Posts Tagged ‘Treehouse of Horror X

23
Oct
18

Quote of the Day

“Alright, Collector, stick this in your tweezers: I’m not Xena! I’m an actress, you lunatic!” – Lucy Lawless
“Oh, please, I’m not insane. I simply wish to take you back to my lair and make you my bride.” – The Collector

29
Oct
17

Bonus Quote of the Day

“What I’d like to say is: we’re still looking for the real killers. Anyway, in conclusion, a man cannot be forced to testify against his wife.” – Homer Simpson
“Stop winking!” – Marge Simpson

Happy Birthday Dan Castellaneta! 

20
Oct
16

Quote of the Day

treehouse-of-horror-x6

“But I’m sure that once girls get to know the real you, you’ll get plenty of dates. Next question.” – Lucy Lawless

22
May
15

Behind Us Forever: Mathlete’s Feat

Treehouse of Horror X5

“Oh, my God!  Lisa!  She’s been crushed, and so have the hopes of our mathletics team.” – Principal Skinner

Sorry (again) for the non-existant blogging around here, still been busy.  There probably isn’t going to be a Reading Digest today, but on the plus side, Season 26 is over, so I’ve got plenty of time to pretend that I’ll get caught up at some point.  On the Harry Shearer front, there has been nothing but silence from both sides so presumably they’re still talking.  Read into that whatever you’d like.

As for the finale, “Mathlete’s Feat” was bog standard: lots of filler, even more exposition, several magically appearing characters, and a couple of montages.  After a rich school beats Springfield Elementary’s mathlete team, the Nerds (from “Homer Goes to College”) buy the school a bunch of computers, that promptly get fried, which leads to a lot of flattering exposition about Waldorf schools, which leads to Bart becoming the captain of the math team (for some reason), which (just one scene later) leads to a rematch with the rich school, which leads to the usual unconnected ending.

– Hey, Rick and Morty, that’s better than this.  Thank goodness this “couch gag” took over 10% of the episode.

– “Good Seats Will Always Be Available” is pretty decent for an opening sign gag.

– But things go south fast with a literal drive by appearance from Nelson and twenty-seconds of Homer not laughing at a math joke.

– The Nerds are back for a hopefully brief cameo.  Oh, and the math competition has a full audience.  They didn’t even remember their own sign gag.

– Krusty just showed up to apparently host and yell the words “Drug Reference!” at the audience.

– Okay, Krusty’s gone.  Now we’re on “introductory videos” for each team.  Oh, and the rich kids video is directed by a yelling Michael Bay.  South Park did that way better a long time ago.  Just sayin’.

– Lisa’s monologing for some reason.

– Homer is explaining Lisa’s emotions.

– The Nerds are sticking around.  Apparently they went to Springfield Elementary.

– Sigh.  Skinner just appeared out of nowhere in Miss Hoover’s class, grabbed a film strip projector, and hurled it out the window (breaking it) and causing Willie to scream in pain.  Remember when Skinner was funny because he was a buttoned down square and not another zany nutbar?  The writing staff doesn’t.

– Montage!

– The “state of the art digital book burner” was a bit of a stretch, but they did set its temperature to 451F.

– And now the computers the Nerds bought have all been fried.  That took a while, and involved a lot of exposition and urgent horn music.

– Back from commercial and we are literally watching them do nothing.

– The teachers now have no electronics and the Nerds have vanished from the plot without so much as a goodbye, so we’re getting their new, non-technical classroom activities exposited to us.  Like Nelson reading his marshmallows.

– Lisa just left class and walked outside to see Willie, who didn’t so much as greet her before he went into a monologue of his own.

– Oh, for fuck’s sake, after getting several things explained to us, Lisa declared, “Move over, metric system, I’m learning the gastric system!”.

– And now Lisa just walked in on Skinner and Chalmers to exposit some more about learning math from Willie.  It’s bad, “Willie has showed me that losing our technology doesn’t have to be the end of our learning.  We could turn our school into a Waldorf school.”  This reminds of that scene in Spaceballs where Rick Moranis looks right at the camera and asks, “Everybody got that?”.  Only there it was intended to be funny.

– Lisa is now explaining a Waldorf school. . . . and now she’s teaching in the kitchen with no teachers around and, ugh, Lunchlady Doris.

