Behind Us Forever: Waiting for Duffman

The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson7

“Hey, it’s Duffman, a guy in a costume who creates awareness of Duff!” – Lenny

I was just getting ready to watch last week’s Zombie Simpsons when news of Sam Simon’s death broke.  I guess Wiggum got a jetpack or something.  This week, however, there was nothing to do but plow through it, as Homer got yet another job, this time as Duffman, and quit drinking at the same time.

– Couch gag wasn’t too bad, right up until Homer’s severed head.  Which was weird.

– This bicycle parade just keeps going.  And it’s filled with that really formulaic “setup-beat-punchline” stuff that is the hallmark of uncreative sitcoms, like Lou telling Wiggum not to go into the donut shop, only to have Wiggum immediately go into the donut shop.

– Hospital sign “Wishing You a Cold, Smooth Recovery” is pretty good.

– Brockman’s little broadcast with the Chinese landing on Mars was brief, at least.

– Homer’s explaining why he wants to be Duffman.  I’ll bet this is not the last time we have this explained to us.

– The “America’s Next Top Whatever” game show thing is going on way too long.  This is almost as bad as that American Idol episode they did.

– At least Homer got stabbed in the eye and is bleeding.  Haven’t seen that in a few minutes.

– Oh, another Game of Thrones opening.  They like these, don’t they?

– Homer’s monologue vow thing is really bad and goes on for the better part of a minute.

– Even the old timey beer commercials are long and boring and expositive.

– That aside with the formula and safe certainly ate some time.  So nice of them to put in an object, have someone ask about it, then drop it completely.

– “Duffman can’t drink”, that got repeated several times.

– Now Marge is expositing while Homer moans and beats himself about the head.

– Did they have to have Flanders stare at the camera like that after the t-shirt cannon thing?  Is this what counts as fan service these days?

– Uh, why were Burns and Smithers at this whatever ceremony in costume?  Oh, right, meaningless filler.  Now I remember.

– Montage.

– And a really drawn out scene about there being lots of executives.  That just kept going.

– And now, Homer’s looking at people through a beer telescope from a blimp.

– We dodged a bullet on that blimp fire.  They actually cut away.

– Now, in an attach of conscious that has been preceeded by nothing except a weird blimp ride, Homer is against beer.

– Homer getting away again and again in a race car only to circle back.  I’m actually surprised they stopped at only three.

– “Now, there’s one way out of your hell, prove you still love beer.  Drink this.”  When they have lines, and whole exchanges like this, you know the ending is a mess.

– Now Homer is back at Moe’s because the episode needed to fill some more time.

– And now we’re revisiting the old Duffman.  Oof, this one must’ve come in even shorter than most.

– Nice little Simon tribute, though.

Anyway, the numbers are in and they remain awful.  Last night, just 3.61 million viewers wondered what job Homer was going to get next.  That’s good for #9 on the all time least watched list.  With (probably) five episodes to go in the season, last year’s record low viewership average of 4.99 million is in real jeopardy.  The current Season 26 average is 5.32 million, and numbers that continue in the 3.60 million range will drop it well below five million by the end of the year.


31 Responses to “Behind Us Forever: Waiting for Duffman”

  1. 1 Mr. Nerdstrom
    16 March 2015 at 1:06 pm

    :: Mmm-bow-bow; boom-chicka-chicka :: Ohhh yeeaahh!

  2. 2 Brad M
    16 March 2015 at 1:45 pm

    The “there was no chip in your arm, it was all the power of suggestion!” part was exactly the kind of moronic TV trope that The Simpsons used to mock.

    If this was a world where the show was still culturally relevant, I could see “one confettus” actually becoming a popular expression of extremely mild congratulations. But it won’t.

    • 3 Bedelia "Black"
      16 March 2015 at 2:34 pm

      “Sky Police”‘s ratings were 3.79. That’s down from “Princess Guide,” but slightly better than this week’s numbers.

