Sunday, October 31, 2010

Top 10 Treehouse of Horror Segments

This seems like an easy list right? I mean there have only been 60 segments and a lot of the segments past season 10 can be scratched off the list immediately right? Well I thought this would be an easy list, but there were quite a few segments I did not want to cut but had to in order to trim it to 10. These are the honorable mentions that you all remember, but just barely missed the cut.

Homega Man (THoH VIII)
Time and Punishment (THoH V)
Fly vs Fly (THoH VIII)
It's the Grand Pumpkin Milhouse (THoH XIX)
Dial M for Murder, Or Press # to Return to Menu (THoH XX)
*Yes this is a changed list from the original, but thinking it over, I decided that this list was what I really wanted in the first place. Don't get me wrong I like the old list, but I've had more time to think it over.

So let's begin our list now:

10. Nightmare Cafeteria (THoH V)
This is one I really enjoyed and I feel that a lot of other people enjoyed as well. This is probably one of the scariest segments of all time due to the theme of cannibalism and the idea of murdering kids. On top of that, the Simpsons children get killed in this segment (Okay they're saved by Bart waking up, but still). Great story and all around great segment.

9. Bart Simpsons' Dracula (THoH IV)
This is a great segment as well, this story is just great and the twist at the end seems like an episode of The Twilight Zone. This segment also puts in a great amount of humor to remind us that this show is a comedy and not a horror. The story is great and it's a great segment for a great Treehouse of Horror.

8. The Genesis Tub (THoH VII)
Forgiving for a moment that I've never seen the Twilight Zone episode this is based off of, this segment is just great. I really like the premise of being able to create life and civilization (Being God) but probably the way Lisa takes this is why I like this segment a lot. First off after adjusting her microscope (Pretty decent joke) she discovers that she created life, so what could possibly distract her away from probably the biggest scientific discover since penicillin? Waffles! I'm dead serious, that just cracks me up every time that she thinks higher of waffles than she does of creating life. There are other memorable moments in this and all together a great segment.

7. Dial Z for Zombies (THoH III)
This is a great horror segment to help establish this part of the show early.This is probably one of the better zombie stories outside of the George Romeo movies and George Romeo inspired movies (I'm probably going to get about a dozen example of better zombie stories, but don't forget. This is my opinion, I can't compare this to something I haven't seen). But a lot of you remember this segment for one particular joke.
Bart: Dad! You just shot the zombie Flanders!
Homer: He was a zombie?

6. Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace (THoH VI)
Yeah I'm a sucker for Freddy Krueger inspired stories, especially if they're written well. This is one of those cases. As I've already said, I believe that Freddy is one of, if not the scariest horror movie villain of all time. Why? He can kill you were you cannot hide or protect yourself. I mean in real life, if a guy like this chased you down, you could call the police, in your dreams, he IS the police. Anyways, loved the story and I felt it was deserving of this spot.

5. Terror at 5 1/2 Feet (IV)
This is the first Twilight Zone inspired segment on this list, but that doesn't mean that they weren't good enough to make this list. It just means wait later for more. Like most Twilight Zone inspired segments, it takes the source material and really takes advantage of the scare factor and scenarios the protagonists are put in. This is a great segment and the ending is a scared-shitless moment as Bart sees the gremlin holding the severed head of Ned Flanders. Very good segment and I'm sure you all liked this one as well.

4. The Thing and I (THoH VII)
This is the perfect example of how even though this part of the show isn't cannon with the series, that doesn't make it any less dramatic. This is a great story about Bart and his "Evil Twin" (Yeah, yeah it's been done a million times. But it's been done a million times because it's great) and how Bart himself is the evil twin. I really enjoyed this segment and felt like it was THoH at its best with the writing.

3. The Devil and Homer Simpson (THoH IV)
Let me begin with one thing; NED FLANDERS AS THE DEVIL. If that's not good enough to justify it being here, the story is great and the jokes are spectacular. This was the best segment in one of the best THoH episodes of all time. To this day, I like to reference Ned as the Devil because as he said "It's always the one you least suspect". I just have to say that it's brilliant because the Devil is always up to trickery and would do anything to lull people into a false sense of security.

2. Clown Without Pity (THoH III)
Move out of the way Chucky, Talkin' Tina is far more frightening in my opinion. Yeah another Twilight Zone inspired segment, but this really does take the fear of a killer doll and mixes it with a good amount of humor to make this a great segment. The story is great and showing how Homer seems insane to everyone else while he live in fear of a doll is just great. I just want to close on why I think Talkin' Tina is scarier than Chucky. Chucky was an evil doll that wouldn't die I know, but basically everyone knew he was evil and wanted to kill them. Talkin' Tina seemed like a piece of plastic and not until the stepfather died did anyone realize she was evil and by that point, the family was screwed.

1. The Shinning (THoH V)
Here's Homer! This is the best segment of all time and for a good reason, it's written greatly, the homage to The Shining is great and the jokes are great to complement the scare factor. The story is great and this is a great segment to watch whenever. It was very fun to find all the references to The Shining and the ending to this segment was just great.

Well I hope you enjoyed my top 10, you may not agree with them all, but hey you gotta admit. Treehouse of Horror is a great part of this show and there's going to be the next installment next Sunday, maybe one of the segments might be an honorable mention. *Flashes Tweenlight image* Or maybe I'm going to hang myself before the review is over. I'm Kriken and I will see you all next Monday for my THoH 21 review.

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Top 5 Treehouse of Horror Episodes: #1

    Treehouse of Horror V
    Okay, you all saw this one coming, but who can blame me? This is such a great THoH that all others are compared to this one in terms of quality. This one has three classic segments and arguably the best segment of all time, how could I NOT put it at #1. Let's go over why it's #1 now.

    Marge comes out to warn the audience about how scary this THoH is (You know, I complain about this, yet all but 2 of the THoH on this list have the warning, interesting). Marge then finds out it's so scary that Fox switches to 200 Miles to Oregon. A few seconds later, Bart "takes over the frequency as we see the effects of an oscilloscope on screen draw out the outlines of the family. (Also of note, this is the last time they use the tombstones in the opening, I was disappointed as I enjoyed them a lot).

