Monday, November 8, 2010

Episode 4: Treehouse of Horror XXI

I've always been under the impression that no matter how bad this series got, the THoH was always going to be something I could look forward to. That was until I saw the poster and it diminished my hopes, I came into this hoping that there could be at least one segment that I could say I enjoyed. What did I find? Well let's find out together and wrap up Halloween with this review.

So we begin the episode with a bit with Professor Frink that severely dates this episode (But I digress). I especially like how Bart and Homer are actually trying to MURDER one another, i mean I knew their relationship was strained but geez. Frink ages himself to death we get our opening title, and wouldn't you know it, the writers fuck up a task as simple as transitioning to the episode. Already this episode starts off on the wrong foot with an unfunny parody of The Office and it pisses me off.

War and Pieces
We start off this segment with Bart and Milhouse playing a war game on their Wii (No I'm never going to acknowledge that "Zii" parody). Marge then comes in and is disturbed about how violent the game they're playing is (Marge worrying about violence: check). This leads Marge to show Bart and Milhouse board games that they can play instead because they're fun and safe (Yeah, last time I played Monopoly my roommate threw the iron at my head for getting the last Railroad Station). So after a long monotonous scene of the writers showing off their creativity in parody board game titles, Bart finds a board game called "Satan's Path". Yeah I already said how this story reminded me of "Jumanji", I swear the writers don't even try to hide what their story is about, I mean look at the box and the board itself. After Bart takes his turn, the board games shoot out of the house and come to life. We then see Springfield as the board game paradise it became as we partake in some random, yet predictable board game jokes (Yeah this includes our obligatory "Kang & Kodos cameos").
Satan's Path. The true survival-horror game. From Milton Bradley
We then cut back to Bart and Milhouse as Lisa comes to tell them that the instructions tell them to finish the game. So after a pointless series of board jokes (Is anyone else getting tired of them yet?) Bart and Milhouse get on a "Battleboat" that sinks after one hit (Oh come on, it takes 3 hits to sink that ship). After another pointless board game joke (This one involving Marge) Milhouse decides to sacrifice himself so that Bart can continue on to win and end this. You can see why they decided to rip-off the death scene from Titanic then can't you, stupid writers. Bart then gets to the last game as he's attacked by "Crazy Eights", Bart decides to beat them by doing what all kids with sharp objects do; kill stuff (Oh yeah, Bart also kills Rod and Todd, nice to know they served no purpose in this story). So Bart gets back to the game as he finishes it and everything returns to normal (Including Milhouse). Bart decides that board games are not his forte as Bart and Milhouse both die from a game of Hangman.

Master and Cadaver
The segment opens with suspenseful music followed by a shark jumping onto Marge's boat (Oh my God, actual terror, where does this go, what will happen to...) oh wait it jumped to spit Homer back onto the boat... what was Homer doing in a shark's belly? So we find out through clunky exposition that Homer suggested that they go on a cruise through uncharted water. So after Marge gives us some fan service (Classy, writers. Plus we get a stupid boner joke... I'm just going to prepare the noose now) we see a random guy rowing a boat near their boat. Marge tells Homer to get him and this results in an unfunny hook joke (Just checking the tightness of this noose here). After Homer gets him onboard, Marge tends to him, and this makes Homer envious, this results in another bit of padding (Bless you lazy writing, always able to pad the episode out another minute or two). We then get the backstory of Roger, we find out he was the chef of a ship named the "Albatross" (Symbolism!) that was owned by a rich businessman.
I told you. Wait your turn for the pie like everyone else
We find out that while making a pie for the guest, the businessman poisons the pie and knocks Roger out. After that we see Homer is still envious of Roger as we get a "hilarious" visual joke that makes it look like Roger is feeling up Marge's boobs... (I'm going to go adjust the width of the noose and string it up now). Roger then goes on to explain that he found everyone dead and he fled the boat and ended up on their boat. Homer pulls Marge aside and expresses his concerns for Roger as he accuses him of poisoning the crew. Marge thinks Homer is crazy, then  Roger offers them a pie with an ominous music cue. After some bickering, Marge notices that a shark that ate the pie died confirming Homer's fear. Marge then decides they need to kill him before he tries to kill them as Homer does some unfunny lampshading (Also, how exactly will he kill you guys? I mean he's not forcing his "Poisoned food" down your throats or anything). They enact their plan by having Marge seduce Roger as Homer steers the ship hard to starboard knocking him out (But of course, the boner joke creeps back in... I'm just going to end this now...the rafter was too short to hang from). After Homer pushes Rogers into the ocean, Marge and Homer find the ship Roger was talking about and find out he was telling the truth as they see all the dead businessmen (Wait, how? You accused HIM of poisoning the pie, you never once questioned there being a boat or dead businessmen.). After Homer tries to mask over that stupidity, they find a broken bottle of soy sauce and believe him now (That still doesn't prove jack shit, especially considering the bottle was in the DINING ROOM not the KITCHEN. Can you not keep your own story straight writers?) After Marge cries a little for murdering Roger, Roger appears and explains that the pie was clean. Homer being rock stupid kills Rogers anyway. Homer then kills all the businessmen to get rid of the witnesses (Who were given an antidote beforehand, convenient).
Oh no, we ended up on the Ghost Ship. Let's get out of here!
Marge decides that the guilt of this is too much and eats the poisoned pie. As we get our emotional scene of Homer being sorry for what he did, we zoom out to reveal that none of it happened and it was all a part of Maggie's imagination *Insert curse words here*. After Marge and Homer wonders what Maggie thinks about we end the segment with Maggie taking on the look of Alex from A Clockwork Orange... (Excuse me a moment. *Goes off to have a rage fit* That scene had meaning in the movie you brainless twats!!! You can't just insert it in and think you're "Artsy" because of it. This has no purpose here and completely misses the point of that scene. I hate you writers, I honestly hate you).

