Season 1, Episode 6
Original Air Date: February 11, 1990
Chalkboard gag: I will not instigate revolution
Couch gag: Maggie is squeezed out and lands on Marge’s lap.
Plot: The monotony of everyday life has gotten to Lisa. The family try to cheer her up, and she finds a new friend in saxophone player Bleeding Gums Murphy.
• The story goes through the family members trying to cheer her up: Homer tries to cajole Lisa with horsey-rides but is in way over is head, and is happy to be let off the hook. Lisa finds her own outlet (jamming with Bleeding Gums), Bart’s idea is prank-calling Moe (as ‘Jock Strap’) whilst Marge’s initial idea is to suppress your feelings and fake it, like she was taught.
• Lisa finding Bleeding gums leaves Homer & Bart free for a sub-plot! The first 5 episodes only had one main plot – making for a much more straight-forward, involved show. Here, Homer wants to beat Bart at Slugfest, a boxing videogame (Mike Tyson’s Punchout parody). The graphics mimmick a NES, while they play at home with an Atari joypad.
• They lightly touch on the topic of Bart becoming the adult (as Homer gets older) but it’s quite underplayed.
• Lisa’s spirits are lifted as the family go out to see Bleeding Gums play at the Jazz Hole. There’s quite a family-centric moral core as each family tries to make her feel better, and in the end she shares her new-found happiness with them.
Lisa “Sorry dad, you wouldn’t understand.”
Homer “Oh sure I would. I have feelings too – like ‘my stomach hurts’ or ‘I’m going crazy!'”
Bleeding Gums Murphy “You know, you play pretty well for someone with no real problems”
Homer “Bart! Vacuum the room!”
Bart “But I didn’t do anything!”
Homer “In times of stress, ya gotta go what ya know. So hop to it!”
Overall: Another finely written episode that deals with real problems. However, it’s more style over substance with many saxophone songs. Unfortunately Lisa just doesn’t have the charm to pull off a main plot by herself, so although sweet, it wasn’t that entertaining.