Feels a little early for Halloween episodes, doesn't it?
A packed fall schedule on Fox means The Simpsons fans were treated to the annual "Treehouse of Horror" nearly a month ahead of time. While I'll admit I haven't quite gotten into the spirit of the holiday yet, I'm rarely disappointed with this installment.
"Treehouse of Horror XXIII" offered up the standard horror-themed parodies, even opening with a reference to the Mayan 2012 apocalypse. There were some hits and some misses, but for the most part, it was a fairly enjoyable night.
The Lisa-themed black hole short was probably my least favorite. Playing on the apocalyptic fears associated with the Hadron-Collider, the Simpson family keeps a black hole in their basement, slowly feeding it their garbage until it grows so immense that it swallows up the whole town. Most of the humor in this story was built on the final revelation that all the garbage was going to an alien planet where the inhabitants worshiped our refuse. They even revered the Zune as the best mp3 player. Ha, ha?
This disappointing installment was followed by a much stronger Paranormal Activity parody ("Unnormal Activity"). The movie series has reached its fourth installment, so it does seem ripe for skewering. Homer's attempts to video tape the ghostly disturbances was mostly used as platform for his own embarrassment, whether it be from tumbling down the stairs or urinating for hours. The eventual disclosure that Marge made a deal with a demon to save the lives of Patty and Selma dovetailed nicely with the movie's big revelation.
However, I have to admit that I was a little creeped out by the way Homer resolved things with the demon. A threesome with another demon? The safeword is cinnamon?
It was just a tiny bit disturbing for Sunday night, but I guess 50 Shades of Grey has saturated popular culture with its lingo.
My favorite parody of the night was definitely "Bart and Homer's Excellent Adventure." In a neat twist on Back to the Future, Bart realized his life would actually be much better if his mom married Artie Ziff instead. The peek at the Ziff family was incredibly humorous, but not as amusing as high school Homer trying so hard (and failing miserably) to impress Marge by telling her she's an idiot.
In the end, Marge couldn't resist the urge to take care of that sad sack Homer...and every Homer throughout history. The episode was a sweet reminder of the early days of Homer and Marge, but it didn't really have a lot of horror to it.
I must say these are usually the only Simpsons episodes that don't annoy me with their cloying attempts to be relevant and entertaining, so it was nice to catch these episodes even though it was way to early for Halloween. There were even some great The Simpsons quotes.
Are you still entertained by the "Treehouse of Horror" after 23 installments?