Friday, October 14, 2011

Episode 3: Midnight Towboy

...We're near the halfway point of October and already these episodes are already getting under my skin. No, I'm not quitting on you guys, I'm just wondering how we live in a world where FOX decides to go from "45% paycut or we cancel your show completely" to "Extended through 2014" in less than a week. I knew this would end up happening, but I didn't think it would be THAT short. Anyways, back to another season 19 review, oh please put me out of my misery already.

The episode begins with Marge trying to put Maggie to sleep, but Maggie doesn't want to go to bed yet. After Marge tries to convince Maggie to sleep, we get a scene of Homer, Bart, Lisa, Ralph and Milhouse all in togas as they are celebrating the new pledges... What the fuck am I watching here? This scene comes completely out of nowhere and leads to nothing, all it served was the punchline to "Everyone else is asleep". I'll give the writers credit here, they had to TRY to make a punchline that bad, humor that bad isn't done overnight. Not even a minute in and I'm already ranting, sorry about that, let's move on. After Marge struggles to put maggie to sleep, she decides to make Maggie a bottle of milk, when she asks Homer to hold Maggie (By the way, nobody's in their togas anymore, continuity is for the weak) Maggie jumps from Homer's grasp and Marge drops the milk bottle. After Homer cries over spilled milk (No worries, this is not made subtle at all) Homer goes to the Kwik-E-Mart where he finds out that they're out of milk (Okay, the joke involved here isn't bad, so kudos). After a trip to Moe's bar for some milk (Which isn't funny, see it all balances out in the end) Oh and I guess, Moe's been drinking some of that paint as well. Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa convince Marge to look online to deal with Maggie, this goes about as well as you'd expect from a mother on the internet (Oh come on, this joke was better suited for 2001, not 2008).
Come on mom, why don't you ever use this computer we just bought?
Afterwards, we get a rather brief montage of Homer not being able to find milk Homer ends up in Guidopolis where everyone is a bad Itallian-American stereotype (And here I thought they would all be Japanese-Americans based off the town name). After some unfunny sign gags (That they stop on for a couple of seconds, remember how if they had something funny in the background, they'd gloss over it and make it a VCR gag? Yeah, nowadays they think that these 'jokes' are so great that they need to pause so that the audience can admire them) Homer goes into a convenience store where the owner tells Homer "I got your milk right here" while pointing down, to which Homer explains that he thought the owner meant his crotch (Stop explaining your jokes! They're not funny to begin with). Some woman then come in and informs the store that Homer's car is being towed so Homer goes out to try to reason with the towman.
If you want some milk, it's gonna cost you
The towman gives Homer a lift to the impound lot as Homer decides he needs to make a fat joke, er I mean get his registration so he gets into his car, which causes the towtruck to go airborne for a second (Okay, minor nitpick here, but later on, the towman has no problem carrying Homer under one arm. Keep your jokes consistent, that's all I ask). On the way over, Homer goes into dumbass mode as Louie (Nametag) tries to tell Homer in a subtle way that he's his own boss and he works whenever he wants (So Homer's IQ in this episode is going to be 'moss under a rock' *Sigh* let's move along). After they get to the impound lot, Louie sells Homer a towtruck and gives him one rule to being a towtruck driver for Springfield; stay in his own territory (Okay they list two, but the second one is a terrible joke). Oh and in case you're wondering (All two of you) the milk is never brought back up again, not even a token line of "Hey honey, here's the milk" *Sigh* let's continue. Back in Springfield, we see Homer towing random people (Nothing really to note, although I was surprised it wasn't a montage)
Hey, the 90's called, they want their lame surf-like montage back
but fear not, for the padding comes in the form of a pointless scene where Bart is skateboarding off Homer's towtruck and when Homer brakes hard, Bart crashes and dies, the end... but medical science means nothing as crashing into a truck while presumably going 40 MPH results in a short blackout (Oh you fucking teases, you had a chance to end the show right there) Yeah, yeah, hate on me because I like the idea of one of the main characters dying which would end the show. But seeing as they have nothing in common with the characters we knew and loved from the 90's, they're just animated robots to me, I could care less what happens to them. Anyways, back home, a woman from the program they mentioned earlier (C.R.I.E.) tells Marge that she needs to let Maggie become independent and she takes Marge away from Maggie. After about 10 seconds, Maggie is now totally independent of Marge (Great development there, for a moment, I thought we might actually see Marge and Maggie struggle to stay away from each other over the course of a couple of days and in the end, both realizing that they need to allow the other some independence. But nope, 30 seconds is all the development the writers could afford).
