(originally aired January 6, 2008)
Whelp, one step forward with “Moonshine,” two gigantic steps back with this episode; a disjointed, truly pathetic attempt at political satire with a mind-bogglingly nonsensical third act and no ending. Let’s begin with some Homer antics, because those are always enjoyable. Dreading the first day of his new diet, Homer drives down “Fast Food Boulevard,” sampling their many disgusting wares. He disposes of all the trash from his car at a Krusty Burger trash disposal, including a leaking car battery, which hits a main gas line. Lighting a cigar and tossing the match down the hole, he triggers an explosive reaction that decimates the entire street of stores, as he drives away puffing his cigar, completely oblivious. Is Homer ever held accountable for all this wanton destruction? Not at all. His arrogance was slightly annoying in the movie when he polluted the lake, but at least there he was brought to task for his actions. Here, either nobody knows or gives a shit; in the next scene, he’s rallying everyone at town hall to rebuild the entire area that he effectively destroyed, and to get the initiative passed quicker, Quimby moves up the presidential primaries, now making them first in the nation.
This announcement sparks a media circus to convene to Springfield, with pundits and lobbyists poking their noses into everybody’s lives. All attempts at satire are so amazingly paltry, ground this show has covered so much better in older episodes. Also, references to then-current figures like Fred Thompson and Dennis Kucinich, which definitely date the show. At the end of act two, Homer once again opens his fat fucking trap to encourage everybody to nominate the stupidest possible candidate to get everyone out of town. Who could it be? Ralph Wiggum. But this only causes both parties to go after the kid, trying to get them on their side. The third act is so unbelievably bizarre; I guess that’s what the writers are going for, but stretched to fill the entire six minutes, it doesn’t feel so much as a goof. And while we’ve seen the Republican Party Headquarters as a spooky castle many times before, now we see the Democrats HQ: at the salad bar of a whole foods store, populated with women (Lindsay Naegle), minorities (Bumblebee Man), and gays (Patty, and Julio, who holds up ass-less chaps he plans to wear to Ralph’s inauguration. This is your representation on this show. gay America. I’m so sorry). The episode ends with a political ad for Ralph’s candidacy… and that’s it. That’s the end. Well, I guess since the episode had no real story, then I guess it doesn’t need an ending, does it? What a piece of shit.
Tidbits and Quotes
– Lenny, Carl and Homer wait desperately for Burns to get in his car and drive away so they can leave, but he gets caught up talking to the mail room guy. So Homer calls his phone, tells him he has his wife and/or brother held hostage, and will release them if he steps back from Burns and does a little dance for his amusement. What a likable guy!
– Homer drives up to every fast food place on the block during one meal time. They roll a gigantic sub sandwich in his mouth as he eats it in one go. He douses fries and a lobster on top of a pizza, closes the box, shakes it up, then takes a bit into the box. Heeeeee’s Homer the food monster!
– Another nod of awareness with the Jerk-Ass Homer brand of cigars Homer smokes. And the fact that they make this “joke” during one of the most thoughtless, stupid and, yes, jerk-ass-iest things he’s ever done, is basically like the writers unzipping their flies and pissing in the fans’ faces.
– Jon Stewart has a completely disposable cameo. The joke is that Krusty tries to steal jokes from him, but it, like many jokes of the modern era, lasts twice as long as it needs to.
– Here’s a perfect example of the show over-extending a joke. A panel is being held for one of the debates, with someone from CNN, slate.com, and “Ron Laharr, a print journalist from the Washington Post.” The moderator says it with distinct disdain, you already get the joke, and it works. But then it’s stepped on and ruined with Nelson and Skinner (“Ha ha! Your medium is dying!” “Nelson!” “But it is!” “There’s being right and there’s being nice!”)
– I honestly don’t even feel like discussing the third act. It literally is the dumbest thing the show has ever done. Am I supposed to take it the least bit seriously? Should I care? Lisa voices her legitimate concerns as the only sane man, only to be immediately swayed when Ralph gives an unusually coherent, out-of-character rhetoric about what he “plans” for his “Presidency.” “Maybe you wouldn’t be such a bad President, Ralph!” Get the fuck out of here.