Each year for the last four or five years, I discovered that though I may not like every single Simpsons’ episode, I simply must watch the annual Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror episode around Halloween. This year was no different!
Treehouse of Horror XIX begins, aptly enough, with a segment lampooning electronic voting and the 2008 Presidential Election. Though both candidates are represented with streamers, posters, and park benches, my favorite part was Grandpa Simpson’s sign stating “I Still Like IKE.”
Homer, in traditional Homer style, goes to vote and can’t fit into a traditional booth, so he has to use the “double-wide.” He finds trouble with the electronic voting machine and when he goes to complain… well, let’s say he meets a bad end. Actually I think he dies in most of this episode’s segments, funny enough…
The second segment was a riff on the success of the Transformers movie from Michael Bay. Even the titles were transforming… “Morf Transers” to “Trans-morfers” to “Snort Farmers” to finally settle on “Untitled Robot Parody.” We all know that any time Bart shops for Lisa (Christmas-gift or otherwise), it typically ends poorly. This is no different. And maybe Michael Bay will have the Transformers play Foosball in the next movie!
When the opening sequence for “How to Get Ahead in Dead-vertising” came on, it made me think of all the cool James Bond movie opening sequences (Quantum of Solace comes out in two weeks!) over the years, but instead it’s a riff on the series Mad Men. Who knew Homer would make a good celebrity assassin!? From Crazy Ethel’s Daycare Center (“Where your child learns to trust strangers”) and the death of Krusty (doesn’t every daycare have a wood chipper in the play area?) to the deaths of George Clooney, Prince, and Neil Armstrong all set to the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” song, I was in stitches. Who knew Heaven had a “Celebrity” wing?
But the coup de grace was the parody of the classic Charlie Brown Halloween special – It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! This section has it all… all the characters, lots of blood, and the classic trombone used as the teacher’s voice. And the moral of the story? You get to choose… Don’t feed the Grand Pumpkin a loaf of pumpkin bread. Or don’t offer Tom the Turkey the chance to carve the turkey at the Thanksgiving feast!
When the dancing began at the school Halloween party, I knew the Charlie Brown parody was complete. Where else would you see the classic Simpsons’ aliens dancing with the rest of the gang?
Once again, Groenig and company has outdone themselves on their Halloween episode. It might not have been as “out there” as some of their previous Treehouse episodes, but Treehouse of Horror XIX is definitely worth catching if you’re a Simpsons’ fan!
p.s. Pick up some Simpsons’ DVDs from Amazon!