Moe episodes always walk a fine line between absurdity and outright cruelty, so I’m glad to say that this sweet, funny and stellar episode gave us plenty to enjoy while at the same time making us feel pity for Moe without going into the realm of over-the-top depression. One of the best episodes of the 20th season, this one worked.
When Moe begins using a dating service to solve the one biggest problem in his life, that he has no woman and no woman ever seems to want him for anything (not even Maggie), Moe joins an online dating service and, almost immediately, catches the eye of one Maya, who thinks he’s cute (and he even used his real, non-Photoshopped picture.)
“The gargoyle has landed!” — Moe
She, too, looks like a beautiful woman, but when they finally meet for a date, Moe is surprised to learn that she is a little person. A beautiful little person, but a little person nonetheless.
“It’s like my heart wants to do her.” — Moe
Despite his initial misgivings, the two hit it off in an incredible way and seem like the best couple ever. He’s learned to filter out most of the jokes he could make at her expense, he threw out his bar copy of Little Women, and he’s turned into a thoroughly datable guy. But there’s still one problem — he can’t muster up enough courage to have her meet any of his friends, lest they put her in the janitor’s bucket-on-wheels and play hockey with her as the puck (because that is, in fact, what they’d do.) Finally, he sets up a double date with Homer and Marge, who both love Maya unconditionally.
But when Moe and Maya take a serious step toward the rest of their future, she drops a couple brief, self-deprecating joke about her height (including pretending to be a doll), which sets Moe off on a torrent of distasteful little person humor which in turn breaks them up for good. Even when he tries to apologize, and even considers surgery to make himself shorter, she is saddened to learn that he will always look at her as a little person first and a beautiful person second. Downtrodden back at the bar, Moe still feels he is better for the experience, because, hey, at least he put himself out there honestly and fully.
In the B-story, Marge feels that Homer isn’t giving Maggie enough attention, so she sets Maggie up with a nanny cam to spy on Homer during the times he brings her to the day care right near Moe’s. But while Maggie suffers major taunts from all the other babies (including one who uses his baby bottles to taunt her Warrrrrioooooooors style, Homer comes to the rescue and even gets the shit kicked out of him by the other toddlers just to protect Maggie.
This feels more like the old Simpsons, if there is such a thing, an episode that worries about emotion and characters first and gags later. I still don’t call out this show for not being “what it once was,” but with this one I kind of understand what people mean.
Other funny bits:
- Utica’s Kill-Quik Rat Poison Arena
- “She’s-a beautiful, but she’s-a so far away!” — Italian chef re: Maya
- “Ack! I look nothing like Julie Newmar!” — Lisa’s music teacher