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Posts tagged ‘Halloween episodes’

We have to capture this on film

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

Guest Voice:
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.

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Welcome, transdimensional visitors

Treehouse 23

Treehouse of Horror XXIII

Director: Steven Dean Moore

Guest voice:
Jon Lovitz as Artie Ziff

Synopsis: A black hole destroys Springfield and takes its residents to another planet; Marge’s deal with the devil comes back to haunt her (literally); Bart goes back to 1974 and prevents Homer marrying Marge.

Discussion: This is one of the best Halloween episodes in the history of the show. The parodies are well done enough as to make it obvious, but not so over done that the essence of the plot is compromised just by having Simpsons characters in the exact same plot as the original source.

The opening sequence takes place in Chitzen Itza, where Homer is being fattened up, ready to be sacrificed to appease the gods. Moe is sent in his place by a scheming Marge, condemning the world to be destroyed in 2012. It’s original and has many amusing moments.

The Greatest Story Ever Holed sees Springfield opening its version of the Large Hadron Collider, which creates a small black hole. Lisa discovers it and takes it home where the rest of the family throw things into it until it’s big enough to swallow the whole town and all the residents. Everyone and everything (except Maggie, whose pacifier killed the black hole) is taken to an alien planet where the inhabitants are celebrating ordinary stuff. Again, this segment is really well done and great fun to watch, even though the science is extremely dodgy.

UnNormal Activity is a parody of Paranormal Activity. Homer sets up several video cameras to record the mysterious goings on while the family sleep. At the end, Maggie is kidnapped by the unseen presence, who is revealed to be a Moe-demon, whom Marge had made a deal with thirty years previously. It’s a good segment, not just rehashing the plot of the PA movies but putting a Simpsons spin on it to make it seem more original, if that makes sense. There’s elements here that work well without having the Simpson family rehash everything about the original source.

Bart and Homer’s Excellent Adventure is a parody of Back to the Future while the title comes from a similarly-themed film, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Bart travels back to 1974 to buy a comic book, but finds himself at Springfield High School in the detention room where Homer and Marge first met. However, Bart causes a fight between them and they don’t fall in love. In the future, Marge has married Artie Ziff and Bart is Bartie Ziff. They are very rich, and it’s a future that Bart is willing to live with. But then Marge realises she should have married Homer anyway and all is returned to normal.

Overall, it’s one of the better Halloween specials with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and fun to be had. I’m not usually a fan of the specials, but I’d happily watch this one again.

Always twirling, twirling, twirling

Image

 

Treehouse of Horror VII

couch gag: The Grim Reaper sits on the couch as the family fall dead at his feet

Director: Mike B. Anderson

Synopsis: The first segment reveals Bart has a twin brother, who has been locked in the attic since birth. Second segment shows Lisa’s science project has evolved into life. The third segment is about Kang and Kodos assuming the presidential candidate identities and running for election. 

Discussion: Here’s some trivia: This episode originally aired on my 18th birthday. 

Let’s get to it, segment by segment. In ‘The Thing and I’, Bart discovers he was a conjoined twin, separated at birth and the twin has been locked in the attic and wishes to reattach himself to Bart. I don’t love it. It’s cliched and trite. Ooh, a conjoined evil twin! Sounds like something you’d find on Melrose Place

In ‘Genesis Tub’, Lisa’s science project, involving cola and a tooth and some errant static electricity, creates life (Lutherans, apparently). The tooth people view Lisa as their god and Bart as the devil. Despite Bart’s threats to flush the mini-universe, he enters it as his own science project and wins first prize, while Lisa has been “de-embiggened” and is facing life as the ruler of her own people. As far as Halloween eps go, I don’t mind this section. It’s unoriginal, but with a Simpsons twist and OK to watch. 

‘Citizen Kang’ is about the 1996 presidential election, which occurred a couple of days after this ep aired (history lesson: Clinton won). The main thing I got out of this segment was that the upcoming 2013 Australian federal election is reminiscent of this particular scene:

 

Take that, ya lousy dimension!

Treehouse of Horror VI

Couch gag: The family are hanged by nooses over the couch. Maggie sucks her pacifier.

Director: Bob Anderson

Guest Voice:
Paul Anka as himself

Synopsis: In the first segment, giant advertising icons wreck Springfield. The second segment is a parody of A Nightmare on Elm Street involving Groundskeeper Willie. Homer is transported to the 3rd dimension in the third segment.

Discussion: Although I’m not a fan of the Halloween episodes, this one is by far the best. In particular, Homer3 in which Homer is suddenly transported to the third dimension when he hides behind a bookcase for Patty and Selma’s visit.

‘Attack of the 50ft Eyesores’ is based on the premise that advertising will stop working (or in this case, destroying the town) if you stop looking at it. With help from a catchy jingle, the townspeople stop looking at the giant icons and the icons die. Man, I wish all advertising was easy to ignore!

‘Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace’ is clearly based on the adventures of Freddie Krueger, with Groundskeeper Willie as the loony killing kids in their sleep. It’s actually pretty good, has some very good moments. My favourite is when Willie is on fire and bursts into the school meeting but is forced to wait because Mr Van Houten has the floor. I just love that bit.

Homer3 is the best one, in my opinion. Homer is rendered in animation that wasn’t seen at the time production. Nowadays every animated movie uses this style, but back in 1995, it was still new. And of course, it’s really cool to see Simpsons as 3D characters. I hope one day that the creators will fully render this into actual 3D (the one where you need glasses) and perhaps show it in front of a movie at the cinema, like they did with The Longest Daycare.

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