Jay’s Month of Screams, Day 20- The Simpsons
I’ve spent the entire month talking about the various Halloween specials and movies I’ve watched. Some of them are beloved classics, while others I’ve never seen before. However, there’s one classic series of Halloween Specials that I’ve actively avoided seeing all month, and that’s The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror.
I’m not a big fan of The Simpsons, but I love the Treehouse of Horror episodes. First premiering back in Season Two, the Treehouse of Horror special was so much fun that the show’s done it every year since then. They’re anthology episodes where the show’s cast and writers step away from canon and just make their own scary stories. Often parodies of films and pop culture, the specials are like a Halloween tradition. I’ve seen most of them, and while I have my favorite skits, the special that I love most is Treehouse of Horror V.
With the 30th special airing tonight, I wanted to look back on my Treehouse of Horror V. It’s not only considered the best of the specials, but one of the best Simpsons episodes altogether.
In the opening story, the Simpsons family travels to Mr. Burns secluded mansion to serve as caretakers for the winter. However, Mr. Burns shuts off the cable and takes the beer with him, which cause Homer to quickly go nuts. He’s then persuaded by a ghost version of Moe to “waste his family” for beer.
I laughed so hard when I first saw The Shinning. It’s a hilarious parody of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining that follows the film almost to a fault. The jokes are hilarious, there are plenty of references to the movie, and it’s simply good comedy. I can also weirdly relate to Homer’s plight, but I’d replace TV with the Internet. I’d go crazy without my streaming.
Time and Punishment
It all started when Homer got his hand stuck in the toaster. His attempts to fix it result in it becoming a time machine that sends him back to the time of dinosaurs. As a result of his mishaps, the present gets altered. Can Homer find a way to return Springfield to what he knows and loves? Probably not, but it will be fun to watch.
While not as entertaining as The Shinning, Time and Punishment was still enjoyable to watch. I found it fun to see someone like Homer, who usually doesn’t think things through, actively try not to mess things up. However, when not altering the past proves too hard, he does what many frustrated people would do: screw it. I had a hard time deciding what was funnier: Homer getting his perfect life only to bail when he learns donuts don’t exist, or James Earl Jones voicing Maggie.
In the final segment, the teachers at Springfield Elementary create a morbid solution to their detention and food problems: they eat the kids. One by one, every student in Springfield gets sent to detention to be slaughtered, with only Milhouse, Lisa and Bart remaining. Can they escape from being devoured by the teachers? Can Willie go a segment without getting axed?
It takes a lot to make my stomach churn and disturb me at times. Of all of the Treehouse of Horror segments I’ve seen, this was the most disturbing one. I can’t even watch the whole segment without getting disgusted by it. That makes it good, though, in a morbid sort of way.
The Best of the Best
There are plenty of great Treehouse of Horror segments out there, but this special is by far the best as a whole. It’s hilarious, disturbing at times, and incredibly imaginative in how it tells it’s stories. No wonder it’s considered to be the best of The Simpsons Halloween specials. Although, if i had to pick my favorite segment, it’sThe Shinning.
The Simpsons may not be as good as it used to be; no one will deny that. Even so, Treehouse of Horror keeps bringing fans back year after year. In other words, it’s a Halloween tradition in all but name. I look forward to a new one every year, and I’m looking forward to the new one tonight. In case you haven’t realized it, I’m using tonight’s special as my pick for tomorrow. Happy Halloween!
Click here to see the FANDOM Article I did for Halloween last year.