The Simpsons will probably continue to run until the actors who give their voices pass away.
[7.2 on a post-classic Simpsons scale] This episode comes off as pretty jumbled. It’s split between a playground dares plot, a “Bart fakes a religious experience plot” and a showbiz parody. And it also tries to juggle Bart’s relationship with Homer, Marge, and Lisa all at once. But most of the elements are reasonably good, even if they don’t fit together.
The bully dare stuff is mild, but at least plays on the Simpsons kids as kids, which is always good. I also appreciate the “turned down a dare” situation putting Bart in the awkward position of getting contrary advice from his parents. But there’s not many laughs in it, and it basically just fodder to launch us into the meat of the episode.
That comes when Bart pretends to have gone to Heaven to explain to Marge why he jumped off the dam. Naturally, that spins out into a townwide and eventually nationwide frenzy. There’s some decent commentary on the whole “boy claims to have seen Heaven” routine, but again, nothing especially uproarious. That said, the episode has the good sense to ground the story in Lisa warning Bart that little lies turn into big lies, cover-ups, and guilt, which adds some emotional and thematic stakes to things.
But a lot of that gets lost in a pretty tepid showbiz parody. There’s some decent comic bits when Homer takes over a Christian movie based on Bart’s story. An appearance by Emily Deschanel features a spiritual reprisal of Homer’s “Hello Mr. Thompson routine,” a guest role for Gal Gadot includes a solid dig at the D.C. movies, and we even get a solid “One Day More” parody out of the deal. But the showbiz material is pretty cliché, even when mixed with the show’s amusing religious humor, and isn’t an easy fit with the rest of the story the episode wants to tell.
That said, “Bart’s Not Dead” gets points for ending things on a sweet moment with Bart and Lisa on the roof, something that calls back to season 2’s “Bart vs. Thanksgiving”. This whole thing started because of Bart doing something kind for his sister, and ends with her returning the favor, which is a nice, mildly heartwarming touch.
Overall, this episode isn’t a homerun by any means, and the humor in particular is hit or miss, but there’s some good ideas and solid bits throughout, even if they’re not always a good fit with one another.
Sorry but I don’t like sac religious jokes. Unless it’s in the Simpsons lol. Homer makes me laugh the most in these episodes. It could have used him saying Jebus though. It may be wrong but that always gets me. Mostly due to the great Homer voice acting. He can make anything funny.
i can't believe they showed Groundskeeper Willie blowing himself