Rate & Review: "Singin' in the Lane" (WABF21)

How would you rate this episode?


  • Total voters
    59

Frankbags

Pin Pal
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Oct 23, 2017
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717
Maybe it's just me but even with the misfires I think this so far has been better than last season.



I rarely see myself complaining about how Bart is portrayed nowadays but him willingly being the little servant of the rich guys, letting them treat him like dirt and call him names for money really rubbed me the wrong way and was just sad (like the bullying of Moe in the episode). As I said in my review, it, if anything, didn't at all feel like something he would do, even in the post-classic era.

I hate it when they include main characters in an episode they are not the main focus on .. they really reduce them to one dimensional characters.

They did this a lot better In the old episode where he falls in the stairs and ends up fixing drinks for the mafia. Bart tries to impress but he doesn't blindly follow people.
 

sideshow ken

Stonecutter
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This was worse than last weeks' episode and I'll take the original bowling episode from season 7 over this one. Bart stuffing chop sticks up Abes' nose, Moe getting bowling balls poured onto him and how they treated him was bad. This shows how really bad this show has become. Moe wasn't like this in the classic episode. He had more confidence and had more respect. Homer,Lenny and Carl should have invited him to the basketball game and then celebrate his birthday at the same time. But no! They just left him cold. Even the subplot was stupid. It made Bart more of a loser and a bigger a-hole. The chuckle I got was when the sidekicks got dragged off. A very mean spirited episode. 1.5
 

Martin_PrinceBR

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May 22, 2016
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I loved The Shrimpsons opening, but the episode itself was depressing (and incredibly boring). Set-up forced, almost non-existent conflict and Moe was very annoying. The resolution was stupid. There was a filler subplot too, which was almost as empty and pointless as the Grampa-subplot in “Dad Behavior” (the other masterpiece by Ryan Koh).

1/5, worst of the season so far. At least the horrible WABF is over.
 

davoid123

Junior Camper
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Mar 31, 2016
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Heh. Another Bowling episode.

Well, ignoring the fact that the original Bowling episode was so much better, this episode was nothing to talk about.
Don't get me wrong, it had its moments, but the bad stuff by far made it cringy. Bart was annoying, Lisa was annoying, Marge and Maggie (did they even show up? I forgot) meh.

And Moe being sad about people not caring about him is kinda... old at this point.
I guess C
 

Nameless

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Um. This started not-terribly, but once we actually got to the bowling the whole thing was just very half-baked. Barely any plot to speak of, weird stuff like the Reservoir Dogs parody, overly laboured jokes like the La La Land one... Unmemorable, but inoffensive. ​C-
 

AlphaOmega

Chant my name! Ultraman Z!
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Well, it's to review Team Homer 2! Yeah, that's not the actual name of the episode, but that's pretty much what this episode is honestly. Another continuation in Season 29's bizarre tendency to try and create sequels and follow ups to classic episodes. We start out with one of the most bizarre couch gag of all times, the Shrimpsons, which is just the regular Simpsons opening but everyone is a fish. My question is...why? Why is this a thing? What's the point of this? Will we get a version of the opening but everyone is a dinosaur? Everyone is in space? I also specifically dislike how they show the part where they make it look like Maggie is driving but it's actually Marge, as it suddenly cuts away showing Abe's skeleton is attacked to their turtle despite not being shown in any previous shots with it, which comes off as a cheat. Also the scene where Maggie shakes her fist looks better animated here then it does in the real intro, which makes me wonder why the animators have never tried fixing it in the years since the show went HD. And then the gag ends with the Shrimpsons about to be eaten by lobsters. Ok.

The actual episode opens with the Simpsons getting Chinese take out. This is apparently an important event, as not only is Maggie wearing a cute panda suit, but this time the generic music sounds vaguely Chinese. Marge gives everyone their dinner and it turns out she gave a Homer a box full of salt, to which he puts more salt on it...wouldn't she be worried that amount of salt is dangerous? Homer gets a call from Burns because he has four tickets to a basketball game, and literally everyone else said no. Homer talks with his brain who says to not tell his family and go to the game with his friends, because why would Homer care about his family, right? There's also a joke about Homer's heart having a a cardiac arrest, which shocks me, as I was expecting the joke to be that Homer had no heart. So Homer goes to the bar and invites Lenny, Carl, and even Barney, but not Moe, which shocks him as he thought Homer would invite him. I'm shocked too, considering Moe is basically Homer's third best friend now and Barney is pretty much an extra. It turns out they all hate Moe now because he sells bad beer and bad chicken wings...but didn't they always know his beer was crappy? Also why were they hanging out in his bar if they don't like him? Moe is sadden by this and sees the four of them having a good time on tv. Moe gets sad at being alone even though he always knew people didn't like him, and there's a decent joke about his anti-suicide keychain.