– Now Lisa is back in class learning from Miss Hoover.  I guess they ran out of things for her to explain.

– Now Marge is reading from a pamphlet at the dinner table to further the explanations.

– There’s a song now, which Homer liked enough that he took over the explanations about the school in the next scene.

– Oof, this is a mess.  Willie was outside with some kids, and then Lisa and Skinner ran up out of nowhere to inform him that the plot needs to move along.

– After Lisa promoted Willie to coach of the school math team, he starts yelling and chasing Chalmers with a whip.  I take back my previous “Oof”, now it’s really a mess.

– Now Chalmers crashed his car after Bart hit him with an egg.  Now Bart is leading the math team.  Now, now, now.

– And we’re back at a math competition against the same school from the beginning.  Full audience again.  Sigh.

– Willie has a Gandalf hat and stick for some reason, so the squeaky voiced asks him about college so he can pretend to be a sorting hat from Harry Potter.  References!

– Lisa answers a math question correctly (which for some reason is taken as stunning, but whatever), then Bart complains that no one said there’d be math, then Lisa feels compelled to remind everyone that Bart is the math team captain.  That happened one scene ago, but since it doesn’t make any sense and we never saw Bart do any captaining before getting to the competition, I guess they felt the need to restate it.

– Luigi just stood up from the crowd to yell for a bit and then walk into a pole.  Huh.

– Montage!

– Though it is giving them a chance to flash a few equations on the screen.

– Then Bart somehow got the last question by drawing on Homer’s head.  Then Homer yells about what we just saw.

– Our post-plot comedy sketch this week is an after party where Lisa is somehow drunk on “Mountain Doo”.

– Nevermind, that was our first, post-plot comedy sketch.  The second one is introduced with a title card that reads, “The Simpsons Post Show Jug Band Fills The Time”.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: they know how crappy these are and do not care.

– The jug band filled twenty-five seconds of dialogue free time, though, so at the very least the title card wan’t lying.

The numbers are (long since) in, and they’re about what we’d expect.  Last Sunday, just 2.79 million people wished Rick, Morty, and the jug band thing could’ve taken more of the runtime.  That’s good for #4 on the all time least watched list, and pulls Season 26’s average viewership down to just 4.80 million.  Season 25 previously held the record for least watched Season at 4.99.  Come on down, Season 27!

As always with the ratings, the nuts and gum numbers are better than the overall ones, and since we now know that FOX has the option to keep the show on until 2019, I wouldn’t hold out any hope that they’ll drive the show off the air.  But it is fun to point and laugh.

08
May
14

Compare & Contrast: Comic Book Guy As Villain

Treehouse of Horror X3

“Tonight’s episode: Enter . . . The Collector.” – TV Announcer

There are basically no characters on the show who haven’t undergone a serious dumbing down in the Zombie Simpsons era (Gil, maybe?).  Some of them gradually devolved, others had sudden changes in a single episode; either way, there’s often a moment when you knew that the original version was never coming back.  For Comic Book Guy, I’ve always thought that moment came in Season 11 when he materialized out of nowhere to complain about the Simpsons getting a horse again.  Homer asks if anyone cares what “this guy” thinks, and the assembled crowd shouts “No!”.

He’d been used as a stand-in for the audience before, of course, but that was them dropping all the subtlety and treating this strawman approximation of their audience seriously.  They knew people were going to bitch because they were nakedly repeating something, and instead of thinking “maybe we shouldn’t repeat things”, they thought “haters gonna hate”.  Comic Book Guy has been a way for the show to paper over its own shoddiness ever since.

The difference between the two is on full display when you consider the ways they used him in very similar positions in “Brick Like Me” and as “The Collector” in “Treehouse of Horror X”.  (Which aired, incidentally, just a few months before the second horsey episode.)  In both cases he’s playing a science fiction bad guy who knows how cliched his actions are, but in one that’s the basis of a wide ranging satire, in the other it’s a contradictory and expository excuse.

This is Lego Comic Book Guy’s first line in “Brick Like Me”, right after Homer asks him for the Lego princess set:

Lego Comic Book Guy: Ah, always good to meet a fellow AMFoP.
Homer: Huh?
Lego Comic Book Guy: Adult Male Fan of Princesses.

