As I said last week, I’ve never really enjoyed the Treehouse Of Horror episodes on The Simpsons, even when the show was at it’s peak. There is barely enough time in the 22 minutes for one or two normal stories, let alone three but I do understand that that isn’t exactly the point of these episodes. Sometimes they can work well as funny little sketches, spoofs and even homages, the one example that will always stick in my mind, dates all the way back to the first Treehouse Of Horror, or The Simpsons Halloween Special as it was then known. The Raven is forever lodged in my memory so for the sake of that episode I kept high spirits for Treehouse Of Horror XXVI.
Wanted: Dead, Then Alive
The first of the three shorts sees the return of Sideshow Bob, a fan favourite for both audiences and Kelsey Grammer’s wallet. This week’s twist is that Bob actually manages to kill Bart and it was easier than anybody thought. There was a tinge of Frankenstein to this short as well as a few other fantasy horror stories. That’s about as far as it goes for horror tonight, the other two stories contain zero screams but who really gets scared by The Simpsons anyway? Generally people tend to laugh at The Simpsons but this story wasn’t overloaded with gags, even if it did contain everyone’s favourite murderous clown. Again, The Simpsons continue to keep up their background joke game and the highlight from this little short was discovering that Sideshow Bob only has nine friends on “Fiendbook”.
Homerzilla was the real standout of this episode. Funny, unique and it made some very good points about the uselessness of Hollywood executives and their ideas. Having said that, I would have much preferred the entire short to have been a spoof of the original Godzilla because that was where the story really shined. There was some very clever jokes, the story was the most dramatic of the three and the animation was a nice change, no need for any reanimation. It actually made me wonder whether they saved any money on colours but considering how Hollywood executives are, probably not and they would have paid the exact same amount to the animators. This story served as both a homage to the original Godzilla and a spoof of the new and pointless remakes churned out by Hollywood whenever people forget about the last one. Homer, of course was the right choice as the monster but it begs the question, who is Marge’s husband in this story? More importantly, who is Bart, Lisa and Maggie’s father? I’m probably missing the point of the Treehouse Of Horror Stories and cartoons in general, I don’t think you are supposed to ask questions. Just forgo logic and let your mind run away with the story.
Telepaths Of Glory
Apparently this short was a spoof of Chronicle, which took me a while to understand. Chronicle wasn’t exactly a huge hit and it is not a very common talking point around the water cooler but maybe the writers have decided to do whatever they want, since no one is watching any way. If that is the case then good on them and Chronicle is an excellent choice, it is a great movie that you should take a look at if you have the chance. As the final story, Telepaths Of Glory was pushed for time but it didn’t seem as if the story had been rushed. All the jokes fell in the right place and all the references to Chronicle were loud and clear. Scrat from Ice Age made an appearance which was nice, someone finally put a shirt on Putin and Maggie again proved why she is quickly becoming my favourite character as she saved the day with her new radioactive dummy.
Not only was Treehouse Of Horror XXVI a nice episode, that did indeed prove me wrong but I would have to say that this was the most enjoyable episode of the season so far. Interesting, unique, funny and full of pop culture references, this is exactly what an episode of The Simpsons should aim for every week. Familiar faces help as well and it was nice to see the aliens at the end of the episode, their scene was so funny that it almost stole the show. I should also mention the opening scene which I understand must mean something to a lot of people but it completely went over my head. Which ever show they were referencing I either haven’t heard of or it didn’t click but I am happy that they are still spicing up the opening titles. Hopefully Season 27 of The Simpsons can keep up and even better the quality from here on out because I am giving this episode a solid 4 out of 5 stars. Ah wait… it’s Ren And Stimpy, it’s a nod to Ren and Stimpy, ah that feels better.