It’s not often that we write about episodes of “The Simpsons,” largely because when you are more than 25 years into your run, there really are not too many opportunities for the show to do things that are new or surprising.
In some ways, the fact that this was a subject for a story in itself was evidence of the long production cycle versus a show like “South Park.” We’re not sure anyone has talked openly about the Richard Linklater movie “Boyhood” since the Oscars, but Sunday night’s episode was largely a story all about the many stages of Bart Simpson’s life. In terms of comedy, the episode was mostly a failure; we maybe chuckled once or twice over the course of the half-hour.
However, this episode was rather fascinating as a character study, and charting the journey of Bart from a young kid neglected by his father to a teenager struggling to emerge from his sister’s shadow. We repeatedly saw specific examples of how she did great things to the detriment of his own happiness, though the irony here is that in one of his fleeting moments of jealousy, she ultimately helped him find his calling: As an artist. The story therefore had a slightly happier end than we expected.
We know that it’s hard to necessarily think of this story as canon, given that it was meant more as a one-off that played around with form and actually showed the emotional headspace of a few characters in a greater capacity than we are used to. Yet, we also do feel like if this is the trajectory of some of these people, would it really be that bad? It’s nice to see complexity here and there, and that Bart can reconcile his past with Lisa with what she could do for him in the present.
What did you think about this tribute to “Boyhood” as an episode? Share with a comment, and head over here to get some more TV news on everything we cover, sent right over to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Fox.)