This past Halloween marked the 666 episode of the Simpsons and their 30th Treehouse of Horror episode, which holds the makings for an especially hilarious spooky episode.
The exact opposite was seen on wherever one streams their content.
Before I start on my deep frustrations with this holiday episode, let me make it quite clear my pure adoration for the Simpsons. My family owns seasons 1-8, arguably the greatest Simpsons seasons and tv seasons period. If I have ever dated a girl during the month of October they have watched the first 8 Treehouse of Horrors with me while painting our nails with glow and the dark nail polish. Fallout Boy and Radioactive Boy are forever on my arm too.
As it was October I thought I might as well try out the latest in the saga that is Treehouse of Horror.
Usually, there are just 3 short stories in a Treehouse of Horror episode, with this one there was a ministory before the opening credits rolled. In 60 seconds, a ghoulish, campy, horrific, story was told based on The Omen. At one point ‘666’ could be seen etched on Maggie’s head. The ingredients for a classic Treehouse of Horror fright filled with horror and laughs.
The next three main stories told are parodies of pretty major and incredibly successful films and shows. The first is based on Stranger Things, Heaven Can Wait, and the last The Shape of Water.
To say I was disappointed by the episode overall, would be an understatement. To say such a thing would also be me preaching to the choir and shouting into the void that is the frustration of the Simpsons going on for far too long.
It’s not an original argument that the Simpsons has overstayed its welcome. This episode was simply a bittersweet reminder of how far past their expiration date they have reached.
The entire 22 minutes was smothered with pop culture references that were clearly there to trigger the reaction in people to go “oh yeah I know what that’s from”. Let’s just say at some point Kang for no reason is wearing the infinity gauntlet and snaps his fingers. Why you may wonder? Well there was no real purpose besides if you like Marvel Movies you will enjoy that 5 seconds.
While the Simpsons used to be known for their creativity and originality in their content and what they parodied. Now it shows the things being parodied are much more creative and original than the Simpsons.
Certainly, there were moments, brief, though they were present that sparked joy and a wonderful smile. But not enough to constitute the monumental milestone of the 30th Treehouse of Horror and the 666th Simpsons episode.
I don’t want to sound like an old man yelling at the new kids on the block. I want to like the new Treehouse of Horror. I want to run out to the streets and tell everyone how gut busting hilarious, how bone chillingly terrifying the latest Simpsons Halloween special is. But the problem is as soon as I watched it, I turned to my coworker and said, how will I get those 22 minutes back.
I think shows can sustain quantity and quality over the course of 30 seasons. In watching this what I missed was the spark of originality and pure fun the TreeHouse of long ago held. The humor and storytelling in this episode displayed generic that blends in with the other cartoons on the network channels. Instead of continuing to stand out as the standard for a solid cartoon, the show slipped into the background conforming to the blandness of most other family cartoons.
Without sounding like a bitter old man, as I am just 24, I urge you to go rewatch the first 8 Treehouse of Horrors they hold up trust me.