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The Simpsons Season 34 Episode 15 Review: The Simpsons Want To Go “Bart-less”

The Simpsons
Poster for the series, The Simpsons

Aired in 1989, The Simpsons is America’s longest-running sitcom with thirty-four seasons and well over seven hundred episodes to its name. Created by Matt Groening, the show portrays a hilarious take on an average American family. Originally created as a sixty-second shorts display, the show has now been running for thirty-four years.

Set in an imaginary town of Springfield and revolving around a barely functioning middle-class family, the series takes a lot of jabs at American culture, politics, media, and society. The Simpsons family includes Homer, the father, voiced by Dan Castellaneta, his wife, Marge Simpsons, voiced by Julie Kavner, and their three children.

Bart, the oldest, is ten years old and is played by Nancy Cartwright. Lisa, the eight-year-old middle child, is played by actress Yeardly Smith, and lastly, Maggie is the baby sister of the family, who does not speak much.

The family also owns a cat and a dog, which appear during different episodes, along with a plethora of quirky and blunt side characters. Homer is a safety director at a power plant, but opposite to his work requirements; he is very irresponsible and foolish.

Marge is a typical American trophy wife and the only sane one in the family. Bart, the prankster, puts the god of mischief to shame, Lisa is the philosophical child who is also a know-it-all, and Maggie is just a baby who can barely talk. 

The show released its thirty-fourth season on September 25th, 2022, and also put out the season’s fifteenth episode on March 5th, 2023.

The Simpsons

A still from the recent episode of the series, The Simpsons (Credits: IMDb)

The Simpsons Season 34 Episode 15 Storyline

The Simpsons is a story with characters inspired by creator Matt Groening’s own family members and is based in a town called Springfield. The town may be imaginary, but it has provided the makers with such creative liberty that they can transform the town into literally whatever they want according to their convenience. It is a universe on its own, and that helps them further use satire to comment on American reality. 

Over the years, the show has managed to gain such popularity that though season thirty-four is ongoing, it has already been renewed till season thirty-seven. It recently released its 742nd episode on March 5th, 2023, named “Bartless.” This episode revolves around another one of Bart’s pranks, this time involving his school and the Simpsons family suffering the consequences of it.

The episode starts off at Bart’s elementary school, where the kids are paired up with partners and reading books. Bart is partnered with a girl name Riley and is reading a book called “Everyone Loves Their Job.” He eventually turns to just making up a random story instead of reading the one in the book and ends up drawing the attention of the entire class.

While telling the story, he ends up doodling on the entire book, and his parents are called into school the next day. Where Marge and Homer had full intention of scolding Bart for drawing on the book, Ms. Peyton did quite the opposite. She praised Bart for managing to create interest in other students for drawing and reading. 

Bart’s parents are obviously left confused because somehow they always see the bad in their son, but people outside are always impressed with him. They seriously contemplate whether or not they like Bart as their son or not. We cut to the next scene, the Simpsons family wakes up in a grand house, but they suspect nothing. They start their day like any other and go wherever they need to be. 

A cut from the recent episode of the show, The Simpsons (Credits: IMDb)

A cut from the recent episode of the show, The Simpsons (Credits: IMDb)

Marge, who is working in an animal hospital, is the only one actually doing their job, and she hates the others for it. Once everyone’s day is over, the family, including Homer, Marge, Lisa, and Maggie, go out on a drive. Homer ends up hitting a boy with his car, and the boy tells them his name, Bart. They take him to a hospital, where they find he cannot really remember anything else except for his name.

Worried about what might happen to the boy, the family ends up taking him back to their place till they find a way to deal with him. Bart, being Bart starts annoying the entire family upon arrival. He pranks Lisa, and when Homer takes him with him to his workplace, he annoys everyone there too. 

The next day the Simpsons’ parents find Bart adjusting well with the other kids and eventually realize that he is not all that bad. With this realization also comes chief Wiggum from the police department to take Bart back to his orphanage. Homer and Bart run after the chief to get him back, only to realize that this was all a dream. 

The Simpsons Season 34 Episode 15 Review

The Simpsons follow the standard format of a sitcom, with the only exception being that it is animated. The show can be perceived as more or less a commentary on the American dream life and how it has incorporated itself into this average bourgeoisie class.

The characters of the show are typical but hilarious and witty. And maybe that is what is so interesting about the show, the fact that it manages to pull out good jokes even after thirty-four years of airing.

The show has taken heavy inspiration from real-life events and situations and has, at times, been called out for being too political. The makers of the series have admitted to being more inclined toward the liberal side of the spectrum. It has openly commented on almost all major forms of religion, the political situation of the State, the State of the education system, or the immigrants or the world-leading conglomerates.

The show has become a franchise of its own and has expanded from being just a show to now being incorporated into movies, video games, and comics

The recent episode of the series “Bartless” is focused on the idea of the Simpsons family imagining a life without Bart. They are so fed up with their kid that they are genuinely left to wonder if they even like him or not. The sheer reality of this thought makes the entire situation even more hilarious.  

The parents sitting on the porch and re-evaluating their decisions with regard to Bart is just so real and raw. But they are parents, after all, and they may have consciously wanted to throw Bart away, but deep down, every parent loves their child. The end of the episode portrays this well enough. 

The Simpsons

The original cast of the show, The Simpsons

Though unlike many other episodes, this one did not have many punchlines and blatant jokes or one-liners, it still did very well with its nuanced humor and subtle comedic tone under all that emotion and seriousness. Many may find this episode as not outright funny, but the entire plot of a family not wanting one member of their family and imagining a life without them is as dark as dark humor can get. 

The introductory scene with the kids reading their books but slowly getting more engrossed in Bart’s way of storytelling seems like an important aspect. Bart has finally found something he is good at, though he still destroys the book. It could also be observed as a slight commentary on the non-conventional ways of getting kids involved in tasks at school.

Our Verdict

A major part of the show turned out to be a dream, and if you have been a fan of the show or have kept track of it, this must have been easy to guess. It is also ironic how Homer and Marge were thinking of life without Bart, whereas fans of the show choose Bart as the most relatable and iconic character from the show. 

When the series was first released, as appreciated as the show was, Bart was the one character that was called a bad influence on kids and was called out for being such a nuisance to everyone around him. Both the real world and the reel one inside Springfield criticize Bart for being his ten-year-old kid self.

It is only the other kids that are his age and, eventually, the school administration who realizes his true potential. Could this show get more real? The entire episode may not be as funny as the rest, but it still is heavily nuanced and fun to watch.

With the episode’s predictable twist, it sure felt a bit dry and done before. Even so, the season is set to release its episode sixteenth on March 12th, 2023, named “Hostile Kirk Place,” and the fans could not be more excited. 

Our Rating: ⭐ (4/5).

Also Read: The Simpsons Season 34 Episode 16: Release Date, Spoilers & How To Watch

Written By

I am a content writer at OtakuKart. I live in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. I've done my Bachelor's in Psychology. In my free time I like to read books, watch movies and play badminton.

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