Treehouse of Horror XXVI
Couch gag: The kids are trick or treating when a horde of souls descends. The monstrous soul of Frank Grimes takes over Homer’s body.
Director: Steven Dean Moore
Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob
Synopsis: The annual Halloween episode, divided into three acts.
Discussion: Yay! It’s another installment of THOH, where The Simpsons parody popular culture and turn the event into a long-lasting memory. (Spoiler alert: epic fail)
Wanted: Dead Then Alive It’s what everyone has been wanting to see (apparently): Sideshow Bob finally kills Bart. Several times, too. He kills Bart, doesn’t know what to do with his life, reanimates Bart and keeps killing. It’s a total anticlimax for this scenario.
Homerzilla Homer as Godzilla in a parody. What? We’ve seen this before? Surely you jest! This time the parody focuses on Godzilla’s reboots, spin-offs and sequels that no one wanted to see. Just a heads up, it’s likely no one wanted to see this either. It seemed like the writers wrote 3 minutes, then realised they had 7 more minutes to fill and just wrote random words on the paper to make a “plot”. It was nonsensical and booooooooooooring.
Telepaths of Glory is apparently based on something called Chronicle, which I haven’t seen. Milhouse, Bart and Lisa are out hiking, Milhouse falls down a hole, Bart and Lisa follow, and somehow Lisa and Milhouse end up with telekinesis (not telepathy). It was interesting for about two minutes.
Unfortunately this episode SUCKED. It was badly thought-out, badly executed and the writing was lazy, returning to a bunch of characters expositing what just happened. It was non-sensical drivel that will be forgotten in minutes. Lazy effort from all involved. Yawn.
Halloween of Horror
Mike B. Anderson
Nick Kroll as Lem
Blake Anderson as Dickie
Synopsis: Lisa is scared at a Halloween event at Krustyland.
Discussion: This is the first Halloween episode to be canon and not a Treehouse of Horror. Lisa, excited to be old enough to attend a Krustyland Halloween event, is scared by the scene and becomes a Halloween recluse. Homer gets on the bad side of three weirdos who stalk him for the rest of the ep.
This episode was very up-and-down for me. There were some really good moments, such as the ‘Time Warp’-styled ‘Adults of Halloween’ which was both a great song (haven’t seen one of those in years!) and a funny look at the adults enjoying Halloween (and their coworkers, apparently…) The song was right: what is seen cannot be unseen. Thanks Chief Wiggum *shudder*
Anyhoo, Lisa’s fears were real and were explored well. She regressed to having a comfort toy while Homer admitted he’s lied more times than there are stars in the sky. There are elements of every scary movie ever made (I particularly liked the chilling nursery rhyme) and the pace clocked along without getting bogged down.
It’s not the best episode ever, but it is showing that the writers and production team are actually putting some effort into this season.
Couch gag: The family are cars, which reverse park onto the couch. Maggie, as a monster truck, crushes them.
Director: Rob Oliver
Jon Lovitz as the cigarette
Yo-Yo Ma as himself
Synopsis: After discovering lung cancer killed their father, Patty and Selma quit smoking. Maggie befriends some animals.
Discussion: Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation talking, but I started out liking this episode. It really felt like a flashback to when The Simpsons was cool; Mr Burns and Grampa vying for Mrs Bouvier’s affections and her admission that she didn’t tell the twins about their father’s lung cancer because she thought their smoking made them look cool.
But then… Maggie. Sure, it’s hard to give Maggie her own storyline; there’s not much you can do with a one year old baby who doesn’t talk. It’s cute and I’m all for the return of Spider-Pig… but this just made it feel like half an episode. In ye golden days, The Simpsons often had two simultaneous, unconnected storylines with varying success. Maggie’s story was as complete as it could be whereas Patty and Selma’s story could have been developed a lot more.
It wasn’t a terrible episode (to my complete surprise!) but it could have been better. And… SPIDER-PIG!
Director: Timothy Bailey
Alton Brown as himself
Bobby Moynihan as Tyler Boom
Ben Schwartz as the clerk
Edward James Olmos as the Pit Master
Synopsis: Homer buys a fancy grill, becomes famous for his barbecued meat and is challenged by a TV chef. The only problem is, the grill has been stolen!
Discussion: Colour me shocked: this episode didn’t suck!
We started with a movie at Springfield Elementary; the original Doctor Doolittle starring Rex Harrison. The fusion of live action with animation was seamless and a fresh change (yes, I know they’ve done it before). At the end of the film, Nelson notices a weird smell coming from the Simpsons kids, while Homer’s workmates have also noticed a weird smell. A mouldy washing machine is to blame, with Homer tasked with buying a new one. So of course he buys a barbecue.
The thing I liked about this ep is that the writers have finally decided that jokes don’t need to be explained. There’s still some terrible puns, such as when the grill’s prints are found in the yard and Homer says, “Good night, sweet prints.” But overall, the jokes are amusing enough to elicit a smirk without being explained.
As for the plot, it’s still pretty weak and we’ve seen it before in various incarnations: it kinda feels like a mash-up of previous plots smooshed together into a relatively cohesive episode. By no stretch of the imagination is the episode “on point” or anywhere near the illustrious Golden Age, but it’s a definite improvement of many later seasons. Keep this up and you might find people who hate latter seasons a little less.