The Simpsons Thanksgiving Of Horror Review

We’re back in front of the old red curtain as Marge introduces “The Simpsons Thanksgiving Of Horror”, a spill-over horror special and the eighth episode of Season 31. It’s here, she says, ‘because the world is so dark and scary, what with the grim spectre of…everything, there was too much horror to contain in one episode’. This time, though, when Marge warns that the show is gruesome, she’s not kidding. Unfortunately, the title sequence is once again blighted by the characters narrating the visual gags, instantly robbing them of their comedy.

A-Gobble-Ypto

“My brother-in-law deep fried a turkey. ‘Twas much toil and hardship for scant reward.”

The Simpsons A-Gobble-Ypto Review

If your idea of a comedic good time is to have all your favourite Simpsons characters say ‘gobble gobble’ or variations thereon in their own unique ways, then you might be the writer of this episode. For everyone else, this is a scrawny, overcooked, dry appetiser – a meagre-unamuse bouche with a grotesquely gleeful attitude to violence. It’s likely to win favour with vegan and vegetarian fans given how horribly it highlights the truth of catching, killing and eating a Turkey. Parodying Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto” with the pilgrims and turkeys in place of the Mayans and Conquistadors is an odd choice and you have to wonder how much of the family audience who hadn’t turned off by this point got the references.


The Fourth Thursday After Tomorrow

“What’s the big deal? She’s just an infinitely patient, never-aging version of you!”

The Simpsons The Fourth Thursday After Tomorrow Review

Appropriately, its the main course of this three-course disappointment that’s the real turkey of the bunch. Showcasing a bitter and resentful Marge and a selfish and thoughtless Homer, it’s a neat summary of how much these characters have changed over the thirty seasons, and not for the better. And maybe it’s because there’s a lot of dialogue for Marge here, but Julia Kavner’s vocals sound ‘off’ somehow, especially when she’s voicing the non-digital Simpsons matriarch. It’s a lazy re-run of The Simpsons Halloween Special XII’s “House Of Whacks” although this time it’s even more cruel and misanthropic and yet has less to say about the encroaching of ‘virtual assistants’ into our daily lives. By this point, this Thanksgiving feast is starting to feel less like a banquet and more like Halloween leftovers hastily reheated in the creative microwave and used to fill a hole in the season’s running order.


The Last Thanksgiving

“Mmmmm…children’s bones…”

The Simpsons The Last Thanksgiving Review

A bleak, future-set sci-fi yarn which starts with a backhanded climate change denial joke and then continues in the vein of “Alien”, “Aliens” and “The Blob” as a sentient blob of cranberry sauce starts to pick the crew off one by one. Make no bones about it, this parody is as tired as the rest of this anthology but it does at least continue the episode’s pro-vegan subtext of highlighting how gross gelatin is. Plot-wise, it’s pretty thin stuff; tasteless and bland too.

On the strength of this, its to be hoped that in coming years, if Disney are determined to keep this series on involuntary life support, they stick to spooky fun on Halloween because this Simpsons Thanksgiving of Horror special is for the birds.

The Simpsons Season 31 is now streaming on Disney+

Simpsons Turkey Score 4

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