Lisa the Simpson

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"Lisa the Simpson"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 17
Directed by Susie Dietter
Written by Ned Goldreyer
Production code4F24
Original air dateMarch 8, 1998 (1998-03-08)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode features
Couch gag A vine grows in the middle of the living room. The Simpsons appear as fruits and vegetables. [1]
CommentaryBill Oakley
Josh Weinstein
Ned Goldreyer
Susie Dietter
Episode chronology
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"Dumbbell Indemnity"
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"This Little Wiggy"
The Simpsons (season 9)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"Lisa the Simpson" is the seventeenth episode of The Simpsons ' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 8, 1998. [2] In the episode, Lisa fears that she may be genetically predisposed to lose her intelligence after Grandpa tells her of a family gene that can permanently take away intelligence.

<i>The Simpsons</i> American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

<i>The Simpsons</i> (season 9) Episode list for season of animated series

The Simpsons' ninth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 1997 and May 1998, beginning on Sunday, September 21, 1997, with "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". With Mike Scully as showrunner for the ninth production season, the aired season contained three episodes which were hold-over episodes from season eight, which Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein ran. It also contained two episodes which were run by David Mirkin, and another two hold-over episodes which were run by Al Jean and Mike Reiss.

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American free-to-air television network that is a flagship property of the Fox Corporation. The network is headquartered at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, with additional offices at the Fox Broadcasting Center and at the Fox Television Center in Los Angeles.

Contents

"Lisa the Simpson" was written by Ned Goldreyer and directed by Susie Dietter. [2] This episode was the final episode with Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein as show runners. [2] It received generally positive reviews from critics, and is considered one of the best episodes of the ninth season.

Ned Goldreyer is a television writer, television producer and comedian who lives in Los Angeles.

Susan E. Dietter, usually credited as Susie Dietter, is an American director, known primarily for her work on television cartoons. She has directed episodes of the popular series Futurama, Baby Blues, The Simpsons, Recess and The Critic. She also worked as an animator for the modern-day Looney Tunes "Museum Scream" and "My Generation G... G... Gap".

Bill Oakley American writer and producer

William Lloyd Oakley is an American television writer and producer, known for his work on the animated comedy series The Simpsons. Oakley and Josh Weinstein became best friends and writing partners at high school; Oakley then attended Harvard University and was Vice President of the Harvard Lampoon. He worked on several short-term media projects, including writing for the variety show Sunday Best, but was then unemployed for a long period.

Plot

At Springfield Elementary, Lisa is presented with a brain teaser, which she is unable to solve. Following this incident, Lisa finds herself unable to perform simple tasks. Later, Lisa tells Grampa about her recent cognitive problems. He seems to recognize this, and tells Lisa about the "Simpson Gene", which apparently causes all members of the Simpson family to gradually lose their intelligence as they get older.

A brain teaser is a form of puzzle that requires thought to solve. It often requires thinking in unconventional ways with given constraints in mind; sometimes it also involves lateral thinking. Logic puzzles and riddles are specific types of brain teasers.

Gene Basic physical and functional unit of heredity

In biology, a gene is a sequence of nucleotides in DNA or RNA that codes for a molecule that has a function. During gene expression, the DNA is first copied into RNA. The RNA can be directly functional or be the intermediate template for a protein that performs a function. The transmission of genes to an organism's offspring is the basis of the inheritance of phenotypic trait. These genes make up different DNA sequences called genotypes. Genotypes along with environmental and developmental factors determine what the phenotypes will be. Most biological traits are under the influence of polygenes as well as gene–environment interactions. Some genetic traits are instantly visible, such as eye color or number of limbs, and some are not, such as blood type, risk for specific diseases, or the thousands of basic biochemical processes that constitute life.

Simpson family family of fictional characters

The Simpson family consists of fictional characters featured in the animated television series The Simpsons. The Simpsons are a nuclear family consisting of married couple Homer and Marge and their three children Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. They live at 742 Evergreen Terrace in the fictional town of Springfield, United States, and they were created by cartoonist Matt Groening, who conceived the characters after his own family members, substituting "Bart" for his own name. The family debuted on Fox on April 19, 1987 in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" and were later spun off into their own series, which debuted on Fox in the U.S. on December 17, 1989.

Meanwhile, Jasper visits the Kwik-E-Mart and attempts to empty the freezer containing ice cream in order to freeze himself, with the intention of being defrosted sometime in the distant future. Apu decides to take advantage of this unusual situation for financial gain. The convenience store becomes more profitable as a tourist trap, until the freezer's cooling system fails, causing Jasper to defrost and walk away. Apu then decides to turn the Kwik-E-Mart into the "Nude-E-Mart".

Kwik-E-Mart fictional shop in the television series The Simpsons

The Kwik-E-Mart is a convenience store in the animated television series The Simpsons. It is a parody of American convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven and Wawa Inc., and depicts many of the stereotypes about them. It is notorious for its high prices and the poor quality of its merchandise. It is run by an Indian-American named Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. It first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head" and has since become a common setting in The Simpsons.

Ice cream A frozen dessert

Ice cream is a sweetened frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert. It may be made from dairy milk or cream and is flavored with a sweetener, either sugar or an alternative, and any spice, such as cocoa or vanilla. Colourings are usually added, in addition to stabilizers. The mixture is stirred to incorporate air spaces and cooled below the freezing point of water to prevent detectable ice crystals from forming. The result is a smooth, semi-solid foam that is solid at very low temperatures. It becomes more malleable as its temperature increases. Vegan ice cream-substitutes can be made using soy, cashew, coconut or almond milk.

