Episode 8 - Lisa's Pony
27 December 2010
Synopsis: Homer lets Lisa down once too often and he is horrified to see the lack of love in her eyes. In order to get it back he buys her a pony. This of course costs money and so he takes a night job at the Kwik-e-Mart. This means Homer is permanently sleep deprived and Lisa is forced to give up the pony.
The Good: This is a typically sweet father-daughter story with Homer recognising the importance of his relationship with his daughter and Lisa acknowledging his belated efforts.
Along the way the story was fairly logical with gentle satire of all the institutions involved. The school talent show is predictably awful with everyone involved dreading the process and Skinner announcing that he has bolted the doors to prevent parents from sneaking out after their child's performance.
Then Homer gets a loan to buy the horse which he only gets because of Mr Burns lust for seeing the less fortunate come begging. The stables are run by a classic patrician female owner who teaches Lisa pronunciation at no extra cost. Homer goes to work at the Kwik-e-Mart where his incompetence and sleep deprivation apparently make him no worse an employee than any of his predecessors.
The Bad: The episode was fine but it probably could have been structured in a different way. A whole third of the running time was dedicated to Homer's initial blunder with the saxophone reed. Any old inadequate bit of parenting could have been chosen and rushed through quicker to give us longer with Lisa falling for her horse and having a real dilemma over what to do.
Best Joke: The episode was also low on actual jokes. For subtlety I enjoyed Bart and Lisa sitting in the dark watching Johnny Carson on TV. He cracks a joke about Milli Vanilli which the audience laugh at but makes no impression on them. "Well" Bart comments "it's still fun to be up late."
The Bottom Line: An enjoyable story about Homer's lazy parental love.
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