"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XVIII

'The Monkey's Paw', 'The Bart Zone', 'The Devil and Homer Simpson', the entire 'Treehouse of Horror V' (the end scene where the Simpsons' bodies turn inside out actually freaked me out a bit), 'Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace' and 'Homer3'. Why do I mention these previous 'Treehouse of Horror' stories and episodes? Well, they're examples of funny yet creepy stories that The Simpsons did so well each and every Halloween.

So, uh, what happened?

I don't know about you, but this year's 'Treehouse of Horror XVIII' had nothing in the way of scare in it. In fact, one story out of the three featured shouldn't have really been in this episode at all. There weren't even any guest voices this year like there have been in the past. It's like they picked three movies from three different decades -- 80's, 90's, and 00's - out of a hat and decided to use them for 'Treehouse' this time around. The result, for me at least, was an episode that didn't have many laughs. Let's review, shall I...

Introduction: Marge did something that all of us television viewers have wanted to do forever -- remove all of the icon ads from other shows that appear on the show that you're watching. My favorite was when she put the little Greg House in the microwave and watched as he expanded and exploded. Right after that she got the Prison Break icons to run away. Not laugh out loud funny, but pretty amusing.
E.T. Go Home: This year's appearance of Kodos and (briefly) Kang took place in this parody of 80's movie E.T. There were some good moments, like Bart watching Itchy & Scratchy dancing on Samba With the Stars, and Kodos slipping in the 'seven million body bags' he would need in the list of items that would help him get back home. Of course, being a parody, the end of the story is not all warm and fuzzy like the original movie was. Homer and Bart get to do a bit of alien ass-kicking to rid the world of Kodos and his partners. This one was pretty cute. Plus, it actually featured Bart in an episode...something that hasn't been done since the season began.

Mr. and Mrs. Simpson: Yeah. This one, a parody of the 2005 hit Mr. and Mrs. Smith, is the story that should not have been part of this episode. Besides Marge and Homer killing everyone along the way what did this really have to do with Halloween? So Homer and Marge shot up the house during their battle. Big Deal. We can see that on a regular episode of the series every other week. I don't know how the producers decided that this would be a perfect fit for a Halloween-based episode.

Heck House: This was the only story that even came close to the creepiness that previous 'Treehouse' episodes displayed. There was a return of Ned Flanders as the devil (we all know that he's a Satanist deep down inside) as well as an appearance by Spider Pig. I liked how the kids did a complete 180 to do tricks instead of receiving treats and that these four individuals alone caused such havoc on Evergreen Terrace. Ned's examples of the Seven Deadly Sins featured not one but two examples for Homer (Gluttony and Sloth). Heck, Homer could have been the example for all seven of the sins.

All in all, this episode of 'Treehouse of Horror' was fairly mediocre. There were some giggles here and there but, for the most part, it was pretty forgettable.

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