    The Shinning
    We begin this segment with Homer forgetting to do things so the family could leave causing them to get to Burns' mansion 3 days later (Okay, I did really like that bit). We then see the inside of Burns' Winter Lodge as we see that the house was destined to be evil (Yet again, I really liked this bit). After a reference to the blood elevator, we see Bart destroy much of the hedge maze which angers Willie until he thinks about what's going to happen to them later. Bart is able to read Willie's mind as it turns out he has "The shinning" (Really love this bit about getting sued if they used the term "Shining"). Mr. Burns and Smithers leave as Burns orders Smithers to disconnect the cable and take away the beer. Smithers feels that the lack of those caused the previous caretakers to go mad, but Mr. Burns scoffs that thought off (Hey as long as they have their N64, they'll be okay, What? He took that away as well?! THAT BASTARD!!) After Homer has a "Craze attack" after finding out there's no TV or beer (While Maggie spells out REDRUM, it's references like these that I like a lot) Homer walks away only to ominously tell them he'll be back (I love how Marge is indifferent to the idea of Homer killing them. There's something just great about that tone). At the bar, Homer sees ghost-Moe who tells Homer to kill his family. Later, Marge goes to see the typewriter as the page says "Fellin' fine" (Oh well that's a relief. For a second there I thought he had gone totally mad and wrote out the same sentence over and over and over and...) she then looks on the walls as they read "No TV and no beer make Homer go crazy" (I am totally shocked, who saw that coming?) Homer then comes in and tries to kill her, but he falls down the steps after seeing his own crazy face in a mirror (Ouch). Marge then locks Homer in the pantry as the ghosts are forced to rescue Homer and turn him insane again. Homer then does his best "Here's Johnny" 3 times until he gets the right room and causes the family to scream and run in fear. After Marge fails to get police help, Bart calls Willie who comes to rescue them, but ends up with an axe in his back (This is a recurring theme that I really love in this THoH). The family then trudges through the snow outside as Lisa finds the portable TV (Oh yeah, little thing I noticed, in the shots of the family running away, the family members switch places from shot to shot. Not hating, just saying). Lisa shows the TV to Homer and he becomes sane again, he invited the family to watch TV together as we see that they are all frozen together while they were watching TV (Sorry couldn't resist). The segment ends with Homer's urge to kill rising while watching The Tony Awards. (I just find the choice of song for the Tony Awards to be a great piece of foreshadowing for the ending)
    You act like you've never seen a sea of blood use the elevator before
    Time and Punishment
    After Homer declares himself a lucky guy, Lisa then screams that Homer's hand is stuck in the toaster... (Wait what?) Homer then struggles to get his hand out of the toaster (Only to get it stuck back in) and then decides he needs to fix it. The next morning we find out that Homer turned the toaster into a time machine (He runs into Mister Peabody and Sherman, I am far too young to know who these guys are) and he ends up in prehistoric times (Take that Creationists!) After remembering the advice that Grampa gave him about traveling back in the past (Does he have a speech for every foreseeable event prepared?) Homer then kills a mosquito and thinks that it couldn't possibly change the future. After Homer gets back to the present, it seems like everything is the same, until the floor turns into T-1000 material and a TV screen with Ned appears. It turns out that killing that mosquito caused the world to turn into a dystopia where Ned Flanders is the dictator of the world (I would question how 1 mosquito can cause that, but hey, I'm no expert on alternate timelines). Ned then takes the family to be "Re-Neducated" as the family is lobotomized. Homer refuses and runs back to his toaster to change the present (Let's see if this makes more sense than Back to the Future Part II about changing the present). This time he crushes a land fish and this causes mankind to become giants. He goes back to the past where he accidentally kills all the dinosaurs with a cold (Guess Jurassic Park lied to use, we could have dealt with dinosaurs through bio-warfare). However, this gives him the best ending, er I mean result as he's rich, his kids are well behaved, and Patty and Selma are dead. The only downside is that Marge doesn't know what a donut is and Homer runs away before he can notice that in this reality, it rains donuts (Status quo must always be reached by the end). After he returns (Again) Willie is there to tell him how to get back to his normal life, but Maggie kills him with an axe (And a creepy James Earl Jones voice. I like this because it helps to set the mood. Fucking Season 20 writers). Homer decides that to get home he'll do whatever he wants in the past (This results in some pretty good versions of the house, seriously, take the time to note them all, especially the squirrel one). When he finally gets back, all seems normal except people now eat with lizard-like tongues. He concedes this universe as close enough and eats breakfast.
    My name is Talkin' Maggie and I'm going to kill you
    Nightmare Cafeteria
    The segment begins with Bart telling everyone to turn their desks around as a prank, this backfires as he's the only one who does this and as a result, he's sent to detention. As it turns out, detention is overcrowded and Bart's forced to go to the cafeteria to serve his time. While there, Jimbo trips Lunch-Lady Dorris causing her to spill sauce all over him. While scolding him, Skinner notices that the sauce makes Jimbo delicious and decides to have him "help out" in the kitchen. Lunch-Lady Dorris then knocks Jimbo out while he's in a pot and we cut to the teachers and Skinner eating burgers that are delicious (Geez, who knew McDonalds secret recipe was human?) I especially like how the teachers have no problem with eating the sandwiches even after they are told that it's made out of human meat. The next day, Bart notices that Jimbo's gone and wonders where he is (Oh if only you knew, if only you knew *Evil cackle*). Utter then asks for another "Sloppy Jimbo" (I can't make that up) and this causes Skinner to send him to "Detention". The next day we see that the school is serving German food as Lisa tells Bart that all of this is weird (Actually, the more I watch this, the more I get creeped out. Seriously, this is probably one of the scariest segments they've ever done). Skinner tries to calm Bart and Lisa down by being less subtle than a neon sign on the highway. Back home, Bart and Lisa try to tell Marge about this (And switch places after they get to the bottom, how do you get away with that?) but Marge doesn't take this serious and tells them to deal with it themselves (Sure, send your kids to confront the people who are eating kids. While you're at it, why don't you send the hot couple to Crystal Lake as well to spend the night?) The next day, we find out that basically all but 5 kids have been sent to "Detention" and Milhouse tells Bart and Lisa they need to get out of there (Hey quick question. Why are you going to school if you know that they want to kill you, then eat you? Just saying). After Bart and Lisa notice some kids who are being prepped for cooking (This just adds to the already creepy atmosphere for me) LL Dorris approaches them with an egg beater ready to kill them. Willie then comes to rescue them, but ends up getting an axe to the back (And lampshades how he sucks at being the hero). Skinner and Dorris then corner the kids to a platform that leads to an industrial sized blender. Milhouse falls into the blender as Bart comforts Lisa by saying someone will rescue them because they're the main characters. In an ironic twist, they both fall into the blender seemingly dying. But it's okay because it was all a dream. But it turns out that in reality, there's a poisonous fog that turns people inside-out, and wouldn't you know it, it seeps into his room turning the family inside-out. The episode ends with them doing a musical number that was foreshadowed in The Shinning segment (With Willie as well).
    Run! She's Hannibal Lecter's personal chef

    Do I even need to explain why this one is #1, it's a masterpiece and a classic. This is writing for Treehouse of Horror episodes perfected. All three segments are excellent, the scare factor is really there and it's mixed with a healthy number of jokes to remind you what this show's all about. Well now that this part is finished, I look forward to counting down the top 10 segments of all time on Halloween. Until then, check under you bed, check your closet because you never know where terror truly lies *Evil laughter*

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Treehouse of Horror XXI preview

    With there being a baseball game in place of an episode this week, I decided that I will take a look at the next Treehouse of Horror episode and try to give an opinion based on the plots and what the poster has to offer. I will probably feel different when the episode actually airs, but I'd like to discuss this anyways.

    First off, a look at the poster itself. Let's see: the top segment is Homer pointing a gun while Marge looks on; the middle is Lisa and a "Vampire" looking at each other like they're in love; and the bottom consists of Bart and Milhouse playing a game that I swear is Jumanji combined with Risk.

    The first segment is titled War and Pieces. In it, Bart and Milhouse play a board game that apparently causes them to play the game in real life and won't allow them to stop until they beat it. Yeah, this sounds exactly like a Jumanji ripoff, but it sounds like it'd be an interesting concept nonetheless. I just hope that the writers are able to execute this.

    The second segment is titled Tweenlight, and it's a story where Lisa is Bella (I died a little just typing that) and she meets up with "Edmund"; the rest just seems to be a Twilight parody. Okay, show of hands: who is sick and tired of all these Twilight parodies? I'm not saying this series doesn't deserve to be bashed, but enough is enough; my editor, a HUGE Twilight hater, is sick of all the parodies and feels like this "saga" does not deserve any more attention (Seriously, folks, at this point, unless you can add something new, or you see Breaking Dawn and are a reviewer, just quit it. I want to see it DIE already). And really? Lisa as Bella? (The one character who has SHOWN that she's smart and loves books? ...Wow, I'm a hypocrite. I'm going to go smack myself now.) The only way a character could be further miscast than this would be having Lovejoy be portrayed as Hannibal Lecter (Just to top you: NED FLANDERS). I just feel like this is going to be a segment where I will bang my head on my desk and hate it (Not that he won't try to keep an open mind. Otherwise, I'm going to edit HIM).

