In this episode Marge, Homer and Maggie take center stage in dual stories about ‘monsters and mobsters’.
In one story Marge tries to prove to her friends that she is a good decorator but ends up working for Fat Tony and unknowingly decorates his brothel. In the other story Homer discovers that Maggie has a talent for whistling and tries launching her into a showbiz career.
In Marge’s story the friends she tries to impress are Luann Van Houten, Berenice Hibbert and Helen Lovejoy who according to Homer are a backstabber, a snob and pretty hot for a reverend’s wife. They play the role of mean girls in this episode to pretty good effect especially when they roast the design of the house (purple and orange cupboards, corncob curtains, rabbit ears on a flatscreen). Later in the episode when they find out what Marge has been doing for Fat Tony Helen remarks: Marge, did you corncob a cathouse?
The best jokes however come from Marge’s interactions with Fat Tony and stalwart goons Legs and Louie. The dynamic here—switching from her cheery cluelessness to effectively motherly scolding—keeps paying off. The mobsters are some of the best minor characters the show offers with their one liners and double entendre’s. When Marge says she wants to take out a wall, one of the gang promises that wall will dig its own grave. He also begs Tony to stop bringing up that thing about killing his brother already. Finally when Marge realizes whats been going on she calls Tony a “big, fat liar,” and he replies that only his don and his interior decorator have ever dared call him fat, this followed seamlessly by his menacing, “You are lucky.”
Homer’s story is a little less funny as it appeared the writers tried to go with more of an emotional journey between father and daughter. That journey falls a little flat though since the whistling thing didn’t provide the necessary closeness between the two, not least because Homer himself doesn’t know how to whistle. That’s not to say there were no good bits, the scene where Homer dreams about using Maggie’s talents to make himself famous was pretty good (he ends up on the covers of ‘Whistled By’, ‘Catcall Fancy’ and ‘Tweeters’ Digest’). Also Lenny trying to trip up Homer/Maggie’s whistling was quietly funny (now do it sideways). Other than the above the Homer section was lacking in the funny department. Grandpa’s jab at Fox news turning his blood to bile was a throwaway as was the documentary on TV about child Stars and Prison Bars. Of course, this was probably a result of the focus on this storyline towards emotion with Homer at the end realizing showbiz is no place for kids.
It should also be noted that this is the second week in a row where two family members are noticeably absent. Last week it was Homer and Bart and this week its Lisa and Bart. This was a shame because the two had arguably the best bits of the episode. Lisa, where she freaked out about Maggie being more gifted than she and making a South Park reference. Then Bart when he face times Millhouse who he tells to keep a mountain lion in his house for 4 more days, as said mountain lion scratches Millhouses glasses off.
No real Easter eggs this week except that we saw, for the first time in 11 years, Fat Tony’s son Michael D’Amico.
All in all the episode was pretty good. One half was quite funny while the other less so. Don’t forget to watch new episodes of The Simpson every Sunday on Fox and keep it locked on TGON for all your reviews and analysis.