As a punchline, “Adult Male Fan of Princesses” isn’t bad, but to have Lego Comic Book Guy just explain it to the audience doesn’t do it any favors.  At least it’s got a punchline, though.

In Lego Comic Book Guy’s next scene, after some extended Homer freaking out scenes, he doesn’t even get a line.  He just stands there while Homer grabs the toy box to go back to regular Springfield.  After that, Homer returns and we get what may be the clunkiest lines in an episode that had an awful lot of them:

Lego Comic Book Guy:  Okay, apparently our whole world is a fantasy in the mind of an emotionally devastated Homer Simpson.
Marge:  One of the main questions I have about that is, why?
Lego Comic Book Guy:  The real Homer fears losing his daughter’s love so he invented this toy world where nothing will ever change.
Marge:  How can you be sure?
Lego Comic Book Guy:  I have devoted my life to second rate science fiction.  Trust me, that is what we are dealing with here.
Homer:  So if I don’t find my way out of here, I could be trapped in a fantasy forever?
Lego Comic Book Guy:  I’m afraid so.

That would be bad enough if we hadn’t already had that explained to us several times, including by Homer immediately preceding it (“I wish I lived in little Springfield, everything fits together and no one ever gets hurt.”).  But it gets worse when you remember that he’s supposed to be the damned villain.

Not only is he unnecessarily telling us things we already know, but if he really is supposed to be the part of Homer that wants him to stay in Lego land forever, then it’s 100% against Lego Comic Book Guy’s interests to explain everything.  The writers actually know this, because they tell us directly in yet another masterpiece of unnecessary exposition later in the episode:

Homer: Now tell me how to get out of here!
Lego Comic Book Guy: All you need to do is open the box back to your so-called reality.  But I can’t let that happen.
Homer:  You’re the bad guy?  I thought you were the rule explainer guy!
Lego Comic Book Guy:  As an adult who surrounds himself with child’s toys, I represent the part of your psyche that prefers this artificial world.

Sometimes villains don’t get revealed until right before the final confrontation, and that’s fine provided that the villain’s previous actions make sense in light of that reveal.  But literally telling the audience that Lego Comic Book Guy is the bad guy while offering no reason whatsoever for his behavior up to that point is hacktacular almost beyond comprehension.

As if that wasn’t enough, right before the final confrontation, Comic Book Guy quickly builds a castle to keep Homer from reaching the princess set:

Homer: How did you do that?
Lego Comic Book Guy: Because, as the ultimate collector, I have every playset ever made!

Here you can see the damage that their utter contempt for storytelling does to the rest of the episode.  As a villain in a Lego universe, Comic Book Guy makes perfect sense.  If there’s anyone in Springfield who’d have every Lego set, it’s him.  But instead of using his time in the episode to show us some of his sets, or maybe (heaven forbid) foreshadow it a little bit in his previous scenes, they just have him say why he did what he just did and then hold up the things he’s talking about.  The script is full of so much explanatory clutter that there’s no room for any kind of humor beyond “ooh, look at that”.

Video Exposition

Good thing this video program has live narration, or we’d never know what was happening.

And that’s how Zombie Simpsons portrays Comic Book Guy as the villain in their big budget, heavily advertised, and no doubt delicately negotiated Lego episode: as a manic narrator who can’t even be called one dimensional after they basically negated his already thin character with an unrelated and contradictory one at the end.

Now compare that to the regular budget, just another Halloween episode portrayal in “Treehouse of Horror X”.  Like the Lego episode, a Halloween episode lets them put their regular characters into way out and wacky personas.  Unlike the Lego episode, they gave Comic Book Guy’s “The Collector” everything that a good and funny character needs: motivation, foibles and weaknesses, jokes and a coherent story.

Consider this, from right after he kidnaps Lucy Lawless:

The Collector: Care for a Rollo, sweet Xena?
Lucy Lawless: Alright, Collector, stick this in your tweezers, I’m not Xena!  I’m an actress, you lunatic!
The Collector: Oh, please, I’m not insane.  I simply wish to take you back to my layer and make you my bride.

