Behind Us Forever: Teenage Mutant Milk-caused Hurdles

One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish13

“Now, come on, you’re going to learn how to shave.” – Homer Simpson

I completely didn’t realize there was a new episode last week.  Ignorance is truly bliss.  This week, Homer goes to the store to buy milk, and ends up getting a new kind that pushes both of his kids into early onset puberty, which basically means zits for Lisa and a mustache for Bart.  Meanwhile, there’s a new, hot teacher at the school and Bart and Skinner compete with each other for her attention.  If it was coherent in the least it’d be weird, instead it’s just the usual Zombie Simpsons mess.

– La-Z Rider couch gag was kinda fun, and sucked a minute and a half out of the episode. Good for it.

– We open on thirty seconds of chaos in the classroom while Willie reads poetry. For the record, that’s 10% of the show gone and not a single word written by the staff. This might be the best episode of the season.

– Nevermind. Willie just pre-explained a vaping joke.

– The new teacher is a cool army vet. Bart’s inner monologue is explaining to us how he’s feeling about this.

– Homer is driving now and singing that he has a legal BAC. Then he passes Wiggum, who says, “I like it when the drivers sing their blood alcohol level”. It’s not enough for them to (repeatedly) tell us what we’re seeing, now they’re telling us they like doing it.

– Case in point: Homer just said, “Woo-hoo, I’m running a basic errand.”

– Apu and Homer are discussing fancy milk. Apu then tells us we’re about to watch a video. Guess what happens next? Go on. Guess.


– The video took forty seconds.

– Homer, Bart and Marge are in the kitchen acting surprised that Bart’s hair is combed. Homer then narrates and explains a sign gag before asking Bart to restate the plot about his cool new teacher.

– Still in the kitchen. Still restating the teacher plot.

– Bart’s hanging out with the new teacher by telling us about things we didn’t see. Novel.

– Montage!

– Skinner just appeared out of nowhere, and we got everything explained out loud again by Skinner’s brain, Bart’s brain, and then the new teacher’s brain.

– Lisa and Bart are both starting puberty apparently, so their natural, child like reaction is to run into their parents room and exposit about it.

– Marge says, “I just read about it in Thing magazine.” Then she holds up the magazine.

– Homer is teaching Bart to shave. Huh. Never seen that before.

– It’s apparently recess, and Skinner is expositing as a way of hitting on the new teacher.

– Lisa is wearing makeup now to cover up her new acne. This leads to more inner monologue exposition, which is apparently this week’s theme: “Oh, my God. I’m popular. Hope this doesn’t go to my head. It went right to my head!”

– Bart’s getting tutored by the new teacher, so Skinner walks in from nowhere to continue their pointless romantic rivalry.

– The milk puberty plot is rolling along in the kitchen again. Much explaining.

– Oof. So Homer calls the milk hotline, which Snake picks up in jail. Snake then carves the address into some guy’s head. It sucks when they repeat themselves. It sucks more when they repeat Family Guy.

– Having caught Skinner making out with the new teacher in the hallways (you know, cause it’s a school), Bart just walks into Skinner’s office. Skinner then explains how he’s dating the teacher. Also, Bart’s mustache looks weird.


It looks like a barnacle.  

– Aaaand now we’re back in the hall where Skinner is talking to the new teacher, and Bart signs for a delivery of “Pets” after expositing that he needs a way to derail Skinner’s happiness.

– I may be having an embolism, but I actually think this episode is getting worse. Skinner and the new teacher are making out in the teacher’s lounge. Then Skinner opens a box of chocolates that contains a bunch of animals who promptly disappear. Skinner then explains that they’ve been pranked, which causes Willy to materialize out of no where to plot revenge.

– Lisa is now at a party for popular kids and think expositing again. Then she gets on a table and starts explaining things, causing a voice from off screen to yell, “Is there a point to this?”. Good on you, voice from off screen.

– Lisa’s skin, it turns out, is fine because, as she helpfully explained to us, “the bad milk wore off”.

– Ralph pops out of nowhere and Lisa acts like she’s never met him.