The next day Moe starts acting nicer to the gang, much to their confusion. I am more confused as to why they showed up at a bar where they openly said they didn't like the owner. Moe says he wants to be nicer to the gang and make it like the good old days, and randomly points to a picture to the Pin Pals. In a bizarre moment, Homer looks at Lenny, Carl, and Barney and says that it's "their own team". Um...no it wasn't. The only other member from the bar who was on that team was Moe. They even show the actual team on the picture. Why is Homer looking at people who were not part of the team while saying this? It's just really baffling laziness. Moe claims that the reason why the Pin Pals is because Apu became a dad and was too busy to bowl with them. Ok, but what about Otto? Why did he stop bowling? Actually, Otto is never seen or mentioned in this entire episode. outside of him appearing in the photo, and he's not even name-dropped. There is also no reason given as to why Otto doesn't rejoin them later on. I guess the writers really are completely incapable of writing any scene for Otto if he's not getting high. But anyway they decide to remake the Pin Pals. but with Lenny and Carl instead of Apu and Otto. Due to some dumb joke, Moe can't bowl anymore so Barney takes his place, though Moe stays at a coach. So the Pin Pals go to bowl in a tournament in a montage, including a terrible joke where Lenny says there's been a lot of music in this episode. Also Sideshow Bob, the Grumple, and the Leprechaun also like to bowl apparently. The bowlers defeat the elderly and the sidekicks, and goes up against the religious characters. Carl gets a split and we get a bizarre joke where he's at therapy for two seconds before he manages to hit both pins. They win the tournament by defeating the gangsters and there is a way too long joke about everyone getting Moe hit in the head by bowling balls.

The Pin Pals go to Capitol City where Moe exposits that if they win they will go to ESPN. This leads to a minute long gag about how everyone in Capitol City is rich. They meet their opponents who are all a bunchogn of generic rich guys with no personality outside of being dicks. The lead one, voice by Hank Azaria (instead of Kevin Michael Richardson for some reason) gives Moe a hundred bucks not to talk, and then gives Bart 100 dollars for no real reason until he is convinced into giving him 400, with Bart saying that he now knows he should be a sociopath. Why does Bart think being greedy is a sign of being a sociopath? Then the lead rich guy throws a cheeseburger at some nerdy looking guy for absolutely no reason other then to be a cartoonish dick. Lisa gets offended at this and the rich guys make fun of her, with Bart laughing alone, so the rich guys decide to keep around as a toady. Bart recognizes i that they will treat him like dirt but is happy at this, for some reason....because he's a pathetic suck-up now? Anyway the pin pals win one out of three games, and we get a shitty joke about how Moe saw La La Land win the Oscar but turned off the tv before the part of Moonlight actually being the winner. Is this foreshadowing the La La Land parody episode? The rich guys decide to buy lunch because despite being one-dimensional assholes, they honor and respect their opponents...I guess, it doesn't really work with their personalities. Also there's a joke about the rich guys actually eating the heads of dead animals. I'm surprised that Lisa didn't react to this at all.

