(originally aired May 21, 2006)
Just as the season began, we end with another shitty Homer-Marge episode. Kinda. The best I can say it’s nowhere near the abomination of “Bonfire of the Manatees,” but it is boring and stupid. The Isotopes’ new best player Buck Mitchell’s game is getting affected by his hot pop star wife, and is in need of some marriage counseling. And why ask a trained professional when you can consult two random strangers who showed up on the stadium kiss cam? So Homer and Marge help the young couple out, sort of. But, through misunderstanding, Buck believes he overhears his wife and Homer fooling around, which is not a cliche hackneyed premise at all, or poorly executed and ridiculous, and things go sour one more. This also gets him in Marge’s bad graces. But everything gets resolved in the third act one way or another, as it always does, whether we believe or care about it or not.
This whole episode… just, who cares. We meet these two new characters: Buck we know nothing about, and Tabitha is just a pastiche of sexy pop stars, hoping to keep the audience awake by flashing as much yellow skin as possible. We see Homer and Marge “counsel” them twice, which consists of Marge reading from a therapy book and dispensing simple pleasantries and ideas. Around this, the characters just tell us the information rather than show it: Lisa comments how weird it is that her parents are dispensing marriage advice when their own is so shitty, Kent Brockman talks about how Homer and Marge are responsible for Buck’s improved performance, and then a sportscaster comments on how they screw it up. Do we care about Buck and Tabitha, these two strangers, and whether they’ll get back together? No. Do we care for the sake of Homer and Marge, who worked so hard to keep them together? No, because we barely see any of it. Do we even care if Homer and Marge stay together? At this point, I honestly don’t give a crap. Three more seasons to go…
Tidbits and Quotes
– I remember teenage me quite enjoying Tabitha Vixxx in this episode. And you know what, between her design and Mandy Moore’s voice, her scenes were the only interesting parts of the whole episode. I’m not quite sure why…
– “You remember when we used to kiss like that, Carl? With our respective girlfriends.” Please stop, writers. Just… please. Stop.
– I’m confused why Marge’s gossip circular has a photo of old Groucho Marx Krusty as we’ve seen in the future episodes with the headline “Krusty’s Sad Last Days.” Is this a periodical from the future?
– The main issue seemingly is that Buck feels embarrassed and uncomfortable with his wife’s music career involving her wearing as little amount of clothes as possible. It’s what makes him lose focus at the game, and the first thing he brings up in consoling. Is it ever brought up again, or resolved, or discussed further? Nope!
– Buck hearing Tabitha and Homer’s moans through the door as he gives her a neck rub is unbelievable, like how lame and unoriginal can this show get? And the “protection” bit is just annoying. I could hear the trombone “wah waaaahhh” sound when it’s revealed to be a bib.
– There’s a bit toward the end where Tabitha volunteers to polish Marge’s lamp, and proceeds to just do a pole dance. There’s some satire to be had involving vacuous pop stars, that perhaps their sexy demeanor and behavior is more absent-minded, like just a compulsion they can’t control. It could have been delved into, considering it’s the main source of Buck’s frustration. Instead, it’s just a gag. Whatever.
Season 17 Final Thoughts
Not much left to say at this point. The series is broken in nearly every respect and shows no sign of any attempted repair. A token chuckle or two every episode is the best I hope for, and sometimes I don’t even get that.
“Milhouse of Sand and Fog,” “My Fair Laddy”
“Bonfire of the Manatees,” “See Homer Run,” “Million Dollar Abie,” “Regarding Margie,” “The Monkey Suit”