“First, we must install buttocks.” – Plastic Surgeon
“Nah, nah, nah, no luxury items, just the face.” – Moe
“Okay, I’m gonna move this up . . . this, wider . . . I’m gonna lose that . . . I’ve never even seen one of these.” – Plastic Surgeon
For the fourth summer in a row, we here at the Dead Homer Society will be spending some time discussing twelve year old Simpsons episodes. This year we’re doing Season 11. Why Season 11? Because we’ve done Seasons 8, 9 and 10 already, and it’s time to take an unflinching look at the end of the show. Since Skype and podcasts didn’t exist in 1999, and we want to discuss these episodes the way the internet intended, we’re sticking with the UTF-8 world of chat rooms and instant messaging. This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (surprisingly enough, not on “animatronic”).
Today’s episode is 1116, “Pygmoelian”. Yesterday was 1115, “Missionary Impossible”.
Charlie Sweatpants: This episode also manages to feature a half a B-plot.
Mad Jon: Yep.
Charlie Sweatpants: Though, in this case, it’s all because they wanted to make gay Republican jokes, which weren’t all bad.
Mad Jon: No they weren’t.
Charlie Sweatpants: The setup was incredibly long, but “We’re realistic” about 2084 is funny.
Mad Jon: I have not seen this episode in forever, but I still remembered some of the gay Republican lines. So that’s saying something.
Dave: Yeah, still worth a chuckle today.
Charlie Sweatpants: The main plot, though, is a bit of a mess.
It admits it at the end in mercifully quick fashion, but once Moe starts working in soap operas, things just go from dumb to dumber.
Mad Jon: Yeah, and Homer is there to tag along every step of the way. Especially if that step involves throwing a brick or lighting a TV set on fire.
…In one of two scenes where he is apparently allowed on set and nobody stops him.
Charlie Sweatpants: That was even dumber when Moe just walked on set to demand the job that just happened to be open.
Mad Jon: And why did Homer have to be the one to deliver the calendars?
Dave: I found that really obnoxious, and I’m not sure why.
Mad Jon: Other than the B plot, is there a scene he is not in?
Dave: Maybe it was that moment of pointless pacing around before Homer (why?) shows up.
Charlie Sweatpants: At this point in the show, whenever Homer’s not on screen all the other characters are looking around and asking “Where’s Homer?”, so you’ve just kinda go numb to a lot of it.
In between Jerkass Homer, Azaria gets in some great lines as both Moe and the plastic surgeon.
Mad Jon: The surgeon was pretty good.
Charlie Sweatpants: He was, and Moe got in some good ones too, like “diseases of the head holes”.
Mad Jon: Funny indeed.
I also liked the drunk simulator, especially “Now you’re charming!”
Charlie Sweatpants: I like the animatronic robots. You think you’re better than me?
Of course, all that stuff has to be carefully observed while Homer is throwing bricks and walking onto what are apparently live soap opera shows.
Mad Jon: Yeah, didn’t mind Duff Days too much. Just how they got there. They could have just gone.
That’s right, it was indeed a live soap opera, onto which any old idiot can walk while wearing a homemade angel costume.
Also, I get that Homer doesn’t really have a job anymore, but do the kids still go to school?
Charlie Sweatpants: Not that I can tell, and at this point Lisa was basically only ever at school to interact with Skinner or Ralph or someone. Miss Hoover’s actual class is gone at this point.
There’s also no distinction between events and actions that I, the audience member, am supposed to think are real and those that aren’t.
Moe and Homer eventually get taken by soap opera security, right? But since there hadn’t been any security at all up to that point, it leaves the entire thing feeling not just goofy and improbable, but flat out impossible.
Mad Jon: Yeah, and like you mentioned earlier, they point it out at the end. But in my opinion that was more of a cop for the lack of an ending again.
Charlie Sweatpants: It was, but at least it was short.
Mad Jon: True enough.
Charlie Sweatpants: The other thing that bugs me here is that Springfield is now apparently host to a wildly popular soap opera, Duffman, and a high rise with gay Republicans in it.
Springfield increasingly feels like no place in these episodes.
That said, “It Never Ends” with the tagline “Like the cleaning of a house” is a damn funny soap opera title.
Mad Jon: I also liked the sign at Duff Days “A lost weekend for the Family”
They were still pretty solid with things like signs and titles and what not at this point.
Charlie Sweatpants: There were some good toss off jokes too, “Daddy I’m stealing” and “TV-ugly, not ugly ugly”.
Dave: Those were cute.
Mad Jon: Yeah, I liked the TV ugly thing.
Charlie Sweatpants: Things like that keep me from hating this episode too much. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s not a giant volcano racist lava pit or whatever.
Mad Jon: I liked this one more than the missionary one. But perhaps like is the wrong word. I hated this one less.
Dave: I was going to say, “like” seems a bit strong.
Mad Jon: I still won’t be putting it in the queue anytime soon.
Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, I can’t say that this one gets watched with any frequency by me, but at the same time, I get slightly less nauseous when I think about it the way I do with many of these other ones.
Between Azaria’s deliveries (I’ve been meaning to get that updated, for this state, and real) and some good one offs and signs, this is definitely above average for Season 11.
Mad Jon: Yeah, It probably would have been even better if they wouldn’t have insisted on shoving Homer into every damn scene. But overall I am in agreement, better than average, some good things, some things not so good, some things very angering.
Charlie Sweatpants: Well put, Lrrr from Omicron Persei 8.