Monday, October 8, 2012

Simpsons: New Season & Treehouse of Horrors

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Longtime readers know that, although I enjoy many episodes of The Simpsons, on the whole I can take or leave the show. I think I've estimated before that I have very little knowledge of the episodes that aired between 1999 and 2009, and I've never tried to catch-up on them, either. Well, my interest in this incredibly long-running comedy has waned once more, and I'll be halting coverage of this show after this post. Of course, I might change my mind and return to the series, especially when it wraps up for good (which, let's face it, can't be all that far in the future), but if you come here for your Simpsons fix, I'm sad to say that you'll have to find it elsewhere from now on.

Now, I did watch the first two episodes of the season. The first because I guess I am a sucker for fall premieres, and the second because I do thoroughly enjoy the Treehouse of Horror episodes (which, actually, I probably will continue to recap for you guys on an annual basis). "Moonshine River" was weak in a lot of ways... Bart's storyline felt stale, I thought that Lisa and Marge could have seen more of Manhattan and gotten shut-out of Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway before turning to Shakespeare in the Park (or perhaps even performance art!). The pick-pocketing was laughable, and I liked the early scene with Milhouse and Lisa, but it wasn't a great episode, in my opinion. "Treehouse of Horror XXIII" was also a disappointment. I always get a kick out of how they alter the credits to sound spooky, but that was the best part of this year's trio of shorts. The black hole wasn't bad, but the demon was farfetched and the Back to the Future installment started out much better than it finished. Plus, the opening Mayan gag even failed... just junky all around. What did you think? Did I miss the merit in some of those stories?

The Simpsons "Moonshine River" (S24E01): Chalkboard gag: "I will not wear white after Labor Day." [booooring!] Couch gag: The family (minus Maggie) as butterflies, trying to get away from the unibrow baby. Maggie saves the day with her pacifier.

It's a rough day in Springfield, with a lot of events going on, including the Springfield Grand Prix, Tour de Springfield, Racers ball, and Racist Ball. [tasing that entire ball was freaky. hahaha on Milhouse getting a fist-bump from Dr. Hibbert.] When Bart teases Lisa about dancing with Milhouse at the Racers Ball, Lisa points out that Bart has never had a lasting relationship. [I liked the joke about some of his relationships only lasting a single recess.] Bart goes around seeing all of his exes, but none will give him the time of day. [well, except maybe the schizophrenic one!] But, when he gets to Cletus's house, it seems that Mary now lives in NYC, so Bart asks his parents if they can take a trip there. [odd joke about obliterated buildings. and I always find it weird when the family takes a trip out of nowhere!] Homer organizes a house-swap (only he sends the others to Flanders' instead). [lmao on the Fievel joke! and too bad that we don't see any more of how the house-swap plays out!]

Thanks to some stairs, Bart gets time with Mary while Homer gets pick-pocketed. Mary is a writer of sketches "with an option to perform," and she sings a song about Bart. [garbage!] Cletus shows up to take home Mary, but she runs away again. [big dig at NBC! but why was Al Roker the nicest guy?] Meanwhile, the girls try to take in some culture, and it turns out that they can't afford to see Pappa Pia!, so they go to Shakespeare in the Park, where the Baldwins and the Sheens are supposed to be the Montagues and the Capulets, but it gets cancelled when the actors won't get along. [haha!] Lisa decides to mount a show herself, but they end up getting firehosed by the NYPD. [and I sit here shaking my head.] 

The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror XXIII" (S24E02): The Mayan calendar says the world will end, so the plan is to sacrifice Homer to the gods. But Marge tricks Moe, the high priest, into being the sacrifice instead. He is decapitated and children play with his head. [yikes!] Professor Frink explains that they sacrificed the wrong person, so the world will surely end in 2012. ["and it will be Obama's fault."] In present day, giant Mayans destroy Springfield, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, Mount Rushmore, and more. ["haha, the devil bought facebook."]
"The Greatest Story Ever Holed" has Springfield accidentally creating a black hole. Lisa doesn't want people getting sucked in, so she brings it to her basement. [could you really drag it along like that?] Homer sticks his hand near it and his fingers elongate... but that's just the start. Marge puts grease in it, Bart disposes of Mrs. Krabappel in it, and, eventually, everything in the house starts to pull toward it. Before long, the whole town is absorbed, except Maggie, whose pacifier stops the sucking. [haha!] The family and town show up in another universe, full of aliens who are thankful for the junk they've thrown in, like the Zune. [awww. I loved my Zune.]

"Unnormal Activity" has the Simpson family afraid that there is a ghost in their home. Homer takes Ned's camera to record strange things happening at night, like Homer being whacked with a golf club, the couch splitting into two, and a fire appearing in a doorway. [I didn't understand why there were no efforts to extinguish the flames!] The next day, Homer installs tons of cameras... by night 6, it seems that Marge is possessed, the cat is levitating, and the fire is still burning. [why is Milhouse sleeping in Lisa's room??] Night 15 has an invisible being taking Maggie... powder shaken onto the creature reveals it's a winged Moe. Apparently, as a girl, Marge saved her witchcraft-practicing sisters by making a deal with the demon that he could take her favorite child thirty years later. [how is Maggie the favorite? Unless they're just wanting to imply that Marge loves babies, as that seems to be a storyline this season!] All is solved when Homer allows himself to be taken by two demons in the bedroom. [um... I know that this show was never really for kids, but this is much worse than what I watched in 1991!]

"Bart & Homer's Excellent Adventure" has Bart using Professor Frink's time machine to go back to 1974 to buy a comic book. [he's dressed as Marty McFly! I thought that the countdown using James Bond movies was weird. I did, however, like the contrast between "US out of Middle East" and "US into Middle East."] Bart sees Homer so he goes to taunt his father, but he ends up making Homer lose his chances with Marge. Bart looks at a photo and thinks that perhaps his life would be better if Homer and Marge don't get together, so the future turns out to have Artie Ziff as Marge's husband. [the curly hair didn't come off as all that strange.] Well, Homer stowed away and runs into his present-day self, so together they plot to get Marge back by bringing other Homers throughout history to help them out. [I believe I count 15.5, if you count the one with the mini-head!] Of course, they all get beaten up, but the pile of them makes Marge realize that she should be with him/them. [Indiana Jones played by Richard Dreyfuss? eep!]
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