– Bart is in his room still plotting revenge. Lisa then appears to restate the plot again, just in case we in the audience didn’t remember the last five times they explained it.

– Skinner and the teacher are at a skating rink. Bart is also there because reasons.

– Skinner’s mother then appears to break up his relationship, then Bart and Milhouse and Skinner go hang out and roast marshmallows.  Didn’t see that coming.

– And we end on Bart and Lisa fighting in the kitchen before Maggie picks them both up and Homer explains that she can do that because she’s still drinking the milk. That’s right, they actually ended the episode with Homer expositing a joke. Points for consistency, I guess.

The NFL ran long yesterday, so primetime didn’t even start until 8:20 on FOX and the numbers are currently a mess, but the first pass has them at 6.44 million.  The final ones will be higher than normal because they always are after playoff football, but that’s pretty week considering.  Last week, even with an NFL lead-in, Zombie Simpsons was watched by just 4.42 million people.

28 Responses to “Behind Us Forever: Teenage Mutant Milk-caused Hurdles”

  1. 1 Frank
    11 January 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Bart’s ‘stache looks like Ned’s.

    Also the couch gag was pretty awesome, but I’m a sucker for 80s nostalgia, despite how sucky they might have been for actual real people.

  2. 2 Mayah Quimby
    11 January 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Rat milk? You promised me dog or higher!

  3. 11 January 2016 at 3:01 pm

    I haven’t seen the episode, but I saw the couch gag, and it made me think:

    “Faster, Knight Couch! Oh no, they’re headed upstairs – we’ll never catch them now!”
    “Incorrect, look – a freight elevator!”
    “Aww, every week there’s an elevator.”
    “Or a crane.”
    “Or a rope and a pulley.”
    “Quiet! I will not hear another word against the couch!”

    Also I heard that there was a David Bowie reference in the episode – a cat with heterochromia. Well-timed. :(

  4. 6 Disenchanted Viewer
    11 January 2016 at 5:12 pm

    They aired just a month ago an episode about Bart and Lisa’s adolescence (Barthood) where they didn’t take any advantage of having the characters aging. Couldn’t they put this puberty shit into that episode, where it was age appropriate, and put the trite, contrived family conflicts of that episode in this one, if they really needed? In this way they didn’t need to come up with this milk-hormones shit to lamely justify the episode. Once more it’s clear how much confused and worn out they are, at the point of not being able to sort out the content of the episodes with any coherence.

  5. 8 Brad M
    11 January 2016 at 11:18 pm

    “For the record, that’s 10% of the show gone and not a single word written by the staff.”

    Homer says “damn reruns” at the end of the couch gag.

  6. 9 Mr. Incognito
    12 January 2016 at 2:48 am

    Good couch gag, but as is standard for these days, it’s the best part of the show. What a sad yet bizarre outing, but also standard for these days.

    And also, having watched the second episode, can we call Bordertown yet another MacFarlane now? Talking babies? Check. Non-sequiturs that try too hard and take up too much time? Check. Course plots that resolve themselves somehow? Check.

    There’s some funny bits and lines, but overall: What a waste of staff. The writing reeks of micromanaging by Hentemann and MacFarlane. It’s looking more and more like, as well as serve as, a Hispanic Cleveland Show (even though the premise surrounds 2–count ’em, 2–families.) I’m sure Seth will find a way to get the show to that magical number 88 and pocket the syndication money.

  7. 11 Sara_sp
    12 January 2016 at 2:58 pm

    I missed behind us forever, thank you

  8. 12 Dobis
    12 January 2016 at 6:54 pm

    They really want to age the kids up, don’t they? First Barthood and now this…

  9. 16 Bartesque
    12 January 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Why are you still doing this, Charlie? Nobody gives a flying doo about that show anymore. Even Mad Jon himself has quit. If it weren’t for the damn games they would’ve gotten away with 3 mil viewers tops, and even that’s pure luck.
    It’s 2016 now. There are no “Simpsons” in 2016.