      Here are the upcoming episodes to avoid (or watch out of morbid curiosity/for the sake of this blog):

      “Peeping Mom” and “The Kids Are All Fight” will air April 19th and the 26th (the first two weeks of April will be reruns, mostly due to Easter). I don’t know what “Peeping Mom” will be (I’m guessing it’ll be like “Natural Born Kissers” [a.k.a “Margie, May I Sleep with Danger,” if you saw this in the UK] only dealing with voyeurism), but “Kids Are All Fight” is yet another flashback episode featuring Bart and Lisa as toddlers.

      In May, there’s “Let’s Go Fly a Coot” (Grampa Simpson-centric episode), “Bull-E” (has Albert Brooks as a guest star), and the season finale “Mathlete’s Feet,” which, according to Al Jean, has “the most complicated math jokes we [The Simpsons crew] can think of.”

      • 4 Moop
        16 March 2015 at 2:40 pm

        “and the season finale “Mathlete’s Feet,” which, according to Al Jean, has “the most complicated math jokes we [The Simpsons crew] can think of.””

        Oh. My. Fking. Gawd. Wow.

        • 5 Joe H
          16 March 2015 at 4:08 pm

          A sign that the old Futurama writers have permanently come to roost. Sadly it’s too little too late.

      • 6 Brad M
        16 March 2015 at 4:01 pm

        “Peeping Mom” – After being teased by some other women for revealing that the only men she has ever seen naked are Homer and Mr. Burns, Marge becomes obsessed with peeping on the men of Springfield.

        “The Kids Are All Fight” – Bart and Lisa are horrified to discover that Homer used to enter them in highly illegal underground toddler-fighting competitions.

        “Let’s Go Fly a Coot” – Abe has a near death experience in which he goes to Heaven, and is accidentally returned to Earth with angel wings that he uses to fly around Springfield.

        “Bull-E” – Bart, Milhouse, and Martin get carried away when they create fake profiles to cyber-bully the bully kids, and feel responsible in the aftermath of Dolph’s tragic, unexpected suicide.

        “Mathlete’s Feet” – Lisa enters a math competition, but receives unfair advantages from the judges to silence her after she stumbles on the secret that higher math is just a scam made up to sell fancy calculators.

        • 7 Joe H
          16 March 2015 at 4:26 pm

          “Bull-E” is one of those episodes that would have seriously been a promising idea in the golden years. It’s something Bart would do simply for the kicks (similar to the Moe phonecalls). Unfortunately, it’s completely obvious they’re going to turn this into a “very special episode” about the dangers of cyber-bullying (and failing at even that pat, yet noble goal). Unlike something like “Radio Bart,” which largely avoided such blatant moralizing in favor of comedy.

          “Mathlete’s Feet” might have had similar potential in a more nerdy way, though “Lisa enters a _____ competition” has become a lazy premise over the years that hasn’t produced a decent episode in over a decade.

          The rest just sound like terrible ideas, period. The angel-Abe one (what, he’s heaven material?) reminds me of the Three Stooges episode except less likely to be entertaining, and apparently a dumber reason to return to Earth (so St. Peter just left the gate open?)

          • 8 Brad M
            16 March 2015 at 4:34 pm

            I pulled all of those descriptions out of my ass, but that’s hilarious if you think they’re real. :)

            • 9 Joe H
              16 March 2015 at 4:45 pm

              They honestly sound like real ZS plots. Indistinguishable. And yeah, I haven’t cared enough to actually see what future ZS eps are (really) in store

            • 10 acreatureididnotknow
              16 March 2015 at 4:57 pm

              The only giveaway was referencing Brush with Greatness. As if they’d remember that era!

              Otherwise, dead on.

              • 11 Rem
                16 March 2015 at 6:32 pm

                Uh… a common complaint about the modern episodes is how much they reference old episodes too much for cheap fanservice.

                • 12 acreatureididnotknow
                  17 March 2015 at 7:17 am

                  But not in a way that’s relevant to a future storyline, in a way that suggests they’ve thought about how past events might shape future character development.

                  “Ooh, a sarcasm detector. That’s a REALLY useful invention.”

              • 13 Brad M
                16 March 2015 at 7:11 pm

                I thought the obvious giveaway would be a Springfield Elementary student killing himself. Unless they revealed at the end of the episode that he was actually ok the whole time, then maybe.

