Lifetime of Simpsons

S26 E14 – My Fare Lady

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It doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, but I sometimes get thrown off when I get an episode of the Simpsons that tackles something that feels too contemporary. I think in my mind the show belongs eternally in the 90’s, so whenever they have an episode all about something that is happening in the current world it seems weird. Which is a long way to say, Marge is an Uber driver this episode.

Today’s episode kind of takes a while to get going, with two elaborate opening sequences. First off, we get an 8-Bit version of the title credits with a whole bunch of references to great episode. Mostly all from the first ten season, but hey, what are you gonna do? And after that we’re thrown right into a very lengthy parody of the Jetson’s opening, with the Simpsons flying around and going about their days.

But this is just a dream of Homer’s, which is rudely ruined when Marge starts printing a document on an incredibly loud and ancient printer. She’s apparently created an elaborate schedule for this Saturday, because the kids have an insane amount of activities planned, and she’s crafted the perfect schedule so she and Homer can cart the kids around. The only thing is, Homer doesn’t want any part if helping out, so he slips out of the house and runs to Moe’s as fast as he can.

Homer then runs right into Moe’s at 8 am, and chugs several beers so that when Marge calls him to ask where he is, he can explain that he’s over the legal limit and can’t help drive the kids around. Which is insanely shitty. But Marge doesn’t really fight back at all, and instead decides that she will just have to suck it up and drive the kids to their various activities all by herself, taking the kids all over Springfield as fast as she can.

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Marge piles the kids into her car, and they begin racing all around Springfield. They go to birthday parties, baseball games, swim-meets, band recitals, and all sorts of other things. But she does it. She succeeds in taking them to all of their activities, and keeps good time. By the end of the day she’s pretty wiped out though, and is sadly pumping gas when something odd happens. She strikes up a conversation with the guy next to her, and he explains that he works for a ride-sharing company called Here to There, and Marge gets so interested in the idea of earning money for driving that she decides to join up and give it a shot.

But this is just a B-Plot. The episode is named after this plot, but that’s actually not what we’re going to focus on. Instead we head back to Moe’s, where Moe is complaining to the guys. Apparently, Sideshow Mel was in the bar the other day, and in lieu of money he paid his tab with tickets to a show put on by a woman named Laney Fontaine, an Elaine Stritch style performer who has an upcoming show. Moe thinks that this is ridiculous, but the guys insist that she’s famous, and he changes his tune.

The only problem is that he doesn’t have anyone to work the bar for him when he goes to see Laney. So, being a good friend, Homer decides to offer watching the bar for Moe. The night of the show then arrives, and Homer gets to work running Moe’s. Which is kind of depressing. Homer realizes how poor Moe is, and the guys decide to do something to help him financially. So, they decide to host a ladies’ night!

Meanwhile Moe has arrived at the Laney Fontaine show, along with a bunch of seemingly gay men, and he’s shocked to find that he’s having a great time. Laney just tells raunchy stories, and Moe is instantly enamored. So much so that he goes to talk with Laney after the show, and things end up going so well that Moe starts making out with her, and they drive back to his bar, I guess to hang out and maybe sleep together?

However, when Moe gets to the bar he’s pretty horrified to see that’s going on. Turns out that the guys really didn’t understand the idea behind ladies’ night, because no men ever arrived, and it was just a bunch of women getting drunk for free. And they get rowdy. In fact, they get so rowdy that they end up demolishing the bar. So, when Moe comes into the bar he’s horrified to see that the bar is utterly destroyed, and he’s now out a whole bunch of booze that was given for free.

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So, the guys have now ruined Moe’s life. Which means that they’re going to have to come up with a plan to help him. And, they have a decent idea. They’re going to get Moe a job at the Plant! He agrees, so they take him to work, and he ends up getting a job as a janitor. Which he’s terrible at. However, when some Nuclear Regulatory Agency guys show up, Moe shows off his acumen as a person who can spar with regulatory representatives, and scares them off, earning the respect of Mr. Burns. Oh, and a massive promotion that ends up making him Homer’s superior.

Before we see how Homer reacts to having Moe as his boss, we need to finally check back in on Marge. Because now a whole lot has happened. She’s become a driver for Here to There, and it’s going pretty well. People like that she’s not creepy, but she’s rapidly burning out. People never stop complaining, and have weird requests, and the other taxi drivers are very hate-filled to her. But she just can’t find a time to stop using the service.

Anyway! Moe is now Homer’s supervisor, and everyone hates it. Primarily because Moe is taking this job deadly seriously, and he has no interest in letting Homer, Lenny, and Carl goof off on his watch. The guys start to really hate work, and Moe, and it starts wearing down on their friendships. Hell, he even demotes Homer because he’s such a poor employee.

However, this is also starting to wear down on Moe. He’s depressed, and ends up unknowingly getting a ride from Marge one night. They’re both depressed with their jobs, and after a weird sequence where they start singing a strange Neil Diamond-esque song, they both realize they need to go back to their old lives. Marge decides to quit from the ride-share program, and Moe goes back to his bar. He starts working on it, and ends up re-opening in the bar, and regaining his friendship with Homer and the guys.

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You know, this episode is fine. There’s nothing really great about it, but there’s also nothing really terrible about it. It’s just an adequate Simpsons episode. I think the idea of Moe having to work with Homer and the guys is a funny idea, it just didn’t get explored that much. They of course had to explain why Moe would have to do such a thing, but by spending so much time talking about the destruction of the bar they didn’t really leave themselves a lot of time to tackle the idea of Moe working with Homer. Plus, we’ve had so many plots that boil down to “someone becomes Homer’s new supervisor, and realize he’s bad.” The Marge plot was actually not bad either, even though I find the idea of the Simpsons having an episode about Uber kind of ridiculous. Although the Marge plot did lead to a cameo from Christopher Lloyd that I assumed was someone doing a bad Christopher Lloyd impression, which just kind of bummed me out when I learned the truth.

Take Away: Ride sharing will crush your soul. And don’t work with your friends?

 

“My Fare Lady” was written by Marc Wilmore and directed by Michael Polcino, 2015.

 

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