Lifetime of Simpsons

S20 E04 – Treehouse of Horror XIX

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Hi there everybody and welcome back to another week of Lifetime of Simpsons, and folks, we’re in for an interesting week. I don’t want to say that this is a bad week, or even a good week, it’s just very odd. Basically every single one of these episodes just kind of left me in a weird place. And let’s start off with a Treehouse of Horror episode! Always fun! And we even start off with a weird little opening gag where Homer goes to vote in the 2008 election and is killed when he points out his voting machine is rigged for John McCain. Oh the innocent days of 2008 when we thought there was hope in politics…

Untitled Robot Parody

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Our first segment begins at Christmastime with Bart walking around the town, shopping for his family members. You know, like ten-year olds do? Whatever, he finds his way into a weird store that sells all sorts of things, and while he’s looking at a bucket of terrible items a little toy truck approaches Bart. He ignores it, since Lisa wouldn’t like it, and it transforms into a Malibu Stacy car, which Bart then buys. We then cut to Christmas where the family are passing around the presents. Lisa is less than excited about Bart’s present, since they’re usually terrible, but when she finds what it is, she’s stoked. However, as Lisa is thanking Bart the car transforms into a little robot that destroys the angel on the top of the Simpson’s Christmas tree. But Maggie was the only one that saw it, so Lisa of course sleeps with the car in her bed that night.

And while Lisa is asleep the little robot begins to get to work. It zaps all of the electronics in Lisa’s room, turning them into fellow little robots. The little robots them begin plotting their ultimate scheme. And this involves slowly turning all of the Simpson’s electronics into robots. Which takes Homer a long time to realize. Really up until his car turns into a giant robot with him in it, and starts fighting Ned’s care. This then spreads around Springfield like a virus, until the people of Springfield are having to hide from a horrible war between two factions of the robots. All until Marge runs up to the two robot leaders and tries to teach them that they’re not so different. The robots agree with her, and realize that they should unite for a brighter future. Which involves them subjugating humanity. Merry Christmas!

How To Get Ahead in Dead-Vertising

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This segment starts off with a lengthy parody of the Mad Men opening sequence with Homer as Don Draper. It lasts a long time for a little bit of payoff. And once it’s done we see Homer and Marge drop Maggie off at a daycare, and she is not happy. She doesn’t know anyone, and starts freaking out. Homer tries to make this transition smoother by pointing out that there’s a wall of paintings of Krusty, which is something Maggie recognizes. She’s delighted, but that’s ruined when Krusty shows up, pissed that this daycare facility is using his likeness without permission and payment. He has some goons sandblast the Krusty faces off the paintings, and goes outside to call his lawyers. Homer decides to follow Krusty, and ends up getting in a fight with him. This of course ends with Krusty slipping and falling into a woodchipper that they daycare had for some reason. Krusty is then brutally murdered while Homer watches.

Homer then heads home, seemingly unconcerned with the grisly death he just watched, when he gets a surprise visitor. The Blue Haired Lawyer and a gang of shady advertising executives show up with a proposition. It turns out that when a celebrity dies their likeness can be used in ads, so they ask Homer to keep killing celebrities who won’t agree to be in their ads. Homer agrees and begins assassinating all kinds of celebrities like George Clooney, Prince (yikes), and Neil Armstrong. This leads to Homer getting a lot of money and success, and a lot of angry angels. We cut to heaven where all of the murdered celebrities, and countless others, are pissed that the living are using their images. John Wayne then leads an army of celebrities to flee heaven and return to Earth, where they arrive at a party Homer is throwing. The dead celebrities wage war on Homer and his friends, until they’re all dead. Which was a bad call, because once Homer’s in heaven he sneaks into Celebrity Heaven and locks the gates before all of the real celebrities return. Checkmate.

It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse

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Our final segment starts off with a fun little scene parodying the old Peanuts cartoons, with Milhouse as Linus, Bart as Charlie Brown, and Lisa as Sally. Unfortunately this whole segment isn’t entirely a Peanuts parody, because after that we cut to some semblance of reality where Milhouse is just dressed as Linus for Halloween. All of the Elementary kids are getting ready to go to a party at the school, except Milhouse who plans on sitting in a pumpkin patch waiting for the Grand Pumpkin. Despite the fact that Bart admits he made the whole thing up. But Milhouse remains vigilant, and sits around in the patch, waiting for his savior. Lisa shows some pity on Milhouse and hangs out with him for a while, but he eventually gets too annoying and she heads off to the party, leaving Milhouse alone.
And this is the last straw for Milhouse, who begins weeping over one of the pumpkins. Which turned out to be the secret, because when his tears hit the pumpkin it comes to life, and turns into the Grand Pumpkin, ready to reward Milhouse as a true believer. Until Milhouse offers him some pumpkin bread, and the Grand Pumpkin realizes what humanity does to pumpkins on Halloween. The Grand Pumpkin then goes on a revenge spree, wandering around town and attacking random people. And it all culminates when the Grand Pumpkin finds itself in the Elementary School, ready to eat all the children. Lisa realizes that the whole thing started because of Milhouse’s faith, so she tells Lisa the story about Tom Turkey, a massive turkey who symbolizes Thanksgiving. Milhouse fully believes in him, and a giant pilgrim Turkey arrives to do battle with the Grand Pumpkin. Tom Turkey ends up being successful, and is ready to teach the children about the true meaning of Thanksgiving. But when he learns that they eat turkeys on Thanksgiving he freaks out and starts attacking the children. Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a very odd little Treehouse of Horror, but I actually enjoyed myself quite a bit. It’s sure as hell better than last season’s lackluster entry to the series. True, it’s maybe not the most Halloweeny episode they could have made, but it was still pretty enjoyable. I think the Transformers thing was ridiculous, especially the fact that it was a Christmas story, but there were some solid gags in there and it was fun. The segment about Homer killing celebrities was maybe the least Treehouse of Horror-esque segment of the episode, but it still was a whole lot of fun. I liked the idea of Homer becoming a celebrity assassin, and really loved the idea of the dead celebrities getting fed up and attacking the living. Especially the idea that John Wayne would be the person to get things going too far, and that Jimmy Stewart would try to be the voice of reason. But it’s that final segment that really delighted me. It would have been hilarious if the whole segment was actually a Peanuts parody, but what we actually got was a whole lot of fun. I love the idea of the Grand Pumpkin learning about humanities treatment of it’s brethren and then trying to get revenge. That’s silly and a lot of fun. Which kind of sums up the whole episode. This episode didn’t have a bunch of pointed and delightful parodies of classic horror stories or Twilight Zone episodes like the only Treehouse of Horror episodes, but it was still light and fun, which is appreciated on a Monday.

Take Away: Don’t trust robots, don’t trust ad men, and don’t trust pumpkins.

 

“Treehouse of Horror XIX” was written by Matt Warburton and directed by Bob Anderson, 2008.

 

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