Preview / speculation about the upcoming episodes of The Simpsons.

GlitterCat

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This upcoming ep makes me uncomfortable. I've struggled with anorexia and body image for years. I cried yesterday because we were low on food options so I ate an uncrustable pbj sandwich (it has 11% daily saturated fat), to give an example of how pervasive the mindset is. I know deep down one sandwich will not make me go up 4 dress sizes, yet I still feel immense guilt over eating any little thing. I'm doing better than I used to be, I was hospitalized in 2015 for anorexia but it is a lifelong struggle and seeing fetish art triggers it because no matter what the scale says I look at the obese female character and think I'm that big. I doubt the subject will be handled sensitively so I'm probably gonna skip it.
 

Brad Lascelle

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You wouldn't think an episode with a 15 promo pic drop would be doing such a capable job of keeping us firmly in the dark about its conflict and how effectively/sensitively it will approach its subject matter, but that's clearly the situation we find ourselves in here. Granted, when 10 of those promo shots were taken from what will undoubtedly be the opening 4-5 minute setup portion of the episode and one was from the token commercial spot so the marketing team can dishonestly misrepresent this ep as being Homer-centric, it's not THAT surprising.

What we're left with is 4 promo shots that may infer anything at all about how they'll approach Lisa's Belly (aka Lisa's Date with Density II)...

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The two promo shots featuring Patty and Selma reveal the most about how this episode may play out. The first shot has Lisa wearing a hoodie largely hiding her weight from the world and the 2nd shot has her proudly casting it aside which would infer that they have succeeded in both cheering her up and giving her confidence that her body image is not the be all and end all. They're not troubled by how they look so she shouldn't be either.

The other tell-tale hint from these two images is that Lisa is wearing what appears to be a gaudy necklace... clearly from her aunt's jewelry collection. It may have simply been placed upon her while cheering her up. Or it could imply that Lisa is so displeased with her mother that she has moved in with her aunts and the necklace reflects that she's now on Team Bouvier... not at all unlike how her absence of pearls reflected a similar conflict journey with her mother in How Lisa Got Her Marge Back.

The other two shots don't reveal much. The change room scene with Shauna is most likely from early Act 2. Lisa's expression and attire clearly reflects her displeasure with her mother over attempting to buy her an unflattering outfit to shame her into "losing her belly". The last shot appears to come from the end of the episode where Marge and Lisa have mended their ways... no doubt before the inevitable status quo reset where Lisa goes back to her conventional look.

We don't know what Marge tells Lisa to set her off on this path; we just see footage from the scene at the waterpark where the "hurtful word" was said. There has been established friction between the two of them over Lisa's vegetarianism but we have little else to draw upon.

We also have no idea how Lisa will struggle with her weight. We see her riding on a hot dog cart with her aunts but it could merely be utilized here as a prop for a musical number and may not at all relate to the source of her dietary struggle.

In King-Size Homer, we knew ahead of time that Homer would be putting on the pounds intentionally so he could work from home. In The Heartbroke Kid, we knew ahead of time that insidious marketing would compel Bart to gorge himself on unhealthy junk food courtesy of Scammer and Z-Dog. Both Sweets and Sour Marge and Walking Big & Tall focused more on the pre-existing unhealthy habits of Springfield's citizenry as opposed to exploring a personal challenge with something new and untoward.

That latter episode is interesting in how it too was deceptively promoted... playing up the town anthem crisis that opened the episode and largely sidestepping the main plot in the description outside of Homer learning about "Wide Pride".

We also have little to go on from the Simpsons many social media platforms. Matt Selman seems more preoccupied with shilling tie-in merch for I, Carumbus than his new episode that's about to air. This is Juliet Kaufman's first script (she's been a production assistant since Season 28 so this is by no means a freelance effort) so we have no track record to lean upon outside of the reassurance that a female voice was tasked with framing this episode's message. Which isn't something I want to downplay... I'd be having much more apprehension if this ep was the brainchild of Tim Long or one of the other long-term male staffers who have no personal frame of reference for a women's weight struggles.

We have also seen little to nothing of Bart getting swole. Frankly, I consider it ballsy (or should that be "tone-deaf") of the show's marketing team to pitch a "World's Greatest Dad / Homer is Father of the Year" bumper in advance of an episode where Homer's two oldest kids will be putting on the pounds and, I suspect, he'll be largely removed from both of their inner conflicts.