So at lunch, the rich guys, despite apparently being so honorable they buy lunch for their opponents, decide to be assholes to Moe and make fun of him. Their not even being subtle about it, the lead rich guy decides to do and says it while sitting in front of Moe. They make Moe cry when they get him to admit how lonely his last birthday was (wow, so much for the guys at the bar being friends with him. Not even Marge said hi even though Moe is pretty much a family friend now?). Lisa warns Bart not to hang with these guys, but Bart doesn't give a crap, and is now dressed like a sleazy looking businessman for some reason. Because he's evil now I guess? The rich guys proposes a bet with Moe and the rest of the Pin Pals get up and leave because the bet is private I suppose? But the rich guys don't even wait until it's just them and Moe alone, so what's the point? Also the Simpsons aren't shown leaving so I assume they overhead this bet too. But anyway, the rich guys propose that if they win the next two games they get Moe's Tavern and Moe's name has to be changed, but if Moe wins he gets something a rich person can only get. The next game, the rich guys show up in compression shirts that make them bowl better and reveal they were just hustling the Pin Pals by pretending to be bad. The nerdy bowlers try to suck up to the rich guys but the lead one just throws another cheeseburger. Lisa decides to team up with the nerds to get revenge on the rich guys. Also the Yes Guy makes his first appearance in the show in a long time, although maybe it's not suppose to be him, since he says "no" here instead of "yes". Meanwhile Marge is now worried by Bart's behavior, especially when Bart casually admits he got drunk earlier. We do get a decent joke where Marge is forced to admit that Money is actually really important and has lead to happiness in people's life. The rich guys win the second game and Moe decides to kill himself and throw himself down an out of order elevator shaft, only to be on the top of the elevator as it rises and starts to get crushed. He doesn't die though. Also he blurts out the details of the bet so I guess it wasn't suppose to be a secret after all.

Back at the bowling alley late at night (with Spider-Pig and King Kong making cameos) Moe gives a speech to his teammates that turns out to be a planned love confession to Marge. Didn't they resolve that stuff last season? Also it turns out Barney is now sober for the match and Moe loudly tells him not to get drunk, with the rich guys overhearing. The rich guys were also sitting right behind Moe when this happened too, so I guess the theme of this episode is people loudly telling information in front of other people that was probably meant to be a secret. But they get him to drink some expensive beer and Barney spits it out then uses the force to put it back into his mouth and make Chewbacca noises while vaguely Star Wars esque music plays....comedy? Then we get a bizarre scene where they try to parody Quentin Tarantino movies, with Lisa dramatically walking with the nerds while their names appear in captions. Also all the nerds names are "Quant" for some reason. Anyway Lisa reveals all their secrets (how she got the secrets are never explained) to get back at them, which might have actually meant something if they actually gave these rich assholes any real personality or if they had given Lisa more then two scenes of interaction with them prior to this moment. Otherwise, it's just a random meaningless moment because we don't care about the nerds or the rich guys. Also one of the guys screams out the Wilhelm Scream...I don't get it. Lisa smugly then declares that she "wins" because of this, since she found out secret info about the rich guys that makes them slightly miserable. The lead rich guy (who Bart calls his father for some reason...is this another Star Wars joke?) tells Bart to throw a burger at Lisa's face but she gives a speech about how their connected and he decides not to, and the sub-plot ends here. Good thing they decided to set up this Lisa/Bart conflict over a whooping two scenes so the audience couldn't care about it. Whatever, it was kind of cute seeing Bart and Lisa actually getting along for once.

The bowling game is in it's final frame and the Pin Pals need three strikes to win. Since Barney is too drunk now, Homer has to do it. Homer gets two strikes and Moe wonders what life would be like if he had to start over, and we get a bizarre fantasy where Moe imagines moving to France, starting a tavern there, and becoming popular and famous. So based on this random fantasy, Moe tries to stop Homer so they can lose, but accidentally causes him to win. This makes Moe mad and he brings up up he's unpopular that they wouldn't invite him to a basketball game. Hey, remember that plot element? So he leaves and nobody really gives a shit. Also wouldn't the team win a big trophy because of this game or something? But when Moe goes back to the tavern, suddenly the gang is there and say that they are his friends. Then why did they just let him walk away earlier? Then Homer immediately says their leaving to go to a basketball game and Moe is still not invited. And Moe is happy about this for some reason. After we get back, the short fourth act does follow up on the bet and it's revealed that the rich guys let Moe and everyone go into a bar in a zero gravity plane.

