Lifetime of Simpsons

S22 E19 – The Real Housewives of Fat Tony

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Yesterday we were given a truly great episode, which was coming off a slew of really fun ones. That’s not going to be how we finish the week off though. Instead we’re going to have our second Fat Tony episode of the season, and yet another episode about Selma getting married. Because that’s a plot thread that we haven’t examined enough yet.

Things start off with Homer and the kids standing in an absurdly long DMV line, quickly growing bored and irate. The kids are pretty confused about why they’re having to stand in the line, and comment on the fact that there’s an arcade across the street, and not everyone has to stand in line. This backfires though when Homer heads over to the arcade and crashes a kid’s birthday party while Bart and Lisa have to wait in line for him.

Homer made one fatal mistake though. Because when he comes back from the party and finds the kids at the front of the line, he’s shocked that they aren’t exactly fond of Homer at the moment, and begin auctioning off the ability to be at the front of the line. Everyone begins bidding on the position, but one person pretty clearly is the winner. Fat Tony (of Fit Tony I guess, but they make no reference to “Donnie Fatso”), bidding nothing but intimidation, struts up to the front of the line, and heads to the next available window, which happens to be Selma.

And, not surprisingly, Selma is horrible to him. She doesn’t seem to know who Fat Tony is, or at least she doesn’t care, and she begins treating him like a normal customer. Poorly. And Fat Tony is not a fan of this. He takes a lot of mockery from Selma, and then orders Legs and Louie to kidnap her after work. So as Selma is leaving the DMV that night she’s suddenly jumped, has a bag wrapped around her head, she’s tossed in a trunk, and is driven off to a warehouse.

Fat Tony then begins threatening Selma, asking her what body part she wants cut off first. But, sticking to her guns, Selma remains obstinate and keeps sassing Fat Tony, telling him that she wants him to cut off her love-handles, thighs, and other areas of fat. And this delights Fat Tony. No one ever talks to him this way, so he decides to have Selma sent to a plastic surgeon, since he’s a man of his word, and Selma gets some procedures that turn her thin. And, with that taken care of, Fat Tony starts hitting on her, and the two start dating.

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But it’s not all going to kidnapping and mobster love, because we also have a B-Plot to deal with. And like all great stories it starts with two children wandering around alone in the woods. Bart and Lisa are just strolling around talking when Bart suddenly smells something weird. He hunts the smell down and finds that it’s a truffle hidden near a tree root. Which shocks Lisa. She tells Bart what truffles are, and how expensive they are, but he doesn’t really care. Until they happen to stumble upon Luigi, who is there with a truffle pig, struggling to find anything. So the kids decide to strike up a deal with Luigi, and agree to bring him all of the truffles they can find in exchange for some cash.

That plot is going to come and go though, so we should check back in on Selma, who is having a great time being Fat Tony’s girlfriend. Homer however is not a fan, since he’s no longer able to make fun of Selma for fear of what Fat Tony will do to him. But Selma doesn’t care about that, all she cares about is the fact that she’s having a lot of fun with Fat Tony. We get a montage showing the two of them go through all sorts of romantic clichés, climaxing when Fat Tony proposes to Selma on his yacht to the dulcet tones of Jimmy the Squealer being drowned.

That’s right, Selma’s getting married yet again. But this time she gets a fancy wedding! Which Homer and Marge of course get invited to. However, during the reception they find that they’ve been placed at the worst table in the reception hall, which really starts to irritate Marge. She and Selma have some cross words with each other at the reception, and learn that they were stuck there because Selma didn’t want Homer to cause a scene and ruin the wedding. Marge and Selma then get in a pretty big fight, and Marge storms out with her family.

And this fight seems to go on for quite some time, with Marge and Selma refusing to talk to each other. But Fat Tony can’t abide by that, so he heads over to the Simpson’s house and hatches a plan with Home to get the sisters talking again. And it’s all going to start with Homer and Marge being invited for a long weekend at Fat Tony’s beach house, enjoying some time in the sun and hopefully some familial bonding.