So we begin this segment in a forest while it's raining, we get a POV shot of what we're to presume is the vampire (Yeah ominously eating a grilled cheese sandwich... is that supposed to be funny or something?) So the next day, Bart notices that all the girls are smitten at a bland, pale, and otherwise unlikable boy. We find out his name is Edmund (Wow, that's SO clever, I bet it took MONTHS to figure that name out) as he goes over to Lisa and she's immediately smitten as well by his... um... uh... blandness? We then see a bus heading for Lisa and Edmund (Yay! This segment's going to end early!) but then Edward (I've decided that typing Edmund lowers my dignity) stops the bus with his super speed and strength (Yeah, bet you didn't know vampires were super strong during the DAY, did you?) After Edward makes Lisa more of a schoolgirl (Yeah she IS a schoolgirl, but not that kind and it annoys me) we get more scenes of Edward stopping random vehicles heading their direction (Including Otto, wasn't he driving the bus just a second ago? I guess non-canon episodes causes continuity to leave). Edward then takes Lisa to the woods and runs up a tree as he reveals he's a "vampire" (I'd like to point out that Lisa actually has a great amount of vampire knowledge in THoH continuity). So after Lisa's not scared of him, they decide to mock how Edward travels from tree to tree (Great now he's golden age Superman). So after a pointless "Weredog" joke, we see the family preparing dinner for Edward and his father. When they arrive we see that Edward isn't too fond of his father (They did not just make a "Tearing me apart" joke did they?) After dinner (With Flanders as the meal) we get another scene of Edward embarrassed by his father (Geez, this is quickly turning into The Room with its repetitive scenes). Edward then takes Lisa away as Marge tells Homer and Ed's father to go get them.
Oh no! I'm in a crappy Twilight parody *Screams*
So we get to "Dracula Land" as we find out that the writers remember that there are vampires outside of bland ones that sparkle. They notice their kids going up a bell tower as Homer decides to do what they're doing and piggybacks Ed's father. So after Lisa tells Edward to bite her and he almost does it (I'm pretty sure Edward in the books said no multiple times. And why does Lisa want to be a vampire?) Ed's father stops it until Lisa reveals that she wants to raise awareness for vampires (You want to know a good way to do that? STOP SUPPORTING THE IDEAS OF TWILIGHT!!!) Lisa becomes reluctant as she doesn't want to be 8 forever (But you already are) and Homer gets in the way when they try to bite her. After an unfunny crucifix joke (I'm starting to hate these religion jokes, they aren't subtle or funny in the least) Homer finds out that Ed's father loves Edward (Wow, character development and we only have 1 minute left of this segment. You spoil us writers). So Homer sacrifices himself as the vampires both get fat off his blood because it's high in cholesterol. We end the segment with Homer turning into a "Fail-Bat" as he falls and Lisa looks over this in shame (What an apt metaphor for this segment).

Final Verdict: This Treehouse of Horror was terrible. The first segment had potential, but all it ended up being was a bunch of predictable and unfunny board game jokes. It didn't take advantage of the idea that it's not a game, hate to say it but Jumanji did a better job with the fear factor of a game coming to life. The second segment had an interesting concept but it was sideswiped by bad sex jokes, the "All Just a Dream" undermined any suspense that it may have built up. But the worst sin of all was the stupid, out of place Clockwork Orange reference, I mean, who just references A Clockwork Orange for no reason? *Looks around* And of course, the last segment was just dull, it really failed to be a parody of Twilight as all it did for the jokes was just lampshade a few stupid things and worst of all, had Lisa as Bella.

Final Grade: 3.4/10 Just pitiful for a Treehouse of Horror, the second segment to me is one of the worst of all time.

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