The Simpsons s1e8: The Telltale Head

Air Date: February 25, 1990

Rating: 7/10

Bart becomes friends with the school bullies. And in an attempt to be more popular with them, sneaks out in the middle of the night to cut the head off the statue of Jebediah Springfield, the founder of the town.

There’s a lot I like about this. It has some of the funniest sequences I’ve seen so far. I especially like the scene where Bart dresses like a ninja and sneaks out to perform the act. I also like that this focuses entirely on Bart’s perspective the whole episode showing how he interacts with the rest of the world. He comes from a “good” home with loving parents and siblings, but acts out as he tries to find his place in the world. So, it’s both interesting and ironic when he realizes that when he thinks he’s doing what’s right for him, it turns out it’s wrong for everyone.

There’s a thing I don’t really like about this episode though. It’s that it starts near the end but then flashes back to the beginning. This is a very old technique used practically since the Greeks invented theater. It can be useful in telling a story, specifically if you want to show where the story is heading first to grab interest such as in Fight Club or Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita. But this only works if the story to get to the point you start at (confusing, I know) is actually interesting. Here, I feel like the entire story is practically told when they turn the corner and the mob chases them. Bart did something bad enough to anger everyone, we get that much, I feel like the story should have started from this point and told the rest of the story in smaller bits instead of the whole thing all at once. I just feel the way the story flows otherwise isn’t as good as it could have been, and if the story wasn’t told in flashback, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it.

SCORING:

+8: It’s a decent episode but has some boring bits

-1: The beginning makes the whole episode anticlimactic

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