First off, let me start by saying how deeply I love the 8-bit revamped intro to The Simpsons. Not since the Mickey Mouse intro to Wreck-it Ralph has the trick made me so incredibly happy. I know it’s a gimmick, but I just don’t care. It’s cool as hell. Made even cooler by the fact that it was a fan-made video that Fox clearly picked up. Bravo guys!
Also, I would like to play this 8-bit game. Right. Now.
The episode itself starts with another TV show parody, a Simpsonized version of The Jetsons intro. Seemed like an odd way to begin the show (however visually dead-on it was), but it turns out it was Homer’s dream. Thus begins a busy Saturday in the Simpsons household as Homer flees to Moe’s to start drinking at 8am, effectively clearing him from all chauffeuring duties. Marge efficiently shuttles the kids around town in a manner more suited to The Fast and the Furious. Filling up at a gas station, Marge is recruited by Here to There, an Uber-like social media driving service.
Elsewhere, Moe leaves Homer and company in charge of the tavern while he attends a performance of Lady Fontaine, an Elaine Stritch-like Broadway performer on whom he has a massive crush. When Homer offers a “ladies drink free night,” Moe’s Tavern is trashed and left bankrupt. Recovering for the damage they’ve caused, Homer, Lenny and Carl get Moe a job at the nuclear power plant where Moe’s relative intelligence and ill-natured temperament immediately catch the eye of Mr. Burns. Moe is quickly promoted to head of Sector 7G, which becomes a thorn in Homer’s side as Moe doesn’t support his slacking.
Marge becomes a natural driver, providing an amusing montage of Springfield residents as she drives them around town (and in the case of Dr. Nick, Mexico). She eventually incurs the wrath of the local taxi drivers (one of whom is voiced by Christopher Lloyd in a throw-away vocal cameo), predictably resulting in an altercation interrupted by a shotgun-toting Moe who pulls out his shotgun and exclaims, “Step away from the social media-enabled peer-to-peer ride share platform!” Moe finally admits that bartending is the easiest way to get along with people, ending his brief career at the power plant.
All is resolved in the end as Moe (somehow) rebuilds the bar, but it’s never really clear exactly HOW he does this. Even in this era of not-as-good-as-they-used-to-be Simpsons episodes, this episode was fairly lackluster. There weren’t as many sight gags or quote-worthy jokes as we’ve seen in some higher quality recent episodes. Homer’s tavern full of various women’s groups looked like it was going to offer some comedy (a few literary jokes landed), but the storyline meanders all over the place resulting in very little real laughs.
The best the night had to offer was a cameo by Lady Duff, “I am woman! Hear me pour! Oh yeah!” This was made even given it’s the same voice used for Duffman himself. Perhaps Duffman is now transgender? Suddenly, a cameo appearance opens up a world of missed opportunities.