This episode was a lot like Kamp Krustier in that it feels it started out as an unrelated ep before being shoe-horned into having a connection with a classic episode for the sake of nostalgia. Other then the Pin Pals name and shirts, there are almost no connections to the original episode. Apu is only mentioned briefly with an explanation that his kids ended his bowling career, and Otto is just flat out never seen or mentioned outside of the photo of the team. It seems like the episode is trying to make your forget about the original team in favor of this new one. The episode is really just mostly about Moe feeling depressed, then it becomes about him wanting to win a bowling game, until it ends up being about his depression again. Except a lot of it feels really unfocused and half-assing from plot point to plot point. Everyone randomly hates Moe at the start, but they still hang out at his bar and come back later, and act like buddies again. Then they don't care when Moe leaves, only to show up to his bar to say they do care, then just leave a second later to go watch a basketball game without Moe. I get this all done as a joke, but when you have your characters have completely different reactions to someone or a situation in scenes that are a minute or even seconds apart, it comes off less like their trying to be funny and more like their schizophrenic. The whole ending with Moe wanting to stop Homer so that he can go to France is completely nonsensical. Why would Moe believe any of that would happen? It would have made sense if the rich guys had instead offer to bribe Moe to throw the game instead of the stupid bet. Then we could have had some conflict with Moe having to choose his friends or money, perhaps even having Moe choose the money after how they've treated him and Homer and the others trying to apologize. And what happened to the tournament? Moe mentions they will go on ESPN if they win, but it's never mentioned what happens after they do win. Their not even seen getting a trophy.

The villains all sucked. They were just rich assholes with no real personality or character, and were all completely unfunny. The only one even slightly memorable was the brunette, and that's because he was the one with the most lines. But they were pretty much flat characters and Hank Azaria just sounds bored doing the voice of the lead rich guy. The conflict with Lisa felt forced and was barely set up, so it ends up being just a half-baked Lisa fights for a cause set-up. I thought for a moment that Lisa making fun of them is what would lead to Homer winning but it doesn't play into that scenario at all. The nerds were also all completely forgettable, thus making it impossible to feel sorry for them whenever they get made fun of. The whole sub-plot with Bart becoming the rich guys suck-up felt very bizarre and tacked on in order to pad out the episode. Plus it makes him look pathetic if he's gleefully doing anything these guys say even as their being rude to him. The whole ending with Lisa was probably meant to be dramatic, but it comes almost out of nowhere, as until this point they only had two interactions during this sub-plot and they were both Lisa just trying to warn Bart. It felt like they had a whole plot about Bart becoming a greedy jerk that they cut for time, and the whole thing falls flat. I would have actually preferred if Bart had thrown the burger at Lisa, since at least it would have gotten some kind of emotion out of the scene.

Overall, the whole episode felt completely unfocused and rush, with character and plot points jumping around seemingly at random. I give this episode a 1/5, one of the worst of the season and another dud.

No, seriously, what happened to the tournament? That still bugs me.
 

hughes

Skeletor rising
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Feb 8, 2009
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A few isolated jokes made me laugh (my favorite was when Lisa and Co. were doing the Reservoir Dogs parody, and it switched out of their POV and they were just walking slow for no reason), but overall this episode was a bunch of barely related skits that didn't really hold together well. Bart wanting to be a techbro is a good idea that simply wasn't developed enough, none of the Pin Pals save Moe, even Homer, were really given anything to do (the Barney sober thing was a decent joke but then they didn't do anything with it at all) and overall this just seemed like naked fanservice that they barely papered over. It had a few good moments but this doesn't hold together as an episode at all. C-/D+
 

Beggs

Grappling with Local Oaf
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Jul 31, 2003
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I'm open to the idea of following up on old episodes, though preferably when there's still a story to be told, and a good one at that. "Team Homer" didn't need a sequel, but it could've worked nevertheless. Unfortunately, this one turned out like an unnecessary cash-in sequel to a hit film, that just leaves you wishing you were watching the original.

The setup was fine, and it made sense that Apu and Otto ended up being replaced. No issues with the team reforming with Homer's friends, with Moe as the coach. As others have said though, once they got to the state championship, it went downhill. In fact, the whole idea of a tournament was quickly forgotten; it was just the Pin Pals taking on a team of obnoxious rich guys with a wager being made after the first win. The rest was pretty paint by numbers with dashes of mean-spirited moments, and a fairly pointless subplot. A potentially interesting episode in theory, but again, it turned into a pointless sequel. 2/5
 

BlueRibbonCommittee

Deep Frier of Shirts
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There is also no reason given as to why Otto doesn't rejoin them later on. I guess the writers really are completely incapable of writing any scene for Otto if he's not getting high.

Didn't he resent the Pin Pals for kicking him off?

Also Sideshow Bob, the Grumple, and the Leprechaun also like to bowl apparently.

Then again, "Team Homer" did just make up teams so they could be in a group. "The Stereotypes"? Would Cletus, Luigi, or Captain McCallister like to bowl? (It was just an excuse to make an "Apu is a stereotype too" joke). Also, "The Home Wreckers". It made sense for Jacques as he was Marge's bowling instructor, and it would make sense for Mindy Simmons as she was basically a female Homer. But what about Princess Kashmir or Lurleen Lumpkin?