Eating candy while he drives a rusted out hatchback, he claims to not be insane while doing something clearly insane.  He’s not directly explaining anything because his actions and words convey the basics so the jokes can float on top.  He doesn’t need to say, “I’m caricature of a collector geek as an Adam-West-Batman cheesy villainy” because it’s written into the fabric of the episode.  Similarly, Lawless’s contempt for tweezers using collectors doesn’t need to be explained because we know her and can see it.

Treehouse of Horror X4

Characters doing stuff without concurrently narrating it.  Even Season 11 knew how to do this.

Even when the characters do talk about what they’re doing, it’s descriptive, not explanatory:

The Collector: I have here the only working phaser ever built.  It was fired only once, to keep William Shatner from making another album.

He’s describing the concrete thing in his hand right now, not explaining the overarching background of what’s happening.  And when he fires, he doesn’t explain what a phaser is or how it works.  The show trusts its audience to be know that already.  Moreover, calling it a phaser also acts as setup for the Shatner punchline, and who doesn’t love a good Shatner joke?

The rest of the segment is just like that.  When they describe something, they don’t explain what it is or how it works, they expect you to know it.  So when Lawless points out that he’s removed the light saber from it’s original packaging, she doesn’t have to explain why he’s suddenly distraught.  Ditto for when the Collector ends his death in “classic Lorne Greene pose” and when Lisa points out that Xena can’t fly.

The Collector is Comic Book Guy as a character within the show who’s been turned, for this one episode, into an exaggerated bad guy version of himself.  He’s still a person under there, though, so when he cackles about being “unbelievably amused” or whines that he fell for a “ruse so hackneyed it would make Stan Lee blush” it fits with who he is regularly as well as the character he’s inhabiting.  Lego Comic Book Guy, on the other hand, is a kind of stand-in proxy narrator for the writing staff who spends most of his time on screen explaining a very simple concept that had already been explained several times before.  Having used him as a crutch instead of a character right until the end, it makes a certain kind of lazy sense to just keep leaning on him and have him be the bad guy as well, coherent narrative be damned.

None of that is unusual for Zombie Simpsons, of course; nonsensical exposition, plot swerves, and bizarre character behavior are are in every episode.  But it neatly illustrates the fact that, for all the hoopla, “Brick Like Me” was just another episode.

28
Dec
12

Reading Digest: Goodbye 2012 Edition

Treehouse of Horror X2

“Man alive, what a stink-o thousand years: blimp wrecks, teenagers . . . then again we had two teevee shows with Andy Griffith!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

For the second week in a row there’s just not much cooking on the internet.  But while Simpsons fandom may take it slow from time to time, it never sleeps, and this week we’ve got two links to people saying goodbye to the last year with some very similar Simpsons flair.  There’s also a bunch of great fan art, an electronic remix of the theme song, the Prime Minister of Canada’s Twitter aide engaging in some playful banter with Homer Simpson’s Twitter aide, a couple of fine people who agree with us, a foul person who stole an inflatable Homer Santa from a church in Britain, and plenty of other little tidbits of Simpsons fandom. 

Enjoy.

Me and my friends bro tat! Click for the best… – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this set of three matching Hank Scorpio tattoos on the legs of three friends.  It’s also a great choice of Scorpio image, with his shit eating grin right after he tells Homer that he didn’t even hand over his coat.  Fantastic.  (via @DailySimpsons)

No Matter How Bad It Gets, I Can’t Quit Homer Simpson – I respectfully disagree:

I had an argument recently with a few fellow Simpsons fans—the kind that refuse to watch any episode that aired after the Clinton administration. They love this show as much as I do—the best episodes are in their bones—and yet they gave up on it over a decade ago. I’ve never been one of those. Just like Marge Simpson, I stuck by the old warhorse, through bad years and worse years and the years where they thought it was a good idea to have Lady Gaga guest star.

Yes, the show is better now than it was a decade ago.

The author goes on to praise some of the episodes from this season, but I’m still not buying it.  This is just a rendition on the perpetually misguided “it’s getting better” argument that is one of the last refuges of Zombie Simpsons defenders.  It wasn’t true three years ago, and it isn’t true now. 

