Episode Recap: Barthood

Hey hey friends! Wookiee back and at my usual antics and here with another episode recap for my favorite Addicts. Of course, that means it’s time to take a break from ooohing an aaahing over the arrival of Maggie Simpson to catch up on the latest episode that aired on December 13th.  Boy does the time fly when you’re having fun. Thankfully we’ve done pretty well this season and aren’t too far behind. One of the features we like to have on this site is recaps of new Simpsons episodes for all our friends who can’t watch them immediately or like our silly reviews of them. I love when there are new episodes of the Best. Show. Ever. on TV. It’s my privilege to not only watch new episodes, which I would do with or without this awesome site, but then break them down for all of you. I stuck to the stream of consciousness format which most of you should be familiar with by now. Without further ado… here’s my thoughts on Season 27, Episode 9: “Barthood”.

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To start this off for accidental clickers who just prefer the synopsis, here’s what IMDb says about the episode:

“Bart’s coming of age story a la ‘Boyhood’ chronicles his life from six years old to his time as an accomplished young man. Along the way, his tense relationship with Homer, an overly uncaring version of himself, and Lisa, who overshadows him in every way possible, shape Bart more than he realizes.”

Now on with the random recap observations of yours truly…

– First off, I never saw “Boyhood.”  I heard a lot about it and I think it’s genius to take an actor and chronologically film him for a movie but I just haven’t had the time to see it.  Honestly, since The Simpsons pay homage to it… it’s moved up on my list.  Suffice to say, I won’t see any of the parallels with the movie and for that I’ll just say sorry.  Beyond an awareness of the movie this pays tribute to or steals from depending on your opinion, I don’t have much to say about the similarities or differences beyond pointing out that this episode is 22 minutes-ish and the movie is much longer.

– Kang as Santa and rotoscoped Simpsons… “a noble experiment that failed.”

– Guessing the intro is from the movie and little Bart is laying in the grass asking Homer questions.  The sky is blue because it is, Homer doesn’t know why clouds are white, people are yellow because God made them that way, and grass is green to make it easier to find golf balls.  Lol at Homer asking why Bart left his toy on the stairs… d’oh!

– Little Bart gets to stay with Grandpa while Homer is mending.  Poor Homer keeps flinching and hurting himself.  Gramps won’t play cars with Melvin Q. Mopenheimer but Grampa shows off his 1954 Syudebaker Starliner Commander… “the most beautiful machine ever made.”  Grampa “bought it brand new and forgot about it until today.”  Bart not only gets to sit in it… he gets to drive.  On the trip, they pass Wiggum and Lou at a speed trap.  Word to the wise… don’t season your hibachi grill hot dogs with pepper spray and then water your eyes with hot sauce.  Grampa likes bonding with Bart.  He has more spirit and gumption than young Homer did apparently.

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– Bart wants the day to last forever but time doesn’t work like that.  “The years go by and you don’t even realize it.”  It’s two years later and the two are still bonding in the car.  It’s a little worse for wear but oh well.  Grampa got Bart home late for tutoring with Frink.  Bart stinks at reading but Lisa is ahead of the curve as usual. We learn Lisa painted the classic sailboat image we see behind the famous couch. Weird because I thought Marge did that? Bart made a drawing too… all over the kitchen.  The whole family (well, minus Maggie cuz she didn’t exist yet) in race cars with Bart winning.  How could he ruin the “place of pork chops”?  Homer can’t even find the fridge.  At least he finds a weiner-kid named Milhouse?

– Bart tries to show Lisa he can drive better than her and crashes the car into the kitchen right after Homer repainted it.  Off to a therapist Marge and Homie go. Bart’s disruptive behavior may come from other kids getting more attention from Homer.  The solution is to have a father-son camping trip… at the Exit 43 Inn with the unheated pool.  They can have fun with ice machines and hunt for the registration desk and learn about the new remote and watch TV.

– Lisa makes student of the month during her first month at school and Bart is upset he hasn’t done anything in two years.  Homer goes to console him.  He loves Bart and Lisa equally… forty percent each… “gotta leave room in the budget.”  Bart drew a homemade “MY SUN IS KID OF THE YERA AT SPRINGFEELD ELEMENTARY” bumper sticker which Homer agrees to put on his car.  In typical bad dad mode, he won’t cover Lisa’s Student of the Month award sticker or the one that says “MY CAR DOES NOT PLAY NPR” and tosses it while Bart watches out the window.  Poor Bart.

