566. My Fare Lady

Original airdate: February 15, 2015

The premise:
After accidentally getting the bar completely wrecked, Homer, Lenny and Carl gets Moe a job at the nuclear plant, but tensions rise when he is quickly promoted. Meanwhile, Marge becomes a driver for a ride sharing service, which ends up running her ragged.

The reaction: Two bland tastes taste bland together… bleh. So Marge is convinced to becoming a not-Lyft driver considering she drives around doing chores all day. Nothing really comes of this plot whatsoever. Very quickly, she finds herself exhausted from doing it, but it’s not even like they set up that she needs the money, or that she wants to do something different with her life. She just randomly meets another driver, he asks if she wants to be one too, and she says yes. Meanwhile, Moe has the regular gang watch the bar when he goes to see some old Hollywood dame perform, who after looking it up I guess is an Elaine Stritch parody, and somehow he is about to score with her? Unfortunately, the guys’ ladies night scheme to drum up business for the bar fails when the ladies start a destructive bar brawl for some reason, trashing the bar and ruining Moe’s shot at getting laid. This making sense so far? At this point, thanks to an extended opening and the Marge story, we’re halfway through the show, so we quickly get Moe into the power plant, where as a janitor he manages to shoo away some safety inspectors, and Burns promotes him to supervisor. This is all condensed in the last few minutes of the show, so I’m not exactly sure what Moe’s new job entails or why he would like it, but when his old customers shun him in the cafeteria, he just wants to go back to the bar. Marge picks him up for a ride, crossing the two plots over, where we get some weird song interlude where someone sings their dialogue and stage direction for them (I have no idea what this is supposed to be a reference to), and the two decide to give up their new jobs. Or rather, Marge says that verbatim. Two “someone-gets-a-job” shows for the price of one! What fun! Or lack thereof.

Three items of note:
– Even though an extended opening sequence killed almost two minutes (see below), we follow that up with even more padding, a recreation of The Jetsons opening theme. The pay-off of space Homer going to work under glass in a public display labeled “Why Humans Failed” is kind of cute, but everything else was just boring, just flatly recreating the original source material, tweaking a few small elements and putting in sign gags. Compare this to “Marge vs. The Monorail” and their Flintstones opening with Homer jumping into his car seat, breaking the window in the process, and his jubilant song about himself ending in totaling his car on a chestnut tree. Actually doing something creative with the material vs. just playing it straight and hope people slap their fins together because it’s funny when one pop culture thing meets another pop culture thing!
– Once again, I have to bitch about the exposition shit. Carl has the idea to promote a ladies night at Moe’s and hangs a sign up. But, I guess in case you don’t know what a “ladies night” is, and I don’t see how any mentally capable adult wouldn’t, Lenny and Carl helpfully explain it thoroughly to you, the audience (“How does Moe make money if ladies drink free?” “That’s the beauty part. This place is about to be filled with guys buying beers hoping to meet ladies!” “Brilliant! And thanks for telling me what the beauty part of it was.”) It’s like I’m listening to a bar owners instructional tape.
– Surely they could have written some better jokes about ride sharing, there’s so much comedic potential to be had. Instead, once Marge starts driving, the Moe story takes almost all of the screen time. We see the cab drivers of the city are annoyed with Marge in particular for whatever reason, complete with awful, awful dialogue! (“We used to get Uber amounts of work giving people Lyfts!” Yah get it?) We also have Christopher Lloyd, I guess playing his character from Taxi, but I’m too young to have any appreciation for that. For me, he’ll forever be Doc Brown. The two plots intersect at the end when the cab drivers corner Marge to beat the shit out of her, I suppose, and Moe scares them off with a shotgun. I guess that’s one way to connect the two.

One good line/moment: An entire guest opening title this time, a pixelated visual masterpiece animated by two fans. The timeline on this was pretty quick too; the video was posted February 1st, it took the Internet by storm, and just two weeks later, it actually got used by the show itself. That’s pretty fantastic, those two should be very proud of themselves. Not only is it incredibly inventive and uses fan service appropriately (nothing past season 10, of course), even using pixel art, the animation is more fluid and lively than what we see in the show itself. If you haven’t seen it (though I can’t imagine if you’re reading a blog like this that you haven’t), it’s well worth your time.

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7 responses to “566. My Fare Lady

  1. Ererrrrrrrrrrrr

    CHRISTOPHER LLOYD, of all people, plays a rival driver in this. It’s pointless, and has nothing on George Clooney playing a gay dog on “South Park” (seriously, he did!), and we’re just supposed to slap our fins at that, like hey, remember that guy? Here he is!

    And the pixel open, while impressive, was clearly used not only as fanservice, not only as a timewaster, but as a way to seem hip and modern, and to get a few clickbait articles that say “‘The Simpsons’ Goes Pixel, and It Looks Amazing!”.

    • I totally agree about the pixel stuff. Anyway, I must admit it got some beautiful animation, way better than anything done in the HD era.

  2. “(nothing past season 10, of course)”
    In the scene where they all change outfits one of Marge’s outfits is from Large Marge, so there is one thing.

    • And of course, Maude with a halo.

      Other costumes include Lisa as Clobber Girl, Bart as his Clockwork Orange parody self, and Lisa in her hiking/camera outfit (“Days of Wine and D’oh-ses”)

    • Homer is also seen in his skiing outfit from “Little Big Mom”.

  3. The brazilian cabbie who kidnapped Homer in “Blame It on Lisa” is one of those who wanted to kill Marge. Makes sense.

  4. Kaiju no Kami

    The only thing I remember about this episode is that I watched it after we came back from a trip to Dallas in June 2015 and we had used Uber and Lyft for the very first time while we were there. I had actually never heard of them before then.

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