My natural instinct is to lean with @GlitterCat on this one... because how could you trust the show's staff to handle this subject matter with grace and sensitivity when their approach thus far has been to call the episode "Lisa's Belly", promo the episode with Homer and otherwise tap dance around the subject matter in the synopsis and obfuscating you were doing just that by flooding us with shots of the opening 4-5 minutes. And then barely talk about the episode otherwise.

Thing is, I have such little regard for this marketing team that I'm not sure they'd be handling things any differently whether the episode treated this material with the utmost sensitivity and care or not. This is Selman so I do expect this episode will remain focused from beginning to end. Bart's subplot will clearly be triggered by the main and isn't likely to just fizzle out and be forgotten midway through like so many Jean subplots are. Even his worst and most detached subplot (Homer washing dishes at the Greek restaurant in The Girl Code) was maintained throughout the duration. Bailey's involvement will ensure the direction will shine and make use of the pastels in the color palette that are often otherwise ignored.

Voice direction is going to be absolutely pivotal here... as this episode is going to be carried by Julie and Yeardley's performances. We've seen that dynamic flourish under Selman before via The Marge-ian Chronicles, Springfield Splendor and Panic on the Streets of Springfield. If this episode measures up to those prior efforts, this episode stands a decent shot of delivering a solid consensus reception... which is something that Season 33 has otherwise lacked up until now.
 

CousinMerl

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It really is baffling they are being so secretive about the episode (Lisa's Belly) and barely have said or shown much of it (feels most of the promo images mostly depict the first half of the main plot, especially as I don't see any hints of the supposed conflict between Lisa & Marge, and there's absolutely no images of the subplot). It is rarely they keep us viewers in the dark so much so I'm getting more and more worried as well, especially as I don't know what to think due to the extremely vagueness.

Either they are proud of the episode they have put together and want it to be a surprise or they are feeling a little unsure about it (the latter feels unlikely, but the thought it still in my mind) & with how the premise already rubbing some the wrong way, with some (such as @GlitterCat) feeling really uncomfortable about it and even plan to skip it on it is a bad sign (when you have an episode that make people uncomfortable and turn some viewers away, then there's an obvious problem).

I really hope that Selman & the new writer can pull it off despite how sketchy the episode seems even up until this point and it is time the season really lifted since it has appeared kinda limp so far, especially with the voting consensus being a little all over the place for the episodes released so far (which @Brad Lascelle pointed out), and this might, possibly be the one (again, depending on how they handle it in the end and since it is not a Jean episode, it feels very slightly more reassuring).

If they somehow bungle it (especially in the terms of how sensitive they are about the subject of body image, positivity and such), I can see this becoming one of the more objectionable episodes as of late. Really hoping it won't be that bad.
 
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Bohdan

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Regarding thosr promo images for ASF1. Personally, I think Barb fake someway and actually involves to that "collector" problem. Either just in 1st act, or till the end of whole story and thus (correctly, in this way) status quo WILL be saved

Yes, she looks nice, but, something wrong…🧐 (don't forget, it's detective story)
 
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Brad Lascelle

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Conducted a little bit of extended research since my initial preview and I believe a lot of what I've found out has shed light on Sunday's episode... which is actually pretty damn ambitious by modern animation standards. Let alone the bar of expectation we've attributed to modern Simpsons.

First of all, Lisa's "belly" won't have anything to do with her overeating as was the case in the aforementioned earlier episodes that focused on Bart and Homer putting on the pounds. It's also the reason why the weight isn't showing up everywhere as it did in their cases (see Venomrabbit's comment about why her face isn't chunky).

What's she's actually experiencing is a condition known as kwashiorkor... or, more commonly referenced as protein malnutrition. While it's more common geographically in places where famine has ravaged communities, it can crop up elsewhere if you have poor dietary habits without a steady supply of protein. And a distended stomach due to fluid buildup is not an unusual symptom if and when it crops up in children.

This episode's premise actually has a whole hell of a lot more in common with the B-plot of Penny-Wiseguys than the other episodes we've been comparing it with. And it's going to take a far more pragmatic and mature stance on the issue than that episode did when Lisa resorted to eating insects to combat an iron deficiency.

