Television The Simpsons

The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXX, Review

Halloween is nearly upon us and that means The Simpsons annual tradition continues. Also, coincidentally, the episode happens to be number 666 adding an extra ominous layer to the festivities. Unfortunately, there are are very few scares apart from the opening and the entire episode is a rather light hearted affair.

Cold Open

The cold open is an Omen parody where Homer, not wanting another boy, takes Dr. Hibbert’s orphan child, Maggie, who happens to be evil. There are two good parts to this section. Homer is about tuck Maggie in and comments that her Finding Nemo poster is perfect since they both lost their mothers. He then spots the mirror reflection of the poster which reads Omen. He quickly replaces it with a race car one but on viewing the reflection shrieks again because its a palindrome.

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PHOTO SOURCE: The Simpsons, TCFFC

The other good part is when Maggie turns Rod and Todd into slacker types. Flanders, who already plans to kill the evil baby, decides they’ll be three graves because Rod now likes Morrissey. His look of disgust and delivery of that line were really good. The cold open was also the creepiest part of the episode with Maggie forcing her stuffed bears to twist their heads exorcist style and have them foam at the mouth. She also gets the bullies and Shauna Chalmers to hang themselves and impales Flanders and Homer and Marge to end it off.

Danger Things

The next segment is, rather obviously, a Stranger Things parody. The title is quite dull but I suppose there are very few ways to make a clever title off of it. Anyway, the segment mostly follows season 1 with a sprinkle of season 3. The boys (Bart, Nelson, Milhouse and Martin) have game night playing the E.T. video game. On his way home Milhouse gets captured by a demigorgon and is presumed dead. Oddly though, Kirk and Luann automatically assume Milhouse is in an alternate dimension without any explanation. I assume they glossed over this for the sake of expediency but for anyone who hasn’t watched Stranger Things this would be confusing.

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PHOTO SOURCE: The Simpsons, TCFFC

Milhouse gets through to Lisa and she’s able to make it to the ‘over/under’ using a sensory deprivation tank. In this alternate dimension we find Moe basically unfazed, Gill who appreciates the tendrils holding him tight and Tracey Ullman versions of the The Simpsons. Homer saves Lisa and Milhouse but reveals that they’re stuck there and have to live with the demigorgons. The segment ends with Homer finding a silver lining that he doesn’t have to live next to Flanders. Cue demigorgon Flanders lookalike. This segment wasn’t that funny and was more interesting visually due to the way the show recreated Stranger Things.

Heaven Swipes Right

Here, Homer dies choking on a hot dog and goes to Heaven. He’s told its not his time yet and has to go back but unfortunately his body is in no shape since it was left rotting and bloated, the ambulance could barley pick him up. Homer is given the option to use a Tinder like app to select his new body. He chooses a quarterback but quickly ruins his body by eating loads. He keeps swiping and turns into Superintendent Chalmer, Mr. Teeny and eventually Moe. The episode ends on a bit of a gross note. Since Homer is in Moe’s body, Moe has taken places with Maggie. He demands to be breastfed which is pretty gross, even for Moe.

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PHOTO SOURCE: The Simpsons, TCFFC

A parody of Heaven Can Wait this segment was kind of neat and really had lots of potential. It would’ve benefited from Homer occupying the bodies on screen all the time rather than just through reflection. This would’ve made the segment a lot funnier and weirder, especially the Mr. Teeny bit.

When Hairy Met Slimy

The last segment, a parody on The Shape of Water, was the least funny and a poor way to end the episode. Selma works cleaning the plant after getting fired from the DMV and discovers a secret lab where Kodos is being held. The two quickly fall in love and she gets Homer to help her get Kodos out. Once they escape they meet Kang who arrives late because he went to the other Earth where the South won the civil war where there are surprisingly less monuments. Again, not really that funny and offered little more than sight gags.

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PHOTO SOURCE: The Simpsons, TCFFC

Overall, I was not that impressed with this year’s THH and given that this was also episode 666 you’d think they’d up the ante. Unfortunately, what we got were parodies of existing content. It was a bit lazy but with the way the special is structured it’s kind of hard to make a good parody in roughly 5 minutes. Its been done well before (think The Shining or Child’s Play) but I think these specials work better when the writers just let loose and take the zaniness to another level (think Time & Punishment or Night of the Dolphin).

Catch new episodes of The Simpsons every Sunday on Fox and keep it locked on TGON for all your news, reviews and analysis.

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