Lifetime of Simpsons

S11 E16 – Pygmoelian

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We’re mid-way through Bummer Week here on Lifetime of Simpsons, so let’s get right to our next entry all about how much is sucks to be ugly, and how shitty a person you can become when you’re no longer ugly.

Things start up in a pretty ridiculous place, with the smoke detector going off in the Simpsons house, causing them all to wake up and freak out. Homer’s running around, telling them to get out of the house because there’s a terrible fire, so they all grab their most previous belongings, and flee. Lisa grabs Snowball II, her sax, and an attendance award, Bart grabs Santa’s Little Helper, and Marge grabs the vacuum and Maggie.

So they run down to the car for some reason, and realize that there was no actual fire, it was all an elaborate trick by Homer. Because apparently that day is a beer festival called Duff Days, that the rest of the family was loathe to go to, so Homer’s tricked them to get in the car, which is missing the handles, and drives them off to watch him get drunk all day!

The family make it out to Duff Days, and after Marge is safely placed in the Designated Drivers jail cell, the rest of the family start wandering around. Lisa checks out the alcoholic hall of fame, Bart rides some crazy ride that makes him feel drunk, and Homer meets up with Lenny and Carl for some sort of Beer-Tender contest, which Moe is participating in. Three bartenders are going to compete for the ultimate reward of being in a Duff calendar.

Moe gets ready to compete against the two other bartenders, a huge Irishman and a stripper, as the master of ceremonies, Duffman arrives. They start with trivia (Duff is made with sparkling mountain goat), then move on to trick pouring, and end the event with a “drunk toss,” where they have to throw a drunk person like a horseshoe. The Irishman does pretty good, the stripper-lady refuses to do it, and Moe ends up making Barney do the jump all by himself after threatening him with a baseball bat. So Moe wins! They then take his photo for the calendar, and quickly realize that they have a problem. Moe is hideous.

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But no one apparently tells Moe this, so we then cut to a couple weeks later where Moe and the drunks are eagerly awaiting Homer, who is bringing over one of the new calendars. And when Homer gets there, they’re surprised to find a series of ridiculous stickers covering Moe’s face. At which point Moe realizes what’s going on, and has to come to term with the fact that he’s too ugly for a calendar. So obviously, plastic surgery is the only option.

Oh, and we get introduced to the minor B-plot for the episode, which really just seemed to exist to pad out the episode length. Maggie has a pink elephant balloon from Duff Days, and is just enjoying it. Which somehow makes Bart and Lisa super annoyed, so they fight over the balloon, and it goes flying out the chimney. So they chase it down across town, until it makes its way to a Gay Republican’s meeting, where they get it back. Yeah, that’s it. Let’s move on.

Meanwhile, Moe is at a plastic surgeon, who appreciates the challenge that Moe’s face presents him, since this isn’t going to be a remodel, it’s going to be a tear down. So he gets to work, and after some extensive surgery Homer shows up to see the results. And it was a success, Moe looks great! At which point he does the logical thing, and gets ready for some vengeance on the people who made his ugly life miserable.

He goes and seemingly murders Duffman by sticking a sticker over his face. “Duffman…can’t breathe! Oh no!” Next up is some lady that turned Moe down for a dance in high school, which gets awkward when she apologizes, but Homer just throws a rock through her window so they can run away. And once those are taken care of, it’s time for the big fish. Apparently in the 70s Moe tried out for a local soap opera, and was turned down for being “ugly, ugly.” So it’s time to make them pay!

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Unfortunately his plan hits a speed bump when he happens to come on the day that the current Dr. Tad Winslow is being fired for asking for a pay raise, which results in the casting director of the show to offer Moe the job. So everybody wins! Except the other Dr. Tad Winslow I guess. But who cares about that guy? Because it turns out being handsome is all that matters when it comes to being in a soap, because Moe is a huge success, even bringing all the single ladies of Springfield into the bar to flirt with him.

But it all comes crumbling down when Moe and Homer are hanging out in Moe’s dressing room running lines, when a delivery man shows up, asking for someone to sign for a packet of scripts. Moe goes for it, and of course has to sneak a peek at the upcoming storyline, which turns out to be a death of Dr. Tad Winslow. So Moe is pissed, and he and Homer concocts a ridiculous plan. In the middle of the next episode, which I guess is broadcast live, Homer walks into the scene and just starts reading off all the upcoming storylines. Which really sucks, because it turns out the death of Dr. Tad Winslow was going to be a dream, so Moe ruined the show for no reason. He’s obviously fired, and as he leaves he slams the door of a set, causing it to fall on him, crushing his face. Which logically makes his face revert to its natural state. Because science, I guess.

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On the scale of bummer-tude that this week features, this is one of the more minor ones, but it’s still kind of sad. I mean, not only do we get to see Moe confronted with the idea that he’s so ugly people can’t even imagine a scenario where his face can be in a calendar. That’s pretty bleak. And it just gets worse when we see that if Moe is able to fix his face, his inner ugliness spreads out and he kind of becomes a total tool. That idea didn’t get totally fleshed out, since even though he was becoming an egomaniac, he wasn’t being a dick to Homer, but he still decided he was too amazing to be killed off, causing him to ruin a show that made him rich. I guess Moe’s just a jerk deep down? That sucks. At least Homer’s a great friend, he was willing to burn down a television studio.

Take Away: Just because you’re beautiful on the outside doesn’t mean you’re beautiful on the inside. And vice versa I guess.

 

“Pygmoelian” was written by Larry Doyle and directed by Mark Kirkland, 2000.

 

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