So here's what's going to happen. Lisa will discover in the opening act that her mother has been secretly sneaking meat into her diet without her knowledge. She'll flip out and probably insist on preparing meals herself. But because her favourite veggies won't offer the protein she needs, she's going to develop kwashiorkor and get extremely self-conscious about her physical appearance. Her aunts cheer her up and then the episode will transition into its body positivity message. With the conclusion being that Lisa will incorporate more beans, lentils and soy in her diet to give her the daily protein that she needs to stay healthy and Marge will stop sneaking meat into her food.

I'm probably still off-base on some of the specifics of how the plot will unfold... but it's the most logical and straightforward explanation.
 
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OKay I think that'd be an interesting direction but also, it doesn't sound terribly feasible. At least the kwashiorkor condition. I think they have mentoned she's had nutrient deficiencies before (don't remember the ep but she started eating bugs for a while) Like I don't really expect the staff to entirely know about that, and considering the "hurtful words" itsounds a lot more like it's about gaining weight out of spite.

I mean, in a way I'd kinda love for there to be a takeaway that she shouldn't have to be thin or feel pretty to be her own person and it'd be an inventive and surprsingly sweet use for Patty and Selma considering a lot of jokes with them is "they're so ugly that (x)"

Then again, a bit of research into scammers (particularly Jim Browning) didn't exactly support Bart's In Jail's assessment of scammers. And last time they did something like this, like I said, they did outright have a big strong man swoop in to save the day. (well, boy at least) It's not like men can't get eating disorders but still, it's not presented that way in SWtE.

So, with Patty and Selma hopefully being important than maybe there's a slight chance that, being presented as a women's issue, it'll be kept between women. On the other hand, also not got much reason to have faith in either Jean or Selman in that regard.

I suppose one of the other ways that are really unlikely but would've been interesting is if it does take the "it's okay to not be thin/pretty" thing and it ended up catching on with a lot of her peers (at the very least, actually getting them to be more open and accepting of themselves. Pretty sure out of the Springfield Elementary lot, only Janey, Shauna, Jimbo and Dolph are actually lean) and Bart's sudden turn to fitness is either trying to steal that thunder or being an insensitive ass.

Also props to the marketing team for once, I'm gonna have to actually watch if I want to see the eldrich nightmare that should be Swole Bart.

Also, I'm really sorry to hear that, Glitter...
 

HomerFan1998

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I feel like Lisa's Belly could probably be a sequel to The Heartbroke Kid (where Bart was fat), and The Heartbroke Kid probably should've been the sequel to King-Size Homer (where Homer becomes very fat)
 

HomerFan1998

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Sorry for the double post, but I have a theory that 'Mothers and Others Strangers' might probably be a Santa's Little Helper episode. So maybe it could be a flashback about Santa's Little Helper and his mother?
 

Bohdan

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CousinMerl

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I must say that @Brad Lascelle's take on what 'Lisa's Belly' will be about sounds really intriguing and quite complex, but it maybe does seem a little too complex for the show, maybe especially with how it usually tends to be in the HD era. I would still like it if it did tackle such a topic with gusto, but I am still a little doubtful it'll get too deep into the subject, but then again, an episode such as 'Bart's In Jail!' did tackle the problem of telephone scammers in an surprisingly mature and serious fashion so I'd probably not be surprised if it did take a more complicated route. Either way, it will be an interesting one to see.
 

HomerFan1998

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Never mind, we'll just have to wait until somewhere in November before we can find out what else will happen in Mothers and Other Strangers
 

speedie

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Regarding thosr promo images for ASF1. Personally, I think Barb fake someway and actually involves to that "collector" problem. Either just in 1st act, or till the end of whole story and thus (correctly, in this way) status quo WILL be saved

Yes, she looks nice, but, something wrong…🧐 (don't forget, it's detective story)
Where did it say it was a detective story? Just curious
 

HomerFan1998

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So far Jessica Conrad has yet to write one of the upcoming UABF production cycle episodes (probably for one of the first seven holdover UABF episodes for Season 34 next year), I know she'll be the Co-Producer for the UABF production cycle, along with Cesar Mazariegos, I know I kinda already said that before, but... Yep!
 

Bohdan

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Where did it say it was a detective story? Just curious
Well, not exactly detective:P. It's crime story (according to sources), which means as well as crimes as their investigation (in my opinion) - kinda... detective?
So far Jessica Conrad has yet to write one of the upcoming UABF production cycle episodes... Yep!
Weird, but... I thought about the same:ac:. Also, J. Stuart Burns (bet nothing, he'll write under Jean namely U19).
 

