricken with guilt, Lisa goes back to the shelter to buy the sick dog, plus a bulldog and a bird. Also, she absconds a seeing eye dog, rescues a raccoon, and picks up several abandoned circus animals, too. She hides the animals in the attic and tells them to eat the rats in the Christmas decorations if they get hungry.
When the animals start making noise during dinner, Lisa runs up to the attic to quiet them down. She finds Bart and his jazz friends "not smoking refer," and Bart's arm is bitten by a tiger.
Dr. Hibbert tells Bart he'll never drum again, and Bart exclaims, "I was a drummer and now I'm nothing, just like Phil Collins!"
Lisa feels bad for what happened, and in a clever moment of self-awareness from the show's writers she laments, "I feel so terrible. I just wanted to save those animals while Bart became a drummer, but I never thought the two stories would intersect."
A benefit concert is thrown to raise money for surgery to repair Bart's arm, but his empathy wins and he decides to donate the money to building an animal sanctuary named after Lisa. An animal sanctuary with a roller coaster for the animals, no less.
Moments I liked:
- At the funeral for Homer's Las Vegas wife, one side is filled with people from Las Vegas, including Siegfried and Roy and the Blue Man Group
- When a Blue Man chokes on a paddle ball, he ends up coughing up several more balls and turning a "normal" yellow color
- Ralph Wiggum playing a Fisher-Price Corn Popper at Jazzy Goodtimes
- The Reservoir Dogs slow motion sequence as Lisa walks home with her animal friends, set to George Baker's "Little Green Bag."
- The sign outside the circus: "Closed by popular demand"
- Wiggum using an ostrich with a red light strapped to the head when his police cruiser won't start, and later capturing Snake pulling him along on another ostrich
- The sign outside Bart's/Lisa's benefit: "8-hour jazz benefit, 2 songs will be played"