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The Simpsons: All About Lisa (season finale) - VIDEO

by Richard Keller, posted May 18th 2008 11:31PM

Krusty the Clown, Lisa Simpson, and Drew Carey(S19E20) "Applause is an addiction, like heroin or checking your e-mail." -- Sideshow Mel

Well, another season of The Simpsons has come to an end. As with the last few seasons some stuff was good, some was okay, and the rest should have gone back to the Writers' Room for further revision ("Treehouse of Horror", anyone?). Most of the weak stuff landed in the first half of the season for some reason -- maybe everyone was tired from the completion of The Simpsons Movie. The second half picked up steam, thanks to some solid episodes featuring Lisa and Bart.

Luckily, The Simpsons ended on a strong note with the Lisa-centric season finale. Once again going back to the on-going theme of how success can corrupt Lisa, we were treated to an episode featuring her turn to work with the famous Krusty the Clown. I say 'her turn' because older brother Bart had worked for Krusty in the past. And, like Bart, Lisa usurped Krusty's fame to become the star of the show.

You would think Krusty would have learned his lesson.

The situation on how Lisa became famous was different from the way Bart did. With Bart, the success was unintentional -- it stemmed from a catch phrase ('I didn't do it') that swept the country. With Lisa, it was more a manipulation of Krusty that permitted her to rise to the top and become Springfield's Entertainer of the Year. Of course, with that fame comes consequences.

If you didn't realize it already (and I'm sure you did, because you are an intelligent lot), this episode of The Simpsons was loosely based on the Academy Award-winning film All About Eve, albeit, with a few changes. In Eve, Margo Channing (portrayed by Bette Davis) takes fan Eve Harrington, (Anne Baxter) under her wing. In this episode, Krusty took Lisa on as his intern because of her determination to get Bart added as one of his Krustketeers. In Eve, the eventually successful Ms. Harrington takes one of her fans under her wing -- starting the cycle that Margo began. In The Simpsons, Lisa realizes the error of her ways at the end of the episode and tries to get Krusty back into the good graces of his fans.

The connection between this episode and the movie was the manipulation by both Eve and Lisa. In the movie, Eve's goal was to take away everything that Margo loved -- her career, her boyfriend, her friends -- through manipulation and deception. On The Simpsons, Lisa went the way of deception to woo the sponsors away from Krusty and to her talents as a clown; learned at the heels of Springfield's main clown. Again, this is something fans of the show expect from Lisa. There has rarely been a time that some type of fame and glory hasn't made Lisa do something against her own beliefs. In fact, when you look at all of the times that she has pushed others aside for her own selfish desires, she is more Eve than Eve is Eve.

While this was a Lisa-centric episode, it was also one that heavily featured Krusty the Clown. We haven't really seen Krusty in a major role on The Simpsons in quite some time. So, it was fun to see him at his most Krustiest. He was really on the rampage during this episode -- showing the viewers all of the traits that we have come to enjoy. This was also an opportunity to see more of Krusty's television past as he was celebrating his 4000th episode ('I never thought I would make it past 400 episodes'). It was hard to tell if the older versions of the Krustketeers were really old or just recently grown up. If recently grown up, that means Springfield didn't have color television until much later.

This episode also featured the heavy presence of Sideshow Mel, who was the narrator of this installment as well as Lisa's guide through the rigors of stardom. We don't get to see or hear too much of Mel. It seems that he has the same type of theatrical and cultural background of one Sideshow Bob; yet, he seems more comfortable in his role as Krusty's sidekick. He also seems to be one of the more grounded characters on The Simpsons, which made him a good moral compass for Lisa.

Now, before we close up shop for the summer, a brief go-around on the other events that happened during 'All About Lisa':

  • A rare parenting moment between Homer and Marge. Through an agreement, Homer spoke to Bart about his clown issues in exchange for Marge to handle talks about piercings and strange feelings.
  • Gabbo's back! The last place we saw the wooden dummy that brought Krusty down was in The Simpsons Movie. You know, the appearance of Gabbo may have been a bit of foreshadowing to the fate that Krusty would encounter this episode.
  • Comic Book Guy has returned, and is still in the Android's Dungeon. I believe that this is the first time viewers had ever seen CBG with his hair down. And, should probably be the last time. By the way, for those non-comic book fans, the 'Radioactive Man vs. Muhammad Ali' comic that Bart wanted in exchange for his Krusty products was a sendoff of the 1970s DC Comic 'Superman vs. Muhammad Ali'.
  • The second story of the night wasn't that bad at all. We don't see Bart and Homer bonding too much these days. So, having them collect coins was a good touch by the writers. Nice how Homer was able to get the 'Kissing Lincolns' penny from Mr. Burns.
  • Drew Carey -- Hmmm. The animated version of Drew just didn't have the right feel to it. Perhaps because the real life Drew is shaped like an animated character.
  • Bart doing Carrot Top shtick at the auditions for Krusty. I enjoyed his impression of a Jack-o-Lantern.

That's all, folks. Next time on The Simpsons -- we begin season 2-0. See you then.

How was the season finale of 'The Simpsons'?
Good. A strong ending to a so-so season.138 (52.3%)
Fair. Nice dedication to 'All About Eve', but was dead in some parts.86 (32.6%)
A bad finale for a bad season.40 (15.2%)

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I wouldn't say Bart "usurped" Krusty in "Bart Gets Famous." In fact, Krusty used Bart's sudden success to make his show more popular.

May 22 2008 at 5:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The second-half of this season were some of the best episodes ever!

May 19 2008 at 4:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Gio's comment

I wouldn't quite go THAT far, but they were overall probably the strongest string of episodes since Season 13.

May 19 2008 at 6:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, I gotta agree with Paul. There were some good episodes, but nothing near the best of the series. Hell, I wouldn't say they were better than the movie. But, to each their own.

May 22 2008 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Forget this, where's the Desperate Housewives review?

Sorry, I'm kinda impatient.

May 19 2008 at 1:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Stewart

My favorite part was Moe taking wallets and purses while the frame was still. =)

Homer outsmarting Mr. Burns seemed a bit out of character, but was humorus anyway.

May 18 2008 at 11:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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