Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Simpsons is now in its 26th season, which means the annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween episode is turning 25! Ratings are on a 0-5 scale, with 5 being the top, of course.

And this is it! The last segment and, in true Fox fashion, it's coming after Halloween!

 Treehouse of Horror VII (Season 8) 4.5 Almost no intro and no framing device? Damn good thing they have one of the all-time greats!
  • The Thing and I - 4 Dr. Hibbert rockin' a fro? Oh, yes!
  • The Genesis Tub - 4.5 The classic "avoid the trope" horror movie is redone, but with fairy tales. I like it.
  • Citizen Kang - 5 This is basically 7 minutes of quotable, perfect hilarity. Kang checking his nametag before he says his name? So money.
"And hillbillies prefer to be called 'sons of the soil' -- but it ain't gonna happen"
"Perhaps we're all a little crazy. I know I am."
"Science has already proven the dangers of smoking, alcohol, and Chinese food, but I can still ruin soft drinks for everyone!" Prescient words, Lisa
"Oh boy, mold -- that's science fair pay dirt!"
"Stop! We have reached the limits of what rectal probing can teach us."
"I am Clin-Ton, as overlord, all will kneel trembling before me and obey my brutal commands. End communication." "That's Slick Willie for you, always with the smooth talk."
"Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!"
"My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball; but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!"
"It's time to tear those aliens a third cornshoot!"
"Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos."

Treehouse of Horror VIII (Season 9)  3.5 The glory years may be gone, but not a bad showing.!
  • The Homega Man - 4 Hey! Another Twilight Zone parody! I'd forgotten how much I like this one. So quotable!
  • Fly vs. Fly - 3 Is anyone surprised that Homer would risk his genetic integrity to skip a flight of stairs?
  • Easy Bake Coven - 3.5 Not bad, not great..
"Stupid frogs."
"This baby's called the Withstandinator. It can withstand a 6 megaton blast -- no more, no less"
"But Aquaman, you can't marry a woman without gills -- you're from 2 different worlds! Oh, I've wasted my life"
"Oh, Spade, why'd you put Farley in charge of the bees?"
"Go to hell, Cloaky!"
"In the midst of all the killing and skin eating, somehow we forgot the love."
"I sentence you hags to to be burned at the stake until you are deemed fit to reenter society."
"If you are innocent, you will die an honourable Christian death."

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Treehouse of Horror Rewatch Day 8

The Simpsons is now in its 26th season, which means the annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween episode is turning 25! Ratings are on a 0-5 scale, with 5 being the top, of course.

Treehouse of Horror XII (Season 13)  2 Weak Sauce!
  • Hex and the City - 2.5 The Leprechaun brought this up a full point.
  • House of Whacks - 2.5 George Lazenby?
  • Wiz Kids - 2 Oh Harry, you ass kiss.
"You know what's even better? Jesus. He's like 6 leprechauns"

 Treehouse of Horror XI (Season 12) 3.5 Yeah, the Simpsons joking about Copyright Law not so funny.
  • G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad - 4 Good times.
  • Scary Tales Can Come True - 3 The classic "avoid the trope" horror movie is redone, but with fairy tales. I like it.
  • Night of the Dolphin - 4 It's great that Homer thinks the glory hole was an impressive invention.
"Snakes. Nature's quitters."
"Why are the oafs always the first to go?
"Whoa, whoa. I'm just trying to get in (to heaven). I'm not running for Jesus."
"Mmmm... alcohol and night swimming -- a winning combination"
"Ya gotta hand it to those dolphins -- they just wanted it more."


 Treehouse of Horror X (Season 11) 3.5 OK, nothing to see here, move along..
  • I Know What You Diddily-iddily-Did - 3.5 Marge kills Flanders, 
  • Desperately Xeeking Xena - 4 A full segment of the Comic Book Guy? Yes, please!
  • Life's a Glitch, Then You Die - 3 If only the whole thing had been mocking C-list celebs.
"If you haven't been probed by these two, you haven't been probed!"


Treehouse of Horror IX (Season 10) 4 This is definitely the end of an era.
  • Hell ToupĂ©e- 4 When this first came out, it seemed like sci-fi. But now we're all too aware of the horrors of possession by hair transplant.
  • The Terror of Tiny Toon - 4.5 Ever wondered what would happen if Bart and Lisa entered a cartoon?
  • Starship Poopers - 3.5 Jerry Springer. Ugh.
"Hey, Apu, you got a breakfast cereal for people with syphilis?"
"Wow! If your fly weren't open, you'd look just like Roger Moore"
(Newsman Kent Brockton) "Filthy old bartender Moe Syzlak has watered down his last highball"
"Homer, do something! The ceiling's not a safe place for a young baby!"
"Holy Flurking Schnitt!"
"Somebody needs to learn your green ass some responsibility"

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Treehouse of Horrors Exhumation Part 7

The Simpsons is now in its 26th season, which means the annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween episode is turning 25! Ratings are on a 0-5 scale, with 5 being the top, of course.