The Grumple and The Leprechaun are just gag characters anyway. I know I've complained in the past about The Rich Texan having OCD or the Crazy Cat Lady being a hoarder, but that's just because it felt like they were trying to give depth to these characters as one-note characters who just appear to be rich and shoot guns or throw cats at people and speak unintelligibly. (I actually didn't mind when they said The Rich Texan is afraid of bearded guys, or even that one episode where the Cat Lady bowled, because that obviously wasn't done for depth, it was done just as a gag.)

Also one of the guys screams out the Wilhelm Scream...I don't get it.

Truth be told, I didn't even know what a Wilhelm Scream was before "The Old Blue Mayor She Ain't What She Used to Be". But they've done it three times this season, and the first two times, the Closed Captions even say, "[WILHELM SCREAM]".
 

CousinMerl

too legit to quit
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Looking back at this episode I cannot remember anything that good about it, let alone anything that makes it worthy of some extra points, so I think I was too nice when grading it. It's the worst episode of the season so far and I'm thinking of lowering my grade one step to a 1/5 now.
 

BlueRibbonCommittee

Deep Frier of Shirts
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Okay, so that Devil on "Are They Reals?" is NOT from "School is Hell" as I thought. He's not even from "G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad". Maybe he was just created for that scene?
 

Net

Newbie
Joined
May 9, 2010
Messages
23
Copared to most other episodes in 29 season, I think this one is quite nice. I liked Moe realising that starting all over again would be better for him, and wanting to lose the match all of the sudden. 3/5
Oh wait they bow to the overlord Gill Bates here. Well that was awful in my opinion. What's next, praising Soros?
 

John Smith 1882

My mistake
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Jan 26, 2016
Messages
1,472
So why did Mr. Burns just give away tickets to a game for nothing in return? Hell, even in Helter Shelter, for all its faults, there was a reason for Burns to give Homer tickets, and that was to avoid a lawsuit after an injury at the power plant. They really aren't even trying anymore.
Anyway, I wasn't offended by anything, even out of character moments like the aforementioned Burns giving away tickets and Bart enjoying being treated like crap. Just bored
 

Bohdan

СЛАВА УКРАЇНІ!!! ГЕРОЯМ СЛАВА!!!
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Act 1 - Moe IS misery.:oops:| Doesn't touching
Act 2 - NOTHING
Act 3 - Meh, too much gags

As I said already the episode is mostly boring. The best part still is fascinating The Shrimpsons opening. That's sad, to said.

There was not any character development - NOT. Moe showed misery for whole episode, and even think of GET RID OF ALL, AND START THE NEW LIVE. Watching this back in 2017, I'm sure, the feeling of… our approval to "YES, REFUCE THAT MOE, AT LEAST" came to many:D:-/

Lisa/Bart subplot wasn't was not fully revealed. There would might be any more emotions, honest decision "by heart", but just another forgettable something.:ashamed: Really shame, cause on paper the idea of "Lisa and Marge try to teach Bart that money isn't everything" really had potential.

Have a happy, just because in years Selman could deliver really well Moe&friends' episode - The Last Barfighter:oops:

plot 9/25
absurdity level (the possibility of what is happening) 18/25
comedy 13/25
originary (level of references and of unoriginality) 21/25

TOTAL 61/100 (2/5, down from 2.5, with rounding or C). MEDIOCRE!
IMHO, this is the 2nd worst season 29 episode (in my personal lists)
 
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Bohdan

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Can somebody explain, what the episode was about actually?! It's a lame story to reunite Pin Pals (though they would appear earlier, after Team Homer). The "real" morale as I understood was… never afraid of start with new page?:weebey: If so, that was implemented really bad.

Bart's story is mediocre - correctly bad, but the "annual Lisa speech to resolve all" scene was decent.

The best part of episode was its couch gag and the only background jokes.

plot 6/25 (4/20 + 2/5)
absurdity (the possibility of what is happening and whether I liked it) 19/25
comedy 6/25 (4/20 + 2/5)
originality (level of references and whether I liked them) 22/25

TOTAL 53/100 (2/5, rounded up from 1.5, with rounding, or D+) VERY BAD!
 
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