Friday, December 2, 2011

Episode 7: Husbands and Knives

First of all I'd like to apologize for this not being last week's post. With that out of the way, the more I watch these episodes, the more I understand why I have little to no memory of watching them. They are incredibly dull and forgettable, case in point; today's subject matter.

The episode begins with kids at the Comic Book Store (I honestly think this was the last time Comic Book Guy was actually at his store, because nowadays he just lives wherever the plot needs him) as CBG is acting like a giant asswipe towards the kids. After Bart tells him to stop being such a dick, CBG tries to mock Bart until he realizes that a new Comic Book Store is opening up across the street from him (So much potential wasted away here). After CBG gets owned by Bart, all the kids flock over to the new store where we meet the owner; Milo (Eh, he's too generic to have a name like that, let's call him 'Lame Steve') Lame Steve then invites everyone in as he plays some Korean Tom Jones... am I missing something here? After some padding in the form of Lisa reading (Say, isn't this episode supposed to be about Marge opening a gym? We're over 4 and a half minutes in and we have NO indication of the actual plot) Bart basically becomes the audience surrogate as he says that he gets it about Lame Steve, how he's not mainstream and wears a porkpie hat, which then leads to a cutaway of Homer at work saying "Mmm... Porkpie" (Dear God this really is Family Guy, random cutaways, ludicrous plots, jokes that aren't funny).
You have failed to impress me
Bart then asks a question to Lame Steve and LS decides he wants Bart's opinion (Oh by the way, great alternate names with "The Mulk" and "The Thung" I've said it before and I'll say it again, changing ONE letter in something does not make the parody funny, it's utterly lazy. And before you mention "Sorny" or "Panaphonics" keep in mind those were meant to be knock-offs and not parodies). After Marge drops off Bart and Lisa at the store, she notices a cardboard cutout of Wonder Woman and can't help but feel self-conscious when standing next to her (And we finally get plot at the 5:30 mark, great writing there). After a pointless bit involving the bullies (No I don't know why they were walking by and neither do the writers) we go inside the store where we see Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman and Dan Clowes (I love how Lisa decides to list them off as she's in line for the book signing like she's explaining who they are to the audience. Another example of the writers being as lazy as possible). While I hate the fact that Alan Moore reduced himself to this tripe, I do enjoy his bits the best (Hollywood being leeches, getting frustrated at Bart not getting his work, etc). Then, CBG barges in to try to win back his customers by announcing his shop now sells ninja weapons. After Lame Steve expresses appointment in CBG's tactics, CBG tries to destroy Lame Steve's shop, but is stopped by the 3 Comic Book writers who proceed to beat the shit out of him (Rather disappointing fight, much like everything else in today's episodes).
Alan Moore does not approve of this episode
We then FINALLY start the plot at the 8:25 mark when Marge decides to go to a gym (I know that the Comic Book Store plot was to help set this up later, but it took up WAY too much time). After a then-topical bit with celebrities doing the "Ok Go on Treadmills" (While it was okay back then, it just didn't age well at all) Marge exits the gym wishing that there was a female-only gym and because nobody on the staff cares about continuity, the LA gym is now magically across the street from CBG's old store (Effort; it takes so little time to make it seem like you actually care). Faster than you can say "Bullshit!" the store is instantly changed into a gym called "Shapes" *Fake laughter* and Marge reads off the rules she puts up on the wall (Why am I getting Alone in the Dark flashbacks?). After Jerkass Homer mocks Marge for her gym, he notices a huge line for the gym and praises her, but not without it being more Jerkass Homer (*Goes through recap* This is his first real scene, we're in for some serious shit here people). Later, we see that Shapes is an instant success and that leads to them creating a second gym (Instant expert? Check). After a montage of Marge's gym being a huge success (Can we elevate this to Mary Sue levels yet?) we see her on the "Opal Show" (*Grabs forehead* these parodies suck) where nothing happens (Feel free to close this window down at any time, I doubt anything exciting will happen).
Well I don't see anything next to that lamp
Call Penn and Teller, Homer has a magic remote
Later we see Marge and Homer at a hotel that apparently is holding some meeting for businessladies or something, I don't know and I'm pretty sure this is the point the writers gave up on this having a coherent plot. After Homer steals the TV remote (I wonder if this will turn into a running gag) we see Homer at the poolside as he meets up with some other husbands as he's informed that he'll probably be replaced with a trophy husband. After they tell Homer the signs, Homer refuses to believe that Marge will leave him (Why would she? She's been with him through some rather terrible situations. Normal Homer would know that he just needs to give her some more attentions, but let's see what Jerkass Homer does). Homer then gets to Marge and notices she's undergone a makeover (Step 1) Homer then asks Marge about her day, but instead of listening to her, he watches TV instead *Headdesk* After Homer suspects that Marge fulfilled all three requirements, he starts crying and takes as much as he can from the room into his luggage (Ugh... please someone kill him) Later we see Marge at a social event where some lady tells Marge that because she's rich now, she should get a new bag (We all know how the writers will play this scene out) Homer then overhears them as he thinks that they're talking about him and he gets in the middle like the jackass he is.
I'm not going to allow myself to get replaced by Roy as the main character!
Marge walks away because he's acting out of character (I'm not even joking there, that's the way it's done) and Homer begs the trophy husbands to help him (Sorry I meant to say "Begs as annoyingly as possible" I hate how they write Homer as a sitcom character rather than as a human). One of the trophy husbands reveals himself to be a first husband and gives Homer plenty of helpful advice. But that wouldn't nearly be funny to see Homer do that so instead he writes down "Get stomach stapled" (There's only so many times I can shake my head in disbelief). Homer then goes to a plastic surgery center where he's falsely explained the procedure (Medical science has no place here!) Homer decides to knock himself out by reading the bill (But they screw that up too. The only thing I find funny is just how inept these guys are and how they manage to make something so easy, unfunny). Later, we see Homer not eating at the table as he explains to Bart and Lisa that he had his stomach stapled, this is followed up by a bad blender scene (He presses the same button 3 times, but it makes different noises, i refer to the "Effort" bit I mentioned earlier).
My eyes! The goggles do nothing!
Later that night, we see slim Homer seducing Marge, but is unable to finish it because of all the excess skin created from the procedure (I'm bored out of my mind right now). Homer then confronts the doctor and tells him to give him more procedures (You know what? I'm bored senseless from this, so I'll just summarize the rest of this episode). Marge is given a key to the city for her gyms, Homer gets on stage looking like a Frankenstein's monster, he grabs Marge and runs away when the audience forms an angry mob, Homer flees to "Notre Dame of Springfield" (TOO SUBTLE!) and is told by Marge that she's leaving him. After she pushes him off, Homer wakes up and was told that his family prevented the surgeries after the doctor called them (Doctor-Patient confidentiality? Fuck that!) The episode ends with Marge and Homer walking through the town together as we get one last appearance from the Comic-Book writers as they fly off to a cash bar... Yeah I don't get it either, oh well episode's over who cares?

