Rate & Review: "When Nelson Met Lisa..." (OABF02)

How would you rate this episode?


  • Total voters
    36

Brad Lascelle

A Fixture in Online Simpsons Fandom Since '93
Moderator
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
5,030
Location
Kitchener, ON
BYWGZJ0.png


Season 34, Episode 9
Original Airdate
: November 27, 2022 * SPECIAL AIRTIME OF 8:30pm EASTERN / PACIFIC *
Writer: Ryan Koh
Director: Steven Dean Moore
Showrunner: Al Jean
Synopsis: A future tale of the will-they-won't-they-I-guess-they-won't-maybe-they-will of Springfield's most unlikely couple.

Previous R&R
Next R&R

R&R Poll Average Score: 2.11 / 5 (as of January 1, 2023 / 36 votes)
IMDb User Rating: 5.8 / 10
 
Last edited:

HomerFan1998

Stonecutter
Joined
Jun 4, 2020
Messages
4,686
Well... This flashforward episode wasn't too bad for me. Though, it was kinda better than Mother and Child Reunion. So I'm gonna give this 3/5
 

Financial Panther

Not a porn star
Global Moderator
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
32,901
Location
Missouri
I’ve never liked the Lisa/Nelson pairing; Lisa’s Date With Density is one of my least favorite classic era episodes. Nevertheless, I told myself to keep an open mind about this episode, but god damn it, it still sucked despite my attempts to enjoy it.

The main problem with this episode was Lisa. She seemed to have no mind of her own; she just went between swooning for Hubert and Nelson when they said something or did something she approved of. Did the strong-willed, independent-minded Lisa die when she got older? The episode tried to explain (through painful exposition) why Lisa had a crush on Nelson throughout the episode, but it didn’t keep her from appearing shallow and vapid.

Hubert Wong struck me as a bit like Artie Ziff, but if he was supposed to be the antagonist, it didn’t really feel like it; he seemed much more appropriate for Lisa than Nelson did. Also, not sure where to put this in the review, but the scenes with really obese Wiggum and old Lou weren’t funny; they just made me sad. 1/5
 

FanofSimpsons

Pin Pal
Joined
Oct 22, 2021
Messages
498
3.75 / 5

Good and descent, though there at parts of the story that could’ve been more worked on. Nice flash forwarding across different time periods, and satisfying conclusion.
 

OldSchoolerSimpsons

Fight the oppression
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
18,939
Location
Gothenburg, Sweden
So... What is this weird trend of future episodes regarding Lisa's characterization of making her as flat and mindless as possible? First with Mother and Child Reunion with her naive and easy to influence characterization and now this?.
It started earlier. Her characterization in Days Of Future Future was nothing short of appalling.
 

Venomrabbit

Doesn't have a soul
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
1,625
Location
In the corner
Earlier than that, even. Remember how in Future-Drama Lisa decided to go along with dating Milhouse because he started a fire to rescue her from? And she'd known for years that he did it but it had no bearing on anything? And still gets back with the guy who nearly killed her because ??? and considering Jenda and how much they take from F-D in most flashforwards, if Holidays of Future's past is in line with it, got with him anyway while wondering if she should have married the guy who probably still had four kids from two women all of which he abandoned?

Lisa's generally moronic in flashforward eps to the point where even I'm offended on her behalf. Think the problem is she keeps being used as shipping bait for either Nelson or Milhouse and that's why eps like Lisa's Wedding do much better with her.

But I guess I'll see how this one pans out when I've seen it.
 

