(originally aired February 20, 2005)
Following in the footsteps of “Three Gays of the Condo,” this is another episode that the writers hope will make the series look tolerant and progressive, but ultimately just feel hacky and gimmicky. To bring in more tourists, Springfield legalizes gay marriage, and when Reverend Lovejoy forbids to perform any services, Homer steps in, having become an ordained minister over the Internet in less than a minute. Then it stumbles into this weird thing where Homer vows he’ll marry anything to anything else, and he goes on Smartline to defend his actions. He’s acting purely out of greed, but the deeper connotations are slightly disconcerting. Kent Brockman cites the recent surge in rash marriages, and Homer is defending the rights of callously handled unions, and because this is the gay marriage show, it makes it seem like they’re directly connected. Homer even talks about marrying inanimate objects, even things that don’t exist, which is like those stupid arguments that opponents to gay marriage use. It’s all very confusing, it’s feels like the show is in the argument for, but in the most backhanded, negative way possible.
Alright, time for the big reveal: which of our characters is coming out of the closet? Turns out it’s Patty, although this is nothing we already didn’t know (“There goes the last lingering thread of my heterosexuality.”) Patty comes out to her sister, and reveals that she’s marrying a pro golfer named Veronica. So, alright, she was hesitant to come clean to Marge, and for some reason decided to drop that bomb and announce her marriage at the same time, but I’ll be generous and go with that. Clearly she and Veronica must have been together for a long time to want to tie the knot, but here’s the kicker: Marge discovers Veronica is actually a man, exposing her protruding Adam’s apple as proof. I don’t even know what to say. You’re telling me that Patty noticed this? This person that she’s about to marry, in all the time they’d have spent together, even if they never had sex, which they imply they haven’t, that she never ever questioned his gender? It’s just such a bizarre, unnecessary twist, I don’t understand why they would do this. They make like they want to normalize gay marriage, but ultimately just turn it into a gigantic farce. This show isn’t as aggressively offensive as “Three Gays,” but it’s just as awful.
Tidbits and Quotes
– The opening bit with Bart and Milhouse pranking that travel channel guy is so boring. Also Blinky is now a giant Creature from the Black Lagoon type monster now. Or at least a fish just like it.
– The map to star’s homes bit annoys me; the joke markers aren’t funny, then it holds on it until Homer asks the audience if they’ve read them all, which just annoys me further considering that the jokes weren’t funny enough to warrant holding the frame so we could read them all. It’s like a feedback loop of aggravation.
– It really bothers me that Lisa suggests the town accept gay marriage, and is armed with two supporting reasons (“We can attract a growing segment of the marriage market, and strike a blow for civil rights!”) Lisa is eight. Of course this isn’t a new complaint, but it’s especially bothersome here. At times like this, I think back to “Selma’s Choice” when Lisa was equally as eloquent, suggesting that Selma try artificial insemination, but there it was a joke that such a young girl would know about such a thing (immediately followed by Homer thinking that means having sex with a robot). But nowadays, Lisa has the mentality of a liberal college-bound feminist, so it’s no longer precocious, it’s just annoying.
– Like with “Three Gays,” the show hides behind its claims of acceptance so it can make a bunch of gay jokes. Right off the bat at the start of act two we have the Springfield pro-gay commercial, with men skipping toward the town underneath a rainbow, and then two men marrying wearing wedding gowns. Maybe the joke is that Springfield is intolerant, not the writers. Maybe.
– Homer is completely fueled by cash this episode, but I really don’t understand a lot of the shit he does this show: forgetting what straight marriage is, telling Brockman to call him “Your Holiness,” childishly goading Lovejoy… Then at the end of Smartline, Marge tells her husband she’s proud of him. He flat out admitted he’s only doing this for the money, what exactly is she proud of?
– Was Patty hesitant to reveal that she was gay, and about Veronica, to Selma? To her mother? Did she do it all at once, or much earlier than when she told Marge? You’d think she would have wanted to have this conversation earlier. Why would she hide this long, up until she’s going to get married, to tell Marge she was gay? If my sister waited that long to tell me something like that, I’d be a little annoyed about it. Is that why Marge is so upset? (“I just can’t believe my sister would keep me in the dark for all these years, then expect complete acceptance on the day she gets married!”) Perhaps, it’s not exactly explained well.
– Homer’s fantasy of him marrying himself, with two Homers making out with little Homer children running around… I don’t even know what to say, other than that it’s grossly out of character and incredibly disturbing.
– The Veronica reveal is so bonkers on so many levels. Like who are the people sitting on his side of the chapel? They must know that he’s a man, so are they all in on this ruse? Or maybe they’re not, maybe they’re other golfers that he knew from the women’s circuit. But what is this man’s life? Does he have any family or friends, does he lead a double life as a man and a woman? How did he think this marriage would work out, especially considering it wouldn’t take long after their wedding for Patty to discover he has a penis. Did he just think that she would accept it? A hundred questions are whizzing around my head that this show gives no answers to; it’s one of the most ridiculous and stupid things this show has ever done.