HomerFan1998

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Now if there won't be new episodes of The Simpsons after December 12th this year until March 6th in the new year. Then maybe Pixelated and Afraid could probably air on December 5th, and A Made Maggie, on the other hand, could possibly air on December 12th rather than December 19th
 

That Don Guy

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Now if there won't be new episodes of The Simpsons after December 12th this year until March 6th in the new year. Then maybe Pixelated and Afraid could probably air on December 5th, and A Made Maggie, on the other hand, could possibly air on December 12th rather than December 19th
@Bohdan pointed out a couple of things to me: first, "A Made Maggie" will air on 12/19, according to Al Jean, which almost certainly means the date came from Fox; second, the Oscars will be on 3/27, not 2/27.
 

HomerFan1998

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@Bohdan pointed out a couple of things to me: first, "A Made Maggie" will air on 12/19, according to Al Jean, which almost certainly means the date came from Fox; second, the Oscars will be on 3/27, not 2/27.
Oh well, hopefully there should be new December dates up in The Futon Critic website someday, possibly the other ones for January 2022 as well (the some of them might probably be repeats for one of the previous Simpsons episodes). So we'll have to keep an eye out for those
 

HomerFan1998

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I'm kinda hoping that UABF07 probably would've have a new title by now, so we can't be for sure yet. Either way, I might be fine if the episode title for UABF07 would still be called 'YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT THIS EPISODE IS ABOUT -- ACT THREE WILL SHOCK YOU!'
 

Bohdan

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I'm kinda hoping that UABF07 probably would've have a new title by now, so we can't be for sure yet. Either way, I might be fine if the episode title for UABF07 would still be called 'YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT THIS EPISODE IS ABOUT -- ACT THREE WILL SHOCK YOU!'
What's wrong? It's a spoof on clickbair content. It's as silly as clever.
 

Arctan

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Speculation for A serious Flanders:
Flanders commits a major crime, And the town has to figure out who did it, Similar to who shot Mr Burns.
 

HomerFan1998

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Okay, it turns out that there will indeed be new Simpsons episodes for January 2022. So perhaps The Longest Marge might air in January 2022? Unless if Pixelated and Afraid and A Made Maggie will air in December. I doubt December 19th will be the repeat
 

Bohdan

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A bit late, but traditionally my speculation about season 33 airdates

Ep. 8 - Nov 21st - Portrait of Lackey on Fire (UABF01) - scheduled yet
Ep. 9 - Nov 28th - Mothers and Other Strangers (UABF02) - scheduled yet
Dec 5th and Dec 12th - I had said one of these dates should be new episode, for Al Jean saying about SURE episode in January'22 refused any my doubts
Ep. 10 - Dec 19th - A Made Maggie (UABF03) - scheduled yet. An unusual date and the reason, I guess, is the same as for early THOH date - football boost:D
Dec 26th, 2021 - Christmas weekend
Jan 2nd, 2022 - New Year weekend + Next Level Chief premiere in all timezons (different time indicated, so I put it out of any AniDom - pre-emption)
Jan 9th - Call me Kat season 2 and Pivoting series premieres from 8 to 9 PM after footbaal. But... 9PM is free for Ep. 11 - Pixelated and Affraid (UABF04). See 2021 experience with The Dad Feelings Limithed
Jan 16th and Jan 23rd are football pre-emption (according to @That Don Guy)
Jan 30th - Grammy, I hope there was not new eps against (despite of having good experience in 2021, but Grammy took place in March)
Febr 6th - Super Bowl
Febr 13th and Febr 20th - still Winter 2022 Olympics
At last Febr 27th - Ep. 12 - The Longest Marge (UABF05).
I thought either U04 or U05 would be saved for "Valentine day themed" episode, but if Sundays around VD are occupied, so there isn't any sense here
Ep. 13 - Mar 6th - Boyz N Highlands (UABF06)
Ep. 14 - Mar 13th - YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT THIS EPISODE IS ABOUT -- ACT 3 WILL SHOCK YOU! (UABF07)
(this title I typed myself, honestly)
Ep. 15 - Mar 20th - Pretty Whittle Liar (UABF09). Why? 1) Brandine episode can considered as "St Patrick's" topic if you understand what I'm about. 2) there should be, at least, some Jean-runned episode in a while, seriously🙃
Mar 27th - Oscars night
Ep. 16 - Apr 3rd - Bart the Cool Kid (UABF08)
Ep. 17 -Apr 10th - Bleeding Gums Murphy in The Sound of Music (UABF10)
. Don't mind it's a Palm Sunday
Apr 17th - Easter
Ep. 18 - Apr 24th - My Octopus and a Teacher (UABF11)
Ep. 19 - May 1st - Meet Is Murder (UABF13)
. I noticed all seniors-centric episode often air around Vet Day, but cause May 8th is also Mothers day, so a week earlier
Ep. 20 - May 8th - Marge the Meanie (UABF15). Mothers Day, and relative character-centric episode
Ep. 21 - May 15th - Girls Just Shauna Have Fun (UABF12)
Ep. 22 - May 22nd - Poorhouse Rock (UABF14)
- season finale. (season finale from Tim Long, where it was already…)
 

