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September 20, 2014

Review: The Simpsons - Pranks and Greens

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 23rd 2009 1:15PM
The Simpsons: Pranks and Greens(S21E06) This was a pretty well-structured episode, in that it might even give Bart some hope and direction for his own life. Who knew that Skinner and Willie were once cool and beloved, and that Willie was the swim teacher for Springfield Elementary? Okay, as most of you know I've been out of touch with The Simpsons for years prior to this anniversary season, so if this was already revealed, it's new to me.

The bulk of the episode dealt with Bart learning that there was a prankster before him, and one who was even his superior. So of course, Bart seeks out this 19-year old malcontent to learn from the master and come back stronger and better than ever. Too bad, as Lisa is so quick to point out, they're both still losers.

Andy Hamilton is the man of legend. After filling the pool at the school with worms, a mishap leads to Principal Skinner being trapped in there for an entire weekend. When he emerges, he is the cold psychopath we've come to know and love. And Willie is fired as a swim coach and becomes the groundskeeper we know and love today. They also, apparently, lost their impressive physiques and inherent coolness.

There was no explanation to the missing school paper, apparently the week this incident came out. I know it's probably not important, but I would have liked a tighter script on things like this. The B-story spent the entire episode poking fun at the organic food movement. Marge was ostracized when the overly paranoid mothers in her playgroup were horrified first at her processed foods, and then at her non-stick pans.

We also got a good dig in the organics grocery store about the horribly high prices, and the incredibly short shelf-life of the food being purchased. I know this has the potential to be a big political issue for some folks, so I'll just say that everyone's choices are their own, but you should still be open to ridicule. Unfortunately, this storyline just kind of fizzled out for me. I guess we didn't need to see Marge confront the other moms, but having her and Homer dig into junk food just left me a little unfulfilled.

The Andy storyline progressed much better, with Bart getting him a job working for Krusty, and then again getting him the job back after Andy bails after one day. I always like to see Bart with that heart we know he has buried under all that sarcasm and prankishness. Granted, he was trying to see Andy make something of his life to prove to Lisa, and himself, that neither one of them were losers.

At the end, though, when it was revealed that Andy had been promoted to a TV writer for Krusty's show, Lisa admonished that being a TV writer indeed means he is still a loser.

I like the character of Andy, voiced by Jonah Hill. I got a cheap laugh out of the fact that he's bald under his ballcap, but he's one of those citizens of Springfield that could be trotted out again from time to time. If nothing else, he could be hanging around with Krusty. It adds something to the character of Bart to have an older prankster in town, whether he's successful or not.

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Axel Harris

Willie's always been chiseled like that. As he said, he's always been swim coach Willie and he always will be.

November 24 2009 at 3:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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