This Treehouse of Horror starts promisingly enough with a winding trip to Mr Burns’ crypt where he emerges as an ersatz Crypt Keeper but it all goes off the rails when the characters start bickering with each other or – worse – they start commenting on or explaining why the visual gags are clever/ funny. It’s actually a pretty good harbinger of what’s to come because, so far, this is the absolute nadir of The Simpsons Halloween efforts.

Married To The Block

“I’ll savour you!”

When a meteor falls to Earth and releases a mysterious glowing goo, Homer immediately eats it. The Homer here, albeit in a non-canon Halloween tale, is about as far away from the lovable, downtrodden everyman who’d powered the Simpsons to global domination. He’s stupid, mean-spirited and ignorant. Crucially, the humour here is crass and witless with barely any genuinely funny moments and little in the way of satirical subtext. It’s cruel humour which culminates in the story’s punchline being a grotesque ‘joke’ about solving the homelessness crisis in Springfield that’s in such appalling bad taste even the likes of “Family Guy” or “South Park” wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.


You Gotta Know When To Golem

“I’m gonna need a shoe box full of blow to get through this dreck.”

Discovering the Golem Of Prague in Krusty’s prop storage, Bart steals ownership and soon sends the Golem out on a surprisingly murderous range of pranks. It’s another tale that’s short on wit and long on violence which teeters close to crossing the line from slapstick to splatter schtick. It ends with the Simpsons making a wife (voiced by Fran Drescher) for the Golem Lorem and forgiving his centuries-long murderous rampage in return for a free latke bar. It’s basically fine, but since when was ‘fine’ the bar The Simpsons set out to meet?


The Day The Earth Looked Stupid

“Settle down, Children. Have a cigarette to calm your nerves.”

Taking a timely swipe at the social conventions of the 1930s and Orson Welle’s infamous ‘War Of The Worlds’ broadcast is hardly cutting edge comedy in 2006 but it’s merely a guise for a belated, milquetoast critique of the Bush-era invasion of Iraq. The jokes are tired and predictable, the characters ill-used and the satire at least half a decade late. Never mind ‘The Day The Earth Looked Stupid’, this is the year the Halloween special’s writing looked stupid and felt like it was running on fumes.


logo

Related posts

Oh, Brother! Star Trek Discovery returns having given itself a soft reboot up the backside. Star Trek: Discovery (S2E01) Review

Oh, Brother! Star Trek Discovery returns having given itself a soft reboot up the backside. Star Trek: Discovery (S2E01) Review

*SPOILERS*So although “Star Trek: Discovery” and I didn’t part on the best of terms after Season 1 limped to a close, I have to admit I was looking forward to this new season. That’s due in part to the excellent “Short Treks” but also due to the fact the series had, at least, ditched the...

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) offers a spirited romp through the writing of a classic.

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) offers a spirited romp through the writing of a classic.

There are two perennial tales we turn to at this time of year. One, The Nativity, may carry the self-righteous gravitas of religious dogma but it doesn’t really speak to the modern reality of Christmastime. For that, we turn to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol which, by its collection and...

Just when you thought there wasn’t mushroom for more drama on Star Trek: Discovery, the Saints Of Imperfection (S2E05) come marching in!

Just when you thought there wasn't mushroom for more drama on Star Trek: Discovery, the Saints Of Imperfection (S2E05) come marching in!

*SPOILER* Picking up where we left off last week, the episode opens with Burnham doing her best Tom Cruise impression, sprinting down to the lab after learning that Tilly is missing, presumed mushroomed (but not, hopefully, in a “Hannibal – ‘Amuse-Bouche’” sort of way). Despite one of their...

In Your Eyes (2014) Review

In Your Eyes (2014) Review

The second production to come from Joss Whedon’s Bellwether Pictures (following last year’s “Much Ado About Nothing”), “In Your Eyes” is a modest, sweet, gently paced romance which may ultimately be more interesting as an experiment in motion picture production and distribution than for its...