Who Watches the Simpsons? by *TonyDennison on deviantART – Great drawing of the Simpsons as the Watchmen.  Lisa as Ozymandias with Snowball II as Bubastis is a great touch, as is the bloodstain on the donut in the title.  (Thanks to reader Robert K for sending this in!)

Moe -The Simpsons by ~serushins on deviantART – Manga style drawing of Moe with an awesomely angry/grumpy/spiteful look on his face.  (Thanks again to Robert K!) 

The 2012 End of The World…In 10 Words – This is the end . . . of high prices.

The Simpsons – Cool fan made papercraft Kang and Kodos.  (Also, “Homie Brown”.)

A Fresh Start – I can’t believe I didn’t see this in more places, but while I usually find Comic Book Guy images of “Worst X Ever” lame, “Worst Apocalypse Ever” is pretty funny.

The Worst – It’s another “Worst Apocalypse Ever”, and what makes it noteworthy is that it while it uses the same Comic Book Guy pose and the exact same phrasing, it’s a different picture.  That’s how you know something has reached total cultural penetration, when multiple people do the exact same thing independently.  It’s convergent social evolution. 

Successful First Generation Immigrants Go to Law School – Now this is a good way to approach life:

There is a good chance that there is a lot wrong with me. But I like to think of myself as Mr. Burns in The Simpsons: all these little sicknesses fight to cause me harm, but there are so many of them that they get entangled amongst themselves, and fail to hurt me.

Weekend Remix: Well This Ain’t Shelbyville – A remix of the theme song:

I would never expect The Simpsons theme — probably one of the most recognizable openings in television today — to experience some type of electronica makeover. But that’s exactly what happened with Kiwistar’s remix. And boy is it a fun trip.

Somehow, Kiwistar managed to blend in some neat jungle jazz with the bright original opening, almost as if it was all naturally meant to come together. The song begins with its own unique groove with no clue as to how the opening is going to fit into this audio puzzle.

But when that familiar melody does manage to slide in, you can’t help but admire how seamless the transition is.

You can listen to it for yourself here.

Holiday Bacon Summit – That official Homer Simpson Twitter account sucks ass, but apparently it and the Prime Minister of Canada (all tucked away down there) shared a love of bacon with the world.  That exchange prompted this:

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper took time out of his busy schedule this afternoon to discuss bacon with Homer Simpson.  I expect this to be featured on every Canadian news program or I’m leaving the country.

Heh.

Stuart’s always slacking off – I stand by my hiring practices. 

Simpsons’ Yeardley Smith Donates $25K To Group Challenging Prop 8 – The headline says it all.  Well done, Lisa.

Homer Simpson stolen from Manchester church – You bastards:

Ivy Manchester Church, on Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury, said the illuminated inflatable was last seen on Thursday.

Members at the church think the figure, which had been up for two weeks, was taken between 01:00 and 08:00 GMT.

Church leader Anthony Delaney has promised a reward of a box of mince pies for any information.

He said: "He had become a bit of a local landmark, we were starting to say that we were the church with the Homer on the roof.

"I went to check it in the morning and he had gone, so we are all feeling a bit deflated.

"We would forgive whoever it was that took it if they brought it back, in the spirit of Christian Christmas forgiveness."

I’m generally pro-stealing from churches, but that is just awful.  There is a picture of what it looked like before it got stolen at the link. 

Some wise words from Marge Simpson in 1994 – The show was always ahead of its time.

She Wears Fashion – UK Fashion blog: BART SIMPSON! – Another model wearing a shirt from that high fashion Bart Simpson line. 

While I can honestly say I’ve told you the truth, I may not have told you all of it. – I rather liked The Hobbit, but not this much:

As I write this I’ve been home for about an hour, and I’m still absorbing everything.  Plus it’s getting to be past my bedtime and I have work tomorrow.  And I kind of feel like this –

Homer always cracks me up there. 

Happy Birthday Harry – A nice little birthday wish for Harry Shearer:

Harry Julius Shearer seems to be good value for money; he was hired to provide voices for the cartoon series, The Simpsons and has since provided voices for: Mr Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Otto, Reverend Lovejoy, Dr. Hibbert, Kent Brockman, Dr. Marvin Monroe, Lenny, McBain, Scratchy, Judge Snyder and several other minor and guest characters.

