The 30th season of The Simpsons is still on. The 18th episode of the season, “Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy“, is the 18th episode of the season. It’s a feminist episode that sees Bart joining sixth grader girls in crimes agains pathriarchy. The episode is solid, fun and well-written. It’s an hilarious combination of feminism, reivindication, Itchy & Scratchy and Milhouse.
The episode starts with the family attending the Krusty Show panel in the Krusty-con. After the usual repeated fan questions (when will be a second Krusty movie released), Krusty makes an announcement. They’re re-booting Itchy & Scratchy. They are doing an all-female reboot. This news cause joy among girls, but anger among boys. Bart, Milhouse and other boys decide to do a “hate not-watch” of the new I&S, but Bart actually watches it and even likes it, being recorded by Lisa.
Bart lies and acts as he hadn’t watched it, but Lisa uploads her video to the internet, exposing he is an hypocrite. This makes the boys angry with Bart, who rushes to escape them, and ends up in the girls’ bathroom. There they are three sixth-grader girls who tell him they commit crimes against pathriarchy. Bart seems interested, though more for the crimes part than the feminist part, and joins them (they say he is more of a male servant than a member of the group).
The girls and Bart do some feminist vandalism, while Milhouse leads the boys in a newly created association called “Boys Rights Association” (acronyme BRA) which says is for protecting Boys’ rights in front of the menace that women want to end with those rights. Luann and Kirk, by the way, get excited with Milhouse having friends for the first time.
Lisa tries to tell Bart he isn’t feminist and that he just does those “crimes” because he just likes vandalism. Bart eventually is put into a dilemma after he knows the next plans of the sixth-graders: they want to destroy all the tapes of male Itchy & Scratchy episodes… on live TV during the Krusty show. At the end, Lisa is who actually saves the tapes. While saving the tapes, Lisa makes the acid in the pool unwantedly hit the all-boys audience of the show, which makes them cry on live TV. She then befriends the sixth-graders, who enjoy Lisa’s action, and joins them, with Bart un-joining them. The episode ends with Bart telling the boys stuff from girls, and reveals that they don’t envy boys, much to they surprise.
The episode, written by Megan Amram and directed by Chris Clements, is a solid mix of feminism, Bart, Itchy & Scratchy and Milhouse. This episode is for sure a must-watch episode for everyone. Amram’s first writing credit on the show (and not the last, that’s for sure) is about feminism, and it also depicts a character who doesn’t understand what feminism is all about, in this case Milhouse (well, and the rest of the boys from BRA). While the portrayal can seem funny, there are more than few men with similar attitudes out there (and they are older than Milhouse). Amram manages to make a both fun and reivindicative episode that shows a harsh reality as well. This show always knows how to tackle current issues with greatness.
This episode is well-written. The originality of the story is outstanding, and it’s a laugh-generating episode. Also a mention to this week’s great guest voices of Awkwafina, Nicole Bryer and Chelsea Peretti as the sixth-grader girls. As always, great Lisa portrayal from Yeardley Smith. Nancy Cartwright, who by the way wrote next week’s episode, does also a great Bart portrayal.
This episode is an excellent, fun and enjoyable episode that everyone must watch. Let’s hope the rest of the 30th season maintains the high quality seen so far. And let’s hope also for more entertaining episodes like this.
Stay tuned for more reviews!!
Notes and Observations:
- A Disney reference or mention is missed as the Disney-Fox deal got effective last week.
- The plot of having an all-female cast to assist Bart is a reference to recent trend of rebooting movies with all-female casts and/or main characters, like the 2016 Ghostbusters movie or the 2019 Captain Marvel movie.
- Lisa’s timeline of cartoon women’s history includes:
- 1930 – Betty Boop.
- 1997 – Daria Morgendorffer from Beavis and Butt-Head and Daria.
- 1998 – Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls.
- 2011 – Louise Belcher from Bob’s Burgers.
- Boss Riot is modeled after the Pussy Riot protest group.
- Josh.0 is a parody of the tv series Tosh.0.
- The Itchy and Scratchy episode is a parody of the movie Pitch Perfect.
- This is the very first Itchy and Scratchy-themed episode since “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show” in season 8.
- This is the first Simpsons episode to air since the franchise was bought by Disney.