    The final segment is titled Master and Cadaver. The synopsis says Marge and Homer find a guy who they suspect is sabotaging their vacation, and they decide to take matters into their own hands (I assume they kill him). It sounds like an interesting story and I look forward to seeing how Roger attempts to ruin their good time.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Top 5 Treehouse of Horror Episodes: #2

    Treehouse of Horror IV
    This was the toughest in my opinion to chose. This could easily be the best THoH of all time, but I decided to go with the other one (If you can't figure out what's #1, then you are not a true fan of the show). This has by far some of my favorite segments of all time and they are all great in their own way. So let's get on with why this is so great.

    The episode begins with Bart walking in front of some pictures as Marge comes in for her obligatory warning of the episode (Yeah this goes away soon). Marge gives Bart Maggie to watch as he is silenced by her pacifier (Momentarily) while talking about the Devil painting.

    The Devil and Homer Simpson
    This segment begins with Homer judging a pagent for donuts, it turns out it was a dream and he missed out on the donuts. Looking for any way to get a donut he proclaims he would sell his soul for a donut. And lo and behold the Devil shows up, but it's Ned Flanders *Dramatic stare*. But seriously, this is one of my favorite moments in the series, I mean it's freakin Ned Flanders as the Devil, you couldn't find a better person to be the devil if you tried, I mean it doesn't make sense, but really does the Devil NEED to make sense? After Homer signs the contract (Small joke about Mr Burns and the Devil that made me crack up) Homer starts eating the donut and realizes that his soul doesn't belong to the Devil until he finishes the donut. Thinking he's outsmarted the Devil, Ned ominously tells Homer he will get his soul. Later that night, Homer finishes the donut and Ned appears to take him to Hell. Homer though gets clogged up in the portal as Lisa tries to ask Ned for a trial for Homer's soul (You are honestly trying to reason with the Devil? I've seen more futile things before). Of course this works as the trial is set for the next night and Homer has to spend the time in Hell. After getting chopped up in pieces while entering Hell, Homer is given ironic punishment by eating all the donuts in the world (Which doesn't bother him and confuses the minion, I love that scene). At midnight, Homer returns in a fire cage as we find out that Lionel Hutz will be defending Homer (Say goodbye to your soul Homer). Ned then comes in (Through a fire Pentagram) and is allowed to pick the jury (Smooth Lionel). The jury consists of Benedict Arnold, John Wilkes Booth, Lizzie Borden, Blackbeard The Pirate, John Dillinger, the starting line-up of the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers, and former U.S. President Richard Nixon (who needed to repay a favor for the Devil). After Ned basically wins over the jury (And Lionel fails miserably) Marge comes in with a picture of her and Homer in the hospital after their wedding with a note on the back of Homer pledging his soul to Marge. The jury determines that Homer's soul belongs to Marge and Homer gets off scott-free. Ned however gets revenge by turning Homer's head into a donut as the segment ends with Lisa warning Homer to stay inside because of the cops outside who are planning on eating him (Who knew that the police force accepted zombies?)
    I AM TEH DEVIL, Not Chernabog, That guy's a wimp
    Terror at 5 1/2 Feet
    The segment begins with Bart having a nightmare about the school bus crashing and the children all dying (Okay that's two plots from The Twilight Zone that are present in this episode). Bart tells Lisa about the dream at the table (After she asks what's wrong with him) and Homer comes in with an air horn and other stuff he stole from the marina. After Lisa embarrasses Bart on the school bus, Bart begins to see a gremlin start to damage the bus outside. Bart tries to tell Milhouse, but Milhouse doesn't want to open himself to a bully attack. Bart then tells Otto who runs Moleman off the road. Bart sees the Gremlin again and shouts to everyone about it. After nobody sees it Principal Skinner tells Bart to stop using his imagination and accept that there's no monster out there (Okay I do love the homage to The Twilight Zone as the monster did only appear to Shatner and did start to cause him to question his own sanity). After a jump scare from Willie (Yeah that was in the episode as well) Bart tries to get Milhouse to believe him, but Milhouse decides to sit next to Utter to get away from him. Bart yet again sees the Gremlin destroying the bus as this causes him to get lashed to the seat. Bart then convinces Utter to release the lashings as Bart sees the gremlin is almost finished taking the screws out of one of the wheels. Bart then grabs an emergency flare as he opens the window and gets sucked out like a vacuum with only a bit of him still inside. After Homer passes by, Willie and Skinner try to pull him back in. Bart decides to throw the flare and knocks the gremlin off the bus. After Ned accidentally hits the Gremlin, he wraps him up and the Gremlin tries to kill Ned. After the school finds out that Bart was right, Bart gets sent to the Mad House for his behavior. The segment ends with the gremlin holding up Ned's head to the window of the car and Bart screams.
    I see you Bart! Now time to DIE!
    Bart Simpson's Dracula
    The segment begins with a news report about a peasant being killed and sucked of its blood, this leads the police to believe that Mummies are responsible for this (Not the dumbest thing I've seen police do). Lisa then proclaims they're wrong and it's a vampire who's behind all this (Oh please, we all know vampires aren't interested in blood, they're interested in lifeless teenagers who are as interesting as a piece of cardboard. I'm sorry for that allow me to smack myself *Smacks*). After we see Mr. Burns bought the blood bank, we find out that Burns invited the family to his castle in PENNSYLVANIA *Thunder boom*. After Lisa is a bit suspicious (Gee I wonder why) the family gets to the house where Burns almost gives himself away to the family (Is it bad to say that the villain from Final Fantasy X was more subtle?) After we see that Mr Burns' shadow has a mind of its own (It can kick you in your shadow crotch) we see the family being served blood in glasses (And the award for least subtle villain in a Halloween episode is: Mr Burns *Applause*). After Lisa gets away from the table (And drags Bart with her) they find Mr. Burns' not too subtle vampire lair (Okay, this is becoming so obvious it's funny to me now). As Lisa's reading a book by Burns explaining he's a vampire, the vampires start to attack them and force them to run away. Bart then seals his own doom by turning the stairs into a slide and running right into the vampires where Burns bites him. After Burns brings Bart back, Homer waves away any suspicion that Burns is a vampire. Back home, Lisa is awoken by vampire Bart (And others) as Bart tries to turn Lisa into a vampire as well. This gets interrupted by Homer and Grampa as Bart flies away. Lisa then tells Homer tat they need to kill Burns to get Bart back. At the castle, the family finds Mr Burns as Homer drives a steak into his heart (But not before trying his crotch, okay, that was really funny and always makes me laugh). After Burns fires Homer (Funny joke) we cut back to the family having breakfast as it's revealed that Mr Burns wasn't the head vampire it was Marge, and Lisa's the only one in the family who isn't a vampire *Dramatic Stare*. Just as the family's about to turn her too, they say "Happy Halloween" and go into their best impression of The Peanuts Christmas.

    This is without a doubt, one of the best episodes for the series as a whole. I really debated whether this one was #1 or #2 in terms of THoH, but decided to make this #2. If it's any consolation, this could be considered #1a. All three segments are classics with my personal favorite being the second one. The references don't feel forced but flow naturally with the stories that are being told. If you ever need to watch a THoH to prep yourself for Halloween, I really recommend this one, I also recommend that you watch The Twilight Zone episode that the second one is referencing, it makes is SO much better.