Treehouse of Horror XV (Season 16)  4 Not bad, not great.
  • Keepin' It Kodos Intro - 4.5 Kang, Kodos mocking 80s sitcoms? I'm in.
  • The Ned Zone - 4 Call me crazy, but I get all teary-eyed when a Simpson dies.
  • Four Beheadings and a Funeral - 4 Mocking British food and opium dens? Oh, yes.
  • In the Belly of the Boss - 3.5 A weaker final episode, but can you go wrong with a Vagrant Translator?
"Concussion...diddly. Hemorrhage... doodly. Injuries... bodily"
"What'd I die of? Too much happiness? Naked girl avalanche?"
"Lock him up until we find someone darker"
"At last, God-fearing Londoners are free to walk Whore Alley"

 Treehouse of Horror XIV (Season 15) 3.5 Actually, not bad at all.  And I have a feeling I might not've seen this before, so I've got that going for me*
  • Reaper Madness - 4 Music or not, it's not a Benny Hill parody without busty women or bad teeth. But I did like Homer as death. No Mort, but not bad.
  • Frinkenstein - 4 Jerry Lewis AND all the glavens you can make with the shaking of the stick and ohhhhhh!
  • Stop the World, I Want to Goof Off - 3 Actually, not bad. But not good, either.
"Would anyone like to see Mr. Simpson harvest a soul?"
"Mom used to say that we got along like positrons and anti-neutrinos. Glaven!"
"That doesn't make you any less of a man. Except, you don't have a penis"
"I did finish first in the Walk for the Cure... of homosexuality" Oh, Ned.


 Treehouse of Horror XIII (Season 14) 4 Wow! I was surprised by this one.
  • Send in the Clones - 4.5 A Gil sighting! And mocking of the Family Guy and original Homer.  Good times.
  • The Fright to Creep and Scare Harms - 4.5 Finally the liberals at Fox learn that guns are the solution!
  • The Island of Dr. Hibbert - 3.5 Meh. Started strong, finished poorly.
"Now to get me some caveman hookers!"
"He may try to slobber on your crotch." "Meh. I've been around Scotsmen."
"One activity you might enjoy is not asking questions! Heh heh heh."
"All I'm asking is yank the teats and harvest my milk"
Treehouse of Horror VI (season 7): Yet another classic. And the last segment is likely the smartest funny 7 minutes ever on Fox. Or just the smartest.
  • Attack of the 50 ft Eyesores - 5 Oh yes. A cross between giant ads and kaiju? I'll take it
  • Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace - 4.5 The classic horror parody was good, the Loony Tunes parody to start was even better.
  • Homer3 5 AThis was pretty amazing in 1995. It's still cool now, even if my phone could create these graphics. Not me, mind you, but my phone could. Still, name ONE other comedy in the history of television that might have so many math jokes**. Real ones, not the craptacular ones in Big Bang Theory***. Seriously. This may be the episode of network comedy most loaded with semi-advanced math and physics. Which is simultaneously sad and awesome
"I told you, Flanders has it. Or Moe. Go kill Moe."
"Well, OK. If it'll end horror."
"Do not touch Willie. Good advice."
"Do you see towels? If you see towels, you're probably in the linen closet again."
"OW! Watch it, coney!"
"Here is an ordinary square." "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down, egghead."

* Which is nice
** Go to Wolfram alpha and type "1782" in the arithmetic field and auto-correct pulls up the equation from this episode.
*** Which I enjoy

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Treehouse of Horrors Rehash Part 6

The Simpsons is now in its 26th season, which means the annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween episode is turning 25! Ratings are on a 0-5 scale, with 5 being the top, of course.

Treehouse of Horror XVII (Season 18)  2.5 Another 1-for-3 outing. These were dark years, indeed.
  • Married to the Blob - 3 Starts ok, but the dark turn doesn't do much. But it is good to hear Dr. Phil mock himself.
  • You Gotta Know When to Golem - 1 Two of my least-favorite comedians in one bit!
  • The Day The Earth Looked Stupid - 4.5 Kang, Kodos, Brain! Woo hoo!
"Look at that -- my blood's a genius. Fancy Roman numerals and everything!"
"No! Today's teens have enough problems without me trying to eat them"
"What did we Germans ever do to deserve this? Oh, right." 
"We have nothing to fear but these aliens and their vastly superior killing technology."
"I'm starting to think that Operation Enduring Occupation was a bad idea."