HomerFan1998

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You know something? I'm thinking that 'Not It' could probably be either a Bart episode or a Lisa episode, unless if it's not gonna be a Krusty the Clown episode 🤔
 

That Don Guy

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A bit late, but traditionally my speculation about season 33 airdates

Ep. 8 - Nov 21st - Portrait of Lackey on Fire (UABF01) - scheduled yet
Ep. 9 - Nov 28th - Mothers and Other Strangers (UABF02) - scheduled yet
Dec 5th and Dec 12th - I had said one of these dates should be new episode, for Al Jean saying about SURE episode in January'22 refused any my doubts
Ep. 10 - Dec 19th - A Made Maggie (UABF03) - scheduled yet. An unusual date and the reason, I guess, is the same as for early THOH date - football boost:D
Dec 26th, 2021 - Christmas weekend
Jan 2nd, 2022 - New Year weekend + Next Level Chief premiere in all timezons (different time indicated, so I put it out of any AniDom - pre-emption)
Jan 9th - Call me Kat season 2 and Pivoting series premieres from 8 to 9 PM after footbaal. But... 9PM is free for Ep. 11 - Pixelated and Affraid (UABF04). See 2021 experience with The Dad Feelings Limithed
If Fox does what it usually does, then whatever it shows at 9 PM Eastern will not air in the Pacific time zone, as Fox shows the 8 PM Eastern show again at 8 PM Pacific, and gives the 9 PM Pacific hour back to the local stations.

That's "if Fox does what it usually does." Fox could decide to delay airing Call Me Kat and Pivoting to the usual 8-9 Pacific, 7-8 Mountain time slot, the way it did last year when it aired the premieres of Call Me Kat and The Great North (and then aired the premiere of "The Dad-Feelings Limited" at 9), even though it has already announced that they will air in the 5-6 Pacific / 6-7 Mountain time slot.

Also note that the press release that announced the premiere of Next Level Chef says that it will be on from 8 to 9, not from 8 to 10, so something will air (except in the Pacific time zone) in the 9-10 Eastern slot.

Jan 16th and Jan 23rd are football pre-emption (according to @That Don Guy)
...but remember, this is the That Don Guy that swore on Simpsons Bibles that Fox would never air a non-World Series baseball playoff game on Sunday night (and let's not get into his whole "They're not going to air Halloween episodes three weeks before Halloween" routine). It is possible that Fox looked at the ratings last year against NBC's "wild card round" game (which will be 1/16 this season) and decided, "You know, we can probably get away with airing a new episode against it this year." If Al Jean is convinced, or was told, that there will be a new episode in January, I think 1/16 is the most likely date.

Jan 30th - Grammy, I hope there was not new eps against (despite of having good experience in 2021, but Grammy took place in March)
Nothing to do with the Grammys this year, especially as they are on Monday 1/31. Fox is pre-empting the schedule to air the NFL NFC Championship Game followed by the premiere of the new series Monarch. The Grammys were originally scheduled for 1/30, but that was before the NFL announced it was adding a week to its schedule, and moving all of its postseason games to a week later; rather than compete with the games that decide who gets into the Super Bowl, the Grammys moved to Monday.

Febr 6th - Super Bowl
Febr 13th and Febr 20th - still Winter 2022 Olympics
The Super Bowl is 2/13. However, 2/6 is the first Sunday of the Winter Olympics. (2/20 is correct for the closing ceremony date.)
 
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