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Top 10 Continuity issues Ever

    As we've watched this show for so long, I can't help but notice some continuity issues within the show. So today, I'm here to present the top 10 continuity issues that have been a part of this show. Now this doesn't necessarily mean that they are bad things, some are used specifically to move the story. With that out of the way let's count them down:

    10. Disappearing pockets
    Okay this is very rare and very easy to overlook. There will be times where a character puts something into a pocket in their pants or shirt that we never see before or after that scene. My best recollection of this is a scene where Homer gives Lisa money for a rock because he thinks it will repel cougars, and she takes the money and puts it in a pocket of her red dress ("Much Apu about Nothing"). Have you seen that dress? There are NO pockets to be found there. Also Homer's shirt is a big one here, it doesn't normally have a pocket, but it might have one for the sake of a joke, which I'll ignore. This is a very minor issue and like I said very rare to see, but it does happen and it is a continuity issue.
    Say Lisa, where is your hand?
    9. Person appears in two separate places
    This doesn't happen too often, but when it does it looks embarrassing. This usually happens when there's a character drawn into the background when he's the main focus of the scene. Now there isn't a signature moment for this one but a recent example of this was in "The Great Wife Hope". In that episode we see Barney watching the fight at the arena and then after the commercial break we see him trying to get up at Moe's Bar. I understand it was meant for a joke but I cannot see the writers just letting it go in the animatic seeing what they wrote on the big screen.
    Barney, I thought you were at the fight.
    8. Cities change locations
    Can you even create a map of the cities around Springfield? The only definite city that borders them is Shellbyville, everything else is a shot in the dark. This issue is HUGE for Springfield, Matt admits that not even he knows where Springfield is located, and the writers just have a ball with it. This also applies to the other two major cities of the show; Ogdenville and North Haverbrook. Those two cities range anywhere from walking distance to needing a flight to get to the city. Can't tell you where these cities are located and frankly, I don't think the writers could either.
    How much of this is true today?
    7. Change in age
    Okay, outside of the school children (Kearney included) can you think of anytime where the character's age is the same from one episode to the next? Think about it, Homer is between 32 and 39, same with Marge as she's supposed to be the same age as Homer. Mr Burns has ranged anywhere from 85 to 120, Grampa is somewhere between 70 and 90 and I don't think any other character is really given a definitive age. I understand characters like Grampa and Skinner are bound to a war so they would have to change age to match the war period, but other characters are just a generalization for their age. I have no problem with this, but it is a continuity issue nonetheless.
    My God, Grampa aged backwards
    6. Layout of the house
    Does the layout of the house ever remain consistent? I know there are some major things that stay in continuity such as the kitchen, the living room, the den, the dinning room and the location of the Master Bedroom. But everything else is up for grabs, Bart and Lisa's room are usually next to each other and across from the staircase with Lisa's room being closer to the Master Bedroom, but that has been changed at times. Maggie's room is on the far side of the hallway while the kids' bathroom is across from Bart's room and next to the staircase, but I've seen that be Maggie's room at times. I think the biggest case of continuity error is the basement. This was touched upon on the commentary for "Bart the Mother" where they admitted that the door that leads to the basements sometimes is a closet instead and they referred to the door as a "Magic door". This doesn't bother me but it would bother someone who would try to make an exact house like theirs... oh wait.
    Is it a closet or the door to the basement? You decide!
    5. Change in colors:
    Now this is mostly an edit problem, occasionally an object will be one color in one scene and then another color seconds later. This is very common in clothing. For example, Marge and Lisa's pearls will occasionally change from red to white and vice-versa. This has also happened with people as well, the best case here is Judge Snyder. I can't tell you how many times I can recall him being white in one episode, and black in another. This is actually so confusing that he's never been established as white or black and his Simpsons Wiki has nothing on him either. I think that the editors are more to blame here for this issue.
    Here's a game for you. What color are Lisa's pearls?
    4. Endless plates of food
    You all saw this one coming, since day 1, the animators have always animate plates of food that apparently could feed a starving village. This is self explanatory, but I'll just talk a bit more about why it's here. It's here because whenever food is eaten, it just keeps going on a loop for a few good minutes and the food just keeps regenerating. My favorite moment from this has to be where Homer eats the same piece of sushi over 5 times in "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Bluefish". It doesn't really bother me when I watch it, but it happens so often, you could make a drinking game out of it.
    Hey Homer, how many times can you eat that one piece of food?
    3. Removal of certain feature
    This is pretty vague so let me try to explain this one. This is usually an editing error such as beard line for Lenny vanishing or hair color changing (No I do not include that with color change, this is different). This is also often a problem with background design as you'll notice this issue more often in background characters rather than the characters on screen. Probably one that I remember most is Krusty's "makeup". Krusty told Homer on his death bed that his face paint wasn't makeup, yet there have been quite a few episodes around that era where it was makeup.
    Lenny, where's your beard?
    2. Character traits
    This is something that doesn't happen too often and when it does, it can create some hate from the fans. Now of course this doesn't involve character development like Lisa becoming a vegetarian or Homer getting dumber by the season. This is more of an episode to episode basis, for example in "Elementary School Musical" Lisa claims that she learned to express herself artistically, yet in every episode before this one, she's been pretty damn artistic with her sax on her own time. However there are some decent ones such as Krusty's dyslexia, in the first few seasons, Krusty couldn't read, yet there were times that it seems like this trait was forgotten back then. Now I guess he's learned to read, but when they said he couldn't they sometimes had continuity issues with it.
    A lot of good cue cards will do for a person who can't read
    1. Layout of Springfield in general
    This is my favorite one of all the ones on this list, but it's still an issue nonetheless. I feel that it would hurt your brain to try to draw a map of the town and yet that's one of the things that makes this show so great, the flexible reality. my favorite example of this comes from the movie where Moe's Bar is located right next to the church. It makes no sense and breaks the layout of the town, but it was just too funny for me to care about it. The layout of the town is very general, but there are some places where you can always locate another landmark close by.
    Close enough

    So those are the top 10 Continuity issues for this show. Hope to see you in a few weeks after the THoH episode airs *Evil Cackle*.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Top 5 Treehouse of Horror Episodes: #3

    Treehouse of Horror VI
    What top 5 list would be complete without this gem of an episode? With quite possibly some of the best segments along with 3-D Homer, this episode is one of the better ones in the series.