 Treehouse of Horror XVI (Season 17) 3 A great intro and only one good segment is a mixed bad.
  • Kang and Kodos vs. Baseball - 5 Never has an intro spoken more to me. 
  • BI Bartificial Intelligence - 2 Another movie I haven't seen, another unfunny parody.
  • Survival of the Fattest - 4 Homer resorting to cannibalism in less than a day.
  • I've Grown a Costume on Your Face - 2.5 Meh. Started strong, finished poorly.
"Lisa, the zoo opens up a whole new world for the animals. In the wild they would never experience boredom, obesity, loss of purpose. You know, the American Dream!"

Treehouse of Horror V (season 6): Not a surprise, as this has long been my favorite Treehouse, situated nicely in what is probably my favorite season.  I even did a college project on the efficacy of short-form parody of horror movies. And you wonder why I opted for a liberal arts college.
  • The Shinning - 5 Name one thing wrong with this segment. Can't think of one? Of course you can't. Trivia: this episode is the source of my much-hated wifi password.
  • Time and Punishment - 5 A parody of a classic Ray Bradbury story? Why not? 
  • Nightmare Cafeteria 4.5 A craptacular movie gets a parody that great improves it. And the special effects look more realistic in pastel than in the movie. God, I hated it.
"Hmmm.  That's odd, usually the blood gets off at the second floor."
"You stay here till you're no longer insane. Hmmm. Chili would be good tonight."
"Oh, I wish, I wish I hadn't killed that fish"


Monday, October 27, 2014

Treehouse of Horror Rewatch Part 4

The Simpsons is now in its 26th season, which means the annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween episode is turning 25! Ratings are on a 0-5 scale, with 5 being the top, of course.

Treehouse of Horror XIX (Season 20)  2.5 Meh, at best, until the Peanuts mockery. Except for the Mad Men credits, which were also excellent
  • Voting Booth Intro - 3 Short and sweet!
  • Untitled Robot Parody - 1.5 The Transformers movies suck, it's only right that this should, too.
  • How to Get Ahead in Dead-Vertising - 3 The Mad Men intro was a 5, 
  • It's the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse - 5 In the middle of a dog is a great parody of a childhood favorite. Complete with Marge "speaking" with a trombone
"This doesn't happen in America! Maybe in Ohio, but not in America!"
"Before you kill me, what was the one true religion?" "Eh, it's a mixture of voodoo and Methodist"
"All pumpkins are racist; the difference is I admit it!"
 Treehouse of Horror XVIII (Season 19) 3.5 A lame intro but good segments is definitely a switch from standard late-model Treehouse, but who I am to complain?
  • Annoying Fox Pop-Ups Intro - 4.5 Mocking Fox's craptacular scheduling and overbearing onscreen ads? I'm in.
  • ET, Go Home - 4 Oh Kodos, you scamp.
  • Mr & Mrs. Simpson - 3 Hey! It's the only slightly-exaggerated idea of feeding cows to cows and getting a deadly disease out of it! Ok, that is 100% not exaggerated. But BSE doesn't make fast-zombies... yet.
  • Heck House - 4.5 Hard to go wrong with Flanders showing his brand of goodness and some Bosch-ian* hellscapes!
"Can't anyone just watch the show they're watching?"
To the tune of 'She'll be comin' 'round the mountain' "We'll be killin' every human in 2 days. We'll cook them, we'll eat them, 'cause that's the way to treat them..."
"Marge, I'll be home late tonight. I'm going... to... midnight monkey madness at the zoo." 
"I was just in it for the sin."
"Oh, how I envy the crotchless!"
"All we'll do from now on is pray and fight in wars"

Treehouse of Horror IV (season 5): 5 It shouldn't affect the rating, but I do prefer watching on DVD -- occasionally we get deleted scenes, like this time. And this was the 1st ToH I didn't see "live".
  • The Devil and Homer Simpson - 5 Definitely in the running for top segment. Only downside is that Wiggum's voice isn't right.
  • Terror at 5 1/2 Feet - 4.5 Twilight zone alert! Not as hi-larious as the rest, it's still money.
  • Bart Simpson's Dracula - 5 A craptacular movie gets a parody that great improves it. And the special effects look more realistic in pastel than in the movie. God, I hated it.
(Homer, After reading a note from himself) "Bastard! He's always one step ahead of me!"
"Hmmmm... who's that goat-legged fellow? I like the cut of his jib." That's the Prince of Darkness. He's your 4 o'clock."  
Lionel Hutz! "Mr. Simpson, don't you worry. I watched Matlock in a bar last night. The sound wasn't on, but I think I got the gist of it.
"Aye. My debauchery was my way of compensating"
"My mule wouldn't walk in the mud. I had to put 17 bullets in him."
"I'm doin' all the pullin', ya blouse-wearing poodle-walker!"
"Perhaps spending the rest of your life in a madhouse will teach you some manners"
"Ooh, Dad, this is blood. "Correction: FREE blood."
"Hello Mother. Hello Father. Nothing happened during my unexplained absence."

