"Girly Edition" is the twenty-first episode in the ninth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 19, 1998. In the episode, Lisa and Bart Simpson must co-anchor a new news program, though when Bart is seen as a more successful news anchor, Lisa becomes jealous and seeks revenge. Meanwhile, in the subplot, Homer Simpson gets a monkey helper because of his laziness.
|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 9|
Episode 21 (199th overall)
|Directed by||Mark Kirkland|
|Written by||Larry Doyle|
|Original air date||April 19, 1998|
|Couch gag||The family sits down and a live action hand spins the picture, causing it to blur.|
"Girly Edition" was the first episode written by Larry Doyle and was directed by Mark Kirkland. Much of the subplot was inspired by the film Monkey Shines. Critics gave the episode positive reviews and it is also one of Yeardley Smith's favorite episodes of the series.
After Groundskeeper Willie takes away Bart's skateboard for destroying his leaf pile, Bart fills up Willie's shack with creamed corn as he is sleeping, destroying it. As Willie is taken away for medical attention, he swears revenge on Bart. Meanwhile, Krusty the Clown's show comes under criticism by the Federal Communications Commission for not being educational enough for children. The Channel 6 executive proposes that Krusty cut ten minutes from his three-hour show to make room for a kids' news program, Kidz News, where children deliver and report news items. Lisa is recruited as a news anchor along with other Springfield Elementary School children. Bart is not chosen at first, but is made sportscaster after he complains to Marge.
Lisa is deemed to be boring by the channel's staff, though they are impressed by Bart's performance. Bart is then promoted to be the co-anchor, which leads to jealousy from Lisa. After Bart hears Lisa talking behind his back, he seeks advice from Kent Brockman, who teaches him about the power of human interest stories. Bart becomes successful after creating a segment called "Bart's People", which Lisa disapproves of due to its sappy, emotionally manipulative content. Out of jealousy, Lisa attempts to copy it, but is twice hampered by the Crazy Cat Lady. She eventually sends a letter acting as an immigrant who lives in a landfill who pleads to be on Bart's People, causing Bart to rush to the landfill for a live broadcast. However, he learns that the immigrant is Groundskeeper Willie, wanting revenge on Bart. Feeling guilty after seeing Willie attack Bart on camera, Lisa arrives and saves him by using similar techniques he used in his stories to stir up Willie's emotions. The siblings then decide to make a good educational news program, only to have Kidz News cancelled before their next show.
In the subplot, Homer obtains a monkey helper named Mojo after learning Apu has gotten one. Eventually, Mojo becomes tired, weak, and overfed from eating junk food and drinking beer with Homer. Marge forces Homer to return the monkey.
"Girly Edition" was the first episode Larry Doyle wrote for the show. He conceived both the main plot and the subplot. The subplot about Mojo was inspired by the film Monkey Shines; show runner Mike Scully asked the staff to consult the film for reference when they were making the episode. The animators also studied the behavior of monkeys from other resources, looking at their movements and how they interact with humans. Eric Stefani, a former animator for the show who had left and now was part of the band No Doubt, was called back by episode director Mark Kirkland to animate the scenes with Homer and Mojo. This was the final work Stefani did for The Simpsons. At the end of the episode, an incapacitated Mojo is only able to type "Pray for Mojo" into a computer; this line was written by George Meyer, who cited it as his favorite personal contribution to The Simpsons. Recurring character the Crazy Cat Lady was introduced in this episode.
In his book Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality, Jonathan Gray analyses a scene from the episode in which it is announced that Kidz News has been replaced by the children's cartoon The Mattel and Mars Bar Quick Energy Chocobot Hour (a reference to the Mattel toys and the Mars chocolate bar). He says this mocks "how many children's programs have become little more than the ad to the merchandise". Gray also writes that The Simpsons "illustrates how the ad as genre has itself already invaded many, if not all, genres. Ads and marketing do not limit themselves to the space between programs; rather, they are themselves textual invaders, and part of The Simpsons' parodic attack on ads involves revealing their hiding places in other texts."
A real-life journalist named Reid, who Gray interviewed for his book, states that "Girly Edition" mirrors well how some journalists actually work. She said the episode shows "the ludicrous nature of, you know, what we do in a lot of things. The kids news with Bart and Lisa: I mean, you see them do really stupid stories about the news, and 'news you can use,' and 'how to get rid of your sheets when you wet them.' I mean, people really do stories like that." Steven Keslowitz writes in his book The World According to the Simpsons that the episode showcases the fact that "the viewing of attractive newscasters and the use of persuasive tones of voice often do have an impact on the minds of many intelligent members of American society."
The episode originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 19, 1998. It finished 26th in the ratings for the week of April 13–19, 1998, with a Nielsen rating of 8.7, translating to around 8.5 million viewing households. The episode was the third highest rated show on Fox that week, following The X-Files and King of the Hill.
"Girly Edition" was well received by critics.
The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, thought well of the episode, calling it "a great episode, full of more than the normal quota of good jokes", adding, "best of all is Lisa's revenge on Bart, and the mad cat-lady who goes around chucking her cats at people."
Colin Jacobson of DVD Movie Guide commented that "Girly Edition" takes "a clever concept and turns into something more than expected as it digs into the usual Bart/Lisa rivalry. I’m not quite sure why Bart reacts so sadly to Lisa’s comments about his stupidity when 'Lisa the Simpson' just delved into the dumbness of the male Simpsons. There’s enough to like here to make the episode fun, though."
This episode is one of Yeardley Smith's favorite episodes. She says, "I don't actually remember a lot of the episodes because they all blend in together for me, and I don't have a really good memory anyway, but I do remember this one and thinking that it was terrific."
- Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Girly Edition". BBC. Retrieved 2007-10-28.
- Gimple, Scott (1999). The Simpsons Forever!: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ...Continued. Harper Collins Publishers. p. 37. ISBN 0-06-098763-4.
- Mike Scully (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Girly Edition" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Mark Kirkland (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Girly Edition" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- "George Meyer". The Believer. September 2004. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
- Gray, Jonathan (2006). Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality. Taylor & Francis. pp. 84, 136. ISBN 978-0-415-36202-3.
- Keslowitz, Steven (2006). The World According to the Simpsons: What Our Favorite TV Family Says about Life, Love, and the Pursuit of the Perfect Donut. Sourcebooks. p. 134. ISBN 978-1-4022-0655-9.
- "How they rate". St. Petersburg Times. 1988-04-28. p. 14. Retrieved on April 20, 2008.
- Keefer, Ryan (2007-01-22). "The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- Jacobson, Colin (2007-01-13). "The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season (1997)". DVD Movie Guide. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- Smith, Yeardley (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Girly Edition" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.