    Attack of the 50 ft. Eyesores
    We see Homer driving to "Lard Lad Donuts" where he's disappointed that his donut isn't as big as the one the Lard Lad is holding. He decides to come later that night to steal the donut, after successfully stealing it, lightning strikes the mascot and brings it and many other mascots to life. After a few scenes of the advertising mascots wreaking havoc upon downtown Springfield (I particularly like the scene where Bart is a devil's shoulder devil, I think that speaks for itself there), the Lard Lad goes to get his donut back from Homer. After Marge tells him to give the donut back, the Lard Lad continues his destruction and Homer mocks Marge for being wrong. Lisa then notices something in the footprint and heads over to the advertising corporation to find out how to defeat them. Lisa finds out that if they stop paying attention to the advertisements, they will simply go away (How simplistically convenient). Lisa is given Paul Anka to write a jingle to tell the people of Springfield to ignore them. During the jingle, the citizens start ignoring them and they start to crumble and die. The only one left is the Lard Lad mascot, but he dies after Homer is dragged away from him. After the obligatory Kang and Kodos cameo, Kent Brockman (Didn't he get eaten in this episode?) warns the audience that the next advertisement could destroy their house.
    You wanna get a beer?
    Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace
    After a cartoony scene of Bart and Santa's Little Helper, we see Groundskeeper Willie (Dressed as Freddy Krueger) take a swipe at Bart with a rake. Bart then wakes up only to reveal that the rake swipe happened to him in real life (Okay, I feel that Freddy Krueger is perhaps the scariest villain of all time, I'll touch on that later). At school, Bart tells his friends about what happened to him as they all reveal that Willie tried to kill them in their dreams as well. After Skinner tries to convince them nothing happened, we see Martin finish a test very early allowing him to take a nap. While in the dream, Willie comes out and strangles Martin with his Gene Simmons tongue. Martin then dies in real life as he's carted to the morgue (After accidentally being shown to the class and the kindergartners). After Bart and Lisa tell Marge and Homer about Martin's death, Marge accidentally slips about who could have killed him. Marge then decides to tell the kids about how they accidentally killed Willie and Willie vowed vengeance against the parents by killing their children in their sleep. Back to Freddy here, he is the scariest to me because he can kill you in a place where you should feel safe. When you can't even feel safe about going to sleep, that is one creepy villain, he literally kills you in a place where you can't be protected but you must go in order to live. Back to the story, Bart and Lisa determine that they can't try to stay awake forever so Bart decides to go face Willie one-on-one in his dream. After Bart tricks Willie into driving into quicksand, Bart thinks that he won and enjoys the rest of his dream. Willie however returns and grabs Bart to drag him to his death. Lisa comes in to try to wake him up but realizes that she's asleep as well. As they are dragged to their deaths, Maggie plugs up the air hole of the bagpipe that's Willie's body. Lisa and Bart thanks Maggie as the next day they see Willie across the street in an attempt to kill them (But left his gun on the bus).
    Willie sees you in your nightmares *Evil laugh*
    Homer tries to hide from Patty and Selma but is unsuccessful in finding a place to hide. After Homer moves the bookcase, he finds a portal that leads to another dimension, a dimension of not only sight or sound but of... wait, wrong show (I like how they don't even hide what the homage is to). After Selma finds the kids in the closet, she reveals that they came over with shells for them to help clean up. After hearing that, Homer decides to take his chances in the alternate dimension. He finds out that the dimension is the third dimension *Dramatic gasp*. Homer starts talking and the family hears him as he tries to figure out where he is (A fun thing to do with this episode is to identify the stuff in the background, they all have significance and makes for some nice 3-D trivia). After Homer admires the landscape a bit more (Okay this is the only time where I will say admire the background, it is very nice and that is intentional for you to admire) a cone gets into his ass and he throws it into the floor, which causes the floor to exponentially grow into a black hole. Back in the real world, more people come over to try to help Homer but cannot do anything. Professor Frink then tells everyone about the third dimension and how everything not only has height and length, but depth (Whoa, you just blew my mind there Frinky). After the hole almost swallows Homer, Bart goes in with a rope tied as he goes 3-D as well (Creepy). Bart tells Homer to jump, but he fails and falls into the hole. Bart is pulled back as Homer falls into the real world and tries to find his way around.
    So pretty, I should take advantage of this great technology *Scratches butt*
    This is a great Treehouse of Horror episode. It was really between this one and THoH VII, this just barely edged that one out with the Nightmare on Elm Street homage. Just consider VII as 5a on this list. The first segment is pretty memorable, the idea of giant mascots coming to life and destroying the town is pretty creepy. The last segment is pretty good as it captures the fear from the Twilight Zone episode it's referencing, plus the image of Homer in 3-D is pretty cool. But the 2nd segment takes the cake, it is a great homage to Nightmare on Elm Street and is written very well.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Episode 3: MoneyBART

    Lisa decides to be the manager of Bart's baseball team so that she can can add that to her activities list for her college resume. Of course we all know what happens when Bart and Lisa are in the same sport but could the writers do their best to make this seem original and a good episode? Well let's see how good of a manager Lisa can be of a sport she knows nothing about.
    P.S. I am not going to talk about the "Couch Gag" so no comments about my opinion of it

    The episode begins with a scene of a Yale graduate drive up to Springfield Elementary where she starts to walk down the hallway and grabs the attention of everyone (Including the hamster). I really don't get why everyone is staring at her, shes not that attractive, and it's not like there hasn't been strange women in their school before, I just don't get it. We then find out that she's a Springfield Elementary alum who just graduated from Yale and decided to visit her old school (Odd, whenever I visit my old school I think of my high school. I just guess she was in elementary school for all 12 years). Lisa comes running to Skinner to find out about the car (parked on the road like an ignorant jackass) where she meets Dahlia Brinkley. Lisa tries to impress Dahlia by saying that she's going to go to an Ivy league school as well with some rather unfunny dialogue (It just wasn't funny to me that's all). After finding out that Lisa only has 2 activities (I guess all those things she's done in the past 22 years don't count) Dahlia patronizes her saying that she'd never get into Yale with her lack of extra-curricular activities. Lisa then points out what we're all thinking in that she's only 8, but logic is thrown out the window as we go through a montage of what Dahlia did at her age (I guess she was also voted as the class prick). Lisa decides that she needs more activities so she decides to practice fencing with Maggie
    Maggie, have you always been this violent?
    (Okay, the outfit Lisa's wearing looks ridiculous on her and I couldn't help but laugh at it when I first saw it). This backfires however after Lisa patronizes Maggie and Maggie goes into berserker mode and beats Lisa. After Lisa scorns Marge for saying she can go to a lesser college, Flanders comes over to tell Bart that he will no longer manage his baseball team (By the way, ENOUGH WITH THE TAZER JOKE WRITERS!!!). After Homer says he wont coach Bart's team (And then poisons himself with vodka and mayo, okay that was pretty funny if not random) Bart walks around trying to figure out what he's going to do now. He then notices his team practicing and finds out that Lisa's going to manage their team. Lisa tries to defend herself as a girl coaching a baseball team (Say that sounds a lot like her argument for football) Bart logically points out that she knows nothing about the sport (I agree, I've seen managers get called out on never playing). Lisa then ignores what Bart said about her lack of knowledge of the sport as she reads a list of male managers that sound like women (Did we miss a line or something? Bart says: "You know nothing about baseball" Lisa replies with "There have been many female baseball managers". Seriously, I think the writers forgot something because she failed to address that and went back to her original argument). Lisa explains that's she coaching them because she needs an extracurricular activity and nobody will coach "You lovable losers"
    (Taking bets now that this will follow the 90's sports movie mold:
    1. Team improves vastly through training montage
    2. Lisa brings in a ringer to help them win more
    3. Stud player who nobody understands gets benched but is brought in for final play to win the game)
    Okay when I read your name say here. Scrotie McBoogerballs?
    After the boys agree to play for her, we find out just how little Lisa knows about baseball. As Lisa says she's going to research it Bart mocks her by being a little chauvinist (Dude that's your sister, don't call her honeypie, eww.) After a small joke that Nelson and Milhouse make (With Lisa pointing out how creepy that last bit of dialogue was) Lisa goes to Moe's where she finds out that Professor Frink and the nerds know a lot about baseball through stats and they give her a lot of books to read (Huh, I thought Frink was dead, oh well). By the way, this is something that really annoyed me for this episode, learning and coaching baseball through stats, anyone who has played baseball (I played little league) knows that you can't play baseball as a soulless computerized game of stats, there's the human element that no computer can calculate. We then see at the baseball game Lisa having a ton of books and a laptop so that she can calculate the best lineup for each individual play (Because continuity in the outfield is so overrated, as is continuity in the infield and at catcher). We then get another montage of Lisa's statistics helping the team win games (As well as baseball entering The Matrix, why does that sound like an interesting fanfiction?).
    Have you ever had a game you were so sure was real?
    Bart gets fed up with Lisa's statistics and like any baseball fan, says that baseball is about playing and heart not computers and odds (I have to agree with Bart here, Lisa truly has taken the fun out of playing for them). When Bart goes up to bat Lisa tells him that because he's walked the past 2 batters so if he walks Bart, they win the game (Thanks captain obvious, did it take you hours to figure that out?). Bart says nuts to that and he hits a home run and showboats like he just won the World Series. Lisa then berates Bart for disobeying her and kicks him off the team (A bit harsh, I would have just benched him for 2 games). At Luigi's Lisa tries to convince the team that Bart was poison to the team and she was had the right to say what he should do at the plate (I would say this is a little out of character, but Lisa can get nasty when she's competitive). After Bart hands his uniform to Lisa they fight at the table a bit. Marge tries to get Lisa to reinstate Bart but Homer defends Lisa because sports come before family (Yet again, another reference to "Lisa on Ice" Homer is pro-sports while Marge is pro-family). After Marge and Homer then get into a small argument about this (Oh crap, this is "Postcards from the Wedge" all over again *Screams*) Marge and Homer read stories to Bart and Lisa respectively about their sides of the argument. We then get a pointless scene of Bart being a color commentator while Lisa wins another game advancing them to the state finals.
    No you fools! You'll short circuit her!
    After Marge drops Homer and Lisa off for the game, she takes Bart to an amusement park to help him forget baseball (Credit where it's due, the airhorn gag was pretty funny and seemed to homage their previous megaphone gag). While at the amusement park on a roller coaster, Lisa calls Bart and asks him to come back because she needs someone to replace Ralph (The steriods joke annoyed me). After Bart says no, Mike Scioscia appears and tells Bart that he should always listen to his manager (Oh yeah, remember how I complain about the writers creating plot holes that could easily be solved with a token explanation? Mike explains that the radiation poisoning gave him "Super managing powers", see problem solved with a simple line. Why is this so hard to figure out?) After that pointless cameo (Seriously I think he lasts less than a minute) Lisa uses odds to determine that she needs a pinch runner with speed but none of the players have enough energy to run fast. Bart then comes in and Lisa puts him in after they hug (apology) and Lisa pretends to forget about baseball.
    Let's never play sports with each other again
    While Bart attempts to steal, Lisa and Bart relay hand signals with Lisa trying to say no but Bart stealing 2nd and 3rd anyways (Okay I do find this funny only because I would mock the hand gestures when playing, I never understood how some of them came to be). Lisa thinks everything will be okay but then yells at Bart for saying he'll steal home because the computer says it's statistically impossible (Which leads into a Mr. Burns has the world oldest computer gag). Not only is stealing home statistically low, but physically the odds are against you, unless a pitch is very wild, the ball will reach home before the runner from 3rd reaches home, I mean runners get out at home from a throw all the way in right field all the time. Of course, Bart tries to steal home and of course fails. They lose the game but Lisa thanks Bart for teaching her that the game is more than numbers and science and the game is really about the passion and how unpredictable it is. Bart and Lisa then have a touching brother-sister moment as they are carried off the field by the team.

