Hello everyone, and welcome back to another week of Lifetime of Simpsons. We’re continuing into Season 23 this week, and I have to tell you, it’s kind of been rough going. The couple episodes we’ve seen from Season 23 have been a little bland and forgettable. And, unfortunately, things will be continuing in that trend for a little bit. By the time we end the week we’ll have finally gotten to some good stuff. But we’re starting the week off with one of the weakest Treehouse of Horror episodes I think I’ve ever seen. And it all begins with a very odd opening scene. We see the kids come back from trick or treating, only to find Marge waiting to take their candy, since she’s being a Switch Witch. I’m vaguely familiar with this parenting trend, and it seems intolerable. So Marge takes the kid’s candy, and gives it all to Homer to deliver to some soldiers. But this was obviously a bad idea, so Homer ends up running off with the candy, intending to eat it himself. He flees from the town with the candy, and ends up at some cliffside overlook where he slips and falls. Homer ends up getting trapped under a rock, and has to pull a 127 Hours on himself, chewing his own arm off. And when he’s finally done, it turns out that he didn’t have the candy at all, it was vegetables that the kids switched out. Whoops!
The Diving Bell and the Butterball
Our first segment opens up inside Homer’s head, as he waking up on the floor, seeing that his family is in terror. Homer quickly realizes that he can’t move a muscle, and that he’s been paralyzed. So he then immediately flashes back to a couple minutes ago when he was putting up some Halloween decorations. He stuck his hand in the box of decorations and ended up getting bit by some horrible looking spider, whose venom quickly paralyzed him. So it looks like Homer is going to spend the rest of his life frozen in some terrible pose.
The family try to get life to continue, letting Homer live as well as he can. Until one day when Lisa takes advantage of the fact that Homer can’t move, and decides to sit on the couch with him and read the Brother Karamazov to him. Homer obviously hates this, and finds that he’s able to fart on command, hoping to scare Lisa off. She’s disgusted at first, but when she realizes that he can do it on command the two create a system of communication that lets Homer become more of a fully functioning person again. The family loves Homer’s new eloquence, and he lives a pretty good life for a while. Until one day when he’s out looking at the sunset he’s bitten by a second spider, this one giving him weird Spider-Man powers. But he’s still paralyzed, so he becomes an incredibly inefficient crime-fighter, and presumably lives happily ever after.
Dial D For Diddly
The second segment begins with Ned Flanders driving around the streets of Springfield at night, giving us some noir stye inner monologue narration. He talks about how terrible the people of Springfield are, and that he’s finally come up with a plan to fix everything. We then see a fun little parody of the opening of the Dexter series, letting us know that we’re about to see a killer Flanders. Apparently one night Ned was hanging out by a lake, when he saw Mr. Burns dumping nuclear waste in it. He prayed to himself a bit, and the voice of God told Ned that it was okay to kill Burns. So he promptly does.
Ned then becomes the “avenging sword of the Lord,” and begins traveling all around town, killing all sorts of “bad” people that his Bible tells him to. So, of course it’s time to find out that there actually is no voice of God, and that it’s all a scam. Homer apparently installed some sort of transmitter to Ned’s Bible, and has been ordering him to kill his various enemies. Which has been working out very well for Homer. Homer sends Ned out to kill Burns, Sideshow Bob, Patty, Selma, and all his other enemies. But disaster strikes when Ned finally figures out what’s going on, and arrives at the Simpson’s house to get revenge. He’s furious that Homer has turned him into a murderer, and prepares to kill Homer. Which is when God shows up, trying to fix everything. But it turns out that God is just Satan’s employee, and doesn’t really have the authority to fix everything that Homer did.
In the Na’vi
The final segment for this Treehouse of Horror is essentially just an Avatar parody. Which must have been ridiculously dated by 2011, since I feel like most people promptly forgot about that stupid movie the year after it came out. Anyway, we see that a bunch of Springfield citizens have been sent to the home world of Kang and Kodos, Rigle 7, in the hopes of finding some magical element that make people laugh, which the owner of their company, Krusty, needs desperately. The military has had a hard time ingratiating themselves with the native Rigellians though, so they’re putting humans in Rigellian bodies and having them infiltrate the planet.
So of course it’s time for Bart and Milhouse to become Rigellians. They wander around the forests of Rigel, and end up coming across a female Rigellian who becomes interested in Bart. Her name is Kamala, and she begins trying to seduce Bart, who goes along with it to find the magical element. And to get this process going, Bart agrees to mate for life with Kamala, letting Bart get closer and closer to the Rigellian culture. He keeps having to pretend that he’s not from Earth, but he ends up finding out something shocking. Kamala is pregnant, so it’s time for Kang and Kodos to show Bart where the happy element comes from, since they use it for pregnant women. Turns out the element comes from the Rigelian Queen, and when Bart finds out the secret he decides he can’t give it to the humans. So Bart joins with the other Rigelians and manages to fight off the humans, saving the day and going native. The episode then ends with various characters from the three segments coming out on stage and letting us know that it’s time for Christmas, and that people need to start spending money.
This is such a weak Treehouse of Horror. Even in the lesser Seasons the annual Treehouse of Horror specials were usually counted upon to deliver some fun. And yet, today’s was just kind of across the board sub par. The first segment really doesn’t feel like it should be a Treehouse of Horror episode at all, just being about Homer living while paralyzed. It’s an interesting idea that maybe could have been its own episode, until all the farting starts. And then it gets even weirder with the last minute Spider-Man reference that doesn’t go anywhere. The Ned plot may actually be the most interesting, which wasn’t that high of a bar. The idea of Ned being Dexter is a pretty decent one, and probably should have been a really solid segment. But revealing that Homer is just tricking him lost that promise, and it was all completely squandered when the weird God/Devil stuff popped up at the last second. But the real turd of the episode has to be that Avatar spoof. Listen, I know some people still hold some affection for that film, but it’s honestly one of my least favorite movies of all time. I can’t stand Avatar, and even a segment making fun of it couldn’t hold my interest. The idea of having it be Rigellians is pretty fun, since it’s always nice to see Kang and Kodos, but the whole segment just proves that Avatar didn’t have enough plot for a seven minute segment, let alone a feature length movies. So that’s a bummer. Not a great way to start the week. But trust me, thing pick up later on in the week. We just have some weeds to get through first.
Take Away: Don’t trust spiders, don’t trust God, don’t trust the military.
“Treehouse of Horror XXII” was written by Carolyn Omine and directed by Matthew Faughnan, 2011.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons
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