The Simpsons has stayed relevant for twenty-two seasons by staying abreast of and lampooning current pop culture trends. This season kicks off with just that in mind.
Lisa is suffering a bit of middle child anxiety. Marge wants to make it up to her and gives her the chance to go to Performing Arts Camp for a week. Her fellow camp mates are voiced by three of Glee’s lead actors, Lea Michelle, Cory Monteith and Amber Riley. They welcome her by serenading her with a rendition of “Good Vibrations.”
Her camp counselors are voiced by the folk singing duo of Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie of HBO’s The Flight of the Conchords.
Of course, Lisa falls in love with the camp’s artistic freedom and lifestyle. So it comes as no surprise that the week goes by too quickly and she is in despair about returning to her mundane art-free life in Springfield. She runs away to Sprooklyn (a borough of Springfield) to find Jemaine and Bret and live a life filled with beauty and creativity. As Lisa soon learns, being a starving artist is not all it’s cracked up to be and she returns home.
The subplot is that Krusty the Clown wins the Nobel Peace Prize and takes Bart and Homer with him to Oslo to accept it. Of course it is all a ruse and he is actually being brought to The Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity and animals. It is up to Homer and Bart to save the day.
Overall the episode was good (as usual), but the Glee cast appearance was much too overhyped for what it was. They sang the one song and it wasn’t necessarily a show stopper. However, the use of Jemaine and Bret was clever and really made the show. Their ditty about Lisa being too itty bitty for the big city was funny.
After all of these years, you know what to expect from The Simpsons and they rarely fail to deliver. Now if Sue Sylvester had shown up to shatter Lisa’s artistic dreams, now that would’ve been something.