    Final Judgment: This episode is decent, it's nothing special, but it's not bad either. I'm probably a small minority on this episode but I did enjoy watching it. The opening was rather uninteresting and the whole statistics in baseball was rather annoying to watch, but in the grand scheme, it was a nice Bart-Lisa episode. The writing had it's moments, the jokes were hit and miss, mostly hit and the plot was original but stole many aspects from episodes like "Lisa on Ice". That doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing, but it does hurt it a bit. Lisa was a bit of a Math Nazi as she basically shut anyone up who dared to defy her use of math to win games and that did make her unlikable at times.

    Final Grade: 6.8/10 Not bad, but could have used a bit more work.

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    Top 5 Treehouse of Horror Episodes: #4

    Treehouse of Horror III:
    This episode has one of my favorite segments of all time and the other two segments are pretty strong and carry this episode into the #4 spot on our countdown.

    After our opening that shows that Homer is fatter than Alfred Hitchcock (That was meant by the writers) we see Homer giving the obligatory warning to children that this will be a scary episode. We then see the trademark tombstones followed by the couch gag of Simpsons Skeletons *snicker*. I've always found the idea that the kids hair isn't styled that way but their hair is literally bone. We then begin with a Halloween party at the Simpson residence where Lisa decides to tell a scary story about a doll that comes to life.

    Clown Without Pity
    The story begins with Bart's Birthday where we find out that Homer forgot to get Bart a present forcing him to run out and get a quick present. Homer then goes into a "House of Evil" (No seriously it's called "The House of Evil", subtle aint it?) inside, Homer is sold an evil Krusty doll and a frogurt by the evil cousin of that shop manager from Gremlins. When Homer gives Bart the doll, Grampa calls it evil but Marge says that he's called all the presents evil. Homer then starts playing with the doll a bit where he hears the doll say he'll kill him. The doll tries to kill him with a knife but the family comes out and sees Homer in fear. Homer tries to convince them the doll tried to kill him but they wave it off. After Krusty laughs evilly some more, we see the doll try to harpoon Homer while he's taking  a bath causing him to run naked in front of Patty and Selma at the table. Homer decides to take care of his problem by taking the doll, shoving into a bag of dirty socks, stuffing it into a trunk, trying the trunk up in chains and tossing the trunk into a bottomless pit. However, this backfires as the doll gets out (Somehow) and attaches himself to the car and tries to kill Homer again. Marge sees this and calls customer support to tell them about it, to which they play a song essentially mocking her. A guy comes out and reveals that the doll was set on the evil setting (Well the doll in the Twilight Zone killed the man so they couldn't go in that direction). The segment ends with Homer turning the doll into his personal slave and Krusty heading back home to his Malibu Stacy Wife.
    It's either this or an evil Mogwai

    King Homer
    The segment begins with Grampa telling this tale after Homer fails to tell a scary story himself. Marge goes to meet Mr. Burns where she inquires about being King Kong bait, er I mean an assistant for his expedition. After Smithers makes a gay innuendo (I swear the writers were having fun with his sexuality before it became official) we then find out that they are going to Ape Island to capture a giant ape named Homer. While on the island, the natives spot Marge and use her as their sacrifice for Homer. After Homer loses a fight, he goes to see the sacrifice and decides to play with Marge a bit. Mr. Burns then orders his men to wound Homer which is about as effective as you would think. After Smithers knocks Homer out with a gas grenade, Mr. Burns praises him and watches him promptly get eaten by Homer. Mr. Burns then puts Homer on Broadway which gets a lot of media attention and a large crowd. After the media take multiple photos of Homer, he breaks out of his restraints and runs rampant amok Springfield. While in Mr. Burns' room, Marge gets kidnapped by Homer as he scales the building. Because he's so slow, the pilots are forced to land and wait for him to get to the top *Snickers*. We then find out that Homer is really out of shape as he's only scaled TWO FLOORS, damn, I've heard of lazy and then there's this. After Mr. Burns decides not to keep him, Marge decides to take care of Homer by marrying him. The segment ends with Homer eating Marge's father and Marge just waving it off like he forgot to pick up milk.
    I have to scale HOW MANY floors?!

