Eeny Teeny Maya Moe
couch gag: A series of animation cels builds up a naked Homer and clothed family; Marge pulls down the final cel which clothes Homer.
Director: Nancy Kruse
Synopsis: Moe has a date with a little person named Maya, whom he met online. Meanwhile, Maggie is hassled by playground bullies.
Discussion: Poor Moe. He just doesn’t have any luck with women. If it’s not his gargoyle looks turning them away, it’s his attitude. This time, he’s met a beautiful woman name Maya, who is a little person. He makes some inappropriate jokes about her size and bingo, the relationship is over. C’est la vie.
The Homer-Maggie subplot is really quite uninteresting save for the very end when the baby bully is beating up Homer and Maggie rescues him. It’s reminiscent of previous episodes but strengthens their bond in much the same way as Homer spending time with Bart or Lisa (which usually goes very wrong).
Moe, although a peripheral character, is actually quite interesting and to see him explore a relationship to this level is very sweet. He’s had a few dates before but the woman is always out for something else, e.g. money. Maya is the real deal and still Moe manages to screw it up. Homer consoling Moe after he’s dumped is a sweet moment which begs the question of will Moe ever settle down with a woman who truly appreciates him?
I don’t think it’s a fantastic episode; it has very few funny parts but it does have a lot of heart. The character of Maya was treated with respect (except for Moe, which was the whole point) and Moe’s vision of what the bar flies would do if they met her was a laugh-out-loud moment just because it’s far more awkward than what Lenny, Carl, Barney and Homer would actually do. I did want to see a scene where they met Maya, just to contrast Moe’s vision with what they’d actually do… but it’s not there. Overall, it’s an above average episode but needs something for an extra kick.
Moe Baby Blues
Couch gag: The Simpsons are made of gingerbread and Homer takes a bite out of Bart.
Director: Lauren MacMullen
Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony
Synopsis: After catching Maggie from a car accident, Moe bonds with her.
Discussion: Aww, Moe finally has some meaning to his life and it’s in the shape of a little baby named Maggie Simpson.
Whilst this episode doesn’t compare to the early episodes, there’s a sweetness to it, plus it’s quite surprising that someone like Moe can bond so effectively with Maggie. There are some hilarious visual gags in the ep: when the Simpsons are first entering the Botanic Gardens and Lisa cracks up at the garden (also the title of this blog post), Moe playing bar with Maggie instead of the traditional tea party, and the orange wedges that ultimately give away the fate of little Maggie.
The storyline declines when the Mafia get involved and turns this ep into another “WTF?” moment. However the quip made by Homer makes up for it:
Moe: We have to go into Little Italy.Homer: I’ll get our little passports.
It’s not a particularly strong finish to the season but it is highly enjoyable. There’s a certain poignancy to the Moe-Maggie relationship, although we know Moe has a heart; we’ve seen him reading Little Women to homeless people before. Poor Moe does seem to be continually left out and ridiculed so it’s nice to see something good happening to him.
Dodgeball stops at the gym door
Couch gag: Matt Groening’s name is written on the carpet. Marge scrubs it out but an animated Groening writes it in again.
Director: Mark Kirkland
Synopsis: After being censored as the face of the new Duff calendars, Moe has plastic surgery and begins a new life, being popular.
Discussion: Poor Moe. He’s unlucky in love, in careers (being knocked back from a soap opera in his younger days because he’s not pretty enough), and ends up with the same pug fugly face he was born with. But hey, we love him anyway.
Despite the critics not loving this episode, I do. Based on the story of Pygmalian, Moe has plastic surgery when his face is deemed too ugly for print on the new calendars. It’s an age-old story and becomes poignant in a couple of moments, notably when Carl asks if Moe’s new face will still have bad feelings on the inside and when Moe ponders the great question of why his face went back to the old face instead of an entirely new one.
The subplot of Bart and Lisa chasing a pink elephant balloon through town… well… it depends on what mood I’m in as to how silly this is. Usually I find it charming satire on identity- pink elephants are often associated with drunken visions but here they’re also linked to gay Republicans (it’s no coincidence that the balloon floated into that office!). Today I just thought it stupid (possibly because I have a lot on my mind this week, but I digress).
This ep is a satire, plain and simple. Especially today, when there is so much emphasis on how you look and changing yourself to be “happy”, we see Moe’s transformation really is shallow. You’re the same person underneath and if people can’t accept you for you, you don’t need them anyway (unless you hurt animals or kill children, then we don’t need you…)
Underwear should be worn on the inside
Couch gag: Burglars are stealing the couch and the Simpsons hop on, but the burglars tip the couch to throw them off.
Directors: Rich Moore & Alan Smart
Aerosmith as themselves
Phil Hartman as Lionel Hutz
Synopsis: When Homer runs out of beer, he concocts a drink from leftover booze in the house. It’s OK, but when ignited, it tastes like there’s a party in your mouth and everyone’s invited. He shows Moe how to make it and Moe runs with the idea. His bar is now the most popular place in Springfield and he turns down million-dollar deals. Homer is furious.
Discussion: This is an all-round great episode. Two sequences in particular really shine: Eye on Springfield and the homage to Cheers. It’s the first time Eye on Springfield has appeared and it appears in a few future eps as well. Now, I’m not a fan of Cheers; when it was first-run TV, I was too young to watch it. Now that it’s doing the reruns, I just don’t get the attraction. Still, I can see the parallels between Moe’s new waitress Collette and Diane from Cheers. I guess someone had to be the moral conscience in Moe’s life at this point…
In this episode, Moe becomes a real character. He likes being the centre of attention, which is probably why he takes credit for Homer’s drink. Aerosmith’s appearance really brightens the whole episode, especially as they’re not invited to perform, they’re just having a quiet drink and are called to the stage. Flaming Moe’s is the coolest place to hang out, so I’m not really sure why Ned and Maude Flanders are there; perhaps they’re drinking Virgin Moes?
This is one of those episodes where I groan, thinking I’ve seen it a million times and could probably write this without watching it. But I do anyway, because this is Simpsons Every Day, not Simpsons When I Feel Like It. I’m reminded that this really is a very good episode, still able to make me laugh. I notice things I haven’t noticed before (in this case, the resemblance of Moe’s waitress to Diane) and I’m still able to thoroughly enjoy the show. This is what makes the Simpsons great.