– It’s now Bart’s twelfth birthday and he has a mullet.  He’s outgrown Krusty, “Ay Carumba”, and “Don’t have a cow, man.”  He’s now the angsty kid who says things like “Don’t have a foolish attachment to the past.”  Before he can blow out his birthday candle, Lisa gets a phone notification that she’s been student of the month for 48 consecutive months.  Bart is obviously upset that everything is about Lisa.  Milhouse and him go out to throw rocks at streetlights… well, every one but the one outside where Grampa lives.  It’s certainly not a victimless crime… it’s a case of Molemanslaughter.  Bart hides out with Grampa while Milly gets arrested and tazed.  Grampa got Bart a really cool bike which he starts doing tricks on.

– He’s now older with Bieber-esque hair.  Lisa is off to the Mayo Clinic Pre-Medical Summer Camp.  I agree that Apple should have stuck with computers lol. Homer stays behind to take care of fifteen-year-old Bart.  Bart is busy clicking on his phone and even though Homer wants to spend one last summer bonding, he’s not good at it.

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– Homer goes to Moe’s and Bart throws a party.  He flirts with Sherri while Nelson flirts with Shauna.  Milhouse has gotten out of juvie and now has a huge cross tattooed on his chest to display his new found faith. Awkward that Bart realizes which twin he’s making out with when he discovers it’s not Terri he’s kissing.  Sherri’s dad should be ashamed of what she says in reply.  Bart smells weed smoke in the house and goes to stop it before he gets in trouble.  “Hey you idiots, the bong stays in the treehouse.”  Oh wait… it’s Homer blazing.  No worries about the cops coming because Wiggum is partaking with Homer.

– Bart and his dad are never on the same page.  Homer lets Bart knows he’s just a “misunderstood guy who wants his family to love him” and they hug.  They almost have a moment until Homer says he’s glad he’ll always have one kid who’s never gonna go anywhere or do anything.  He ruins everything and Bart is off on his bike to find Grampa… who has passed on and has a tombstone that says “BELOVED FATHER AND MUTTERER”.  Love Grampa popping up in a thought bubble, rambling in his usual manner about Persia and Eunuchs, Bart slapping said bubble and Gramps saying to “find what you love and follow it to glory.”

– Bring on Bart competing in the Duff Extreme BMX Vert Competition.  Bart’s scorecard includes 3 broken necks, 27 sketchy endorsements, 8 stokage, 78 rad moves and career air time of 2 days and 3 minutes.  I really want the vert ramp and Blood-Zoni for TSTO.  One more round and Bart will win the first achievement he can call his own.  The family is there to cheer him on and Bart is good with his signature suicide no-hander 540 front flip.  He thinks he’s out of Lisa’s shadow until it crosses the ramp literally and distracts him.  He falls but Lisa “aced chest compressions at Mayo Pre-Med Camp” and resuscitates him. Unfortunately this overshadows Bart once again.  Lisa’s scorecard includes a 4.0 GPA, 1032 animals rescued, 10638 trees planted, 3 presidential medals, and zero tradies.  She’s ruined everything Bart has ever done.

– Bart as a senior in High School.  He’s a caricature artist at the Squidport.  He used to have dreams just like Nothing Stu who used to think disco was coming back.  Milhouse invites Bart to his graduation party but Bart is embarassed because Lisa is graduating the same year as him.  Nelson shows up as an old man to haw haw at him.  He made a lot of money selling his pituatary gland.  On to Milhouse’s graduation party… next stop flight attendant school.  Oh and Kearney’s son graduated too lol.  Ralph joined the army to get a costume for the party and it’s fun to see Lewis Clark and Wendell older.  Bart shows up because that’s what besties do.  Awkward LuAnn and Kirk moment but Lisa comes through to break the tension.  She kisses Milhouse on the cheek which apparently is the most amazing thing at the party.  How do people not think it’s wierd that Milhouse’s face is painted on the water tower and there’s a hot air balloon shaped like his head.  Bart’s “not even the best Simpson at (his) best friend’s party.”  Lisa claims she knows what it’s like to be second best at something because she’s going to Yale but the siblings fight.  Lisa is sick of taking the blame for Bart’s setbacks.  She thinks he’s an artist with the most important asset… a miserable life.  For that he should thank her.