    Dial Z for Zombies
    This segment begins with Ned coming in as a headless zombie scaring everyone. This prompts Bart to tell the final story about a boy who found an evil book to raise the dead. The story begins with Bart failing his book report by reading a book intended for kindergartners. Bart is forced to find a new book as he finds the occult section in the library (What? Doesn't every library have this section? Mine does). Bart then finds the evil book (As the spirits inside tell him) and he decides to show it off to Lisa. Lisa is too sad though because it's the 4 year anniversary of Snowball 1's death (By the way, Snowball 1 is white, not black, but I'll let it slide because as mentioned earlier, continuity can be broken in Treehouse of Horror). Bart then finds a spell to raise Snowball 1 and the kids decide to use it. While attempting it, Bart raises the dead people from the cemetery next door instead of the pet cemetery. As Lisa and Bart race back home, the zombies decide to make Ned a zombie as well. When the kids tell Homer about what they did, he could care less because the car's okay (much to the shock of Bart and Lisa). After a few scenes of people becoming zombies, we see that Homer didn't barricade the door allowing zombies into their house. Homer decides to sacrifice himself, but the zombies decide against it because the implication is that he has no brain for them to feast on *Laughs* okay that was a great joke there. Homer gets upstairs where Lisa suggests they go back to the library to get a book to reverse the spell. As the family leaves, zombie Ned approaches Homer and Homer shoots him with his shotgun. Bart is surprised that Homer shot the zombie Flanders but Homer was unaware he was a zombie *Rolls on the floor laughing* okay, okay, this is perhaps the funniest joke ever in a Treehouse of Horror episode ever, it's so great. As the family gets to the library, we see Kang and Kodos laugh at Earth as it gets taken over by zombies. After Homer shoots his way to the library, Bart gets a book and accidentally turns Lisa into a snail. Bart reads the correct spell and all the zombies return to their graves. Quimby declares the town zombie free as the family is happy that they didn't turn into mindless zombies as we see the family watching TV while acting like zombies (Clever).
    How can I tell my sister she looks like a snail?

    This is a great Treehouse of Horror episode and helps exemplify why season 4 may be the best season of this show. The homage to the Twilight Zone for the first segment is great, and is even better if you watch the episode it's like. The King Kong parody was great and funny and truly helped make this one great. The last segment was one of the best segments ever with probably the best jokes in Treehouse of Horror. I would put this higher, but I couldn't push the 3 in front of it behind.

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Episode 2: Loan-A-Lisa

    While this episode is an improvement from last week's episode, that's like saying a broken pinky is better than busted knees, it's still painful. This episode doesn't quite anger me entirely but it didn't reach it's full potential that older writers could have done. With that out of the way, let's review this together and see why we shouldn't get a loan from Lisa.

    After a long Itchy and Scratchy cartoon our plot begins at the 2:40 mark. I mean wow, I don't care that your running time has been cut down, there is no excuse for that much padding at the beginning of the episode, my opinion is immediately soured. So after that, the family goes to Grampa where he announces that he's giving his fortune to his family now instead of when he dies, which turns out to be $50 a piece (Say why does this sound familiar?) At Costington's, we see Bart pay Ol' Gil to walk up the down escalator (Okay that is funny) and we see that Marge decides to buy a purse which she thinks is $50 but turns out it's $500. She decides to buy it because the gossips just happened to be around and saw her eying up the purse, pressuring her to buy it (By the way, As much as I hate Julio, what is up with his character design in this episode? I mistook him for someone else until we saw his name). Homer then berates Marge for buying a $500 bag because they can't afford it (This coming from the guy who routinely dries up their savings account on frivolous objects. Hypocrite much?) After Marge decides to return it, Homer allows her to keep it until she needs to return it and then will return it (At first I thought this plot resembled Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield but as it would turn out, that would have been a much better idea for this B plot).
    Next time, I'm keeping my quarter
    Homer then takes Marge to a fancy restaurant named "Asia de Cuba of Springfield" where they are initially seated next to the bathrooms (Heard this joke too often to care) but after the waitress sees Marge's handbag, she sits them in a much better table (Seeing the resemblance yet?).
    Okay, this is something that has bothered me for a long time in the recent seasons and I will address in depth later but what is up with the minor female character's faces? It seems like the animators decided to try to go for a more realistic look which just contrasts with the Simpsons world and sticks out like a sore thumb.
    Moving on, we cut back to Lisa on her Mac (No, I'm not letting that joke go, she clearly owns a Mac, not a Dell) as she decides to donate her money to charity. While searching she comes across a website that explains microfinancing to her in a short video (Where the writers were too lazy to replace a female goat's voice with a female. I know they lampshade this, but it seems like this was caught in post production rather than on purpose). Back at the restaurant, Homer invites Marge to the buffet line but Marge is hesitant because she doesn't want to get anything on the bag that would prevent her from returning it (If you can't predict what will happen next, stop reading, you clearly don't know a cliche when it's right in front of you, smacking you around). After Marge goes through some hijinks to protect her purse, Homer eats 1 shrimp in front of it and gets some sauce on the purse ruining it (And the cliche is complete). In fairness, the restaurant scene is somewhat redeemable because of the Wiggum-Lou conversations.
    I'm Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize and now doing a cameo for this episode. I need to fire my agent
    Back home we see Lisa continue to find someone to finance when we get our Muhammad Yunus cameo who leads Lisa to people who need micro-loans (Nobel peace prize winner reduced down to comic relief via internet, nice to know you use your cameos SO well). Lisa then finds out that Nelson needs a loan for his bike company (Which includes a Nelson Mandela joke, LAZY!!) Lisa then decides to lend him the $50 because... no reason but I'm going with because they used to date, it comes back in this episode (Oh yeah Nelson's mom takes the computer to pawn it for money to get food which is funny, but will come back to bite the writers in the ass later, more on that in a moment). The next day, Lisa walks by Nelson's and sees that his business is better after her loan and he gets his first customer (This is pretty funny here and pretty nice). Later, Marge goes to return the purse to Costington's as she gets away with the stain and gets her refund. This is where Homer stops being a character and loving husband and begins to be comic relief for the rest of the episode and I'm starting to HATE Homer now because of this writing (Yeah, I shouldn't hate him, but seriously he's slowly turning into Rob Schneider, where his soul purpose is to try to get cheap laughs while talking in the most awkward dialogue possible).
    Homer, remember when you used to be a real character and not played just for laughs?
    Homer then suggests to Marge that they exploit the refund system and buy all sorts of items they can't afford but return them right before the return policy says so (Yeah this plot is so overused and ridiculous it's retarded). Lisa then gets a message from Nelson via a V-log saying that his business is booming and he owes it all to her. This is what I was hinting at before, now the joke earlier was that his computer was pawned for money for food (Which the money would be gone) but now, not only does Nelson have his computer back, but apparently he has a video camera as well. The problem is that we never see his camera or computer. I know I'm nitpicking here but this bothered me when I saw the V-log because they set up the joke as he lost his computer. I probably wouldn't have cared if they just dropped a token line such as "With the money from my business, I was able to buy back my computer AND get this camera to update my status" just saying. Later that night, we see Homer being the biggest douche in all of Springfield and he shows Lenny and Carl all the stuff he's "Bought" (That scene was *Entirely pointless*).
    Behold, the rare douchicoust maximus
    Lisa then confronts Nelson and admits she was the one who financed him (Despite the not so subtle screenname of L_Simpson_Jazz_Girl) I like this scene because it further lampshades the relationship between them from "Lisa's Date with Density", God I loved that episode, in fact *Leaves for a while to go watch that instead*. Nelson then tells Lisa that he's dropping school so that he can fully invest his time in his bike company which upsets Lisa (I like the book burning joke). The next day, Lisa tells Skinner about Nelson's plan to drop school but Skinner only hears about the business and how it would pay nicely as a part time job (Yet again, I have to give credit for a good joke here between Skinner and Chalmers). We then see Homer return a lot of merchandise when suddenly, Chris Hansen appears and does his "To Catch a Predator" bit except with Homer it's "To Catch a Credit Whore". *Bangs head on table* This plot is fucking retarded. This quite honestly, without hyperbole, one of the WORST endings to a plot on this show EVER. I HATED it when it aired and I still hate it, it's just so poorly written and reinforces my theory of Homer being a cardboard cutout. Moving on, Lisa takes Nelson to an entrepreneur expo where she is going to show him that successful entrepreneurs all finished college. After meeting up with Mark Zuckerberg he reveals to Nelson and Lisa that he dropped out of Harvard as well as Bill Gates and Dan Schulman dropped out of college. This is a stupid argument, all those CEO's at least have a high school diploma and went to college, Nelson is trying to drop out of elementary school, it's like saying that jumping off a 15 foot ledge is the same as jumping off a 300 foot ledge, there's a huge difference.
    I love a happy ending
    Later we see Grampa try to comfort Lisa about investing in Nelson by saying that money can't change people. Lisa decides to accept Nelson's decision as she sees his business fall apart because he used faulty materials to build the bikes. After shutting down the business, Nelson decides to make it up to Lisa by going skating with her. The episode ends with them holding hands as "Friends" and accidentally knocking down 3 people. I honestly love this ending and find it as a pretty sweet way to end this episode.