  10. 18 Anonymous
    12 January 2016 at 9:35 pm

    It really feels like they should just break the formula and let the characters age (after renaming the show to New Simpsons or something so it is more separated from the classic). That way they chould make episodes that deal with puberty properly instead of what we got. I still can’t believe that Bart has a bigger mustache than Flanders and no one seems to care that he is only 10.

    • 19 Bartesque
      12 January 2016 at 9:44 pm

      This isn’t Bart anymore. His name is Dr. Zoidbart.

    • 20 Disenchanted Viewer
      13 January 2016 at 2:58 pm

      As far as I remember, 7-8 years ago fans asked Al Jean why they wouldn’t let the characters age and he replied that it would kill the show. If that makes any sense, I think the show died decades ago.

      Since I doubt Charlie will post about it, I’ll update you on the ratings.
      The final numbers are 3.6 (rating) in young adults 18-49 and 8.33 million viewers. FYI, the football match just before had 12.1 in 18-49 and 38.85 million viewers. A big drop, considering viewer retention out of football used to be great, even in the recent past.
      Last year the episode after the wild card game scored 4.71 and 10.62 million viewers. To be fair, last year that episode didn’t have to compete with the Golden Globe Awards, that partially justify the drop. That said, episodes this season are tracking 10-20% lower ratings than last season, which is pretty big for the show. Had the ratings dropped >10% from season to season it wouldn’t have lasted 27 fucking years.
      Last but not least, football lead-ins are over now and the next 11 episodes of the season will have no boost in the ratings. Good luck!!!! (not)

      • 21 Bartesque
        13 January 2016 at 9:24 pm

        Since when are the 18-49 demographic considered “young adults”? Maybe you meant 18-24?

        • 22 Disenchanted Viewer
          14 January 2016 at 12:23 am

          Yeah, you’re right, I don’t consider myself a ‘young adult’ even if I’m in that range. I picked that term up from a ratings website, maybe ‘TV by the numbers’, but it may not be used anymore. And yes, I meant adults 18-49. I may start using ‘nuts and gum’, though.

    • 23 Sarah J
      15 January 2016 at 9:07 pm

      Yeah. Once in a while ZS would do an episode where Bart and/or Lisa have to deal with “teen” issues, but since they aren’t teenagers they’re always done in some weird way to justify the conflict. Like the teen pregnancy episode where Bart dates a pregnant teenager. Letting the characters age certainly wouldn’t save the show, but they could do these kinds of plots without being so stupid.

      • 24 Stan
        15 January 2016 at 10:40 pm

        Family Guy syndrome. You have to have 2 adults, 1 or 2 teenagers and some weird shit baby/pet thing. Either that, or it’s unwatchable and fuck all.
        Gawd I know too much about all the fucking shtick they’re using in sitcoms nowadays…

  11. 15 January 2016 at 1:21 pm

    I loved the couch gag, I want to watch a whole episode of La-Z Rider.
    The episode itself… ugh. Also, I had to Google the episode title because I thought “teenage mutant milk-caused hurdles” was a joke, not the actual title :P

    • 26 Stan
      15 January 2016 at 3:13 pm

      This is where they hired a parrot to come up with episode names. Sometimes, though, they come to a large stomp in the forest and listen to it when the wind blows. That’s how they know what the next title pun would be.

  12. 27 Sarah J
    15 January 2016 at 9:08 pm

    The episode title is awful, just awful. Was that really the best they could come up with?

  13. 28 Bonkfast
    15 January 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I kinda liked Wiggum saying, “I love when they sing their BAC”. I know explaining jokes isn’t usually funny, but one thing I’ve liked about when The Simpsons does it is because you’re not expecting them to say that exact thing. Examples from the classic era include:

    Carl: “Way to play the boss’s head like a bongo!”

    Yes, Carl just explained what Homer was doing, but you would have expected him to say something like “Way to go!” or “Way to rebel!” That’s a very specific thing to congratulate someone for. And while I know we all hated this episode…

    Lenny: “Ow! My eye! I’m not supposed to get pudding in it!”

    Specifically pudding? And of course…

    Homer: “Let your children run wild and free, just like that old saying: Let your children run wild and free.”

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