* Bottom

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Treehouse of Horror Rewatch Part The Third

The Simpsons is now in its 26th season, which means the annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween episode is turning 25! Ratings are on a 0-5 scale, with 5 being the top, of course.

Treehouse of Horror XXI (Season 22)  2.5 Soooo... apparently the ToH24 wasn't the first with a super-long pre-credits gag.  My bad. Good stuff, and it still holds up, even "And it'll be Obama's fault." 
  • The Monster Office Intro - 4 As a longtime fan of both Offices, this was a hit for me. Frink somehow managed to not make the laughs with the jokes and the thing. Glaven!
  • War and Pieces - 4 The Jumanji "parody" isn't great, but there are plenty of good lines. I'm an easy sell.
  • Master and Cadaver - 2 A very Meh 1 -- til the twist with Maggie
  • Tweenlight - 1.5 Hey, a Twilight parody! Since I've never read the books or seen the flicks, this one had to stand (or, more accurately, fail) on its own merits. oof.
"Hey! It's gotta be good if Satan put his name on it!"
"There was a bank error in my favor... and I'm spending it all on Oriental Avenue prostitutes!" 
"I just got crushed by a giant horse, Lou, you want to cut me a break?"
"Hey Mr. Positive, shut the hell up!"
"I know, I know... Don't ask him if he knows Frankenstein, it's racist somehow."

Treehouse of Horror XX (Season 21) 3.5 A lame intro but good segments is definitely a switch from standard late-model Treehouse, but who I am to complain?
  • Monsters Night Out Intro - 1.5 Why are the Simpsons the only ones with donuts as party food? This is pretty brilliant. Sadly, the intro isn't -- apart from the werewolf's wife hitting him with a rolled-up newspaper.
  • Dial M For Murder - 4 Twilight? Meh. But Hitchcock? With a chase scene with the "North by Northwest" theme music? The lack of great lines is less important with something so completely in my wheelhouse
  • Don't Have a Cow, Man - 3 Hey! It's the only slightly-exaggerated idea of feeding cows to cows and getting a deadly disease out of it! Ok, that is 100% not exaggerated. But BSE doesn't make fast-zombies... yet.
  • There's No Business Like Moe Business - 4 I also haven't seen Sweeney Todd, but the songs won me over. I do love Simpsons musical numbers!
"Lighten up, ladies, it's not cheating when you're wearing a costume"
Bart: "I've been waiting for you. And trying to find out how girls pee"
"Now, Lisa, you're a vegetarian, but these cows have made a different choice." 
"As a vegetarian, I did not consume any tainted burgers. And as a convenience store clerk, I am armed to the teeth."
"You can apologize in hell!" "I guess I could! (Shoots)"
"I think the better brains is 'are you brains a brains?'"

Treehouse of Horror III (season 4): 5 Yeah, this was never in doubt. The only question is if this will be the best of the lot. As for quotes, the entire damn thing is hilarious, so knock yourself out. This is also one of the last seasons where the episode isn't on the 1st DVD of the season. Thanks a lot, Fox.
  • Clown Without Pity - 5 You're not getting a better mix of parody and straight comedy -- this is Treehouse gold.
  • King Homer - 4 This one has grown on me. A great sendup of the original King Kong, .
  • Dial "Z" For Zombies - 5 Most years, this would be the highlight. But being a VERY close second to a psychotic doll is nothing to be ashamed of -- just ask Walter Mondale.
"That's Not a Bible, that's a book of carpet samples!" "oooh, fuzzy"
"And in environmental news, scientists announced today that Springfield's air is only dangerous to children and the elderly"
"There goes the last lingering thread of my heterosexuality" (This was in 1992 on "network" TV! ) 
"Guess who, fat boy!"
"Marge, Marge, look! The doll is trying to kill me and the toaster has been laughing at me!"
"Yep, here's your problem. Someone set this doll to eeee-vil"
"Homer! I've coughed up scarier stuff than that"
"Grandpa! Why don't you tell us a story? You've led an interesting life." "That's a lie and you know it!"
"I think women and seamen don't mix" "we know what you think, Smithers"
"Martin Prince, report to the principal's office at once - and bring that big, juicy Chess Club brain of yours" 
* Monorail!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Treehouse of Horror Rewatch Part Deux

The Simpsons is now in its 26th season, which means the annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween episode is turning 25! Ratings are on a 0-5 scale, with 5 being the top, of course.