All I Want for Christmas – My Top Ten Christmas Episodes – “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” and Futurama’s “Xmas Story” both make the cut here.

TV Tuesday: The 5 biggest TV Grinches – Burns makes it at #4 here.

Boo-runs – Heh.

Welcome to my world 24 – Also heh.

TV Thursday #9: Which bag? – Don’t you want your sugar bag?

Can I Borrow a Feeling? – Someone else who agrees with us (plus YouTube):

Took me a day to remember the episode but when I did I was cracking up the whole day and night.  I like this era of Simpson’s.  The really early ones when they were on the Tracy Ullman Show weren’t that great at all and I find they’re getting desperate for laughs in the last decade.

Indeed they are.
Milking The Shark: TV As Vapid Cash Cow – And finally, someone who agrees with us by not only citing Zombie Simpsons as an example of the horrors of show running too long, but also invented a new term: “milking the shark”.  That’s as good a way to describe it as I’ve seen.

19
Jun
12

Crazy Noises: Treehouse of Horror X

Treehouse of Horror X1

“Bart, just let me drop and save yourself!” – Clobber Girl
“What do you think I’ve been trying to do?” – Stretch Dude

For the fourth summer in a row, we here at the Dead Homer Society will be spending some time discussing twelve year old Simpsons episodes.  This year we’re doing Season 11.  Why Season 11?  Because we’ve done Seasons 8, 9 and 10 already, and it’s time to take an unflinching look at the end of the show.  Since Skype and podcasts didn’t exist in 1999, and we want to discuss these episodes the way the internet intended, we’re sticking with the UTF-8 world of chat rooms and instant messaging.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “inadvertently”).

Today’s episode is 1104, “Treehouse of Horror X”.  Yesterday was 1103, “Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner?”.

Charlie Sweatpants: Ready to move on to Halloween?

Mad Jon: Let’s.

Charlie Sweatpants: Shall we just do these in the order in which the appeared, or shall we do them in terms of quality?

Mad Jon: Order they appeared.

Unless you guys disagree.

Charlie Sweatpants: Fine by me.

Dave: Order they appeared please.

Charlie Sweatpants: I ask because I’m of the opinion that one of these is vastly better than the other two.

Mad Jon: I really have a hard time ranking THOH skits by quality, at least within the same episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: But if we’re going by order, then let us discuss Dead Flanders.

Mad Jon: Ok.

Charlie Sweatpants: This is not the one I think is good. There’s way too much Homer acting overly dumb, characters not making any sense (even within this Halloween sketch), and then there’s a lot of off voice Maude Flanders, which just bugs me no end.

Dave: Yeah. It was pretty irritating to watch through and through.

Mad Jon: I was hoping this wasn’t your top skit. As a THOH bit, it’s pretty standard, but I just don’t see enough of the family in this one as they are. It is just them being panicked and scared.

The plot is very THOH, but since, as Charlie pointed out with Homer’s overacting, nobody is themselves, I sort of just wait for it to end.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah.

  Like Homer’s long ass whispering scene to Flanders corpse.

Mad Jon: Exactly.

Dave: I’d nearly forgotten.

Charlie Sweatpants: There’s just no need for it. Ditto all those long scenes where people stare at them accusingly and Homer and Flanders’s corpse on the roof.

  The whole thing is just a few minutes long, they shouldn’t need that much filler.

Mad Jon: Well put.

Dave: So we agree this was pretty weak.

Charlie Sweatpants: Very week.

Mad Jon: I feel the second weakest, but that is till pretty week.

Charlie Sweatpants: The only scene in this one I really like is Homer’s description of all the cliched horror locations.

Mad Jon: There is that.

Charlie Sweatpants: Of course, a couple years after this, "South Park" did it better when they had the old man describe the haunted ski mountain and then the evil road Butters has to travel down.

Mad Jon: Lot of history down that road…

Charlie Sweatpants: But it’s still the highlight of the sketch.

  And with that, I’m ready for Xena.

Any objections?

Mad Jon: Nope.

Dave: Nope.

Mad Jon: I am going to go out on a limb and hope this was your favorite.

Charlie Sweatpants: We have indeed reached the segment I think is easily the best of this one.

Mad Jon: Whew.

I guess I am not an idiot. I like this one.

