Friday, October 25, 2013

The Simpsons: "Treehouse Of Horror XXIV"

Premiered October 6, 2013.

We know this episode is a couple weeks old, but it re-runs tonight and is currently available on demand & on Hulu.  

We're treated to three new Halloween vignettes!

"Oh The Places You'll D'oh!"

On Halloween night, Bart, Lisa and Maggie have contracted the mumps and aren't allowed to trick or treat.  When their mother goes out to a Halloween party, they're visited by an anthropomorphic cat named the Fat In The Hat.  He takes them out trick or treating.

But it turns into a night of murder and mayhem.

"Dead And Shoulders"

Bart is decapitated in an accident involving a box kite (and a helicopter!).  When he wakes up, his head has been grafted onto Lisa's shoulder.  Dr. Hibbert says it was "the only way to add a year to his life" and take 30 years off Lisa's.  Bart is disgusted by this and is determined to kill Lisa and take over their body.

"Freaks No Geeks"

Homer, a circus strongman has designs on marrying Marguerite, the trapeze artist.  But he changes his mind when he sees that Moe, a member of the circus' "Freak Show" has a valuable ring.

Homer talks Marguerite into marrying Moe out of Homer can kill Moe, marry Marguerite and gain possession of the ring!

J.A. Morris says:

Another solid Halloween effort from "Bat Groening" and company.  Not every "Treehouse Of Horror" specifically relates to Halloween, but this year's certainly does.  It's fun to watch The Fat in the Hat commit various crimes with trick or treaters and Halloween decorations in the background.  And it's a great Dr. Seuss parody, referencing the Grinch and The Lorax, in addition to The Cat In The Hat.

"Dead And Shoulders" is the weakest portion of the episode.  But it's still fun, highlighted by another humiliation of Seymour Skinner at the hands of his mother.  

The first thing that comes to mind regarding "Freaks No Geeks" is that it references Todd Browning's horror classic Freaks.  When I was growing up, that film was practically banned from television and home video.  Now it's "mainstream" enough to get referenced in a prime time series.  Homer's scheme involving Moe and the ring are among Homer's dumbest ideas (and that's saying something).

We also get a to hear Homer perform "Entrance Of The Gladiators" with lyrics ("This is the song that year at the circus, sung by a guy that you see at the circus!").

"Treehouse Of Horror XXIV" is a fun Halloween episode that I recommended, even if it's not exactly a classic episode I plan to revisit every year.

J.A. Morris' rating:

3 jack o'lanterns.

RigbyMel says:

This is a fun installment of "Treehouse of Horror".  As one would expect of The Simpsons,  it's very funny and cleverly written.  My favorite sequence was "The Fat In The Hat" -  the Dr. Seuss parody was spot on and wickedly amusing.

I also really enjoyed the extended couch gag opening sequence masterminded by Guillermo del Toro, which was a tribute to all manner of sci-fi and horror awesomeness over the years.

   I will leave the exhaustive breakdown of each reference to other websites and just point out a couple of personal favorite references, like seeing H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe and Ray Bradbury (we even see Bradbury working on The Illustrated Man - so to speak) hanging around the streets of Springfield and various old school Universal movie monsters turning the tables and chasing the townfolks with pitchforks and torches.

 Moreover,  there are several incarnations of the Phantom of the Opera that show up, which made me very happy.

The Simpsons manages to remain smart and funny after more than twenty years, which is quite an achievement in and of itself.   This edition of "Treehouse of Horror" is well worth your time.

RigbyMel's rating:

3 and 1/2 jack o'lanterns.

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