Smear-Gel

Stonecutter
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,076
Location
Jamaica
I'm only 8 minutes in but I just have to say, that critisism people have of Not It where the episode is calling attention to itself rather than just telling a story, it's like this episode is doing that x1000. I never really had an issue with it back then but here it's genuinely distracting. Also the bell tower in france is a funny way to wrap up a gag that was approaching being overused but I just know it's coming back after this.
 

orangemo

Stonecutter
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
2,129
Location
Los Angeles
I honestly thought it was pretty funny. I kinda forgot Mother and Child Reunion but future Simpsons episodes are almost always a treat. 3.5/5 rounded up to 4
 

Smear-Gel

Stonecutter
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,076
Location
Jamaica
I thought that was okay. I get the idea of having so much time pass each act because the end showed the whole point is that they keep being drawn to each other. But I still feel like the time frames are a bit too long, and it feels like they dont leave enough time to show why they're happy with each other. This might be a weird thing to say but I feel like they packed the first minute or two with too many jokes and not enough character stuff.

Unlike Panther, I like the Nelson and Lisa pairing, at least in future episodes. Lisa and Milhouse is always presented as something she's settling for compared to Lisa and Nelson, and that rings true here, and I do find that a plus. But speaking of the future, another knock against it is, unlike Holidays of Future Passed where the future stuff mostly landed, I feel like it was also a bit distracting in this one. I dont really know where else in my comment to fit this in so I'll say I also enjoyed the scene on the train. In the end though, the final act landed for me and was the strongest part of the episode, which did leave it on a good note. I cant think of a rating yet though.
 

orangemo

Stonecutter
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
2,129
Location
Los Angeles
I thought that was okay. I get the idea of having so much time pass each act because the end showed the whole point is that they keep being drawn to each other. But I still feel like the time frames are a bit too long, and it feels like they dont leave enough time to show why they're happy with each other. This might be a weird thing to say but I feel like they packed the first minute or two with too many jokes and not enough character stuff.

Unlike Panther, I like the Nelson and Lisa pairing, at least in future episodes. Lisa and Milhouse is always presented as something she's settling for compared to Lisa and Nelson, and that rings true here, and I do find that a plus. But speaking of the future, another knock against it is, unlike Holidays of Future Passed where the future stuff mostly landed, I feel like it was also a bit distracting in this one. I dont really know where else in my comment to fit this in so I'll say I also enjoyed the scene on the train. In the end though, the final act landed for me and was the strongest part of the episode, which did leave it on a good note. I cant think of a rating yet though.
You know actually one complaint I had about this episode is it just suddenly ends with them kissing. No aftermath. Instead, we get an unfunny montage of the president and vice president for that time period.
 

Hilda Fanboy

Junior Camper
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
70
At least it was better than Mother and Child Reunion, right?

Anyways, yeah. This is another episode to throw onto the "Forgettable Future Stories" pile.

At least this one didn't piss me off like Mother and Child Reunion. That one had my blood boiling, whereas this one just made me want to fall asleep.

Yawn.... things aren't looking too good for the OABF production line....


Anywho, I think the ONLY thing I will remember about this episode going forward, is that it came out on the 20th anniversary of Treasure Planet and Eight Crazy Nights, two great animated movies.
 

Marioburgercream

French One.
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
1,415
This was nice to hear some french words, in this episode, Yeardley Smith speaks very well, but she made a mistake : She said "Vous" while talking to Nelson, the correct sentence is "tu" (vous is more when you speak to a group, or someone you do not know very well) See also.

This one was not so bad, even though i'm not fond of Nelson, it breaks the continuity of 29.08 Lisa's Lesbian college roomate episode and it also brings back Hubert Wong (at least they are a couple who share the same birthday).

As for Homer, i laughed when i saw him being forced to play the narrator's role.
 

Frankbags

Pin Pal
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
717
It's true that Vous is formal but it is commonly used in France or in french period movies. It's not a mistake.

What was a mistake was this episode. When Harry Met Sally is one of my favourite movies, there were a few nods to it in this episode, more specifically the ending and a few winks to other Meg Ryan movies like Sleepless in Seattle. I didn't find this episode funny at all, I thought the jokes were lame and so was the characterisation.

Invisibility cloak? what? Fat Wiggum crushing lou.. why were they riding the train. There's just so much wrong with it.

