(originally aired November 26, 2006)
Homer gets a new job, Marge tries to make something of herself, Homer fucks that thing up, and Marge inexplicably forgives him at the end… my lord, how unbelievably boring. Hasn’t this ground been covered enough? How many times are these two going to be at odds with each other? Or rather, Marge at odds with Homer, and him begging and whining for forgiveness. By reasons that are dumb and pointless, Homer becomes an ice cream truck driver, because I guess they make a good enough salary to support a five-person family. Meanwhile Marge is depressed that she hasn’t done anything with her life, so what’s going to be her inspiration? The discarded Popsicle sticks from her husband, which she uses to make statues of her family and the townspeople. How boring. Remember her Ringo Starr paintings, how he acted as her teenage muse? What does she care about Drederick Tatum or the Capital City Goofball enough to make statues of them? It’s a different shade of it, but this is more of the “everybody knows everybody” motif of later years.
So how does Homer fuck up? He guns it in his truck to make it to her big art show on their lawn, but ends up out of control and smashes through every single sculpture, effectively destroying what must have been hundreds of hours of hard work. At least he was acting mindlessly reckless for a good cause… right? It’s hard to spy any sort of silver lining with this shit. Half of act three is Homer standing outside Marge’s door, asking her to forgive him, going through the usual bullshit. It’s just waiting for the rudimentary beats and how they’re going to be slightly different. Usually it’s Homer doing something stupid that Marge thinks is sweet and taking him back. But this time, he doesn’t have to do anything at all. Marge erects a humungous Popsicle stick tribute to her husband (“My sweet perfectly imperfect you!”) How sweet. Maybe a little bit. Not really. I guess this isn’t as aggressively awful as other episodes of this ilk, but it’s every bit as innocuous. Like honestly, who cares about anything happening in these episodes?
Tidbits and Quotes
– Marge scolds Bart for wasting food (“You should be ashamed! Your father works very hard to put lobsters on our table!”) There’s a lot of fluctuation in terms of characters’ attitudes and beliefs about things, and one seems to be Marge’s view on her husband. Most episodes she’s well aware of what a lazy jackass he is, but then there are moments like this where she seems unbelievably naive. Here, her line is just a set-up to a lame bit of Homer goofing off in the break room playing some elaborate game with the guys. Then he imagines Mr. Burns is an ice cream cone and licks him in a disturbing scene. Then Burns chastises the others for not having enough team spirit… what.
– “Remember that crappy ice cream truck I bought?” “How could we forget? Mom says now we can’t afford to go to the orthodontist.” Remember when Homer’s top priority was to take care of his family? Now tricking out his ice cream truck is more important than his children’s health.
– All that the Homer getting dressed sequence tells me is that the writers have seen Da Ali G Show. I just don’t understand how this is a parody, they’re just repeating, beat for beat, the intro to the show. Sure there are added jokes, like him needing two belts and his pants ripping, but they have nothing to do with commenting on the source material, and nothing to do with the episode itself. It’s as worthless as a Family Guy cut-away “gag.”
– Last episode Homer used his fairy voice to mock Moe for being a poet. Here, he mocks a passed out lactose intolerant kid after he forced him to eat ice cream (“Oooh, you wear a bracelet! Who’s your boyfriend?”) More aggravating gay “jokes.”
– More pathetic Moe as he weeps at the sight of his wooden doppelganger (“Tell me all your little wooden dreams! You’re not alone anymore, no you ain’t!”) I just don’t find this funny.
– “Honey, I brought you more sticks! This is the most fun I’ve ever had giving you wood!” Groan. I bet this joke came up very early in the writing of this show, and somehow it managed to stay in.
– The Rich Texan is so boring and predictable. How many jokes can you make involving him shooting his guns in the air? It’s like Nelson’s “Haw-haw!” or any other character’s schtick; they grew stale years ago, but the show has managed to milk the same tired gags for over twenty years rather than come up with something new.
– The only thing I laughed at was Homer the ice cream man’s money pot: a divorced dad’s visitation picnic (“Attention, losers! This is your chance to buy your children some frozen love!” “I’m not gonna fall for such a cheap stunt!” “Mom would!” “Hey! Give me one of everything!”)
– Marge calls Homer out on his selfishness and storms inside the house. Then Homer yells, “Well excuse me for having enormous flaws that I don’t work on!” At some point, you can only be self-conscious of your overused tropes for so long before putting them to pasture. The writers acknowledge what a gigantic dickhead Homer has become, and yet feel the best thing they can do is comment on it and everything will be fine. Homer effectively destroys a month’s worth of his wife’s hard work, and screams at her, “I’m aware I have horrible behavioral problems that put you and our children at risk, but I refuse to do anything to better myself!” What a lovable guy.
– Oh wait, one other point where I laughed (“Homer, I wanted to show the world how I feel about you!” “The world’s not that interested!”) A shocking display of Homer actually being humble, considering how pompous and self-important he’s become these days.
– The episode opens with Marge criticizing Bart for wasting food, and ends with her mentioning she threw out what must have been thousands of gallons of ice cream to make her big sculpture. Well, it actually ends with a bizarro vision of the future where iPods rule the Earth. What the fuck…