Lifetime of Simpsons

S23 E18 – Beware My Cheating Bart

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Our weird flirtation with science fiction is over now folks, and it’s time to get back to some sort of normalcy. Although, I will say that the rest of this week is still pretty bonkers. Today’s probably going to be the most normal of the bunch, and it still features Bart seeing breasts for the first time! Oh, and we also get an insane couch gag done by Bill Plimpton that’s all about Homer falling in love with the couch and having a torrid affair that ends in a love-child. Neat!

The actual episode starts off with Homer bringing Bart and Milhouse to a movie theater in the mall. They don’t appear to have gone here with any specific goal in mind though, so Homer just randomly picks a movie for the boys to watch, and they end up having to go see a Happy Little Elves movie while Homer goes and gorges himself in the food court. And, as you would expect, Homer just wanders around, eating as much as possible.

But, as you might not expect, when Homer is done eating himself stupid he starts walking around the mall, and ends up heading into an exercise equipment store. The clerk quickly sizes Homer up as a sucker, and starts trying to convince him to buy a ludicrously expensive treadmill. And, because Homer is very susceptible to peer pressure, he ends up agreeing to this proposition, and buys a treadmill that he will surely use.

Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse are leaving their terrible screening of Happy Little Elves when Bart runs into Jimbo, Dolph, Kearney, and Jimbo’s girlfriend Shauna, who are at the theater to check out some gory horror movie. The bullies quickly start mocking Bart and Milhouse for going to such a lame movie, but while describing how disgusting the movie they’ll be seeing they end up convincing Shauna she wants no part in it.

Shauna then tells Jimbo that they should go see a romantic comedy, and he of course has no interest in that. But he also doesn’t want Shauna to go by herself to a movie, afraid that she’ll cheat on him, so he needs to find a chaperone that he thinks will pose no threat. So, Bart it is! Bart doesn’t really get a choice in the matter, so he has to go watch an incredibly boring rom-com with Shauna who actually also gets bored.

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The two leave the movie theater and begin wandering around the mall together. Bart really wants to ditch Shauna, but he knows Jimbo will kill him if he does so, so he sticks with her. But when she starts flirting with the Squeaky-Voiced Teen to get some free stuff Bart has to take a stand and tell her to stop. Bart tries his best to give her a confidence boost, trying to convince her that she doesn’t need to flirt with random dudes. And she actually starts to appreciate Bart, because he actually notices things about her. Which is bad for Bart, because things went so well that Jimbo wants Bart to chaperone Shauna all the time now.

Before we see how all of this will pan out though, it’s time to see how Homer’s tread-mill escapades are going. Shockingly well! He’s set up his fancy tread-mill, and has learned that it has a TV on it that can stream old shows. So, while he starts trotting he ends up putting on a cancelled show called Stranded that’s just a Lost parody. And Homer instantly becomes enthralled with it, watching it constantly, even to the point that he just sets up a chair on the tread-mill. And this becomes a problem when Marge finds him, and is less than thrilled that he’s wasting this huge investment on watching a crappy show that he never wanted to watch with her back in the day.

Anyway, Bart is still having to hang out with Shauna occasionally, taking her to all the places that Jimbo doesn’t want to go. Including back to the mall where Shauna is getting some sort of facial at a fancy boutique. But, when the lady giving the facial wanders off to get something Shauna just steals a bunch of perfume and runs off. Bart chases after her, right as they’re caught by a mall-cop. And, because Bart doesn’t want to be in trouble with Jimbo he takes the fall for Shauna’s theft, and goes to mall-jail.

But Shana really appreciated this, and decides to help Bart out. She manages to bust Bart out of mall-jail, and they quickly run away from the guard on his Segway. She then leads Bart to an abandoned store in the mall, and decides to reward him for being nice to her by flashing him. Yep! Bart just saw boobs for the first time, and he is blown away. So much in fact that he spends the next couple of days in a daze.

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However, that makes things a little awkward around Jimbo. Especially when he comes to thank Bart for taking care of Shauna, and insists that he’ll be her chaperone forever. When the two of them are alone Bart ends up speaking from the heart, and tells Shauna that she’s too good for Jimbo, and doesn’t have to listen to him. And, this really clicks for Shauna. Because now she wants to date Bart! Whoops! Maybe not what he was going for.

Regardless of that though, Bart and Shauna start spending a whole lot of time together, essentially dating, while we get a whole montage of weird movie references to show their relationship progressing. Until it all comes crashing down when Jimbo catches the two of them at a pool. And he is less than pleased. Jimbo is ready to beat the hell out of Bart, but he gets distracted when the lifeguard yells at him, giving Bart time to flee from the bullies.

Bart heads back to the house, hoping to gain sanctuary from the bullies and their punches. But when he gets to the house he finds them waiting there for him, ingratiating themselves with Marge since they aren’t Milhouse. Bart then wander off and ends up finding Shauna. They decide to go hide somewhere where the bullies will never find them, and pick the Android’s Dungeon. However, when they get there they quickly end up insulting Comic Book Guy, who just calls the bullies to come get them.

Hey, let’s finish off that Homer plot though. Even though Marge has told Homer to get rid of the treadmill he’s still obsessed with the show Stranded. So much in fact that he hosts some sort of discussion group for show that went off the air years ago. Which is a problem, because Homer starts getting really mad when the others spoil things he’s seen. This really pisses off Marge, who just starts spoiling the whole show for Homer, getting the two of them into a massive fight that ends with Homer saying Marge has spoiled their marriage.

Time to finish things up though. Because once fleeing from the Android’s Dungeon Bart and Shauna have no alternative but to go hide in Bart’s treehouse, avoiding the bullies. Things seem pretty dire, until Lisa show up to broker some sort of peace accords. They get Jimbo involved and agree that Shauna shouldn’t date either of them, and spend time finding herself. Everyone agrees to these terms, and things go back to normal. Oh, and Marge has some weird role-play sex with Homer that’s Stranded themed, fixing everything in that story too.

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This is another one of those episodes that doesn’t really have anything wrong with it, but that remains pretty forgettable. We’ve seen plenty of episodes by this point where Bart gets into relationships that seem way too advanced for him. True, this is maybe the most advanced for him, except for maybe that girl who was pregnant, and there’s really not much to this that differentiates it from those other episodes. It’s a little weird that a teenager flashes Bart in this episode, but they just kind of breeze past that and we just get trapped in some weird love-triangle shenanigans. I’m also not at all invested in this weird Homer plot where he and Marge get in a massive fight because Homer was watching some show she wanted to watch. It’s kind of a realistic fight that a married couple could have, but it doesn’t exactly make for exciting television. Oh well, things will get crazy the next two days.

Take Away: Avoid love triangles as much as possible.

 

“Beware My Cheating Bart” was written by Ben Joseph and directed by Mark Kirkland, 2012.

 

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