1/5
 
Last edited:

Scrooge McDuck

Stonecutter
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
1,081
Location
Bay Area
As was I lying in bed here, suffering from covid, I hoped my first initial thoughts would be miraculously proven wrong. A future episode with Lisa and Nelson what could go wrong. Everything.

1/5
 

B-Boy

Stonecutter
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
1,052
Location
Australia
What a shambolic, irredeemable affair this was. Just when you think Jean can't possibly get any worse, he reaches a new depth of badness. It's astonishing how the first half of the episode took place mostly in two locations (the bell tower and the train), but still failed to muster more than a few seconds of coherence at a time. Every single moment that could have delivered a morsel of insight and sincerity was contaminated by the worst possible joke writing.

Genuinely among the worst, most incomprehensible episodes of all time. I'd almost watch Days of Future Future over this. 1/5
 
Last edited:

Jackomon

Pin Pal
Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
670
Location
Ireland
Well...this episode was a mass disappointment, a 1/10 (1/5 on this poll) from me. Not a fan of how the characters (mainly Lisa, Nelson, Homer, Wiggum & Hubert) are written in this episode. I also feel like there's nothing to make future Springfield unique or different compared to Present Day Springfield. 2 things I did like about the episode is the "S Years Later" joke & seeing both Sophie & Nelson still been friends with Lisa & Jimbo respectively, however, they don't raise the episode's ranking. The "S Years Later" was ruined due to the other 2 times similar jokes were used in the episode and Sophie & Lisa been friends is more of an interesting concept that I like if anything.

Also, regarding Sophie, I think it makes sense that Lisa would be a maid of honor, assuming she started meeting friends after reuniting with her Dad, Lisa & Bart would of been the first friends she met (there is also a comic where Marge helps Krusty to get along with Sophie, and Sophie befriends Lisa, and Bart tries to ruin it iirc).

Not much else to say about it honestly, worst episode of the Season so far.

Overall Ratings: I rank this episode at 709th place out of 737 aired episodes between "Clown in the Dumps" (1/10) at 710th Place and "Bart vs Itchy & Scratchy" (2/10) at 708th place. This episode is also the lowest 1/10 episode for me.
 

Wile E. the Brain

The name's Mud, actually
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
1,670
Location
Zee land of zee frogs
"Tu" is mostly the familiar variant for "you", but there's also the cliché about french people being so stiff that they use "vous" for everyone. There was a joke about that in Lisa the Boy Scout, with Lisa using "tu", then "vous". ^^

This one sucks on the other hand. They even dare to show moments from the specific episode whose purpose was to say that Lisa and Nelson as a couple aren't meant to be. And if they wanted to prove me otherwise... Then where's the freaking chemistry between the characters ?! Another one of those shallow futuristic episodes where the characters and their development are empty shells overshadowed by tired futuristic stuff that are like "hey, it's the future, we can do whatever we want". (I'm glad we don't live in the timeline where Al Jean handles Futurama.)

Nothing in this mess feels genuine, or lively, or anything. And especially not funny, desperate to be as it is. Bonus for the planet of the phones, most cringeworthy joke of the season so far. 1/5
 
Last edited:

Venomrabbit

Doesn't have a soul
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
1,625
Location
In the corner
Most of it felt rather... Average-Jean. But I think coming after two Carolyn-co-run episodes maybe that's why this feels much worse to a lot of people.

I'd put this above Future's Future and Future-Drama anyday, probably Mother and Child Reunion also but that's not the same as saying it's good. It's mostly just... unfocused. That and we never really get anything supporting why they oughta be together when even Lisa can't see a happy life with him. If anything I suppose that's why Hubert was made into a transparent jerkass because it was the only way to not make him look like the far better option. Likewise Nelson and Rott(?) seemed like a much more fitting pair.

Maybe it would have looked much better if we got to see any of what happened after they got together. For better or worse. But as is, it felt pretty hollow.