But hey, let’s finish that truffle plot, because there’s really not much to it. Lisa has been working Bart as hard as she can, forcing him to track down more and more truffles while raking in quite a bit of money from Luigi, which Lisa is holding on to. However, when Bart starts to get bored by this whole thing and rebel, Lisa snaps and straps some blinders onto Bart to remove all distractions so he can do nothing but smell out truffles.

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Bart then smells a whole trove of truffles, and drags Lisa to them, not realizing where he’s going. And it turns out that this trove is in a rather odd place. Lisa’s bedroom closet. Bart finally rips off his blinders and realizes that the truffles are in his own damn house, and starts demanding answers. Turns out Lisa is addicted to truffles, and has basically been eating them all, giving almost none to Luigi. This pisses off Bart, who decides to take the truffles and do what he wants with them. And all he wants is to take them to Luigi’s and give them to the truffle pig, who never gets to eat them. This causes the pig to go insane and eat all the truffles in the restaurant, which maybe proves why the pig was never given truffles.

Anyway! Homer and Marge head to Fat Tony’s beach house, and Marge is concerned that it’s going to be horrible. But Homer insists it will be fine! And, shockingly, things are pretty cool at first. The house is really nice, it’s infested with weird Jersey Shore trolls, but other than that it’s a fun time. They also learn that Selma has completely embraced Jersey culture, and has begun dying her hair and her skin to a lovely orange.

But one thing that hasn’t changed is the animosity between the two sisters. They continue to snipe at each other all day while Homer has a blast with Fat Tony and the Jersey Shore rejects. However, things finally make some progress when Marge and Selma have a bit of a heart-to –heart and find out that Selma’s whole issue was because she was always jealous of how happy Homer made her, but now that she has Tony she decides to be better to Homer and Marge, and they make up.

Which means it’s time for a new disaster. So that night as Homer and Marge are drunkenly trying to find their room they come across Fat Tony getting all dressed up for his “mistress.” This really makes Marge mad, thinking that Fat Tony is already cheating on Selma, and she storms off to tell her sister. Selma is obviously horrified, and goes to confront Tony, yelling at him. However, it turns out that things aren’t exactly as they seem. Yes, Fat Tony does has a mistress, but it’s Selma. Fat Tony is already married, and what they went through wasn’t actually a wedding, it was some mafia ceremony for a new mistress. And Selma is not cool with this. She doesn’t want to be Fat Tony’s mistress, even his official ones, so she decides to leave him, and goes back to Springfield with Homer and Marge.

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I don’t know, this episode is alright, but it’s certainly nothing special. I find it incredibly weird that this episode happened so soon after “Donnie Fatso,” where the character of Fat Tony was killed and replaced by his identical cousin, making it even weirder than normal that Tony has no established relationship with Homer. Usually you put a few seasons between a Fat Tony episode so you can forget what the characters had been through together. But it’s not even that weird little narrative hiccup that bugs me about this episode. It’s the fact that this is yet another Selma episode about her getting a doomed marriage. I’m just so sick of these plots, because they’re all basically the same. What gets her attached to the guy is different, and what makes them break up is different, but it’s just a continuing thread that makes Selma’s character defined by her doomed marriages, and her constant and unending unhappiness. And that’s just a bummer. Selma is rarely a particularly interesting character, but she’s made even less so when they only give her two types of episode. And ever since they gave her Ling, and promptly forgot about that, they took away the idea that she wanted to be a mother, leaving her only with the marriage plots. I really hope this is the last ‘Selma gets married’ episode that I’ll see in this project, but I’m sure it’s not going to be. Because apparently she’s only interesting if she’s miserable.

Take Away: Don’t marry mobsters?

 

“The Real Housewives of Fat Tony” was written by Dick Blasucci and directed by Lance Kramer, 2011

 

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