Uh, Marge? You're doing the "I am a MAN!" thing wrong
After Homer tows a helicopter (No it's not funny in context) Homer goes to Moe's where he spends some of his new money on designer drinks for everyone. Lenny reveals he's parked longer than he should have in the one-hour zone and Homer tows Lenny's car (Am I missing something? What's the narrative flow? "Homer tows a bunch of people after getting a towtruck"? It just feels messy and unfocused, sort of like the anti Mr. Plow, but that's just me). The next morning, we see Maggie being able to sustain herself perfectly fine (Replace development with the same scene of 'Maggie is independent' ad nauseum, because that's not lazy at all). After Homer does some terrible title dropping (Ow, ow, ow that hurt) we get to see a bunch of cars on the Simpsons' front lawn (By the way, two things I want to note on the Sunday School bus; 1) Only shows up when it's needed for the scene (Wasn't there when Skinner passed by) 2) They animated Ned, but couldn't be bothered with animating the kids in the foreground because...?)
Seems like there's nothing on the street there...
...Except for that teleporting bus... wait, what?
We then cut to the bar where everyone in town is mad because Homer's towing their vehicles (Hey I've got a solution, PARK LEGALLY YOU DUMB FUCKS!) Yeah I know this town doesn't like to obey the law (See Wiggum as their Police Chief) but this just turns into a 'C' plot I guess that goes nowhere. I'll explain when we get there. Oh and by the way, another joke explained in that scene, I think that brings the total of 'Don't explain the joke' to 3, with a few that are debatable. Agnes then tells everyone that she has a plan to get rid of Homer and she whispers it to everyone (Gee does it have anything to do with that "Stay off my turf" rule mentioned earlier?) At the border of Guidopolis (Ugh) they put a car next to a fire hydrant, paint a handicap space next to said hydrant and put a bunch of tickets under the windshield and finish it off by covering the billboard of "Welcome to Guidopolis" (Okay stupid nitpick here, a handicap spot next to a fire hydrant? How stupid do they think Homer i- nevermind I just answered my own question) Meanwhile, back home, we see Maggie yet again being independent, but this scene adds Marge losing here mind as she comforts a bag of potatoes (This scene isn't charming it's flat out creepy, get this woman help!)
I will love you and feed you and I will call you Norman
Back at the border, Homer notices the car and decides to narrate to himself how if this were a TV show, this would be the end of act 2 (Ow... even their fourth wall jokes are terrible) Louie (Yeah he's still exists) then confronts Homer about the car being on his turf as he knocks Homer out prompting a credit stating "End of Act 2" (You know what, at this point, the Joker doesn't even care that they're doing this anymore) Act 3 begins with Louie driving his truck while towing Homer's truck, which is towing Homer (Umm... Tow-ception? I'm sorry, I'll never say that again) all the while, Homer doesn't shut up until he hits a pole. At Louie's Home, he effortlessly carries Homer with one arm (Consistency, what's that?!) and then drops Homer into a dungeon of sorts where Homer finds a bunch of other towtruck drivers down there as well (So when will Louie start making his skin suit?) Back in Springfield, we see people not parking correctly (This is quite possibly the worst satire against anarchy I've seen. And no I'm not making that up, Lenny flat out states it, I'm just going to mail my dictionary to the writing staff with some post-its marked next to key words, 'subtle' is one of them). Back Home, Homer calls and tells them not to worry about him, that was pointless, let's move on. Back in Springfield, we see that the whole town has gone into anarchy because ONE towtruck driver isn't there anymore, God, this is stupid.
Are we sure this is about parking? Looks more like downtown New York
Like I stated before, I'm not quite sure if this was supposed to be the 'C' plot because it just kinda happens, it starts up and then never resolves itself, I don't know what the hell this is supposed to be, oh right, it's filler, let's move on. Back at Louie's dungeon, Homer tells the rest of the towtruck drivers some movies he saw. You know what, screw it, I'm just going to cut out the filler and get straight to the end. After Marge worries some, Maggie decides she needs to go find Homer, so through the help of Santa's Little Helper and lazy writing (SLH apparently doesn't need to smell anything to track Homer down) they get to Louie's house, attach the tow hook to the bars and free Homer and the others. The episode ends with Homer and Maggie coming home where Maggie decides she wants to be Marge's baby again and be dependent.

Final Verdict: This episode sucked, the writing was very lazy, the jokes were bad and some were terrible (Mostly the explained ones) the characterization was rather bad and in the end it was really padded. Maybe cloning Mr. Plow wasn't as great of an idea as they thought when they originally green-lighted this script.

Final Grade: 2.4/10 Very forgettable and not worth your time

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