Suspended animation slowing or stopping of life processes without termination

Suspended animation is the temporary slowing or stopping of biological function so that physiological capabilities are preserved. It may be either hypometabolic or ametabolic in nature. It may be induced by either endogenous, natural or artificial biological, chemical or physical means. In its natural form it may be spontaneously reversible as in the case of species demonstrating hypometabolic states of hibernation or require technologically mediated revival when applied with therapeutic intent in the medical setting as in the case of deep hypothermic circulatory arrest ('DHCA')

Lisa appears on the TV news program Smartline to tell the citizens of Springfield to treasure their brains. As she does this, Homer decides to prove her wrong, and contacts the entire extended Simpson family to visit. However, when they arrive, Homer realizes they are also unsuccessful, unintelligent people, which only depresses Lisa further and causes Homer to send them home.

Springfield (<i>The Simpsons</i>) Fictional city in the United States from the Simpsons universe

Springfield is a fictional town in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, which serves as its main setting. A mid-sized town in an undetermined state of the United States, Springfield acts as a complete universe in which characters can explore the issues faced by modern society. The geography of the town and its surroundings are flexible, changing to address whatever an episode's plot calls for.

However, before they leave, Marge urges Homer to talk to the Simpson women. Reluctantly, he talks to them at her request and he discovers that the women are all successful. Lisa asks why the women in her family were not affected by the "Simpson Gene". Dr. Simpson reveals that the defective gene is only found in the Y-chromosome and only the males are affected. As a female, Dr. Simpson tells Lisa that she will be successful like them. She is relieved that she is fine and she will not suffer the "Simpson Gene". Bart asks Homer if he will suffer the "Simpson Gene" due to his sex. When he admits that Bart will, he is wary and bemoaning his future. However, Homer reassures him that he will be a spectacular failure.

Marjorie Jacqueline "Marge" Simpson is a fictional character in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Marge was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his mother Margaret Groening. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three seasons, the Simpson family received their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.

The episode ends with Lisa finally being able to solve the brain teaser she was unable to finish earlier in the episode. [2] [3]

Production

This episode was the final episode that was run by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, as it was a carry-over episode from season eight. The episode was written by Ned Goldreyer, and is one of the two episodes he has written on The Simpsons. Susie Dietter, one of the directors of the show, also left the show after this episode, but returned for one episode in season 18, "Yokel Chords". [4]

As it was the final episode they ran, Oakley and Weinstein wanted to end on a good note, with Weinstein stating that the episode "was meant to embody the humor, depth, and emotions of The Simpsons". [5] They also wished to have an episode they ran that was based on the background of every character they could do, and believed that this episode came out well. [5] The name of the episode was the center of an argument that Oakley and Goldreyer had, as Oakley had originally wanted to have the episode named "Lisa the Simpson", although Goldreyer wanted to name it "Suddenly Stupid", a pun on a show that had been airing at the time called Suddenly Susan . [6]

The Simpsons' family members that showed up took some time to be made, but the staff enjoyed the results. [5] All of the male Simpson family members that showed up were voiced by Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer. He had asked for the recording tape to be run for about 20 minutes, so he could do many different voice variations that would fit the different men, but still be close to Homer's voice. [5]

Reception

In its original broadcast, "Lisa the Simpson" finished 19th in ratings for the week of March 2–8, 1998, with a Nielsen rating of 10.7, equivalent to approximately 10.4 million viewing households. It was the second highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, following The X-Files . [7]

IGN's Todd Gilchrist named the episode as one of his favorites of the ninth season in his review of the DVD boxset. [8] The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, thought well of the episode, saying, "A terrific episode, with a good mix of pathos (Lisa's farewell to the Springsonian and her favourite jazz club are inspired) and fun (her Homeresque 'woo-hoo') which comes together to make a refreshing and exciting look at Lisa's life." [1]

Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein greatly enjoyed the episode and thought of it as a great final episode that they ran. On the DVD audio commentary, writer Ned Goldreyer stated, "I think this might have been the best episode ever produced." [6]

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Grampa Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Abraham Jebediah "Abe" Simpson II, better known as Grampa Simpson, is a main character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He made his first appearance in the episode entitled "Grampa and the Kids", a one-minute Simpsons short on The Tracey Ullman Show, before the debut of the television show in 1989.

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon character from The Simpsons

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is a recurring character in the animated TV series The Simpsons. He is an Indian immigrant proprietor who runs the Kwik-E-Mart, a popular convenience store in Springfield, and is best known for his catchphrase, "Thank you, come again." He is voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head".

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References

  1. 1 2 Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Lisa the Simpson". BBC. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Gimple, Scott (1999). The Simpsons Forever!: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ...Continued . Harper Collins Publishers. p. 32. ISBN   0-06-098763-4.
  3. "Lisa the Simpson" The Simpsons.com. Retrieved on October 28, 2007
  4. Dietter, Susie (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Lisa the Simpson" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Oakley, Bill (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Lisa the Simpson" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  6. 1 2 Goldreyer, Ned (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Lisa the Simpson" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  7. Associated Press (March 12, 1998). "WB beats its own record". Rocky Mountain News. p. 9D.
  8. Gilchrist, Todd (2006-12-21). "The Simpsons - The Complete Ninth Season". IGN. Retrieved 2007-11-02.