Bart's Not Dead
|"Bart's Not Dead"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 30|
|Directed by||Bob Anderson|
|Written by||Stephanie Gillis|
|Original air date||September 30, 2018|
|Couch gag||A futuristic floating TV is seen showing a clip of "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". Suddenly, a green alien hand turns the TV off with a remote. We then cut to green alien versions of the family sitting on a futuristic floating couch in a futurized version of the living room. The alien Homer then begins to ask the others about the real Homer's voice.|
"Bart's Not Dead" is an episode of the animated television series The Simpsons. This is the first episode of the thirtieth season and 640th episode of the series. The sitcom follows an American nuclear family based in the fictional town of Springfield. In this episode, the son Bart Simpson fakes a miracle cure and is then approached by a Christian filmmaker who wants to make an adaptation of the event and Bart is wracked with guilt at having lied. This episode won the Writers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Writing in Animation at the 71st Writers Guild of America Awards.
Bart Simpson gets dared to pull the fire alarm, but he declines. The following day, Marge Simpson is proud of him, but Homer Simpson tells him to take a dare like a man. At Echo Canyon, Nelson, Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney dare him to jump off the dam, which Bart does ending face first on concrete. Ending up at Springfield General Hospital, Bart wakes up and in order to not disappoint Marge he creates a lie that he saw Heaven. Bart slowly becomes popular. Christian movie producers come to the house to present Homer and Bart the opportunity to make a movie about his experience. Homer and Ned Flanders are forced to work together on the movie, including interviewing Emily Deschanel and Gal Gadot. The movie starts recording, and Bart starts getting worried and having nightmares. He ends up in Heaven in a nightmare, where he meets Jesus Christ. The movie, titled "Bart's Not Dead", finally premieres, and is a hit. After, Bart finally confesses to Marge and Lisa Simpson. Homer and Ned give the raised money to charity and all is forgiven.
"Bart's Not Dead" scored a 1.4 rating with a 5 share and was watched by 3.24 million people, making it Fox's highest rated show of the night.
Dennis Perkins of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B− ranking, stating "'Bart’s Not Dead', (credited to Stephanie Gillis) aims for a more character-driven return. Sure, Bart, Homer, and Flanders wind up making a Christian-themed movie that winds up making $100 million, but the heart of the episode is, well, heart.”
Jesse Schdeen of IGN gave the episode a 7.2 out of 10 points ranking, stating "'Bart's Not Dead' stands as one of the better season premieres for The Simpsons in recent years, mostly because it settles for telling a clever, amusing story rather than relying on gimmicks. It doesn't take full advantage of its premise, but this episode still delivers some scathing satire of for-profit religious movies and a strong take on Bart's relationships with Homer and Lisa. Hopefully this episode is a sign of things to come for Season 30."
Tony Sokol of Den of Geek gave the episode a 3 out of 5 points ranking, stating ""Bart's Not Dead" isn't quite a classic episode, but it has all the classical elements. At the center of the piece is a fight over Bart's soul. He may worship the devil in public, but when no one is looking, or in this case when everyone is looking, Bart will always side with his mother and sister. And the Fox network brass because they couldn't have him going entirely over to the dark side. That's Homer territory. The film-within-the-episode skewers the righteous tinkering of facts, while raising the suspense on why Bart and Homer shouldn't get away with this. Bart, played by Jonathan Groff in the Christian film, doth protest too much, and far too specifically. It sounds like the movie is already a whitewashed version of something in need of fresh paint. The episode bodes fairly well for season 30 because, even though The Simpsons has covered this subject a few times, they show they are not going to ease up on casual blasphemy. After thirty years, the series has become the authority. Newer shows are taking on new ground, but The Simpsons are still shooting for something less than redemption. Bart begins the episode as the boy who refused to take a dare and ends it by taking it one step too far, but sadly takes a step backward."
Stephanie Gillis won the Writers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Writing in Animation at the 71st Writers Guild of America Awards for her script to this episode.
- God's Not Dead – The film series referenced in the title.
- The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven – A religious hoax.
- Welch, Alex (October 2, 2018). "'Sunday Night Football' adjusts up, 'The Simpsons,' 'Bob's Burgers,' and more adjust down: Sunday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
- Perkins, Dennis (September 30, 2018). "The Simpsons' 30th Season Takes on Faith-Based Films and Assures Us 'Bart's Not Dead'". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- The Simpsons Season 30 Premiere Bart's Not Dead Review from IGN
- The Simpsons Season 30 Premiere Review: Bart's Not Dead
- McNary, Dave (February 17, 2019). "WGA Awards 2019 Winners: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards". Variety. Retrieved February 23, 2019.