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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With Lisa's Sax, Lisa the Skeptic, Lisa the Simpson, Lost Our Lisa, and
with maybe Girly Edition counting as a Lisa episode, season 9 is Lisa's
busiest season since season 6 (which had Lisa's Rival, Lisa on Ice,
Lisa's Wedding and 'Round Springfield). It's fitting, then, that Lisa
is on the cover of the season 9 DVD. The Lisa episodes in season 9 are
as good as ever, including Lost Our Lisa which I think is underrated.
Lisa tricks Homer into letting her take a bus to a museum, despite her young age. However, Lisa gets on the wrong bus (which reflects how bus routes often are confusing in real life) and winds up lost in the Springfield area. She doesn't find much help from either the hillbillies or the Russian Springfielders, but when Homer goes looking for her, he finds her. Lisa says she regrets taking the risk of taking the bus, but Homer tells her it's okay to take risks, and the two go to the (now closed) museum.
This episode captures Lisa lost and alone. On top of that, it has nice twists regarding the balloons and a prayer- to Superman. Arguably, the part where Homer's head gets caught in a bridge is too unrealistic, but I wouldn't give that too much importance since it's really a small part of the episode. The message that risks are fine adds a good moral to the story, and the music of the Orb of Isis is, as Lisa says, "beautiful." One of the last classic Simpsons episodes.
After 6 great Simpsons seasons (seasons 3-8), season 9 is the first
season where the quality really starts to go downhill. Lost our Lisa is
one of my least favorites of all because the writing is so poor. The
premise in which Lisa gets lost in taking a bus to see an Egyptian
exhibit is fine, but the execution is poor.
My first problem is with Lisa taking the bus by herself. It starts off amusing with Lisa making small talk with the bus driver and he keeps tapping the "do no talk to bus driver sign", but where the episode starts to go bad is when the bus driver drops Lisa off in the desert at the end of the line. No bus driver would ever do that to a small child! i don't care about this being a cartoon, the Simpsons for years has been about heart, and sure they've had scenarios that are "out there" but the Simpsons and their characters have acted human. In my opinion this is an example of sloppy writing where they just wanted to get Lisa stranded. I can think of other ways they could have done it - like maybe have Lisa get dropped off at the North Springfield Museum (they did it once with the West Springfield Elementary), or Lisa getting dropped off on North Main Street rather than South Main Street... anything than a bus driver dropping an 8 year old off in the middle of nowhere... It reminds me a bit of Season 1's Call of The Simpsons where Maggie is missing and nobody notices which always upsets me, but I could forgive it because it was season 1 and they were still figuring things out - with this happening in Season 9 there is no real excuse.
The other major problem I have with this episode is the scene where the bridge closes on Homer's head - Once again the argument can be made they are cartoons, but they've spent the past 8 season making the Simpsons Human - Mt Burns get shot, Homer eats a poisoned Fish - Homer and Moe are almost burnt, Bart get hit by a car -I can go on, and in all cases they almost die - the Simpsons are mortal - but a bridge closing on Homer's head would kill him - end of story. Once again - poor writing - they could of have the bridge close on the cherry picker or he could have bumped his head on the metal (with a great doh!!!). Those are acceptable, the bridge closing on his head which would have squashed him like a grape is unacceptable.
In conclusion the Simpsons for me is about heart, humor and great writing, Lost our Lisa has no heart, poor writing and very little humor.... and sadly in continues like this for many more seasons...
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