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– Oh and Maggie is aparently dating goofy looking Gerald.

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– Bart is an adult now and owns Simpson and Grandson Bike Customizing.  Nelson stops by looking normal because Lisa invented the artificial pituatary. He’s there because someone convinced him to start giving back all the lunch money he stole.  He’s dating Lisa and actually going with her to a Bolivian Film Festival.  Bart realized he was an artist and now paints on the walls… no Lisa images though… if you don’t count the one on his rolling door of her.  Lisa sees it and they make up.  Wait… Nelson has a line when he sees Bart’s graffiti scrawl.  “You’re El Barto?  How is that possible?”

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– It all finishes with adult Bart and Homer laying in the grass.  Clouds are brown because of pollution and grass is green because it’s artificial.  I don’t know why but I giggled gleefully when the sprinklers came on and Homer admits he “was too lazy to unhook them.”  Why aren’t we moving?  Because you’re drunk and I’m stoned.  Why is beer so good?  Because you had seven.  Did you like the movie Boyhood?  Oh is that what this was?  How many years of hair do I have left?  It disappears as soon as girls like you.  What’s the secret of life?  You can avoid a lot of awkward situations by pretending to be on the phone.  Like what?  Hold on I’ve gotta take this call.”

I really love watching all the Simpsons and characters age in this episode.  If for no other reason, this episode was a treat for this.  I think I need to see the movie this parodies to truly appreciate everything but all in all it was a decent episode.  I like that Bart got a story told that wasn’t all pranks and mischief.  Maybe we can learn a bit from the boy living in his awesome sister’s shadow?  Maybe not.  What were your thoughts?  Did you like it or the movie?  Sound off in the comments. Now I’ve gotta go take a call.

TTFN… Wookiee out!

10 responses to “Episode Recap: Barthood

  1. Great episode, IMHO. Touching, like the Linkletter movie, maybe a little to subtle for the masses. This season has been bringin’ it, with so much heart. Head & shoulders above all of the other cartoons(esp others in the fox lineup). I’m really going to miss this show when they stop.

  2. “Boyhood” doesn’t seem to have any major influence on this other than the concept of telling a story in a series of years passing. “Boyhood” itself to me isn’t much of a story other than the story of the passage of time and perhaps how a child’s relationship with their parents get shaped. But if your going in it suspecting similarities to this episode your going to be disappointed.

    I liked all the “Future” episodes for the Simpsons but this one, it was to much reality and not enough fantasy, but the reality wasn’t realistic to me, meaning things didn’t pan out as I would think they would naturally. Being disappointed in multiple characters choices which lead me angry at the writers of this episode.

    only two questions: Didn’t the painting over the Simpsons couch already have an origin story (like Marge bought it on sale or something uneventful yet explain it)? (And) Maggie held a trophy at Bart’s competition, it went to fast for me to read… Thought it was for “Fastest tweets” or something like that?

    Anyway thanks for the Post.

  3. Main quest line complete! Finding Maggie wayyyy easier than I thought it’d be. I always play with no sound but turned just the FX sound up to hear/find her. One more prize left and this event has been annihilated 👍 Overall this winter event has been extremely fun. Sucks it’s almost over 😫

  4. I didn’t particuarly like this episode…way too depressing. I did see the movie Boyhood, and, although I already don’t remember most of it, I didn’t think that this episode was that close a parallel to it (although, I could be wrong…my memory is pretty swiss-cheesey these days).

    I do enjoy when they occasionally give us a glimpse of a particular possible future for these characters…but I think they usually misunderestimate Bart. He’s actually a pretty clever dude and can be quite focused when he wants to, it’s just that he tends to channel his cleverness and focus into “poor choices.” But I think he’s the kind of kid who will, at some point, find someone or something that will cause him to use his smarts for something more “productive” (or he’ll become a stand-up comedian 😉 ). Even if he’s a slacker when it comes to things like schoolwork, I don’t think he’s really a slacker…he’s always cooking up and executing various, often intricate, schemes. (I particular like when he and Lisa team up on something, each bringing their particular types of “expertise” to bear on whatever the problem is…)

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