Like most other Americans, I spent the last couple of days consumed with a different sort of nightmarish joke. But life and the days of November march on, and now that it’s ten days past Halloween, we need to wrap this up.
It felt good to laugh and get one last sweet taste of Halloween for the year. I even ate some candy — gummy bears — to mark the occasion. And The Simpsons managed to let me end on happy note by providing two mostly solid episodes. I’m glad I took this ride with you all.
Treehouse of Horror XXVI (2015)
Opener: A vignette with animation in the style of Ren & Stimpy and a musical number that falls somewhere in-between “Oogie Boogie’s Song” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” And it ends with a couch gag. Fun fact: Did you know that actor Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger, also sang “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch?” Once you know that, you can never un-know it when listening to one or the again. You’re welcome.
Stories: 1) Wanted: Dead, Then Alive (Sideshow Bob manages to kill Bart at last… several times, in fact); 2) Homerzilla (Springfield becomes the setting for a black-and-white Kaiju film except it takes a weird meta turn towards the end); and 3) Telepaths of Glory (a parody of Chronicle, of all things).
Favorite quote: “This is not a proportional punishment!”
Notes: I love that you can see Mr. Sparkle on a billboard in the faux Japanese segment. Also, Disco Stu singing karaoke. The best.
Treehouse of Horror XXVII (2016)
Opener: Four Simpsons nemeses join forces, but prove no match for… Maggie? This (for no reason I can determine) segues immediately into a somewhat epic couch gag spoofing Planet of the Apes.
Stories: 1) Dry Hard (in a reality where Mr. Burns controls all water, he stages a Hunger Games-like children’s death tournament, which also veers off on a Fury Road tangent); 2) BFF R.I.P. (Lisa has a murderous imaginary playmate); and 3) Moefinger (seems like specifically a Kingsman parody, but maybe just a general spy trope send-up?).
Favorite quote: “Then a drought of Chicago Cubs proportions began.”
Notes: Apparently the Simpsons staff writers did not have faith that 2016 would THE year for the Cubs. This also happens to be the 600th episode. Unbelievable.