|"Bart's Not Dead"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 30|
Episode 1 (640th overall)
|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. 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.
At a school assembly while Lisa plays the saxophone Bart gets dared by Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney to pull the fire alarm, but he declines, thinking of Lisa. The following day, Marge is proud of him, but Homer and Grampa tell 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.
At Springfield General Hospital, Bart wakes up and in order to not disappoint Marge, he lies that he saw Heaven. Despite Lisa’s warnings, Bart keeps telling lies about what Heaven is like and becomes popular. Christian movie producers come to the house to present Homer and Bart the opportunity to make a movie about his experience. Bart forces Homer and Ned Flanders to work together on the movie, including holding hands. To cast the movie, they interview Emily Deschanel to play Marge, and Gal Gadot for the role of Lisa.
The movie starts filming, but Bart’s guilt is mounting and he is having nightmares. He ends up in Heaven in a nightmare, where he meets Grandpa Bouvier who scolds him, and Jesus Christ who pummels his face. The movie, "Bart's Not Dead", finally premieres, including a group song, “One More Chance”.
At home at bedtime, Bart confesses it was all a lie to which Homer feigns surprise. Just as Marge is absorbing the news, Lisa announces the movie is a hit making over $100 million at the box office. Marge insists they have to confess, and at a press conference Homer and Ned give the profits to charity and all is forgiven. At night, Lisa, to console the remorseful Bart, joins him on their home’s roof. Some shingles come loose and they both fall to the ground luckily landing in a pile of leaves swept by Homer, which they attribute as the true miracle.
Several years later, Bart arrives in Heaven and meets up with Homer, who encourages him to meet with Jesus before he himself flees to Hindu Heaven just to ask Krishna to send him back to Earth. He is then offered the choice of being reincarnated as a turtle or a pharmaceutical CEO and promptly chooses the turtle.
On her Twitter account, Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who guest starred as herself on this episode, described The Simpsons as "a huge part of my childhood” and also stated that "it's so cool that I get to be apart of the Simpsons." Gadot, who was announced as guest star on February 2018, did a hot dog handout in this episode which was similar to one she did at 2018 Academy Awards.
"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.