  The idea of CBG as a villain could have gone either way.

Charlie Sweatpants: It could’ve, but thankfully this is a Halloween episode so they just made all the uber-geek jokes they could, and most of them are funny.

Mad Jon: Swing for the fences I guess.

Dave: Yep, it generally worked for me.

  As a one off flight of fancy.

Charlie Sweatpants: Comic Book Guy dying in the "classic, Lorne Greene pose" gets me every time.

Mad Jon: I thought Lucy Lawless did a very good job.

Charlie Sweatpants: And it’s a joke that’s aged well since they rebooted Battlestar Galactica.

Mad Jon: Yep.

Charlie Sweatpants: I agree though, Lawless does a fantastic job of both playing herself and not playing herself.

Mad Jon: I like the ending

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m not Xena. I’m Lucy Lawless.

Mad Jon: Yep, That’s the one.

Charlie Sweatpants: This whole segment is like that, there’s lots of in jokes, but at the same time, Bart and Lisa are kind of acting like they really would if they had super powers. I’m never bored.

Dave: Yup.

Charlie Sweatpants: Like when Lisa tells Bart to let her drop.

Mad Jon: That was funny

Charlie Sweatpants: Or when he stretches his eyes into the adult section.

Mad Jon: So, we agree. This is the A team in this THOH.

Charlie Sweatpants: Easily.

The Halloween episodes were the last ones to really go to shit, and segments like this are why.

Mad Jon: I think there is more breathing room in these. You can go wild, as long as you can wrap it up in 6 or 7 minutes.

Charlie Sweatpants: Exactly. They have the freedom to just crack jokes about Star Wars, William Shatner, and nerds (A wizard did it!).

Azaria’s delivery on, "Oh please, I’m not insane, I simply wish to take you back to my lair and make you my bride" is just perfect, but it’s also a line that could never have worked in a regular episode.

Dave: How these have managed to turn dull is surprising, given that they’ve historically been the opportunity for the writers to let loose.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, even with all the rules off, you can still phone it in or just fuck up and not care.

Dave: That’s kinda my point. There’s no need to phone it in, and yet they do. But I digress.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well yeah, Exhibit A for that is the final segment here.

  It’s a pastiche of lame celebrity jokes, and they’re like: ta da!

Dave: There’s one thing I genuinely like about this segment, Homer’s quip about remembering him filled with murderous rage

  That’s it.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’d only add to that the way he inadvertently taunts Bart by saying they’ve both lived long, full lives.

It should’ve ended without him reacting remorseful, but it’s good.

Lisa’s instant response of "Mom" when asked who gets to come is good too. But for the most part this one is unimaginative Y2K bullshit and jokes that basically boil down to, "Hey, don’t you people dislike Rosie O’Donnell/Tom Arnold/Pauly Shore? Remember how lame they are?"

Mad Jon: Yeah, just wasn’t that entertaining. I agree, there were a few good lines, such as the ones you’ve pointed out, but I didn’t really get into it. Pretty much after the point we find out Homer is the Y2K compliance guy, I checked out.

Charlie Sweatpants: Right. It’s an excuse for them to wind up Jerkass Homer and let him spin, and then it’s a bunch of cheap celebrity jokes.

Dave: Bingo.

Charlie Sweatpants: Even Dick Clark as a robot is kinda that.

Anything else here?

Mad Jon: Meh, not a fan of this skit, and I don’t really have anything else to say about the episode.

Dave: In retrospect, it was predictably bland.

Mad Jon: The pinnacle of my THOH viewing career came in 1994(?) when they had the first three lead up to the new one that year. That was cool.

Charlie Sweatpants: I still recall getting home from trick or treating to see what I think was TOH II.

Dave: Aww, memories.

Charlie Sweatpants: But these late season Halloween episodes are all really uneven.

Mad Jon: That is true.

Charlie Sweatpants: And the hell of it is, I really do like the Xena part, but I almost never watch it because I don’t want to sit through the others.

Mad Jon: That would be a bit of waiting for a few minutes of entertainment.

Charlie Sweatpants: Right.

  Well, if it’s all the same to you two, I’m going to remove my breastplate and fly home.

Dave: No one wants to see your boobs.

Charlie Sweatpants: And yet many have.




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