Warning; this review contains spoilers.
It is going to be very hard for this week’s episode of The Simpsons top the dizzying heights of the return of Spider-Pig. Who by the way, I found out/remembered that his real name is Plopper. The more you know. Anyway, returning to the present, for some reason Season 27 of The Simpsons will have two Halloween themed episodes. Alongside their annual Treehouse Of Horror, this week’s story revolved around Halloween. A decision I found very confusing, since Halloween is still more than a week away and Back To The Future Day is fast approaching, it’s almost like time travel. Whether they thought about doing a Back To The Future episode or wanted to distance themselves from Family Guy I will never know (which they really shouldn’t worry about, when Family Guy has been ripping The Simpsons off, right from the start) but let’s get on with the review shall we?
Halloween Of Horror
Absolutely no titles joke this time, what the hell? I am really confused and annoyed by this consistent change up of the titles. Everyone knows The Simpsons start with a chalkboard gag and then a couch gag. If you are planning on dropping them, that’s fine, just stick to your desired formula. Although if I do have a choice, please don’t stop the couch gags. My second thought of the episode is that, in the year 2015 is it still fine for an Indian character to be voiced by a white guy? I mean, they got rid of Speedy Gonzales, isn’t this a bit sketchy too? Hey I don’t know, I’m just saying I know I wouldn’t be doing an Indian accent in public.
As for the story, it seems like we are back to meh again. Maybe I have very high standards or an over nostalgic memory of the past but I am fairly nonplussed by this years’ plotlines. Homer pisses off some thugs, Lisa gets scared so there is no Halloween for the Simpsons and Bart has a winge about it. I really wouldn’t have minded if this episode was just a bit funnier but I don’t think it managed to get more than a chuckle out of me this week.
Grown-up Halloween, a nice little joke but the song left me lacking. Firstly, I don’t care much for songs on television unless they are as clever as Flight Of The Conchords, The Mighty Boosh or Nothing Suits Me Like A Suit. Secondly, if you are planning on spoofing a song then you must make sure that your lyrics scan; “It’s time for grown-up Halloween” sounds absolutely nothing like “Let’s do the time warp again”. A steampunk orgy does sound fun though.
Now this could all be down to the fact that we really don’t celebrate Halloween in Australia and maybe this was much more entertaining for American audiences. This is almost a sound theory, except for the fact that I actually enjoy Halloween. People will go on about how this holiday isn’t Australian and we shouldn’t be celebrating it but I ask you, why do we celebrate Christmas and Easter because they certainly aren’t Australian. Also, it’s a lot of fun to dress up, especially if you are doing it for grown-up Halloween.
I really don’t like being so negative about this show because I understand how much of an icon it is and while I didn’t find this episode overly entertaining, it wasn’t overly boring either. All I’m saying is, when it comes to my review about The Simpsons, please don’t go and push the cry-baby button. Redeeming features of this episode, include the reference to cheap versions of licensed merchandise, the Cthulhu and Alien in the Krustyland Halloween Horror Night and Marge’s self-referential quote about how spoiled Bart has become. I also enjoyed the creepy ending with Maggie and the regenerating tail, even if I didn’t understand it/get the reference.
It’s really not a good sign when you find yourself struggling to reach your word count in a review. There really wasn’t much to say about this episode. Every week, it feels like I am wishing for a better story, it’s like The Simpsons has become the underdog. I know they can make it and I’m really rooting for them but they never seem to be able to dunk/kick/hit/try the ball. The thing is I know they can do it, the Lego episode from Season 25, Brick Like Me was a masterpiece. So fingers crossed, for the rest of the season. Hopefully I don’t start sounding like a broken record. Hopefully I don’t start sounding like a broken reco…*cough*. Ahem, sorry. I am really holding out for the future of this show, maybe not next week since I’ve never really enjoyed the Treehouse Of Horror episodes but I would be delighted to be proven wrong. Come back to Novastream next week to see just how much of a wrongen I am being right now.