Well, one nice thing about Gabbing Geek’s extended hiatus is that the annual Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons will have a write-up that comes out closer to Halloween itself. Why did Fox air this one and then two more episodes in October before the big day itself? I sure don’t know. It makes no sense.
Then again, I never know how to handle the write-up for an anthology episode anyway.
Also, Broadway actor Susan Egan sang a song at some point here, but I don’t remember where, so that’s why it’s generally good that I write these up ASAP.
However, the big promise this time around was the show was going to do five parody stories instead of the usual three. And…well, one was a pre-credits bit with Bart as Bambi in a particularly homicidal forest (Milhouse as Thumper doesn’t last all that long). But it’s a short bit as Marge isn’t killed by Mr. Burns’s hunter before Homer the stag got the old man first. See? Not much of a parody.
And then there’s a bit where Maurice LaMarche does a guest voice as Vincent Price reading a violent poem to Maggie about bad stuff Bart did with animation set to look like the work of Edward Gorey. You know, until Maggie strangles the old horror master with a cord from a talking toy of some kind because Maggie is clearly the most dangerous Simpson.
So, really, two of these extra five were fairly quick. Not that most stories in an anthology episode are all that long, but here we are. How did the rest of the episode run?
Well, the opening segment, minus the Bambi parody, used the great horror film Parasite as…wait, Parasite is many things, but it is not a horror movie. Yes, I know the episode may have also lifted some references from director Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, but that isn’t a horror movie either. Unless you’re, like, superrich and don’t want to see yourself held accountable for how you live versus how everyone else lives. That could be scary, but not to many people. And quite frankly, Elon Musk probably deserves to be that scared. His guest appearance on The Simpsons was terrible. And I wrote that review back when I knew next to nothing about Elon Musk. I think I liked it back then. No wonder people like nostalgia so much…
What was I talking about? Oh yeah. Bart gets a tutoring job working for the family of Rainier Wolfcastle, he gets the rest of the family working there, and then they discover the VanHoutens living in a secret basement before more of Springfield’s residents show up, there’s a big brawl, and sure, Lisa had a possible solution, but it was a little like socialism, so no one wanted to hear it. By the segment’s end, the Simpsons are still in the Wolfcastle house, but that’s only because everyone else is dead.
But at least that’s timely. The final segment is a parody of The Ring set around Valentine’s Day. This time, it’s a cursed TikTok video made about a girl who died without getting any Valentines Day cards, so Lisa opts to summon her since Mopey Mary kills anyone who watches her video a week later. Points to the show for making it odd. Grampa watches the video, but he keeps asking the mystery voice on the phone what it’s talking about, so he gets spared. Then Lisa watches it herself and taunts the voice to show up early so she can offer the longhaired ghost girl a Valentine’s Day card and an offer of friendship. That works until Mary decides Lisa is a bit too clingy and voluntarily goes back to her well.
Groundskeeper Willie sorta put her there in the first place, but he doesn’t pay for that in this segment.
Well, we got an old parody, and then a new one. Where’s the weird one? There’s always a weird one. That came in the middle, one where Homer makes a meta-comment about how the middle segment is always the weird one that no one likes, but I think some of my favorite Treehouse of Horror stories came in the second segment and it’s the last one that often feels the most like a throwaway, so what do I know?
Anyway, the trees of Springfield gain sentience, starting with the one that has Bart’s treehouse. Homer got mad and was chopping it down, so he got swatted aside. Then it brings more trees to life outside a Christmas tree farm, and you can probably guess where it went from there. All kinds of problems with rampaging trees, including the Burns Family Tree and guest star and NBA player Tree Rollins. Homer led the men of Springfield into battle, but the trees blew a lot of pollen and that made everyone start sneezing before they massacred everyone, even the Comic Book Guy who was watching unsurprised from his comic book store. Homer managed to survive, mostly because he brought a wooden bat that came to life and kept knocking him out.
I guess the moral of the story is…be good to wood?
Eh, I got nothin’ else.
Oh, wait…Kang and Kodos were in the final segment for their annual cameo.
Now I got nothin’ else.
Sweet Home “Episode Five”
The X-Files “Home”
Better Call Saul “Bagman”