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[S33E1] The Star Of The Backstage

At the theater, the group realizes that they are missing one of the cast members, Sasha Reed, who apparently has gone to New York after graduation and was accepted into Juilliard. Sasha arrives from above, and sings of how she has become a success during adulthood and having met various celebrities. Marge then realizes that, due to being unseen by the audience in the backstage, Sasha was the real star of the show.

[S33E1] The Star of the Backstage


"The Star of the Backstage" is the first episode of season 33 of The Simpsons and the seven-hundred and seventh episode overall. It originally aired on September 26, 2021. The episode was written by Elisabeth Kiernan Averick and directed by Rob Oliver. It guest stars Kristen Bell as Marge's singing voice and Sara Chase as Sasha Reed.

Soon after she organizes a meeting with the cast at the lake house, but since Marge is not part of it and just a manager she's not invited. The next day Marge brings back pieces from the memories of their past and they start another song about the past, however Marge finds out she was never part of it herself through all the experiences they had.

Marge leaves the theater alone and feeling rejected and she confesses her troubles to her mother at her apartment, and with the help of her computer, she starts researching on Sasha, and the next day updates the cast with the new discoveries.

Later, Homer is able to get Marge to understand that her jealousy and desire to be seen overtook her and she realizes she needs to apologize to Sasha. With the playback on, Bart and Lisa criticize the show as "ending too quickly". With Marge gaining two fans that see her as a stage manager icon, Homer and the cast head to the Simpson home for a party without Marge. Then, the credits start playing.

  • Actor Allusion: Marge says that, in her mind, she has the voice of a Disney Princess. Her singing voice is Kristen Bell, who indeed has been a Disney Princess.

  • Alpha Bitch: Sasha seems to be one for the theater kids, excluding Marge from activities, even a party thrown at her own house.

  • A Day in the Spotlight: Marge is the focus of the episode, with Homer having a secondary role and Bart and Lisa only having a few token appearances.

  • Dreadful Musician: Marge's actual singing causes everyone else except Homer to recoil in disgust.note For comparison, watch the end of "The Seven Beer Itch".

  • Episode Code Number: QABF17. The next episode is QABF18, but QABF16 is "Treehouse of Horror XXXII", which first aired after both this episode and the next.

  • Everyone Went to School Together: Marge, Lenny, Helen, Dr. Hibbert, Kirk, Barney, Smithers and Sasha all were involved in the same high school play. Of course, Homer was at that school too, though he wasn't part of the play.

  • For Want of a Nail: It's strongly implied that a Wild Teen Party thrown by the theater kids at Marge's house without her knowledge was singlehandedly responsible for her life turning out the way it did; after Lenny injured himself falling off the Bouvier's roof, Marge's parents got sued and had to file for bankruptcy, leaving them unable to afford to send her to college.

  • Green-Eyed Monster: Marge gets jealous when she notices that the cast has formed a tight-knit group and purposely excluded her.

  • "I Am" Song: Sasha's introduction, though what she says in it turns out to be untrue.

  • Karma Houdini: Sasha got absolutely no punishment from holding a party at Marge's house and getting Marge's family sued for it that it ruined Marge's college future. Marge's mother does show up to scold Sasha in the end credits, but beyond that, she gets no balanced repercussion.

  • Mock Millionaire: Sasha pretends to be incredibly successful.

  • Modesty Shorts: Sasha can be seen wearing a pair in her introductory song.

  • Musical Episode: Marge gets a different singing voice for the song numbers.

  • Musicalis Interruptus: Barney begins a song about how he never fulfilled his hopes and dreams, but is just starting the chorus when Sasha interrupts him, saying that the story is sad enough already.

  • Never My Fault: When the whole cast quits the play after Marge fires Sasha, she continues to blame Sasha.

  • No Ending: The Y2K play abruptly ends with no resolution. Bart and Lisa complain about this and call it a copout.

  • Retcon: Follows "That '90s Show" in putting both Marge and Homer at school during The '90s, instead this time it was high schoolnote like with their original backstory instead of college. Also quasinote because "Treehouse of Horror" is not really canon-retcons their iconic "Life's a Glitch, Then You Die" Y2K-inspired segment of "Treehouse Of Horror X" in that it changes the Simpsons' Y2K story.

  • Marge's singing voice. In "A Streetcar Named Marge", she was the leading star and got a standing ovation at the end for not only her acting but her singing voice. In this episode, she says that she has no singing voice and has a fantasy about a different singing voice and likes to work backstage.

  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Marge gives one to Sasha in song form.

  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Homer's musical number has elements of this, especially considering it comes from Homer of all people.

  • Shout-Out: Boasting of her Broadway success, Sasha Reed drops some big names: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patti LuPone, Sutton Foster and Stephen Sondheim.

  • When she reveals the truth about Sasha, Marge makes herself look like Elphaba with a black costume and green stage lighting.

  • Sudden Anatomy: During his musical number, Homer's toenails can be briefly seen.

  • Take That!: Lisa complains that Bart replaced her Kashi cereal with the wood chips used to line the hamster cage, to which Bart retaliates that she didn't even notice the difference until he told her.

  • Title Drop: The title of the episode is dropped in one of its musical numbers.

  • Two-Person Pool Party: Sasha strongly hints that she and Barney had sex in a hot tub in the past.

  • Vocal Dissonance: Marge's singing voice is provided by Kristen Bell, whose sweet, melodious voice is a harsh contrast with Marge's rough, scratchy speaking voice, which is especially noticeable when her voice switches back and forth between the two in her first song. Justified in that it's supposed to be what Marge's singing sounds to her inside her mind.

  • What the Hell, Hero?: Homer delicately gives this to Marge about her actions exposing Sasha and ruining the play when she complains about everyone being mad at her instead of Sasha for lying, in song form no less!

  • Wild Teen Party: Marge discovers that Sasha threw a party at her house in high school, which led to her family getting sued and not being able to afford sending her to college. In the end of the episode, the cast drives by with Homer shouting "Party at Marge's house!", implying that they're about to do it again.

  • Witch with a Capital "B": Marge dresses like a witch when exposing Sasha's lies.

In the episode, which was inspired by the concept of the Bell-hosted Disney+ reality series Encore, Marge sets out to revive her Rent-esque high school musical Y2K: The Millennium Bug, for which she served as stage manager some 20 years ago. She winds up feeling threatened when her old high school nemesis and theater star, Sasha, returns to town with stories of glory that don't quite add up. As you will see in this exclusive-to-EW clip above, Marge takes down Sasha via song and a revised Playbill of Y2K.

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The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom that has been on air since 1989. It follows the adventures of the Simpson family, and is known for its fearless satirical take on politics, media and the average American life. Over the course of 36 seasons, this show has enjoyed immense success, and has attracted many celebrities to guest star. However, there are some episodes that are generally considered to be amongst the worst. Here, we will rank and discuss the worst episodes of The Simpsons. 041b061a72


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