462. Moe Letter Blues

moeletterbluesOriginal airdate: May 9, 2010

The premise: Whilst on a getaway cruise with their kids, Homer, Apu and Tim Lovejoy receive a mysterious letter from Moe, who announces he will be leaving town forever with one of their wives in tow. The three men must think back to figure out what made their significant others so discontented that they would fall into the slovenly bartender’s open arms.

The reaction: I’m hesitant saying I think the writers were trying to make this a somewhat serious episode… but with all the “tense” moments and the attempts to link all of the flashbacks together in some way, it feels that way to me. Of course it’s all nonsense and none of it is emotionally impacting whatsoever. I mean, what am I supposed to feel, exactly? I know none of their wives are going to leave, and especially not with Moe; this might be believable with literally any other character but him. Plus, Homer and Apu’s family life we know, but we’ve barely seen any of Helen Lovejoy for many many seasons (and Jessica randomly appears?) But in the end, turns out it was Moe’s plan to help these three idiots save their marriage, but arranging incredibly nice things for all of them. Why in the ever loving fuck would he do this? So not only is he incredibly, cripplingly lonely, but he’ll go extremely out of his way to help the married folk of Springfield? This shit don’t make no sense to me.

Three items of note:
– The Homer/Patty and Selma dynamic has felt really, really off for over a decade at this point; the two sisters are much better making snidey comments that chip away at Homer then just blatantly insulting him to his face. Also, Homer’s retort in this show is calling them “penis-curling she-devils.” I never want to hear him say that ever again.
– Funtendo Zii returns at Moe’s, but this time with their DDR ripoff, Dance Dance Evolution. And apparently Moe had enough money to purchase the game system, dance pad and a giant flatscreen TV. I guess he’s got the money since Moe’s is so damn popular, as we see from the first scene, completely crowded with our regular characters, including those who make no sense to be there, like Burns and Quimby. Moe’s is a fucking dive bar that’s falling apart where sadsack losers like Homer go to waste their lives away. What is this shit I am watching?
– My God, the ending is so fucking tedious. Such unbelievably phony “tension” as we arrive at each house to see… that marriage is safe. We see the husband relief scene play out in its entirety all three times, and it does nothing but kill time, since we know nothing was going to happen anyway. Also, Marge’s mother understanding Homer was “innocent” because she knows Patty and Selma are “evil”? What?

One good line/moment: The boat smashing into the dock at Weasel Island and exploding. Random and stupid, but it was the only thing I smirked at the whole show. Also, it was a moment where something actually happened.

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12 responses to “462. Moe Letter Blues

  1. Moe’s is so damn popular, as we see from the first scene, completely crowded with our regular characters, including those who make no sense to be there, like Burns and Quimby. Moe’s is a fucking dive bar that’s falling apart where sadsack losers like Homer go to waste their lives away. What is this shit I am watching?

    I’m so fucking glad you’ve pointed that out! Or as Marge called Moe’s “A seedy bar full of bums and low-lives” That was back in the early seasons when the characters we written properly though! And I’m surprised you didn’t comment on the faulty animation of Barney’s rodeo scene.

    • Faulty animation of Barney’s rodeo scene? I thought that was one of the most beautifully animated scenes in Zombie Simpsons, especially in terms of staging. For someone like Matt Nastuk to attempt anything beyond a square-framed shot of talking heads is astronomical!

  2. Also about Burns being there, remember back in Season 3 when he tried to suck up to the lower-class only to get humiliated out of there?

  3. The main premise for this movie is based off of the old classic movie “A Letter To Three Wives” and to the episode’s credit it’s not a complete ripoff of the movie like other Simpsons “parodies” (i.e. “All About Lisa”). However, considering how little sense this episode makes with its own story, maybe it wouldn’t have been a bad idea…

    Making Moe…MOE, the guy they all think are cheating on their wives is pretty damn stupid. Hans Moleman would have been more believable (still stupid, just less so) given his character is more of a clean slate in comparison. Moe has been so established as a pathetic, hideous loser that has no real friends that any deviation from Moe’s current character would demand focus in and of itself rather than pretending that there’s actually a chance of him being an alpha male.

    Also Homer Apu and Lovejoy hanging out is pretty damn weird. Homer and Apu I can see, but Lovejoy spending time with them? Someone like Kirk Vanhouten would’ve made more sense. Sure, he’s not the type to be able to afford such a cruise, but neither is Homer. Or Apu. Damn this makes no sense!

    • Wasn’t the fake tension lampshaded with Kirk having Otto say that even he hooked up with Luanne, why she’d want to hook up with somebody who’s possibly more pathetic than Kirk (even in ZS) is beyond me but why does Millhouse refer to him as an uncle when it should of been step-dad. This does indicate that Kirk was with them on the cruise and take note that the cruise was of a low-quality meaning that they could afford it. But yeah a total waste of time and a poor attempt at a Mother’s Day themed episode, but seriously i can’t wait to see what you have to say about the next episode, i’m already excited just typing about it! 😛

  4. Another episode that features surprisingly decent Nastuk direction. After working on the show this long, I was starting to think he was a lost cause, but he’s really turned around this season. Sadly, it’s not to last…

  5. I can see your point about boring camera angles, but why are you singling Nastuk out as particularly horrible? The direction really went downhill across the board over the years. For my money, the only post-classic era director who really had a unique visual thumbprint was Lauren MacMullan, and she’s long gone from the show.

    • I haven’t noticed a serious decline with Steven Dean Moore and Mark Kirkland, they can still make shots that look a little dynamic. Bob Anderson has gotten much worse over the last years and a half, though.

  6. Pingback: Reading Digest: Math Class Edition | Dead Homer Society

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