Eccentric pop star Lady Gaga finally makes an appearance on The Simpsons.
Gaga Comes to Town
Tonight's episode of The Simpsons draws on two illustrious television traditions: the season finale laced with token spectacle, and the stilted Simpsons celebrity voice cameo. These tropes are joined in a guest appearance from Lady Gaga, as she visits Springfield to spread glitter, pyrotechnics and self-esteem.
The story begins with Lisa earning a "Least Popular" award at the Springfield Elementary awards ceremony. She's naturally pretty hurt by the school-sanctioned public shaming, and she suffers a spike in bullying as a result of it. Things seem to turn around when an anonymous internet commenter sticks up for her, but she's doubly humiliated when it's revealed that she's the commenter and is defending herself.
Lisa's depression attracts the attention of a nearby Lady Gaga, who decides that the best way to combat Lisa's adolescent neurosis is through glitzy theatricality. Lisa only wants to keep her head down and her hopes realistic; she eventually explodes at Gaga and rejects her message of ostentatious self-love.
Having hurt Gaga's feelings, however, Lisa realizes that self-acceptance is a good thing after all. The pair unite for a cheesy closing song about "Lisa Simpson Superstar," and all is well in the world.
Much of the evening's Gaga humor falls flat -- the non-sequitur Baby Goo Goo gag in particular is the worst combination of tired and lame -- but it does at least compliment Lisa's story nicely. For a nerdy kid desperate to avoid notice, it's hard to imagine a more nightmarishly well-meaning advocate than Lady Gaga. The episode does a surprisingly great job of capturing the delicacy in bullying intervention, a feat for which even the atrocious closing musical number can be forgiven. It's not the strongest or funniest of The Simpsons' 23 season finales, but it is a solid Lisa story regardless.
"He's a dumb kid, but an above average dog!"
- Chief Wiggan, on Ralphie
"If gasoline is their food, why do they have teeth?"
-Millhouse, on the cars from Cars
"You wanna honk your jazz tube?"
- Homer, on the saxophone
"I love you Lady Zha Zha!"
- Abe Simpson, on Lady Gaga
"This is like the night Hillary won the New Hampshire primary!"
- Homer, on how female empowerment affects his love life