There were at least a few good jokes but they were frontloaded at the start ("Tried sushi, didn't like it, that's about it" and "gimme your rent money!" that and I guess one of the only times the twins show up and not for that dreadful joke rehash from Future-Drama. They've been dodging bullet after bullet this season.

It's like, there was a buncha stuff there but they didn't really do much with it and not many of the designs were even that interesting. Sophie straight up looks like the same head pasted onto a woman's body. Probably not the best sign when the most interested I got was wondering why Lewis was close enough a friend to Jimbo and likewise for S&T with Sophie. Or wanting an episode that just stuck to Lisa and Hubert since there was something maybe in Lisa finding someone like her but lorded his success over others and treating everyone else as lesser (like she's often prone to doing).
 

BloodySimpsonChibi

The Driest of Blankets
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Messages
2,169
Location
Hell
As a Nelsa fan, I wanna give this episode a 5/5 but let's be real here. It was so boring! I mean, I still cared for Nelson and Lisa and all that jazz but something about this episode felt....flat and emotionless. Like the bare minimum was made to create it. In any case, they do end up together so I'll only deduct one point and give it a 4/5

Can we just stop with the future episodes? We have Futurama for that sort of thing!
 

Jackomon

Pin Pal
Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
670
Location
Ireland
2022-11-28 (26).png
From looking at IMDB...this episode seems to be a bit mixed with 14 people voting it a 10/10 & 18 people voting it a 1/10.
 

Jackomon

Pin Pal
Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
670
Location
Ireland
Can we just stop with the future episodes?
Yeah, it feels like we've been getting a lot of them within the last few Seasons honestly, I do wander if the popularity of Barthood & Days of Future Past may of caused this uptick in Futuristic Episodes.

I think futuristic settings are better set for fanfics, fan theories, fan videos and fanart. While it is cool to see the Simpsons characters in a future light, not everyone is going to like the interpretations of characters or character relationships. Also, the fact they keep Maggie quiet in these future episode is starting to get seriously annoying.
 

CousinMerl

too legit to quit
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
10,121
Location
Spittle County
Can we just stop with the future episodes? We have Futurama for that sort of thing!

Now that 'Futurama' is coming back, I think there's an even bigger reason to discontinue the future episode of 'The Simpsons'. None of them are apparently never even gonna measure up to 'Holidays Of Future Passed' and with episodes like 'Days Of Future Future' and this... this thing, I think the answer is all clear and given. At this point I'm not even that interested in a future episode by Selman. Just leave them be.
 

HomerFan1998

Stonecutter
Joined
Jun 4, 2020
Messages
4,686
You know what guys? I think I might have an idea what the next flashforward episode could be about, hopefully about Maggie next time, unless if we'll finally get Maggiehood someday
 

Jackomon

Pin Pal
Joined
Dec 26, 2021
Messages
670
Location
Ireland
The thing with Futurama is, will it be considered a reason to discontinue futuristic episodes of The Simpsons by the crew themselves?

We got "Bart to the Future", "Future-Drama" & "Holidays of Future Passed" during Futurama's run, unless one of them released during the hiatus.

You know what guys? I think I might have an idea what the next flashforward episode could be about, hopefully about Maggie next time, unless if we'll finally get Maggiehood someday
Honestly, a Maggiehood episode would be the only futuristic episode I would be excited for, but given they always keep Maggie quiet, I don't have my hopes high (don't think we even see future Maggie in "Bart to the Future iirc).

I do want to continue a bit regarding the episodes and share my thoughts a bit more not just in this, but the other Simpsons futuristic episodes & futuristic episodes in general:

Looking at my ranking of the 9 futuristic themed episodes we've gotten (correct me if there is more), I generally prefer the HD era ones as they all got 10s from me personally (with this one & Days of Future-Future been the only ones that didn't, and the latter I gave a 4/10). However, they are 10/10 episodes cause of how much I enjoyed them, and if I were to actually critic them, "Mr. Lisa's Opus" & "Mother and Child Reunion" would be lower (not sure about Holidays of Future Passed as I found Jenda to be rather annoying).

