Home > Reviews > “Lisa’s Wedding” comes full circle

“Lisa’s Wedding” comes full circle

Sometimes, my local station is good enough to rerun really old episodes of The Simpsons rather than just the inferior product of recent years (well, mostly inferior; it’s actually improved this past year).  Last night, they reran the classic “Lisa’s Wedding” episode from 1995, in which Lisa is shown a vision of her first great romance in the distant future of… 2010!  In the episode, her wedding to Hugh (Mandy Patinkin, though I’ve always thought he sounded uncannily like Roger Rees) is supposed to take place on August 1, 2010, but the episode covers a fair span of time, so the airdate does fall within the timeframe of the episode.  It might’ve been nice if they’d aired it closer to August 1, but it’s a nice tribute.

It’s kind of mindboggling that it now is 2010 and they’re still making Simpsons episodes in which Lisa is still eight years old.  But it’s also interesting to see how 2010 was envisioned in the episode and compare it to the reality.

And… they got everything wrong.  Well, maybe one thing: predicting that Jim Carrey would come to be regarded as a respected actor.  And it did sort of correctly anticipate the increasing consolidation of cable networks under megacorporations, although there’s no CNNBCBS, a division of ABC, yet.  And in the high-speed list of celebrities who were arrested, they correctly anticipated that “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” would stop using his unpronounceable symbol.  And they were right that the Rolling Stones are still together, although they aren’t touring in 2010, according to Wikipedia.  So I guess they got a few things almost right.

Otherwise, even granting that it was comedy and not trying to be accurate futurism, it’s intriguing what they failed to anticipate.  Most notably, there are no cell phones!  There are various futuristic phones in the episode, including videophones, but they’re all big boxes attached to the wall or a cord.  And nobody uses the Internet; research is done purely in the library.  It’s amazing how quickly we’ve come to take these things for granted.

What else didn’t come true?  We still have real trees, and we don’t have good enough holograms to simulate them.  We don’t have self-aware humanoid robots yet, but we’re getting close (and hopefully when we get there, we’ll avoid the design flaw that causes their heads to melt down when they cry).  There has, fortunately, been no World War III in which the British saved America’s arse.  FOX has not become a hardcore sex channel.  Big Ben is still an analog clock.  And we don’t yet have viable cryogenics.

And most of all, Bart and Lisa are still in grade school.  What’s up with that anyway?

So it was nice to catch up on that episode after all these years, even with a lot hacked out.  My favorite line was “Just try to look surprised.”  I’m thinking about trying to work that into my DTI novel.

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  1. July 30, 2010 at 11:36 am
  2. August 2, 2010 at 6:01 am

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