                • 14 Joe H
                  16 March 2015 at 8:11 pm

                  Yeah, I figured it wasn’t a “real” suicide. Like that one ZS episode where Martin supposedly died.

                • 17 March 2015 at 1:15 am

                  The angel wings and Dolph suicide were the only things that tipped me off. They wouldn’t kill him off without first talking about it for a year, though.

            • 16 Sarah J
              16 March 2015 at 8:17 pm

              The Abe one probably should’ve tipped me off, but it wouldn’t surprises me if ZS eventually went that way…

        • 16 March 2015 at 9:44 pm

          oh god please make it stop! Dx

        • 17 March 2015 at 11:17 am

          I got halfway through these before I realized you’d made them up.

        • 19 Patty Cash
          26 March 2015 at 8:42 pm

          Just found out what “Peeping Mom”‘s summary is. Sadly, it’s not the raunchy, “Family Guy”-esque story premise you came up with. It’s this (according to Wikipedia): “Bart lies about being involved in a bulldozer crash, so Marge decides to follow him everywhere until he confesses. Meanwhile, Homer ignores Santa’s Little Helper when Flanders gets a new dog.”

      • 20 Captain Wacky
        16 March 2015 at 7:39 pm

        I’ll give Bull-E a watch just for A Brooks (unless he’s playing a previous character making a comeback, Scorpio should not be touched)

  3. 21 Bedelia "Black"
    16 March 2015 at 2:36 pm

    “This is almost as bad as that American Idol episode they did.”

    Which one: the one where Homer enters Lisa in a kids’ singing contest or the one where Moe becomes an “American Idol” judge?

  4. 22 Stan
    16 March 2015 at 3:01 pm

    So they did honor Simon after all…

  5. 23 Joe H
    16 March 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Auughh! Those repeated gags with Homer’s eye bleeding were just grotesque. Desperate Family Guy humor at its worst.

  6. 24 Joe H
    16 March 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Aside from that eye thing (which I blocked from my memory until you brought it up), the two absolutely worst things in the episode were the desperate fanservice and the completely transparent appearance of Zombie Homer.

    Was either the T-shirt gun or the reappearance of “Fruit Batman (apparently someone was proud of that Zombie Burns effort) incorporated into the plot in any sensible way? Not only do they broadly state how a T-shirt gun can be lethal, they shoot it into Flanders bedroom, hit Maude’s picture and have Flanders stare directly at the screen in such a painfully unsubtle way it’s almost like Flanders is trying to warn us to change the channel ASAP.

    And in what reality does Homer decide to swear off beer for the sake of the town and turn into a prohibitionist? It made some sense in “The Joy of Sect” because he was conditioned and brainwashed but nothing remotely as drastic or believable happens here? That’s like homer swearing off donuts simply because “he knows better now.” The show is so incapable of satire, it resorts to being one-dimensionally sanctimonious. “Hungry Hungry Homer” is another “Homer the Heretic” in comparison.

    Not to mention the episode forcing the idea that Duffman is some sort of actual heroic figure of sorts that kids looks up to. Spare me…

    Funny thing is that if the “sobriety chip” supposedly implanted into Homer was real it would actually be more believable than what just happened. It would have also led to a potentially more grimly satirical take on a man forcibly becoming a role model through torturous means.

    • 16 March 2015 at 6:51 pm

      I thought the Fruit Bat Man ref was a nod to the current event on The Simpsons: Tapped Out. (Yes, I’m still playing that. I need something to do in the middle of the night when I’m feeding my baby :p )

  7. 26 Rem
    16 March 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Off-topic, but is the bit where Homer screams “LISA!” into a baby carriage from Lisa the Vegetarian or Lost Our Lisa?

    • 27 Victor Dang
      16 March 2015 at 6:45 pm

      That was from “Lisa the Vegetarian”, guaranteed. Right after she walks out of the Kwik-E-Mart and just after Homer shouts into the sewer hole.

  8. 16 March 2015 at 9:48 pm

    What is ZS’s obsession with Homer suffering eye trauma? I think someone on the writing staff has a very specific and disturbing fetish.

  9. 31 Stan
    17 March 2015 at 6:13 am

    Barney is drunk as shit. Doesn’t even care.

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