128th-Final, Round 6: Itchy & Scratchy Land vs. Bart Sells His Soul

128th-final, round 6: 2F01 vs. 3F02.

Itchy & Scratchy Land vs. Bart Sells His Soul

2F01: “Itchy & Scratchy Land” (Season 6 / October 2, 1994)
Written by John Swartzwelder. Directed by Wes Archer
Showrunner: David Mirkin

vs.

3F02: “Bart Sells His Soul” (Season 7 / October 8, 1995)
Written by Greg Daniels. Directed by Wes Archer
Showrunners: Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein

Both episodes belong in the Simpsons pantheon, but I can only choose one right now, and I’m going with “Itchy & Scratchy Land.”

If I had to come up with a reason I’d argue that 2F01 works better as a whole, while “Bart Sells His Soul,” with the B-plot about Moe’s family restaurant, feels more like two separate stories stitched together. Which is not not a bad thing, at all, but these two episodes are of such a high quality that directly pitting them against each other means coming up with even the tiniest “flaws,” as it were.

So long, 3F02. We’ll always have I. Ron Butterfly.

The winner: 2F01, ” Itchy & Scratchy Land.”

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Round 12: Bart Sells His Soul vs. Wedding for Disaster

Round 12: 3F02 vs. LABF05.

3F02: “Bart Sells His Soul” (Season 7 / October 8, 1995)
Written by Greg Daniels
Directed by Wes Archer
Showrunners: Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein

Reverend Lovejoy counting the collection money

Milhouse: “But every religion says there’s a soul, Bart. Why would they lie? What would they have to gain?”

Another episode where I don’t really know what to write here. I didn’t take any notes, because even on the umpteenth viewing, I was too enthralled in the jokes, the story, the observations  the animation, the voice acting (“Hitchcock stole every idea I ever had!“), and of course the music (“In the Garden of Eden”).

  • The B-plot with Moe’s Family Restaurant was fun, too, even if it didn’t have any connection to Bart’s story. (I like when the stories come together organically in the end, but here they’d have had to force it, so I’m glad they didn’t.)
  • Again, the kids behave like kids, not small version of adults. (Lisa: “Where’d you get five bucks? I want five bucks!”)
  • Love the Itchy & Scratchy. (“Skinless in Seattle”)

LABF05: “Wedding for Disaster” (Season 20 / March 29, 2009)
Written by Joel H. Cohen
Directed by Chuck Sheetz
Showrunner: Al Jean

Homer with Marge in chains.

Ugh.

The winner: Take a wild guess.