Monday, June 20, 2011

A Deeper Look At: Donnie Fatso

We continue this series, with the next episode on my list: Donnie Fatso. While this episode is really bad, sadly, it's not the worst Fat Tony episode of the year (Details later). This one is just a bore and insulting at the same time, so let's take a look at the main problems.

Issue #1: Treatment of Fat Tony
Whenever there's a discussion about this episode (Very rare) it always come back to "They killed Fat Tony only to bring him back". I cannot even begin to describe the levels of suck this has (But don't take my word for it), it is honestly one of the worst ideas ever and the execution is terrible. If they did this to a minor character, there would be a small backlash, nothing that wouldn't die down after a month at most. But to do this to a recurring guest star who has been nothing but nice to the show? That's just sickening. Joe should've flat out said no and walked out right after reading the words "Fat Tony dies" and nobody would have given him flak. Now I said I'd do my best to avoid referencing Classic Simpsons but if you think about Bleeding Gums Murphy (Very minor character) even he got a more dignified death and mourning that Fat Tony.
It's funny because he's fat... oh no wait it's not funny at all, my mistake
And to top it all off, they decide to pull the ultimate deus ex machina and bring in a "Twin cousin" who just happens to be able to take the place of Fat Tony just to achieve "Status Quo is God". My response to that is, if they knew they were just going to have Fat Tony exist by episode's end, why bother killing him in the first place? What purpose did it serve to kill off Fat Tony? Was it funny? No. Did it move the story forward any better than something else? No. Was it attempting to satirize a common theme in different shows where a random character appears out of nowhere and take the place of a fallen character? No. It was just insulting, stupid and pointless and a disgrace to writers.
Whatever you say guys, whatever you say

Issue #2: Characters
This is just an excuse to put two rather smaller problems together. I have two big issues that aren't that big in the scope of things, but it really just speaks to the crappiness of this episode. First off; Wiggum. Wiggum's character makes no sense here, even if we were to completely forget Classic Wiggum, Modern Wiggum is still a rather incompetent, crooked cop (Just more pratfalls that's all) and here he acts way out of character. Wiggum fines Homer for mixing recycling with garbage (...What?) and then continues to fine Homer for backtalking him. While the latter somewhat makes sense, the former is just odd for why he'd even bother. When Homer tries to later bribe a court official to get the ticket wiped clean, Wiggum arrests Homer for the bribe. That doesn't even begin to make a lick of sense knowing what we know about Wiggum, Wiggum would easily take the bribe for himself (Heck even in another Modern Simpsons (Can't remember exactly which one) his badge read: "Cash Bribes Only").
You know if you had given this to me at the start, I would have cleaned your record
But enough about not-Wiggum, let's talk about the always expressive Agent Don Draper (Took me a while to figure out his name, could've been Bob for all I cared). The FBI agent is probably one of the blandest characters I've seen in recent memory on the show. A sign of a good character is to describe them without mentioning physical features, what they do, or what they are (Latino, black, etc) I watched this an additional 3 times and I still cannot even come up with one interesting feature. In a nutshell; he's boring! Probably the closest thing I could attach to him is that he's stern and even that's pushing it. Point is that it was a waste of a guest voice and a waste of animation.
The many faces of Agent Draper; Face 1
Face 2
And of course face 3, spot the differences for a prize

Issue #3: The "Really?" Moments
Okay this one might be stretching it, but there were just so many moments that either made me shake my head or just go "really?". Oh yeah the whole "Fit Tony's arrival" does not make it on here since I bitched about it earlier, but as soon as I saw him I just shook my head in disbelief.

  • The Moe and Homer bit was one of those moments as it seemed to take 1 minute to go from Moe's Bar to... Moe's Bar to discuss what they were just discussing. It's rather lazy writing when you deem the last minute or so completely pointless with a 5 second line. 
Let us head on out, so that we can come right back to discuss your problem
  • Another one was the ending as the Goodfellas homage (I would call it parody, but I'd be lying) as it really came out of nowhere and seemed to try to mask over their lazy writing (Converting "Fit Tony" to Fat Tony). It also didn't help with the stupid bits of text they modified from Goodfellas to make it seem funny, hate to break it, but in reality, it's not funny. I just ended up looking at Maggie shooting at us and said "Really? You're ending it like that? That's stupid".
Don't be fooled by it being out of context. In context it's really not funny
  • The scene where Homer's helping to bust Fat Tony had a huge script error in my opinion. So we see Homer feeling guilty about busting Fat Tony so he not so subtly tries to tell Fat Tony to step away from the guns. So it makes perfect sense why his very next actions show him trying to bust Fat Tony... wait what? This scene would have made sense if we saw Homer have an ethical dilemma in his mind about whether or not to follow the FBI agent's orders or to save Fat Tony and then in the end decides that prison isn't worth it. But nope, Homer's actions are like a light switch, can change just like that.
You can understand why Homer in the next scene tries to incriminate Fat Tony
  • The "Bribe/Bride joke" was just painful. First off it's a bad sound-alike joke to begin with because it makes little to no sense why a bag labelled "Bride" would even be placed at a courthouse (Nobody dare mention how people can get married at a courthouse because I don't know many brides named "Bride"). Second off, a woman with a bridal dress just shows up from out of nowhere takes the bag of money and runs off, that's just weak and lazy. And to top it all off, Homer shouts at her to give him back his bribe. It's the close to the writers just saying "Laugh at this joke people! Laugh at it!" (And if it weren't bad enough there, they decide to extend the joke into Homer going into the cop car... Let's do some basic math: Not funny + Not Funny = NOT FUNNY!)
This isn't funny, this is lame
  • The part where Fat Tony has Homer torch Moe's bar was an example of bad filler if you ever needed to see what it looks like. There's the whole conversation between Tony and Homer about whether or not Homer will blow up the bar which seems to take quite a while. But then it's deemed utterly pointless after the act break (Because false tension is another way to get on my bad side) when Moe inexplicably blows his bar up thus making the past minute and a half pointless. It's hard to feel bad for them when they bitch about more commercials in newer episodes limiting time when they can't even bother to fill out the time properly.
Oh thank God, for a minute I thought that scene would have a point


  1. To me, this episode would've been better if it had focused on the dilemma of Homer growing on Fat Tony and having to live up to his promise to the FBI, or even the Dilemma of Fat Tony making him turn to a life of crime (Or Both). And the episode could've been better completely without Fat Tony dying.

  2. While I do agree about one of those two being far more interesting stories than what we got. I can't help but feel that it would only make this episode average at best. Maybe I'm just pessimistic about this.

    But it would have definitely better had they not killed Fat Tony only to replace him at the end (Seriously?) I just find it pathetic how lazy they were in the cop-out at the ending (Heck "I D'oh-Bot" at least lampshaded the cop-out ending. Here they play it serious)

    Ah well,I just hope that Futurama gets more attention from Matt and he decides not to allow this to get renewed for a 24th season.