Lifetime of Simpsons

S26 E08 – Covercraft

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Well everyone, we’ve made it through another week. It hasn’t been a great week, but it also hasn’t been a terrible week. And, continuing this week’s trend of featuring episode that feel several years out of touch, let’s close things out with an episode about Apu becoming the lead singer of a rock band. You know, like that guy who became the singer of Journey? In 2007? Let’s roll with it.

The episode begins with Moe waking up in his bar, and doing his morning rituals before opening up. And part of that requires him to take the trash out to his dumpster in the alley behind the bar. However, as he’s tossing things he notices that his dumpster, which he pays for, is full of stuff from King Toot’s Music Store. And Moe is absolutely sick of dealing with King Toot using his dumpster without paying for it.

And, just on time, King Toot himself arrives to dump stuff in the dumpster, and Moe can’t take it anymore. He starts yelling at King Toot, and the two start fighting, even drawing the attention of Chief Wiggum. But neither of them want to deal with the law, so they act like they’re done fighting, and head indoors to have a civilized conversation. Which of course results in them having another full-on fight that destroys most of King Toot’s before Wiggum arrests them.

Which was bad timing, because as Wiggum drives off with Moe and Toot we see that Homer and Lisa are heading to the music store to get something for Lisa’s sax. Oh, and for some reason they’re discussing the history of the Colorado Avalanche. This is not important, but being an Avalanche fan it made me smile.

Anyway, they find that King Toot’s is closed, and realize they they’re going to have to do something terrible. They’re going to have to go to a big box music store. So, Homer and Lisa head over to Guitar Central, and are immediately pressured by the salesmen to buy some guitars. And, Homer is a perfect mark. The salesman quickly is able to convince Homer that he’s a bass virtuoso, and sells him all sorts of needless crap, which Lisa is unable to stop him from doing.

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Homer then heads home and starts practicing his bass, rattling the whole house with the massive amps that he bought. And, while Lisa thinks this is a great thing and encourages Homer to keep practicing, Marge hates it. She holds her tongue though, and stores it all up until some sort of weekly girls-night-out with a bunch of other wives where she begins complaining to them all about Homer’s excessive bass playing.

This turns out not to be an isolated incident though. All of the wives say that their husbands have become obsessed with musical instruments now that they’re in middle age, and they all hate it. Which gives them an idea. If these husbands all like playing music, and none of the wives like hearing it, why don’t they get them all out of the house by having them form a band. The wives decide that this is a great idea, and insist that the husbands start jamming together.

So, Homer, Reverend Lovejoy, Dr. Hibbert and Kirk Van Houten are forced to hang out with each other and play music. They’re all a little awkward, but when they realize that they all like the same type of music, dad rock, they decide to give it a shot. And they start having a good time, and quickly start jamming well together. But they’re missing something. Homer has bass, Hibbert has drums, Kirk has keyboard, and Lovejoy has guitar. They don’t have a singer.

Enter Apu. He arrives at their garage, offering to join the band and be their lead singer. The guys are a little unsure about Apu, but he shows off his singing abilities, and the guys are blown away. He has an accent-less voice that sounds straight out of an 80’s power ballad. Turns out that Apu has had to listen to classic rock his entire tenure at the Kwik-E-Mart, and learned to replicate the singing until he could mimic everyone, especially his favorite 80’s band Sungazer.

With Apu officially in the band, the dads then decide to take their lame little garage-jam band up a notch, and formally become a cover band. They call themselves Covercraft, and quickly start getting gigs all around town. Because it turns out the people of Springfield love covers played by dads. Yeah, Apu has some stage-fright at first, but Homer is able to fix that by showing Apu that if he wears his Kwik-E-Mart uniform (which he never wears anyway) under his clothes he can pretend his just at work, and ignore the crowds.

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Covercraft become the biggest thing in Springfield, and it seems like nothing is ever going to bring them down. Which is when something comes to bring them down. Because as they’re practicing in Homer’s garage the members of Sungazer arrive, stunning the dads. They explain that they’ve heard of Covercraft, specifically Apu’s amazing vocal mimicry, and they’ve come with a proposition. Their lead singer has died, but they still want to tour, so they want Apu to join the band as their new lead singer.

Everyone is pretty shocked by this, but Apu obviously agrees immediately. He then rides off for greener pastures with Sungazer while the rest of Covercraft have to stay in the garage, being very jealous. The dads try their best to remain positive, but as time goes by and Apu becomes a bigger and bigger hit they all become more and more sullen, and end up falling apart until they’re just a bunch of dads playing music by themselves again.

Which is when it’s announced that Sungazer is coming to play a show in Springfield, and Apu goes ahead and sends all the members of Covercraft some really fancy tickets. Homer goes, but remains sullen and grumpy the whole time, even though he has front row tickets. And as he waits for the show to begin, Homer just sits there stewing in his grumpiness until he comes up with a really shitty idea to get revenge.

Homer uses his backstage pass to get to the greenroom, intending to steal Apu’s Kwik-E-Mart shirt so he won’t be able to sing. However, when he hears the band reentering the green room he has to hide in the closet, only to hear something shocking. Apu hates being in Sungazer, and the rest of the band are awful to him. Apu feels trapped in his contract, and is desperate for a way out.

So, when the rest of the band leaves the room Homer pops back out, and tells Apu he wants to help him. They concoct a plan where they deliver a bunch of Kwik-E-Mart hotdogs to the greenroom, which gives Sungazer some severe food poisoning. Apu then lets the rest of Covercraft come out on stage, and play the show instead. Which people are somehow into, and this somehow gets Apu out of his contract? Whatever, episode over.

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This episode is not the best, but it’s pretty serviceable. Like I’ve been saying, it feels very dated to have come out in 2014. I assume this episode is a direct reference to when Journey replaced lead singer Steve Perry with Arnel Pineda, a Filipino singer who had a great ability to mimic Perry’s vocals. Which happened seven years before this episode. So, not exactly topical. But, regardless of that, the episode is pretty fun. Although it’s a little weird that such a major plot point revolves around a shirt that Apu literally never wears at the Kwik-E-Mart. But whatever, I like seeing Homer and the other dads finding a passion in music, and the idea of a cover band of dads is a really funny idea that I’m shocked hasn’t happened before this episode. Things just get a little ridiculous when Sungazer shows up. Especially that ending, which I really don’t think I understand. But whatever, they needed to get things back to the status quo.

Take Away: Don’t meet your heroes?

 

“Covercraft” was written by Matt Selman and directed by Steven Dean Moore, 2014.

 

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