We’ve had a rather rocky week here on Lifetime of Simpsons, folks. And, unfortunately, things aren’t really going to turn around today. It’s a pretty okay little episode, and it manages to squeeze some more characterization out of Comic Book Guy, but it’s largely forgettable. So with that ringing endorsement let’s jump on in!
The episode starts off inside of a Radioactive Man comic book, with Radioactive Man trying to stop a group of criminals called the Fossil Fuel Four from destroying the clean, reliable, and wholesome nuclear power plant. And they pretty easily manage to defeat Radioactive Man, causing him to rely on two allies, who are solar and wind powered. They do poorly. And, after a brutal encounter with the Fracker Radioactive Man is brutally killed.
We are then brought to the real world, where Bart and Milhouse are horrified that Radioactive Man has died. They instantly begin panicking, even when Lisa starts telling them that superheroes never stay dead, and that this was all just a marketing gimmick so they can sell an over-priced resurrection issue. Bart and Milhouse tell her she’s just being jaded, and then immediately get a tweet from Comic Book Guy announcing that the Android’s Dungeon will be opening at midnight in order to sell the over-priced resurrection issue of Radioactive Man.
Bart and Milhouse don’t care that they’re being financially manipulated by a giant comics company, so they tell Homer that they want to go, and he has to take them. And, Homer just kind of rolls with this. So when the night comes around he and the boys head to the massive line outside the Android’s Dungeon, full of little geeks waiting to buy their comic. Milhouse does try to get them preferential treatment, since he was cast in a goddamn Radioactive Man movie, but that gets shut down by Comic Book Guy, and Harlan Ellison yelling at him.
Eventually they do get to the front of the line though. But right before they can pay Comic Book Guy is suddenly distracted by the appearance of his arch-rival (who showed up once and then never again until now) Milo. Milo is there to taunt Comic Book Guy, because he’s just gotten married, and to a woman who actually is interested in comics. This really bums out Comic Book Guy, and when Homer mentions that he’s married too he just loses all hope.
We’re then treated to a silly little musical number where Comic Book Guy sings to us all about his loneliness and heartache. However, as he’s wallowing in self-pity he’s suddenly approached by a hallucination of Stan Lee, who informs Comic Book Guy to get his shit together, because a chance of love is about to come in. So Comic Book Guy perks up right as an otaku girl named Kumiko enters his store to pick up the copy of Radioactive Man.
Comic Book Guy and Kumiko begin chatting, and he’s somewhat surprised at how interested she is in comics. Well, manga specifically, but I guess comics in general. Turns out that she writes and draws her own manga, all about her journeys around America, and she’s put in a bit with Comic Book Guy in it, because she’s been in Springfield for a bit and has developed a bit of a crush on him. So, putting himself on the line, Comic Book Guy asks her out.
He then immediately goes to the Simpson’s house, as most citizens of Springfield do, for some advice. He explains that he doesn’t really have a father, and no other good male role models, so he wants Homer’s advice on love. And, luckily, Marge is there too, so she actually gives him good advice, especially after he explains that Homer is a fat guy with an attractive wife, which flatters her.
Homer and Marge then decide to go on a double date with Comic Book Guy and Kumiko, which seems incredibly awkward since he doesn’t really know Homer and Marge, but whatever. At least Kumiko is impressed that Homer looks like Mr. Sparkle. They end up going to some horrible Americana restaurant, but the night is saved when it’s revealed that one of the reasons Kumiko likes Comic Book Guy so much is that he’s not afraid to be snarky and speak his mind, because apparently Japanese people don’t do that. Which is a little odd, but I guess we’ll roll with it.
And, from there on, Comic Book Guy and Kumiko begins to fall madly in love with each other. They spend all of their time together, and we see various dates of theirs as drawn into Kumiko’s manga, which is a good idea. And, after a couple months of this, we see that Comic Book Guy and Kumiko are moving in together into the apartment underneath the Android’s Dungeon. And Homer is heading over to the Android’s Dungeon to drop off a housewarming gift for them.
But when he gets there he notices a Japanese man waiting outside of the Android’s Dungeon, so Homer chats him up. It turns out that this is Kumiko’s father, and he’s pretty furious that his daughter is apparently living in the basement of a comic book store with a fat dude she just met, and he’s here to take her back to Japan. Comic Book Guy and Kumiko try their best to convince her father that this is her life and she should be allowed to make her own decisions, but her father still drags Kumiko away.
Comic Book Guy then begs Homer to help him, and he promises to do whatever he can. Which of course means that Homer and Kumiko’s father are going to meet for sushi and sake while they discuss Kumiko. The two men discuss parenthood while getting increasingly drunk on sake, but the night really takes a weird turn when they crack open some weird special sake that has a cobra inside of it. Because once the cobra sake comes out, they get sloppy.
Homer and Kumiko’s father end up leaving the sushi place, bombed out of their minds, and they start having a weird hallucination where Springfield turns into a Studio Ghibli production. We see all sorts of references, but it gets to a point when a version of Kumiko tells her father that Kumiko is an adult and should be allowed to live her own life. So, after they’re done tripping balls of snake wine, Kumiko’s father goes to tell Kumiko that he approves of her life choices. She then reunites with Comic Book Guy, and the two randomly get married, inside the Android’s Dungeon. Now we’ll see if we ever see Kumiko again!
This episode is fine I suppose, it’s just nothing to special. I think the big problem, for me, is that I don’t really find Comic Book Guy to be a character that I want to learn more about. He works just fine as a gag-machine, but I feel like every attempt to make him an actual person kind of falls flat, because then he goes back to being a one-dimensional character in every other episode, just being as horrible as possible. Which becomes extra weird in this episode, where we’re supposed to see Comic Book Guy fall in love with a talented and attractive young woman, while still remaining a ill-tempered, rude, and aimless character. He just kind of gets rewarded with a woman who is perfect for him, despite being kind of a shitty dude. He doesn’t even prove himself as a responsible adult or anything in the end, he asks Homer to do it for him, and then Kumiko’s dad trips out on snake wine. It’s one of those episodes that I think would be stronger if the Simpsons weren’t in it, because their presence kind of robs Comic Book Guy of any drive and development.
Take Away: Don’t mess around with snake wine, it’ll make you have weird realizations about your life.
“Married to the Blob” was written by Tim Long and directed by Chris Clements, 2014.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons