27
Oct
17

Behind Us Forever: Treehouse of Horror XXVIII (Oh, and Morgan Spurlock returns)

“Oh, dear!” – Marge Simpson
“No, Mom, it counts as a hit. Dad just won the game.” – Lisa Simpson
“Well, I guess he’ll be happy when he comes to.” – Marge Simpson

A few quick breakdowns:

  • I finally watched that “Springfield of Dreams” special that FOX Sports paid Morgan Spurlock to produce to commemorate Homer’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s fine. Not great. Not terrible. Maybe a little too long and uneven, but watchable.Spurlock put his rolodex to work and brought in a crapton of famous people, some of whom work out better than others. Joe Buck, Bob Costas, George Will, and Dr. Oz(?) seem to only barely be in on the joke. Whereas Don Mattingly, Ozzie Smith, Mike Scioscia, and that baseball historian all made me at least chuckle. I have no idea why Russel Brand or Neil DeGrasse Tyson were there, I guess maybe the producers hoped they would tweet about it or something? Nick Offerman got to pretend to be Brad Pitt, Bush the Younger, and John Swartzwelder. That last one was a nice touch, though I’m guessing 95% of the people watching have never heard of him.

    Mostly it’s a retelling of “Homer at the Bat” in a Ken Burns style where clips from the episode are interspliced with talking heads or occasional Simpsons characters talking (Spurlock and two guys he work with wrote it). It spends more time than I’d have liked explaining jokes from twenty-five years ago (did you know it’s dangerous to put sheet metal over your head in a thunderstorm?), but overall it’s fine. And, hey, I got to use the Morgan Spurlock tag on this blog again. Been ages.

  • On to Treehouse of Horror XXVIII(!). It opens with an extended couch gag that’s the family as candy sitting in someone’s trick or treat bowl. There’s a decent joke when a leftover chocolate Easter bunny begs to die, which then gets run into the ground as the family slowly eats him. This needed to be a lot bleaker and have a lot less joke explanations.
  • The first segment is an Exorcist thingie that mostly involves Maggie killing characters at a dinner party in gruesome ways. It gets off to a bad start when Agnes and Helen walk into Maggie’s room suddenly to declare the party started. Eventually a priest comes in and the demon jumps into Bart, who likes it. The end.
  • The second segment started out semi-not-un-promising by being based on Coraline, which was awesome. Lisa goes through a small door to an alternate reality where things are animated in 3D and everyone has buttons for eyes. Pretty soon the whole family is there, but then they all come back to the usual universe. It ends with everyone there, including Other Mother Marge as a spider, and rip roaring dialogue like this:

    Button Homer: “Bart drew this picture of his family. Now we’re getting visits from a social worker and an exterminator.”
    Spider-Button Marge: “I’ll be ready!” [Shoots pistol, starts chainsaw]
    Lisa: “And I’ve learned no matter how bad things are, they could get much, much worse.”

    At that, Nelson walks in from nowhere so Lisa can zip and unzip his lips.

  • The third segment opens with Lisa in a tuxedo in front of a curtain, reminiscent of Treehouses of Horror past (sigh), warning us that, “What you’re about to see is so disgusting, you’ll watch Game of Thrones to calm down. You have been warned.” Turns out it’s about Homer eating himself piece by piece until there’s nothing left. It’s basically one joke over and over again and includes a montage and a self voiced celebrity chef who pulls the classic Zombie Simpsons intro of walking in unannounced and telling us his name.

Anyway, the numbers are in, and they’re up slightly but about the same. A self-consuming 3.66 million people watched this year’s Halloween episode when they could’ve been watching Coraline on DVD.


4 Responses to “Behind Us Forever: Treehouse of Horror XXVIII (Oh, and Morgan Spurlock returns)”


  1. 1 Anonymous
    28 October 2017 at 1:37 pm

    I finally watched that “Springfield of Dreams” special that FOX Sports paid Morgan Spurlock to produce to commemorate Homer’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Was that an actual episode or some sort of online video or what? Mildly curious, though it still sounds a bit zombie-esque.

    Mostly it’s a retelling of “Homer at the Bat” in a Ken Burns style where clips from the episode are interspliced with talking heads or occasional Simpsons characters talking (Spurlock and two guys he work with wrote it). It spends more time than I’d have liked explaining jokes from twenty-five years ago (did you know it’s dangerous to put sheet metal over your head in a thunderstorm?)

    *groan*

    And as for the Halloween episode…

    Turns out it’s about Homer eating himself piece by piece until there’s nothing left. It’s basically one joke over and over again

    Sounds like some bored staff member decided to cross “the final frontier” and discovered vore, then decided to make the usual tasteless (pun intended) and dull zombie jokes about it. Seems like a lot of shows these days are trying to prove how edgy they are by mentioning some of the weirder varieties of porn that are now just a click away for anyone with an internet connection.

    If I wanted to get a laugh out of someone eating themselves in a non-disgusting manner, I’d just read the old Shel Silverstein poem “Me-Stew”. Hey, Zombie Simpsons, a children’s author had you beat in 1974, try harder.

  2. 2 Steamed Hams
    28 October 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Speaking of Simpsons & baseball/Joe Buck, have u ever checked out that IFC show ‘Brockmire’ starring Hank Azaria as his signature radio character?

  3. 3 NES Boy
    31 October 2017 at 4:00 pm

    I’d like to think the real reason Pazuzu killed Helen Lovejoy during the first segment is that she omitted the “ure” in the word “failure” like anyone who’s desperately trying to be Internet Hip™. If you ask me, she deserved it for that — any slang that originates from the internet should stay on the internet where it belongs.


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