445. Treehouse of Horror XX

ImageOriginal airdate: October 18, 2009

The premise: This year’s Halloween anthology. “Dial ‘M’ for Murder, or Press ‘#’ to Return to Main Menu” is a black-and-white Hitchcock-esque tale where Lisa unintentionally makes a deal with Bart to kill their respective teachers. “Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind” features a “28 Days Later” zombie infestation following the release of mad cow burgers at Krusty Burgers. “There’s No Business Like Moe Business” is a “Sweeney Todd” riff wherein Moe attempts to woo Marge with his new and improved ale, sweetened with the blood of a dying Homer, presented as them all being actors performing the musical on stage.

The reaction: Yet another Treehouse of Horror that’s doesn’t even attempt to be the least bit scary, from the cold open featuring the classic movie monsters getting drunk and hitting on women at a party, to the final segment with the incessant fourth wall leaning. The first story has some atmosphere and good direction, but eventually resorts to just throwing as many Hitchcock references at the screen as possible in the final chase scene. The second story has no time for jokes with so much story and explaining needed to be done in seven minutes, which basically is just a straight retelling of 28 Days Later (if not obvious enough, it opens with the chyron “28 Days Later…”) The third story is just befuddling, this gruesome story told in such a light-hearted, meta way, ended up just leaving me cold. The last Halloween show I truly enjoyed was Treehouse of Horror X, which we’re a good decade past here, and it couldn’t show more.

Three items of note:
– Criss cross! Criss cross! Criss cross! Criss cross! Shut up.
To further push Marge from fond memories of her departed husband, Moe concocts a fake note from Homer, who claims he’s gone gay. This leads to a big musical number from Homer, over how many different men all around the world he wants to fuck! (“I want to French kiss a Frenchman, and spoon an English duke, ’cause frankly, dear, to not be queer, just makes me want to puke!”) You could excuse the awfulness of the song, opening with Homer reminiscing “turning gay the other day” by the fact that Moe wrote it, but it’s still pretty atrocious to watch. Also, what the fuck is this doing in the Halloween show?!
– The scariest thing in the whole show? The executive producer credits. Al “20 More Years” Jean. [shudders]

One good line/moment: “Ding-dong-ditch means you kill her, then you throw that ding-dong into a ditch! Jeez, pick up a book!” – Bart


10 responses to “445. Treehouse of Horror XX

  1. I was expecting this blog to come back.

  2. welcome back!

  3. Haha, never expected THIS to return, but I’ll continue to follow this for sure. I think there may be a few episodes that will surprise you (in a good way), but the Halloween shows are all downhill from here.

    By the way, want to exchange links? http://wacreviews.blogspot.com

  4. My inital reaction to “Al ’20 More Years’ Jean”: “Oh dear fuck, no.”

    I tried to be as lenient as possible to this episode when it aired, and even I hated that stupid “turning gay the other day” song. I just sat there in lockjawed silence, thinking “What the hell made the writers think this would be funny?”

  5. I always looked forward to checking in each day to read your reviews, so I’m definitely excited this is back up.

    Of course, now I’m going to be tempted to watch through these newer episodes along with your blog, (I stopped watching in season 20 around the same time as you). Dammit!

    I was actually more looking forward to hearing about a new project, like reviewing all of South Park or Futurama, since I do think by this point you said everything there can be said about modern Simpsons. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to this!

  6. Really glad you’ve decided to come back to this, Mike – look forward to reading about the several episodes I’ve seen and just couldn’t believe were real. Haven’t seen this one, and certainly won’t watch any more ZS to find out, but great to have more of your writing. Enjoy (?)!

  7. Good to see the blog back, even though I haven’t seen very many episodes post season 20.

    “Dial ‘M’ for Murder, or Press ‘#’ to Return to Main Menu” at least LOOKS great, with its moody black and white visuals. But I really don’t remember much about it.

    “Don’t Have a Cow, Mankind” felt like a retread of “Dial Z For Zombies” from THOH III but I recall laughing a few times.

    “There’s No Business Like Moe Business” was just… what the hell am I watching?

  8. And a simpsons sweeny tod could’ve been so good. I remember the day their musical parodies were funny.
    I was sort of amused by Mo’s romance song and some of the lines they found for “You could’ve done worse” and in fairness mo making love in the back of a herse, dressed as a nurse and going through Marge’s purse afterwards is sort of very classic dark and disturbing Mo, —- but the rest? and that gay song? noooo!

    Next time I want a simpsons musical parody I’ll just go and listen to buy me a beer again :D.

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