Lifetime of Simpsons

S26 E17 – Waiting for Duffman

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Hey everyone! Y’all ready for a Duffman-centric episode? Oh, yeah!

Today’s episode begins by showing us that Springfield is having some sort of bicycle festival, where everyone in town is hopping on a bicycle of some sort and carting around town. We see every member of the Simpson’s riding around the pack, as well as a whole bunch of townsfolk. And, among them, is a large peddle-bar sponsored by Duff, where Duffman is forcing several guys in Duff-Bottle costumes to drag the bar.

Duffman is doing his usual shtick, tossing out cans of beer to random people and thrusting his hips as much as possible. Which was a bad call, because Duffman ends up thrusting a tad too hard at one point, and ends up really hurting himself. He falls off his bar, and is rushed to the hospital, where a worried town congregates to hear the fate of their beloved corporate mascot. And, after some tests are done, Doctor Hibbert arrives and tells everyone the bad news.

Duffman has shattered his pelvis, and is going to need a total hip replacement. And the town is horrified. I guess because they won’t have a Duffman looking over them, handing out cheap Duff merchandise and free samples? I don’t know, but people are really upset, especially when word comes out that Duffman will be retiring from the position.

However, that sadness is almost immediately pushed aside for excitement, because Duff then announces that they’re going to be holding a huge competition that will find a new Duffman. And, logically, the people of Springfield become very excited about the potential of a new Duffman, and Homer is included. But, Homer doesn’t just want to see a new Duffman. He wants to become the new Duffman.

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Everyone is pretty shocked by this decision, but when Homer starts explaining that he’s worried his obituary will be short and depressing when he dies, they all just let him live his life. Homer then joins several other local weirdoes who are tossed into a huge reality show to find the next Duffman. It’s hosted by some lady I’ve never heard of, but appears to be a real host of crap like this, and it’s judged by an Indian billionaire, an EDM robot, and a mean old lady. If these are references to an actual show, it went straight over my head.

Anyway! The competition begins, and we see that, surprisingly, Homer ends up becoming the frontrunner. He doesn’t really seem too similar to the last Duffman, but he knows all of his Duff gimmicks, and ends up doing quite well. And, eventually, it boils down to two final contestants, Homer and some random dude. The old Duffman then arrives, in a hospital bed, to wish them both luck, and the results are read.

And Homer doesn’t win! The rando egg does, and Homer has to sadly leave the stage while the new Duffman starts ripping off his clothes to show his excitement. Which was a bad call, because it turns out he has a tattoo of a competitor beer company, and this instantly disqualifies him. So, because he was the runner-up, Homer is made the new Duffman. HK Duff, the head of the Duff company is a little unsure about Homer, just they roll with it anyway.

We then get to see a ridiculous Duff add that’s a parody of the opening of Game of Thrones, but with Duff stuff, and Homer being crowned the new Duffman. Which was Duff’s official announcement of Homer’s new position. They hold an official coronation, Homer recites and oath, and he’s officially Duffman. Which is when they have to drop some bad news on him. Because it turns out that Duff doesn’t want an inebriated Duffman in public, so they put a chip into Homer that will give him seizures if he drinks any beer, forcing him to stay sober indefinitely. Which is not something he thought about.

And, right off the bat, we see that being Duffman is no fun. Marge is worried about the whole thing, having never thought Homer would actually win this competition, and now she has some serious concerns about Homer selling beer to children. And it’s not just problems at home. Because Homer has decided that being a Duffman who can’t drink beer isn’t worthy being Duffman at all.

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But, besides that, things are working well. They start sending Homer out for all sorts of events, letting him become basically a superhero who gives people beer. He goes to grocery store openings and golf courses, and his ads are basically unavoidable. And it’s effective. Duff’s sales are through the roof, primarily because apparently guys like buying beer sponsored by a person that they are better looking than and cooler.

So, despite feeling kind of unfulfilled as Duffman, it’s okay, because he’s a huge success. He even gets to fly around on the Duff Blimp whenever he wants, seeing a great view of Springfield. Which is when he realizes that maybe his massive success isn’t a good thing. People have been drinking so much more Duff that there are noticeable side-effects. There’s a whole lot more pollution, people are much drunker, and everyone’s lives seem more miserable.

Homer then decides he needs to do something to save Springfield. He then decides to do something a little risky. He goes to a NASCAR event, and diverts all of the alcoholic Duff out of the stadium, and replaces it with alcohol-free Duff. And, when he announces this, the people are furious. So furious that HK Duff ends up being parachuted into the stadium so he can do some damage control. He’s furious that Homer is preaching against Duff, and tells him he needs to fix things.

Duff then tells Homer that he’s going to need to either drink a bunch of alcohol Duff, or be fired. Homer doesn’t want to, what with the seizure chip and all, but Duff says that the chip was fake, and it was all power of suggestion. And this is where the plot gets a little fuzzy. Homer drinks the beer and gets drunk, but he’s still fired for some reason. Homer then goes back to his normal life, while HK Duff goes and tracks down the old Duffman, and gets him to take up the mantle once more.

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I don’t know. This episode is fine I suppose. But, once again, we’re given an episode that feels very similar to episodes that we’ve already seen. We’ve seen a member of the Simpsons become a Duff spokesman when Santa’s Little Helper joined the company. We’ve seen Homer spar with HK Duff over beliefs when Homer did a hunger strike. We’ve seen Duff hold a competition that didn’t go the way they planned when they had Moe be put on a calendar. There’s just nothing too new about this episode. It’s got some good gags, and it’s not terrible or anything, but it’s most just kind of forgettable and overall fine. It’s a hodgepodge of better episodes, and just becomes one that I won’t remember in a week or two.

Take Away: Don’t trust companies. Beer companies in particular.

 

“Waiting for Duffman” John Frink and directed by Steven Dean Moore, 2015.

 

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