Category Archives: Hand-drawn

Halloween Postscript

Because I apparently bring this blog out of mothballs exclusively for Halloween fare these days*, I figured I might as well follow up on last year’s epic Simpsons Treehouse of Horror odyssey. If a bit late.

Treehouse of Horror XXVIII (2017)

Opener: There are no credits or couch gag in order to make room for “The Sweets Hereafter,” a marginally clever CGI short that’s practically a separate act of its own. The Simpsons family is depicted as sentient Halloween candy (except for Lisa as a nutritious apple) hoping to survive the night in the trick or treaters’ bowl. Bart as a Butterfinger is a neat in-joke (and also leads into a sick burn on the divisive chocolatey treat), but my favorite is Maggie as a ring pop.

Episode image with the Simpsons as candy

Stories: 1) The Exor-Sis (Maggie gets possessed); 2) Coralisa (Coraline parody using CGI that attempts to kinda-sorta look like stop-motion animation); and 3) MMM… Homer (in which the Simpsons patriarch accidentally discovers his own flesh is the most delicious meat of all).

Favorite quote:
Ned: “I’m afraid that little devil needs an exorcism!”
Rev. Lovejoy: “I’m afraid they didn’t teach me those at Pepperdine.”

Notes: Overall this is a ho-hum episode (the middle segment seems like a particularly wasted opportunity), but it does score some points for extra-cool stunt casting with the guest voices. I like that they invited Neil Gaiman himself to voice Snowball while skewering his work. But, in my opinion, the best call-out is when Ben Daniels (aka Father Marcus on Fox’s The Exorcist show) shows up to yell “Demon get out!” precisely three times at Possessed Maggie.

I think the gag mostly worked for me because I only just recently started watching season one of the re-envisioned horror franchise, and I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. After suffering through a handful of episodes of both Minority Report (2015) and Lucifer, I felt tolerably convinced that Fox would just convert Exorcist into yet another generic police procedural. But happily it’s a little more interesting than that.

 

* Seriously, it’s been almost two years since my last non-Halloween post. I probably give the impression that Halloween is my favorite holiday, but it isn’t. I do like it a whole lot, but as a rather boring adult, I can never think of any cool ways to celebrate anymore. This year I didn’t even dress up to get a $3 boo-rito from Chipotle, which is how I phoned it in for 2016.

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Treehouse of Horror Roundup 26-27

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.

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Treehouse of Horror Roundup 19-21

It only just occurred to me tonight (10 and a half hours into this roundup) that I could have made things interesting by collecting and crunching some Simpsons data as I watched. What percentage of Halloween segments focus on each character? How often are Kang and Kudos central to a plot rather than mere background? How many times does each character actually die onscreen? What a missed opportunity!

Well, I guess I could just start over.

Yeah, no.

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Treehouse of Horror Roundup 11-16

We’ve hit a bit of a rough patch. What say you, Groundskeeper Willie?

Picture of Groundskeeper Willie

We’re wasting more energy than Ricky Martin’s girlfriend.

Harsh, but probably accurate. This was not a great group of episodes, although it wasn’t a complete comedic dead space.

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Treehouse of Horror Roundup 7-10

A shorter batch tonight. My stamina is already waning. And yet so far I feel really engaged with this exercise. This is fun. This group reminded me that for such a topical show, The Simpsons can also feel extraordinarily fresh and relevant even two decades later. I tend to roll my eyes a little when people say stuff like that because I’ve never been quite the Simpsons devotee that many other people are. But sometimes a particular joke will reach out and shake you by the throat until you acknowledge the truth.

Not a single chuckle-worthy tombstone or framing device to be found tonight. I guess those are well and truly dead.

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Treehouse of Horror Roundup 1-6

In honor of All Hallows Eve 2016, I intend to revisit every single Simpsons Halloween special. Many I’ve seen countless times before, but many I’ve never seen at all. So this should be an interesting experiment… at least for me. However, because The Simpsons has been in continuous production for the majority of the years I’ve walked this planet and because I have a day job, I won’t really be able to dig deep with a lot of substantive commentary. And it will still take me most of this week anyway. I hope you enjoy this quick-and-dirty nostalgia trip anyway.

Opening title from the first Simpsons Halloween Special

Wait, are these not actually called Treehouse of Horror? Everything I know is a lie.

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Now tweeting

I created a Twitter account for this blog. See the sidebar for a link. Hopefully, this tweeting thing works out better for me than it did for Chef Carl Casper. Although if all I have to do to find my path to true happiness is embarrass myself on social media, bring it on. Or even if I just get to have a consult with Amy Sedaris, Publicist Extraordinaire.

Seriously, though, wasn’t her scene in Chef just exactly like watching a live-action version of Princess Carolyn? Amazing.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, get thee immediately to BoJack Horseman (subject of my very first tweet). I’m not kidding. Can’t-afford-Netflix is the only acceptable excuse for not watching.

 

 

Quote of the day

Moving day is at hand. Prepare to move your very, very odd family.

Tonight I’m rolling with the animated flashback theme and watching The Secret of NIMH (available on Netflix Instant). This viewing is in honor of my impending move tomorrow because every time I change apartments, I’m heavily reminded of the scene with the Shrew. And I toss this quote at anyone who will listen (repeatedly) while I’m packing and cleaning and preparing, even though it’s not especially clever, most people have no idea what I’m referencing, and also it makes no sense in context. No matter how odd I am, I am still only one person.

It’s been 13 years since the last major Don Bluth release. I find that bittersweet because I have appreciated his work my whole life even if it never moved me in quite the same way as the Disney movies of my youth. The stories were always just slightly off, like a beautiful gem with a flaw. The movies never quite hit all the right notes at exactly the correct times, and the result was an indefinable lacking. That special Disney je ne sais quoi was missing. And yet — revisiting NIMH I’m struck by how amazingly gorgeous the visuals are with all the moody intricacy and the uniquely ripe texture displayed in all his projects. The artwork is so special, and in the case of NIMH, there’s also a lush Jerry Goldsmith score.

Huh. You know, I’ve never questioned it before, but why do super-intelligent science-experiment-gone-awry rats also happen to have a magic necklace just lying around? Also, with or without courage of the heart, I think I could totally rock a red and gold amulet just like that.

By the way, I feel obligated to mention that last summer I had just recently launched a promising new blog when I interrupted my flow to move into DC. What with all the associated hassle and bother and needing to shop for new lamps and trying to unpack after work when I was already tired and then the stockpiling of procrastination-related guilt… Yeah, that all pretty much killed it dead. And, here we go again, only eleven months later. I should warn you that I’m jeopardizing the welfare of this blog to move back to Virginia, solely out of a selfish desire to once again share a residence with my boyfriend and our cat now that the Army has seen fit to bring him to this area after two looong years stationed over 900 miles away.

Anyway, we’ll now be taking a short break from our regularly scheduled programming. I’ll see y’all again on the flip side. Probably. Maybe?