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September 2, 2015

The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XVII

by Adam Finley, posted Nov 5th 2006 9:21PM

simpsons(S18E04) I always try to give the Simpsons Halloween specials the benefit of the doubt, because obviously when they first decided to do one for each season, starting with "Treehouse of Horror I" in season two, they probably weren't thinking they might have to keep coming up with three new vignettes every year for almost two decades, with no clear sign of stopping anytime soon.

So I cut the series a little bit of slack when it comes to these Halloween episodes, because sometimes you just run out of scary things to spoof and you end up creating something like "You Gotta Know When to Golem," about a mystical Jewish creature who becomes Bart's unwitting slave. But even though this was the least of the three stories this year, it did have some funny moments. I loved how the family created a bride for the Golem out of Play-Doh, and how the Golem turned from a silent killing machine to a neurotic freak that won't shut up the moment he's allowed to speak.

"Married to the Blob," the first story of the episode, wasn't too bad, though once they established Homer as an ever-growing blob with an insatiable appetite, there wasn't much left to do but watch him eat everyone and everything. I did like how they used him to solve the homeless problem, though.

"The Day the Earth Looked Stupid" the final vignette of the episode, was by far the best. Maurice LaMarche guest voiced as Orson Welles, doing a voice not too far removed from his Brain voice from Pinky and the Brain. This story takes a few shots at the debacle in Iraq, though the final line in which one of the aliens actually makes a direct reference to Iraq was cut out (the original line is included in the advanced copy I have). It wasn't a bad line, just a little smack across the head in case previous lines like "Operation Enduring Occupation" and "you said we'd be greeted as liberators" weren't enough of a clue.

All in all, not a bad episode as these Halloween ones go. I'm looking forward to more "normal" episodes, but I'm always happy to see the Simpsons stretch beyond their reality and give us something a little different, even if my excitement is more for the tradition than the content of the episode.

Favorite moment: Trying to jusitfy their occupation of Earth, one of the aliens claims they still have the people's "hearts and minds," and then holds up a human brain and heart.

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Not really a comment on this episode per se; but isn't it interesting to watch the first few Halloween episodes these days? They started with an admonition that the show was scary and had violence; those disclaimers disappeared around, oh, the 4th year. I guess that television had become so blood-drenched that the Simpsons was no longer going past the boundaries.
Oh, and the "Treehouse of Terror" title is a little silly, given that they only involved the Treehouse in the very first one!

November 06 2006 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Finley

Reply to comment 10:

"Are you serious?!?"

Yes, I am absolutely serious. I think a gigantic, fictional, two-dimensional man under the control of a gelatinous alien blob should eat every homeless person in the United States. I also believe The Snorks hold the key to solving our national debt.

November 06 2006 at 5:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I noticed the July 27, 2007 thing, too. And yes, that's the release date for the movie.

The Golem story was my favorite even though the legend is a bit off. I have a Golem piggy bank made of clay that I got while studying in Prague. It's a great story if you're interested in mythology.

November 06 2006 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Are you serious?!?

'I did like how they used him to solve the homeless problem, though.'

Those w/o homes should just be destroyed? Gotten rid of?

Should we just erase those that don't $ to afford a place to live? Is that the final solution?

November 06 2006 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Thomas

I thought the iraqi war thing was really poorly done. horrible episode. i didn't laugh at much of anything the whole time.

November 06 2006 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Wyant

I'm glad they took the line out; the joke works much better without it. Agreed, though, that Family Guy was awesome last night. Also, anyone notice during the credits one of the producers' "ghouly" was July 27th, 2007? Is that when the movie gets released?

November 06 2006 at 7:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought casting Fran Drescher as the Golem's wife was hilarious.

November 06 2006 at 1:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have been watching season 3 of the show because I missed a lot of those episodes for various reasons. It's sad how bad the show is right now.

November 05 2006 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Family Guy's take on Iraq tonight was much funnier. All The Simpson's do these days is remind me of how much better they did things 6-8 seasons ago.

November 05 2006 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode sucked. I hardly even watch the show any longer, now I remember why. The repeats on during the day when I can watch the older episodes is when I watch.

November 05 2006 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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