Treehouse of Horror XXIII (Season 24) 3.5 Soooo... apparently the ToH24 wasn't the first with a super-long pre-credits gag.  My bad. Good stuff, and it still holds up, even "And it'll be Obama's fault." 
  • Mayan Intro - 4.5 Good stuff all around, and I'll forgive using the Aztec calendar in a Mayan setting. El Castillo at Chichen Itza is pretty well-rendered, too!
  • The Greatest Story Ever Holed - 3.5 The accelerator doesn't find the Higgs Boson, but it does create a black hole. A workmanlike segment, but Zune jokes never get old*!
  • Unnormal Activity - 3.5 As a parody, meh**. On its own? Surprisingly good, saved by the ending threesome with Homer and 2 demons: "What's the safe word?" "Cinnamon"  "There are some things I want to try"... (Demon) "Cinnamon! CINNAMON!"
  • Bart and Homer's Excellent Adventure It's been 30ish years, time for a "Back to the Future" parody! This is one ripe for parody, but the Simpsons started at the wrong time -- a few years earlier and it'd have been a must, but they were too late. Fortunately, they stuck around until nostalgia kicked in.
"Even though you know it's comin', when you see your own beatin' heart, try to act surprised -- it's some kid's first time"
"Hey Marge, I'm setting my watch; what baktun is it?"
"I's rich! I's poor... and schackless"
"It's Homer - before his boobs came in!"
"You're just like Indiana Jones, son -- a role played by Richard Dreyfuss in our universe!"
"Crawl atop me... and meet your doom!" 
"Make Egyptian slave Homer do it!" "It's always me "
"Oh Marge, this is the purest love there is -- patient, supportive, ooooh! cleavage! Ahhhh-uhuh"

Treehouse of Horror XXII (Season 23) 0.5 2011 has made me realize that my standard criticism of The Family Guy is totally on point: it is a show made for YouTube, with lots of great 10-30 sec gags that are BARELY held together by a "plot". This is ok -- for 2-3 minutes. For 20+ week after week? Um, no. Easily the low point so far, and hopefully, overall.

  • The Diving Bell and the Butterball - 1.5 Yeah? Um, no. A few decent gags, but overall craptacular.
  • Dial D for Diddly - 2 Yeah, no. Apu's hot dogs? Telephone poles, killer whales zebras and tires. Mmmmmm... random... A rare segment where the payoff FAR outdoes the setup. This was going to be a 1, but the ending propped it up
  • In The Na'Vi - 0 uch. Not a fan of Avatar, less a fan of this dreck. Of course, you need substance to get a decent parody, so this one is on James Cameron -- and the world's filmgoers.
"Spend less time on your back and more time on your knees!" Flanders' advice to a hooker***
"Knitting one sweater for someone costs 27 Americans their jobs"

"He's got the proportionate strength of a paralyzed spider!"



Treehouse of Horror II (season 3): 3.5 A great start fizzles out badly.  On the bright side, the writers learned from this and stepped up their game considerably the next year

  • Lisa's Nightmare/The Monkey's Paw - 5 You're not getting a better mix of parody and straight comedy -- this is Treehouse gold.
  • Bart's Nightmare/The Bart Zone - 3 A classic Twilight Zone bit, but not bad at all.
  • Homer's Nightmare/If I Only Had A Brain - 2 A fairly lame brain transplant bit, though with some good one-liners.
"Hey! If you don't like it, go to Russia"
"Before I was just bored with their antics and their merchandise. Now I just wish they were dead."
"Behold! The greatest advancement in labor relations since the cat'o'nine tails!"
"Bad corpse! Bad corpse! Stop Scaring Smithers!"
"Ice cream scoop?" "Dammit, Smithers, this isn't rocket science -- it's brain surgery!"
"That fellow at Radio Shack said I was mad -- well, who's mad now? Mwahahahahaha!"

* Seriously, if you haven't heard Ballmer's reaction to the iPhone vs the Zune, you must click on this. "It'll do music, it'll do internet." Heh.
** I haven't actually seen Paranormal Activity. 
*** I'm assuming she's dead, so it's ok