As I stated earlier, there is no unique designs in this incarnation of future Springfield, a lot of characters just have grey hair (such as Erin, Sideshow Raheem, Lou) or just have designs that have them look older but with the same face (Sophie, Janey, Richard). I do think it is a mass letdown that we don't see it, and does make me wander if Al Jean even cares about these futuristic episodes, at least these days as when researching a bit more as I type this, he also showran the other HD era futuristic episodes. Not sure if Selman will get to showrun a futuristic episode, and if he does, wander what it'll be like.

I did state earlier that futuristic themes are better for fanfics, fanart, fan theories & fan videos, and that is mainly due to headcanons as we all probably have one for the future of the Simpsons family & friends. To use an example from this episode in particular, we see Milhouse alone and ringing the bell, implied to be alone, but part of me kind of wishes has had a girlfriend, with Samantha the first one that comes to mind.

When it comes to futuristic episodes in general, it can easily be controversial. When thinking about non-Simpsons examples, only two come to mind.

The first is "Act Your Age" from Phineas and Ferb, which from what I've since read was written by a fan of the show. While I did enjoy the episode I did have my problems with it, mainly some relationships & how some relationships played out. It would be interesting to see a futuristic Simpsons episode done by a fan, we've already gotten a fantastic futuristic couch gag from Spikemonster, who is a fan of the show. However, that does come with a problem which mainly has to do with executive meddling & what one fan wants, not every fan of The Simpsons wants the same outcome for characters.

The 2nd example is "Craig of the Future" from Craig of the Creek:

WARNING for Unnmarked Spoilers if you haven't seen this episode yet and want to watch it.

I loved that episode for a lot of reasons, one of them been the fact that its rather ambiguous. Not to mention, Tabitha states that the cards are 50% accurate, implying this is only an alternate tale and may not come true. We did get a similar "Card Future" format before in The Simpsons with the first futuristic themed episode "Lisa's Wedding", and we have gotten it since iirc (don't remember if its "Mr. Lisa's Opus" or "Mother and Child Reunion"). However, I don't think either one was really as ambiguous about the future.

That's all I really have to say on this topic as of now, don't really know how to end this reply, but I will say that I do hope they either stop or wait much longer for the next futuristic Simpsons episode, and maybe not have it focus on Lisa as the last two we got also focused on Lisa, have it focus on Bart again, or even Marge & Homer. Its like Lisa is the creator's pet or something.
 

Smear-Gel

Stonecutter
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,076
Location
Jamaica
Genuinely among the worst, most incomprehensible episodes of all time. I'd almost watch Days of Future Future over this. 1/5
I wouldnt go that far, this episode wasnt great but it was at least positive instead of actively mean about its version of the future characters and world like Future Future was.

At least it was better than Mother and Child Reunion, right?
I really didnt want to make it an Al Jean thing but within the first 2 minutes I realised who made this (I didnt check beforehand) and it's a little annoying that twice now an interesting future plot is done by him and then gets diluted by too many jokes. Future plots are actually one of my favourite things in the show (especially when they are zooming in on an emotional core of the cast) and I feel like these recent episodes are bringing down the batting average of the concept.
 
Last edited:

Smear-Gel

Stonecutter
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,076
Location
Jamaica
Now that 'Futurama' is coming back, I think there's an even bigger reason to discontinue the future episode of 'The Simpsons'. None of them are apparently never even gonna measure up to 'Holidays Of Future Passed' and with episodes like 'Days Of Future Future' and this... this thing, I think the answer is all clear and given. At this point I'm not even that interested in a future episode by Selman. Just leave them be.
I think Barthood can make the case of being better than Future Passed, mainly because getting rid of the sci fi future stuff is an appeal in itself I think. More episodes should commit to that, then maybe we wouldnt get gags about a robot apocalypse in the first zero seconds of the episode when you're supposed to be setting up the emotional stakes.
 
Top