Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Deeper Look At: Flaming Moe

Continuing with this theme, I'll be taking a closer look at why this episode sucks just based on its own merits.

Issue #1: The gays are neither funny nor interesting
I feel like saying what's right with this would be much easier than what's wrong with this part. Nothing about the characters leaps out and leaves an impression. They are very forgettable and offer nothing in terms of jokes. They don't even try to satirize a "Typical gay", I wouldn't mind this too much if it wasn't for the fact that this show still claims to be a comedy but takes everything seriously. Heck there is only one gay that can be argued to have personality it would be Julio, and that's only on the basis of his multiple appearances (And I swear to God if he appears in just ONE episode this season....). Let's start off with the first encounter; the gays are very forgettable and the club name is about as generic and bland as a plain sandwich.
Hell this is much funnier and wastes far less time (You'll thank me later). Let's try to talk about the gays that are supposed to be funny:
  • "Super Hair Wonder Woman" This character is beyond unfunny (I present: 'the antifunny') and is so random it could challenge Family Guy for worst random joke ever.
This was SO vital to the episode
  • "Comic Book Gay" Where do I even begin with this? First off, this "Pun" is awful and kills brain cells. Secondly, puns do not work that way, it makes as much sense as me mocking the Green Lantern by calling him "The Green Lazy" (Is that making you laugh? No? Well now it's easier to understand why this fails). Thirdly, why does the writing staff feel the need to inject characters like him into situations that make no sense? Take a look back at certain episodes and you'll understand. The writing staff will inject guys like Ralph, Comic Book Guy and Chalmers into scenes that don't make sense just for the sake of it.
Worst joke ever? Quite possibly
  • "The Transvestites" Was there supposed to be a joke attached to them or something? If so, I must have missed it or it wasn't funny. Were they supposed to show that transvestites are regular people too? If so, that failed as well.
Ever want to play a prank on your friends? Tell them to spot the joke here.
  • "Grizzly Shaun" His character is that he's grizzly, gay and... nothing else, next guy.
And his bit is...?
  • "Grady" ... I've got nothing, he left no impact whatsoever
Still as bland as ever
  • "Julio" The less I say about him the better
What day would be complete without our daily dose of Julio?
Now, to be fair, some characters can be not-so-funny and dull, but the struggles they undergo make you feel sympathetic towards them (even for a second). However, the way it's handled means you don't feel bad for them at all. Let me explain. Near the end there's this problem that gay community cannot march in some parade (For some reason) and somehow this leads to Moe running for Town Council (For some reason, I don't know I gave up caring about this episode a while ago) and he's exposed as a straight man and the whole "Parade" subplot is just forgotten. It's clear the writers needed to find a way to finish this but had no idea how to, so they just threw together this "Conflict" that is entirely POINTLESS.

Issue #2: The framing device is awful
Does anyone actually remember HOW the main plot got off the ground? Apparently it was something to do with Smithers being upset that Mr. Burns didn't put him in his will because of respect. So Smithers helps Moe and then earns Mr. Burns' respect. I don't have too much of a problem with framing devices that have little to nothing to do with the rest of the episode as long as they aren't too long, not HALFWAY THROUGH THE EPISODE! Seriously, it wastes so much time at the beginning and then the framing device is ended with one sentence midway through the episode. It's just pathetic how lazy the writers are when it comes to this, if you cannot integrate your framing device with the rest of the episode, don't shoehorn it in. So let's talk about the things wrong with it:
  • The irrelevant opening takes too long
    • Can anyone tell me what the whole point of the "fight" at the beginning was supposed to accomplish? Was it funny? No. Did it advance the plot in a way that nothing else could? No, Smithers could have easily walked into Burns' office for no reason (or, if there MUST be a reason, delivering his morning coffee). So the only conclusion we can come to was that the scene was just padding.
Violence is always funny, except when it isn't
  • The scene with Burns' dementia is stupid
    • Okay truth be told, the dinosaur joke was a bit funny for all of five seconds. Unfortunately, it lasts longer than five seconds. The joke was further ruined by the writers having Homer come in for the sole purpose of screaming. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the writers have no clue how to end a joke properly and this is a great example.
AHH! An unfunny joke!
  • Trying to reintegrate the framing device midway through
    • So Smithers tries to earn Burns' respect by making the bar successful, okay fair enough. But the writers felt the need to somehow make the conclusion even worse than an open ending. They throw in a scene about 11:30 in to show (Oh wait I mean say, showing us would require the writers to have working brain cells) that Burns respects him now. Then it gets dropped, never to be mentioned again. It was utterly pointless; anyone who actually cared about the opening didn't care what Burns was feeling by that point. He hadn't shown up since the 3-minute mark so that aspect was worthless at the 11-minute mark. Try imagining watching a movie where someone dies at the beginning, and you see the body being moved halfway through the film. By that point, you want the plot to move on, not wrap up a detail that's no longer relevant (and actually doesn't achieve anything; Burns never says, after all, he'll change his will).
I'm so glad we got to see this scene. I would have lost sleep if I didn't see  this.

Issue #3: The guest stars
My issue here is that outside of one, they are completely wasted. Kristen Wiig is the only guest star I could say could be justified. Alyson Hannigan and Scott Thompson contribute NOTHING to this episode. Alyson is given a grand total of maybe four lines, and Scott Thompson is just so BLAND. Hell, I forgot who his character even was (P.S. he was the gay with the sweater around his neck); he adds nothing to the episode that any of the other gays do not already add. Looking over his role, you could easily cut out every one of his lines and there'd be no change in the script whatsoever. In the end, while having guest stars is nice and all, actually using them is much better.
Truly theirs is a romance for the ages

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