Final Verdict: This episode was terrible, the pacing was atrocious as the first act was a complete waste of time, the plot was stupid and very lazy (Mary Sue type writing) the characters were poorly written here and the jokes were bad. Really, there were few (If any) bright spots and this does not deserve to be remembered.

Final Grade: 1.8/10 Boring and stupid, then again, how is that different from any other episode?


  1. Upon reading this (and many other) Mary Sue/instant expert episodes, I have one example to show why this way is not engaging. Part of the charm of Rocky et al is that they are an underdog and it goes through their training; it is not always for victory though.

    Homework for the writers (if you are reading this), watch Rocky or an earlier episode (such as Deep Space Homer) for inspiration. Instant expert =/= entertainment or giving a damn.

  2. I actually made a post talking about skills and Deep Space Homer was my main point. Homer struggled throughout the training and in the end failed. But only through Barney's drunkenness, Homer is given a shot. And even then he's still shows signs of weakness (Running away and calling Marge)

    Like you said, when the characters are human, they're far more interesting. When they aren't, we get this. Thanks for the read.

  3. I don't know, I can say bullshit pretty fast.
    And it seems to me the right way to have Homer steal from a hotel is in The Boy Who Knew Too Much. This episode just misses its senses.

  4. Oh and you forgot to mention the Homer crying out of his nipples joke. That was atrocious.

  5. Yeah forgot about "The Boy Who Knew Too Much" but that was done way better. And as for the nipples joke, at that point I was just sick of the episode and wanted to get this out on schedule. It was awful and I probably should have mentioned it.