The Simpsons Review: A Rag-Tag History Lesson

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I had a lot hope that "Moe Goes from Rags to Riches" would be an amusing episode, especially after the particularly clever couch-gag that opened the half hour.

As the family wanders from one sitcom set to another (moving from The Honeymooners to Dick Van Dyke to The Brady Bunch and ending with Cheers), they sighed in relief when they make it to their couch. Perhaps these nods to classic shows expresses a desire to cement The Simpsons as part of television history.

But that's not really necessary because The Simpsons is already a part of television history. Alas, the sitcom is beginning to seem as archaic as the programs it referenced in this opening. Episodes like this week's depict the fatigue of too many years on the air.

Bar Rag Appearance

Moe, Springfield's resident sad sack, was sort of the focus. When everyone began mocking his lack of a best friend, I knew we were supposed to feel bad for Moe and his depressing little rag. However, the lonely-Moe bit has been used so many times before.

Moe has always been portrayed as an ugly loser/loner, but I think, over the years, he has built some friendships. So it's rather surprising that he would believe the rag was his only pal. The little bar rag was a good security blanket for Moe (the Yeti lovechild).

The use of the anthropomorphic rag was supposed to be quirky and funny, but the gag just didn't serve any purpose. Using Jeremy Irons' voice was a clever casting move; no one does lugubrious, yet sophisticated like this classy British actor. It added a some humor to the otherwise dull story. However, that addition couldn't bring up the substandard plot.

The rag's auspicious beginnings in Medieval France seemed like great set up for the episode.I thought the demonic-wool angle would carry on into the present day, but instead we were treated to a rushed story of the former tapestry as the narration tries to hit the most important historical milestones: Viking invasions, the Sistine Chapel, the Great Depression, etc. While this offered some great opportunities for sight gags and clever quips (tapestries were the rock stars of the Middle Ages!), it just didn't really add up to anything.

Did you find the rag's story witty or tedious?

Also slightly pointless this week was the fight between Milhouse and Bart. These two have had their disagreements in the past, but they've always remained friends. Milhouse is definitely the doormat in the relationship and that dynamic works for the most part. Having Milhouse suddenly get fed up with it could have been a good storyline, but he gives up on his newfound confidence far too quickly. The whole B-plot seemed like just a way to fill time in between the rag's autobiographic scenes.

It was really a waste of a good opportunity. Milhouse-plots always seem to amuse me, but not this time.

Is Milhouse getting boring? Or is the show just suffering from creative exhaustion?


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.8 / 5.0 (49 Votes)

Are you people serious? A rushed story about a talking asswipe and Bart acting like Milhouse was his dear beloved? How is this remotely entertaining? Now as I sit on the toilet typing on my phone I feel like my roll of toilet paper is going to turn into a british asswipe and start telling me its backround story. Thanks for added dosage of paranoia!


+1 "Worst Episode Ever"! When they do an episode about Moe's rag you know they are scraping the bottom of the barrel. We would give it a -5.


"Worst episode ever". Perfect combination of boring, bewildering and badly-written.


well, I really liked it and I am glad the milhouse storyline was very short (as he is the single most annoying tv character in history who needs to be killed off!)
I found the episode very refreshing and a sign that the simpsons is slowly working its way back up.


I've been pretty disappointed with this season of the simpsons so far. It's sad, because I only just discovered the joy of this series a few months ago, but by the time I've finally worked through all of the old episodes and got to these new ones, it appears as if quality is no longer a big factor in the show. This episode had an unusual amount of gore for the simpsons; normally, I would've expected that of family guy or one of the other less intelligent adult cartoons out there. Milhouse and Bart's subplot was granted, what, a full 4 minutes of the story? It was very rushed and obviously just filler material. Usually, the simpsons are able to entertain 2 equally pleasing stories within a half hour, and have one be the focus but the other still good. Not this time. The rag story was okay, not my favorite, but eh. What really ruined this episode was the subplot.


Actually, I found the episode quite enjoyable. Over the recent years, The Simpsons episodes had not matched the storylines of its precedents, but this episode gave a hint of the olde Simpsons. I liked the ending, as it gave the viewers a nice warm feeling that we are all used to in the Classic Simpsons.


1 star.

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The Simpsons Season 23 Episode 12 Quotes

Marguerite, I leave to fight in Flanders. Stupid Flanders.


I dump on you, and you take it. That's how friendship works.