THE SIMPSONS “Flaming Moe” Review


THE SIMPSONS “Flaming Moe” Season 22 Episode 11 – Determined to gain Mr Burns’ respect, Smithers undertakes and entrepreneurial venture and converts Moe’s bar from a gloomy tavern for lonely men to a hotspot for the middle aged, flabby gay man. Meaanwhile Skinner enlists Bart in a double teaming date with the new music teacher and her daughter Melody.

The episode had its humorous moments, particularly in the opening segments: the joke about “Persia and Mesopotamia” was one of the better gags made about Mr Burns’ age and of course Homer’s discrimination against the ‘night shift’ employees was hilarious. Unfortunately when the gay jokes came they tripped and fell flat and lifeless, lacking the comedic timing and awkward beats which Modern Family and 30 Rock have absolutely mastered to make them work. Ricky Gervais’ crack about the “famous gay Scientologist” at last night’s Golden Globe awards was funnier than just about any spoof made in this episode.

The character developments were weak and the plot fizzled out with the last good joke (Homer’s horror at a man washing his hands earned a silent chuckle). The gay stereotypes could have been far funnier and the Harvey Milk styled political campaign felt insultingly like a time filler rather than a half decent parody. It was a pretty good opportunity to introduce a good character, but with most of the episode focussed on Moe, who is a great supporting character but who is often deadly dull when handed leading reins, the episode plodded.

The new music teacher, a hippie who enthrals Skinner, was a weak character addition, which was possibly the most disappointing thing about the episode considering she was voiced by SNL saviour Kristen Wiig. It luckily turned out that her daughter Melody (voiced by Buffy and How I Met Your Mother star Alyson Hannigan and complete with a warning about her Rag Doll) was very funny in that sort of heartfelt but humiliating way which The Simpsons excels at.

The emotionally empty smooch at the end between Moe and Mr Smithers had only one redeeming quality: it ended the episode.

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