    Final Judgment: This episode is a mixture, it's not good, but it's not bad either. The main plot was up and down for me but left a good feeling for me at the end knowing that Nelson and Lisa agreed that he should go back and they should be "friends". The subplot was horrible, predictable and unoriginal with more angry moments than laughter. This continues the shitty supporting plots to 9 episodes with bad subplots.

    Final Grade: 6.2/10 I'd be lying if I said I never wanted to watch this again

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    Top 5 Treehouse of Horror Episodes: 5

    Treehouse of Horror I
    With 20 episodes to choose from, it should seem easy right? Not quite, Treehouse of Horror episodes are almost always good with a good combination of horror and comedy to make any episode great. However, these 5 are the best of the best. So to begin this list, we begin with the first one.

    After Marge gives the obligatory warning at the beginning (I was so glad when they took that away) we see Homer overhear Bart and Lisa in the treehouse exchanging scary stories. After Bart gets bored with Lisa's story he decides to take over and tell a "really scary story" (I want a refund, that's false advertising). I always found those "Really scary story" lines in the original format to be sorta funny because the story could only be as scary as the ratings allowed them to be so most of the time, you'd be more terrified walking down the street at night. Wait I live next to a cemetery, that thing has always creeped me out so ignore that last comment.
    Bad Dream House
    This segment begins with a scene of the family moving into a mansion where we find out (Via moving man whispering) that the house is haunted. After finding out they got the house dirt cheap, we start to see object flying around while nobody is able to see them and the house then tells them to leave (Okay, now I'm getting creeped out, this is MY HOUSE). Marge then goes into the kitchen (With bloody walls) and sees a vortex that leads to another dimension just to add to the creepy factor. We then see Bart getting strangled by a lamp chord as we see more objects floating around (Great where's a priest where you need one?*) After the house tries to get rid of them, Homer convinces the family to sleep over it and they decide to stay for the night (I guess he really wants to make the front page for murdering his family in his sleep). Later that night, the house convinces Bart, Lisa, Homer and Maggie to kill their family with the closest deadly weapon they can find. We then see Bart (Cleaver), Lisa (Butcher knife), Homer (Axe), and Maggie (Small knife) walk in a circle about to kill each other when Marge comes out to the kitchen and snaps them out of it. After Marge decides to leave the house, Lisa opens the basement to reveal an ancient Native American burial ground (Can you name a more plausible excuse?) After Homer still wants to keep the house, the house decides to pull a page from The Exorcist as he tells them what he'll do to them as the house seems to adjust in the background. Marge decides that she's had it and tells the house to knock it off (Wow, she has guts to talk to the killer house like that, I like it). After Bart taunts the house, Lisa suggests that the house is afraid they may love it (Which the house denies). Marge tells the house it'll have to learn to live with them, the house then contemplates life with the Simpsons and decides to pull a Poltergeist and implode. We end with Lisa saying that she feels a little rejected that the house decided to self destruct rather than live with them.
    So what? The Manson family was far more dysfunctional
    Hungry are the Damned
    This segment begins with the family having a BBQ in the backyard when suddenly a UFO appears and takes the family away (Struggling to pick up Homer though). We are then introduced to the aliens, Kang and Kodos who are by far the most memorable minor characters in the series. After a deus ex machina about how they can understand each other (okay it's not as lazy as most deus ex machinas but it is one  nonetheless) we find out that the aliens plan on taking the Simpsons to Rigel 4 to allow them to live a life of eternal happiness. After Lisa begs them to return them home, another alien brings the family a huge buffet for them to eat (and for the chef alien to make an innuendo about eating Marge). After some jokes about their inferior entertainment, we see the aliens come out with another meal for the family. This prompts Lisa to question why the aliens haven't eaten but they are so intent on making the family eat, the aliens respond with some more allusions about them eating the family. After a scene where the aliens weigh the family, Lisa goes snooping around and discovers the chef's cook book which reads "How to Cook Humans" *Dramatic stare*. After Lisa shows the book to her family, it turns out there's a lot of space dust and the full title reads "How to Cook For Forty Humans". The aliens are insulted by their lack of trust and send them back to Springfield. Lisa feels bad that she prevented the family from experiencing true happiness and Marge tells her she's too smart for her own good (Okay show of hands: If an alien race came out of nowhere and offered you complete happiness for nothing and all they did was feed you and weigh you on the trip to their planet, wouldn't you get suspicious?)
    Wow, have you ever seen the sun go green before?
    The Raven
    This segment begins with Lisa reading Bart The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe as Homer takes the role of the main character while Marge is Lenore in the story. Basically this whole segment is just the reading of the poem, but I'll try to point out key moments. After we see Homer sleeping, he hears a tapping at his door and just figures it to be a visitor and goes back to sleep. After some symbolism from the poem, we see Homer weep for the loss of Lenore, Homer gets scared of the wind and tells himself the tapping is nothing but a visitor. As Homer goes to his door, he finds out that nobody's there and that causes him to be even more frightened (I disagree with Bart on this, this is quite possibly the scariest thing that could have been there, the psychological terror of knowing that something's there but you can't see it would scare the shit out of me. It feels a lot like a Hitchcock film, the scariest moments are the suspense moments and not the jump scares). After Homer hears the knocking intensify, he opens a window to allow a Bart Raven in. The Bart raven then jumps up onto the door and sits on a bust of Pallas (Symbolism!) We then get a funny exchange as Homer keeps demanding that the Bart raven get down and the Bart raven keeps saying "Nevermore". After the Bart raven wins, Homer realizes that the raven on top the bust of Pallas means that his soul will be trapped under the shadow of the raven and be lifted "Nevermore".
    Bad bird! That's MY door!
    After Bart says that story was lame, Lisa kinda agrees thinking that people were easier to scare in the 1800's and they both head off to bed. Homer though is scared from the story as the episode ends with Homer trying to sleep until he sees a raven outside his window.

    This is a great start to the series as all the stories are good. The writing for them is great, the jokes are great and are placed perfectly and the parodies of the stories are all great, cryptic and true to the source material.