Let's recap Sideshow Bob's record for a moment. He tried to kill Bart and Selma, frame Krusty for murder, and unfairly earn the position of mayor of Springfield. You have to admit, the guy's got ambition. Could Bob's motives be taken at face value? Could he just want to get rid of those who offended him (like Bart & Krusty)? Rosaline seems to think so. But what kind of OKH debate would end there?
Whitaker thinks the answer lies in a Simpsons' Comic where Bob tries to make the school buses safer. When Skinner refused to listen, Bob rigs the bus for Bart to get hurt, thus proving the buses needed increased safety standards. In the episode where Bob kidnapped Bart on the Wright's plane, his entire goal was to end the tyranny of television. By doing this, Bob hoped to show that life without T.V. is so much richer than it is now. Bob has mastered the unconventional, vigilant attempt to rattle the status quo.
But why must Bob be so theatrical in his pursuits? C. Murray feels Bob is getting stale, even though he is Springfield's most innovative criminal. In a lot of ways, Murray feels it's starting to look like a bad imitation of the WB's "Pinky and the Brain". Although he doesn't contend with the overall integrity of the SSB episodes (for example, the suspense and cleverness with which SSB came undone in Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming), he feels that Bart or Lisa continual efforts to foil Bob makes the story line a little lame.
If we look back over the last couple Bob episodes, a pattern begins to materialize. Bart and Lisa save the world from Bob, Bart and Lisa save Krusty (twice!) from Bob, Bart and Lisa save Aunt Selma from Bob and so forth. Ross believes Lester and Eliza are one of the most promising story lines in recent Simpsons history. He went on to insinuate the writers may have created Lester and Eliza after checking out this page just to keep me busy. God, if I only had that power!!
Sideshow Bob gave the Simpsons a taste of culture, even if it was only in the eloquent ravings of a madman. And Kelsey Grammer seems to lend an egregious method to the madness. The episode where Bart displayed James Bond level deductive powers proved a wonderful insight on Sideshow Bob's character. And despite what the critics say, Sideshow Bob has not (yet) become ineffective and dull. According to Fred Schmerberg, we should congratulate the writers of the Simpsons on a creating such a remarkable character.
There still is one issue with which I must contend. The constant foiling of Bob's plans is turning into (God forbid!) the average sitcom: where the heroes always triumph and the villains deliver long soliloquies as they are taken off in handcuffs. And what I can't figure out is that the writers know this and refuse to do anything about it. If you don't know what I'm talking about, re-watch the last two minutes of SSB's Last Gleaming. Maybe what this story line needs is a Sideshow Mel vs. Sideshow Bob final showdown? The two characters are grossly different (see the comparison) but somehow so the same. That's what makes them perfect for a Celebrity Deathmatch. And when they both die, in comes Sideshow Mike! (I really must stop doing that)
Ben Robinson offers his angle on some of these problems faced while watching SSB in action. After the last few Sideshow Bob episodes, he too began to wonder whether the formula had been exhausted. Ben, however, feels the writers can keep the story line fresh by interspersing eloquent Bob-esque rants on, well, whatever it is that gets Bob out of bed in the morning.
Another Viewer wrote that while the formula itself is getting old, the specifics of the show are not. He reminds us that the Cape Fear take-off was fantastic (as was the bomb episode). He also wants us to remember that the Simpsons in general are still five times better than 99.4% of all other TV, so we shouldn't complain. I guess he's right, but that's not enough to stop me from doing it. Besides, isn't that one of those unalienable rights promised in the constitution? The right to bitch and whine?
Another theory that comes to us from an anonymous contributor is that perhaps Sideshow Bob wants to take over the world just to be noticed. Bob has never won the respect or recognition from his peers, it's the old Dick Nixon syndrome. All those years with Krusty, who doesn't give anybody but himself any respect or attention, may have motivated those attempts to take over Springfield.
If you have any insight into this situation, parallels you may see to other shows, or other pertinent information on this subject, send it our way.
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