Sunday, October 7, 2012

Treehouse Redeemed

[For the reaction to last year's Halloween episode, click here.]

"Treehouse of Horror XXIII" just finished airing on The Simpsons.  Some immediate thoughts:

Punniest Segment Title: "The Greatest Story Ever Holed" (bonus points for the way all the letters in the title get sucked into the black letter "o").

Funniest Line of Dialogue: Bartie Ziff, upon taking off his cap and discovering his Jewish afro: "Oy caramba!"  (Runner-Up:  Marge [eying the slavering neanderthal]: "Even Caveman Homer."  Homer [correcting her]: "That's Renaissance Homer.")

Best Quick/Extended Riff on an Iconic Scene: The entire segment
"UNnatural Activity" hilariously spoofs the Paranormal Activity franchise.  All the familiar elements get overturned, starting with Homer's tumble down the steps while trying to wield the camcorder.  Even better: when Homer awakens to a possessed Marge looming over his bedside grunting, and thinks that she's just horny ("Like what you see, hunh?" he offers, throwing down the covers to display his tighty-whities).  But the funniest take-off had to be the fast-forward sequence that captures Homer's seemingly interminable urination.

Best Moment in the Entire Episode: Homer's attempt to capitalize on the disposal-potential of the runaway black hole, which results in a hysterically scatological business name--"Magic Craphole Waste Removal."

Admittedly, I'd been underwhelmed by the past two "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, but this year's edition marked a return to Halloween glory.  There were sight gags galore (e.g. Homer regurgitating his "cricket fajita," whose contents promptly skitter away; Groundskeeper Willie's willy tenting his pants as he fights to save his broom from the black hole), and gory sights to stare agog at (such as the impalement of Moe's decapitated head).  I loved the way the episode made light of modern anxieties (concerning dire Mayan prophecies for 2012, and contemporary scientific experiments involving supercolliders).  And the send-up of Paranormal Activity alone lofted the episode to the height of wittiness while simultaneously reveling in the low-brow (safe to say, "cinnamon" will never be an innocuous word again, following Homer's bedroom romp with a pair of demons).

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