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

No comments: