Burning Down the Treehouse: Some Idiot Reviews Ninety THOH Segments in Thirty Days


next on the subgenre checklist? evil doll movies! this one's tough though, it could be the first segment that instead of using its genre framework to tell a spook-tinted simpsons story is more just Scary Thing Happening. there's a value to this, discarding the notion of traditional story can aid in the abstraction of these experiences, but here? it doesn't quite seem like enough, we don't even much attempt to establish mood or tone, and not involving bart at all in the story once it turns given its a krusty doll seems baffling. the segment flies by, but barely tells a story, its either underwritten or overedited. I don't wanna give off the impression that this one's outright bad though. homer being terrorized is enough for cheap entertainment value, but krusty sells it, his guttural voice perfect for the chucky-type murder doll both in chasing homer and coming onto lisa's dolls, the scuzzy fella he is. he manages the melding of intimidating and comical the character needs.

if there's any satisfying and subversive storytelling here it's in that good/evil switch. the inherent power of horror's icons often lies in their cryptic mythos, who are they? why are they doing this? how can they be stopped? so what better way to defang this take and turn it into literal child's play than to render the notion of an inexplicable manifestation of evil into another shoddy krusty product with ghastly manufacturing decisions? its both hilarious as an abrupt and literal switch and a nice simpsonifying of the surreal into the comically mundane. so big points there, but even so, if Scary Thing Happening is gonna become the modus operandi, they could certainly be more mindful of the tone and progression, you wanna make it look effortless, you don't wanna seem like you don't care. still, a good segment, but i can't pretend i dont want more.
I too always felt there was something off about that segment. The premise is all good and fun and certainly works well but it kinda feels like an oddly truncated and undercooked story overall that misses some of the bite it should have had. Still an good one though and really funny (it has the great frogurt scene for one thing).

there's a certain flavor or lack thereof perhaps that these segments and other general trilogy segments take on as the series progresses, one i've blanketed as "dressup segments", where our springfeldians are found adorned in all manner of costuming and shoved into a variety of time periods and derivative fictions, but they ultimately feel incidental, offering little or none in the way of dynamic intent with the setpiece or genre themes besides stale jokes, leaving characterization flat and dangling, tonality almost completely disregarded, they're essentially bad plays with our characters rather than immersive self-contained stories either about the characters or flipping them for a purpose. they like so many later simpsons endeavors sit on a fence they're too comfy with and tend to say nothing.

this segment could've easily been that, but thankfully we aren't there just yet. this one works, perhaps because while it feels more like an absurd play than any segment thus far, its waffling tone suits the endearingly dated and not at all still scary nature of the source material, or perhaps because homer and marge are cast perfectly. then you've got burns in a similar blatantly bad guy role as his frankenstein performance. again, no use for "the real monster is man" and whatnot here, not because it isn't, but because the simpsons makes it so blatantly and comically obvious that it is without needing to melt down the moral and make a hammer to beat you with it. he also gets the incredible "strolling through the gas" joke, so even disregarding his money-hungriness and will to sacrifice unknowing gals for his cash cow, he steals the segment. shouts to lenny too for his quick "quit it homer c'mon", barney's peanut generosity being abused, and poor smithers for becoming spontaneous lunch. they even found a role for otto!

i tend not to want to review these as individual character moments and more as how they embody the material or genre or what have you, but this is just king kong with a way dumber ape. it isn't a parody with a ton to say, it's just here to have a laugh, and it's a fun one with alot of moments of our cast giving their all. really, my only substantial issue lies in the somewhat wasted opportunity to play more with that era's cinematography and film techniques. all those shining moments are up front, title card peeling away, dense ghostly fog hanging low on the streets, the static shot of marge's ad to be eaten by a monkey opposed to over-the-shoulder angles that seemed to come later, and seeing all the costuming for the first time. i can't help but feel this sets up for a more dedicated and immersive tone that we don't get, because maybe it's at odds with the comedy they wanted? hard to say, but while i most prefer segments that don't sacrifice one for the other - we are already miles from thoh I - and this is another segment less concerned with finding a story in its antics and more the antics themselves opposed to thoh I and II's family and general character tales, they had enough to work with here to make the end result too much fun to deny.
Something I found very impressive about 'King Homer' was how they recreated a lot of the shots from the original film so well (and not just the goofy and grinning closeups of the monster himself). They really showed their work there.

here's where all the resources went for treehouse try numero three. no need for buildup here, this one's tremendous. it feels like they've been trying for this tone for awhile and they finally nailed it, less a full-blown aesthetic shift like the successes of thoh I but more developed on its own terms, a finely tuned halloween-tinted alternate version of the simpsons that feels like an immense payoff of trying to tell these stories but still retain the feeling of springfield. a springfield still bustling with bart cheesing book reports and lisa tearily missing snowball I, a springfield where krusty's show marches onward and willie is groundskeeping as he must, but also a world with occult sections with evil dead props tucked away ready to raise the dead. it's every bit as ready to show homer so fixated to the tv he forgets to nail the doors because y'know, zombies, as it is to show him willing to sacrifice himself to them for his family, if only he had the required sustenance.

its that certain jokes-as-progression efficiency the show could do at its best that keeps this one moving. it's a segment that remains a grab bag of rad gags - the krusty and mel one takes a feather to my gut every time - every bit as much as it kicks up the propulsion and violence, homer gunning down pale green zombies against dank purple skies, finally playing with striking colors again to great effect. the cartooniness and surrealness of the show's at its least gravity affected is made the entire experience, laying to waste every historical figure in his path on the way to the book depository. in the end the zombies are reduced to mere rotting corpses strewn through the many streets of springfield. good enough for them!

its massively silly, yet no matter how hard the silliness knob is turned it still manages to feel real, at least within this flopside simpsons, largely because there's a full narrative here, our scenario derives from a cute (well cute for halloween) bart/lisa endeavor that gets way outta hand after all. so much is packed into these minutes that it really does feel like the first segment that fully embodies that classic era potential. do i still prefer thoh I on the whole? probably, but it's the same as why s2 is so special at all, but while it is, its that incomprehensibly efficient and incredible balancing act of comedy, character, satire, and story that makes the simpsons the simpsons, and this one is positively bleeding out its decapitated neck hole with the good stuff. so i leave you with this: the zombie flanders joke sucks, its stilted in delivery and even for alternate reality simpsons it feels just like too much, but mostly its that delivery. eh 99 out of 100 jokes aint bad. no i'm not gonna actually count them. now to anticipate the real scary zombie lying some seasons ahead. for now, a changing of the guard.
All this talk about trying to find the right tone reminds me that Bad Dream House had a completely different ending in the table draft. I think they realized how much this clashed with the rest of the script, because this was rewritten to what is more-or-less the final ending in the next draft (dated just a day after this one.)


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'Dial Z For Zombies' is one of the best, easily (certainly one of mine). Great storytelling, a lot of funny jokes and well paced. I agree that the zombie Flanders joke is kinda overrated but it's still decent one (I prefer the joke about Willie and his flower bed).

we've been through haunted houses, alien abductions and invasions, zombies, killer dolls, mad science, small monkey hands, big monkey hands, and nude photos of whoopi goldberg. where do you go from here? ya go ta fuckin' HELL. mirkin wastes no time taking full advantage of the blank rulelist for these microcosms of moody, mangled mirth, and plunges - literally like with a plunger lmao - homer into the spiralling psychedelic depths of the underworld. sounds like a hellish hoot and a haunted holler, but let's back up. like previous segments, this one finds its jokes in completely trivializing the whole affair, knocking the ultimate desire of the protagonist down from years of wretched luck erased to well, one more donut. obviously, what greater horror can homer imagine? well besides losing his family but y'know, halloween segment. i like just how absurdly high the stakes are for such a measly offering, and how homer could easy outsmart the deal but fails to anyway, and of course the silverman direction beautifully aids the scenes of the devil growing immense at a gloating homer, and then the netherrealm vortex in the kitchen and homer tumbling like a pinball through the abstract nightmare void, but i admit i have some issues with this one.

of all the demented tales the horror trilogies have gotten their greasy yellow mitts on, the devil and daniel webster seems the most like a gimme, especially the webster part, because it gives them the opportunity to do one of their favorite things: assemble a courtroom scenario and let hutz go wild, and he does, at least until he defenestrates himself. hutz dealing with the straight up devil is fun and all, but much like homer's conceit it feels a bit too obvious, at what point does doing the exact same jokes with spookier colors lean dangerously close to incidental? the foundation for more is here, using minimal often absurd story development to unravel maximum comedic cacophony, hell mirkin should be right at home getting to turn in these manic little anything-goes cartoons, but i dunno. as good as some of the jokes are, i always feel the actual court stuff isn't sure where to go and the resolution is on the corner of funny st and cornball ave, take your pick i guess. in a way alot of the most extravagant moments feel a little wasted, and i think thats because most of the comedy is in the setup, homer eats and hutz is bad lawyer, laugh please. the frankenstein segment did this with its simplifications as comedy but it used those for a better comedic point that reflected the real burns and not the joke you learn about a character if you google them or take their Which Simpson Character Are You Quiz, and it had a bevy of great lines and gags and twisted on itself again come the climax.

the first half here is a riot but the payoff never feels like it fully comes, here we just go from chaotic hell antics to Actually Daniel Webster. yes the jury is funny, hutz booking it is funny, but alot of the jokes dont feel as though they help this thing find its identity. i love mirkin and he's soon to make some of the best nutso segments in the series, but this isn't one of them for me. i'm not gonna win fans for this one, but it's a weird combination of some obvious jokes (the iconic ones natch) and aimlessness in the second half that feels about as unsatisfying as excitedly opening an empty donut box. i love when the thoh segments reflect the usual show and help create a depth, even really cartoony segments have had great character moments that flesh out the experience, but s5 mirkin didn't care as much about family stories as Lol Homer Eat, and damning as that sounds without restriction he could work that silliness into magic. for my money, daniel webster parody is way too restricting for mirkin. this will be proven quite soon.
i think devil is my favorite thoh segment, not sure (god i wonder why), but im glad that at least one person on this cursed goddamn earth is willing to criticize it because the old adage that everything from the first 8 seasons is 100% perfect gets a little old sometimes
Dang bruh. I’d say this is probably my second favorite segment, but I can appreciate your well-supported opinion.
Surprising to see someone actually throwing a bit of critcism at Mirkin & Season 5 but I cannot say I disagree.

I've said before that the season had some issues like some tonal problems and an somewhat lack of depth and emotion, instead often going all out goofy and wacky with the humor which could result in something more aimless (yet still great), and it took a little while for him to settle in and find a good balance. Season 6 is the result of that.

watching two mirkin segments in a row really illuminates the core limitations in the new crew's interpretation of the trilogies, namely the comedy. not that it isn't funny, in fact its very funny, but to my personal dismay there's too high a reliance on jokes that could easily be stuffed into the average episode. wang computers, otto not driving the bus, uter, moleman dying again, all funny jokes but sliding dangerously close to rendering the affair too normal, you get these precious five to six minutes of empty space at a time to indulge a rulefree dark-tinted simpsons, it feels irresponsible to resort to rigamarole. this one may have even more incidental comedy than the last one, but while "devil" had alot of dazzling moments impeded by undeveloped setups, this one for all its meandering sets itself up more smoothly.

the original twilight zone episode's tortured protagonist is a man of unwell mental state, which contextualizes the doubt projected onto him by his fellow passengers regarding his gremlin. we can't just slap a psychosis onto bart for segment story purposes, even rule free simpsons has to avoid some shortcuts, so we depict his near death nightmare premonition and set it against his ne'er-do-well boy-cried-wolf ways so his warnings come off more like another sick prank. toss skinner onto the bus with his norman bates ass and absurd rigidity to the rules and boom, we got a story. sorta. kinda? the actual gremlin shots are played pretty straight, a sinister little fiend dismantling the bus from the outside. this is a good way to lend concern to bart, if it didn't threaten his life he may merely gawk at it like a young dude may. bart's emotional escalation probably suffers the inconsistent tone the most though, clicking from typical worry to deranged desperation faster than you can honk your marina horn - THAT'S a good tension cutter joke by the way, comes as the unease is rising and outside to intrude on bart's mission.

skinner is probably the most amusing and subversive part of how the narrative plays out, turning the original story's external displeasure from the witnessing of mental decomposure to a displeasure at a rambunctious boy's inability to follow the rules, paid off in the ridiculous scene where bart asserts he was right but skinner isn't having it due to his conduct. perfect. still, with this claustrophobic bottle locale and psychological warping, i feel as though this one could've gone farther, but it's another segment more interested in being a farce and with too many irrelevant jokes it needs to tell, to mostly positive results but with much pondering of what more is capable, i know after all that at their best these segments can stand out in every way including the comedy, and that potential is hard to ignore. will "zombies" be toppable in regards to capturing that halloween simpsons feel all-encompassingly? there's quite a few chances left to try. to end this one i will say both moments with flanders are excellent, him cradling the gremlin like the ever-welcoming neighboreeno he is would suffice, but if you felt this segment lacked the striking imagery, the gremlin holding a still-speaking flanders head up to the ambulance window to let bart know he's still out there oughta do it.
'Terror At 5 1/2 Feet' is one of my favorites for some reason. I just really liked how it played out with the story, the tone and the imagery (almost everything with the gremlin on screen stands out; one that sticks out to me in particular is him giving Bart an wide eyed smile and tearing into the bus in two opposite directions) & the humor was good too (also had the first appearance of Uter, I believe).
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third time's the charm! while i'm wavering on whether or not to slot it directly above or below "zombies", this one absolutely nails the same sensibility of unleashing a broad but fun horror genre parody and running wild with it. burns as dracula may inspire intent to deconstruct the disparity between the iconic written word and mirkin and co.'s creation ala the frankenstein segment, but no, there isn't much to it except burns as dracula is kinda perfect. this is just a gleeful grab-bag of pinpoint-perfect vampire tropes skewered and played with until there's nothing untouched in the ol' rulebook. this mindset helped construct many of my favorite gagfests in the series, where a setting or theme has been so squeezed of every dripping drop of comedy juice a better effort at tackling it can't be imagined. worry no longer about incidental comedy, this sucker laser-focuses and pokes fun at every familiar idea one can think of when one thinks dracula, as well as integrating the usual farce element much better with the incredible cluelessness of springfield when dealing with an obvious vampire, neck cleaning and all.

the key though is as with "zombies" to have your fun but clearly know your material. you can illustrate the visceral immensity of how dracula since nosferatu days has cast great imposing shadows that characterize his castle walls as burns descends to greet the family, and you can do some silly shadow puppetry jokes too. you can do the head vampire schtick to lead lisa, our straight woman as the only one who's probably read bram stoker's work, down a thrilling path to vanquish the fiend and still get away with neon "no garlic" signs, homer mindlessly drinking his free blood, and super happy fun slides! you can even have homer hammering a stake through burns' crotch and burns' post death firing of homer, and while it gets sillier than maybe any segment prior, the tone isn't betrayed by the jokes. in fact it's strengthened, because you don't have to play it totally serious to sell the tension, the jokes just need to reinforce the progression of the idea, commitment is key, and mirkin's could tell a story through jokes like few others when the focus was there.

despite my issues with the last two segments, i would call them good simpsons shorts, just shaky halloween experiences. this one gets it right, it has all the pieces for an engaging mini thriller and mystery for lisa while bouncing every possible vampire joke off the wall in the meantime. its deceptively surface level in that stellar first-act kinda way where for all the lack of measured character, the jokes manage to say it all anyway. it may be even less serious than "zombies" yet somehow it may serve as better tribute for the knowledge it displays to hit it's bullseyes. from the absurdity of the idiocy to the accuracy of the homage, its a satisfyingly comprehensive tome of lampoons befitting the legacy of the beast from transylvania. sorry, pennsylvania.
I never cared for Terror at 5 1/2 Feet too much. I think you’re right when you said a lot of it could fit into a normal episode, and I don’t think they brought it to its full potential; it’s more of an average episode that has some silly goblin only Bart can see thrown into it. And I don’t know why, but it always feels really short to me, even for a THOH segment.
'Bart Simpson's Dracula' is really quite good. Good horror atmosphere, good parodic elements and a lot of great jokes, though my issue with it is that the final twist feels tacked on and unconvincing (as if to have a twist for the sake of having a twist) and the sudden fourth wall breaking & 'Charlie Brown Christmas' ending feels a tad too much. This kind of wacky, nonsensical ending I feel worked better and more smoothly in 'Treehouse V' (though maybe it's just me).
That joke about Abe saying they need to kill Bart but not knowing he is a vampire proves that the show has been reusing jokes for a while now. Still a great segment.

y'know, the shining was actually based on stephen king's recovery from alcoholism, so homer's particular descent into madness essentially eschews the middle man, or close enough. allow me to try to do this one justice beyond how good the jokes are, you know the jokes are good and i don't need to name 'em, and you know the kubrick homaging (or mirroring) direction by jim reardon is excellent and both keeps the tension wound tightly and plays well against its subversions. "the shinning" as a demented alternate reality character piece is homer's downward spiral, and as such it strikes most effectively when primal and blunt. we know from "the devil and homer simpson" that homer's pleasures and desires are remarkably simple, writers have likened him to a dog after all. in the spirit of that, when homer is refused those pleasures and desires, he can turn from dopey dog to snarling beast quicker than you can say "feelin' fine". the bluntness carries to the family themselves too, so starkly aware of their father's rapid descent that ever-caretaking marge when asked if he's gonna kill them by lisa can only a muster an honest "we're just gonna have to wait and see".

this is both a better extraction of homer's primality than "devil" because instead of food monster it's well, no tv and no beer make homer something something, and it's a better devolution into madness than "terror" because it doesn't get too caught up in aside jokes. not that it ain't silly, homer is still homer and even for all his deterioration, bartender ghost of temptation moe and his merry band of rando horror villains have to drag him back to his murder spree when he finds a stash of food. it ain't even all homer's fault when burns has been cutting off the tv and beer supply to to the result of previous slaughters, the poor man just wants his creature comforts, and he will gladly go crazy without them. so i suppose the big question is, does this segment deserve to so often be considered the best? well, yanking homer into madness so quickly is more than a funny simplification and perfect character turn, it allows a two-and-half-hour movie's story to be told in about six or seven, which is incredibly impressive. sure we miss some iconic moments and chances for jokes but it all still comes together, in such a way you'll once again see how deceptive the simpsons' aloofness with subverting the classics can be. dumb sure but they fit the shining into two commercial breaks and its coherent!

beyond that for its dizzying heights of insanity it's never impenetrably abstract in playing with the source material. some say the best parody is one you can enjoy without getting the inside baseball, and while that's debatable, accessibility is a testament to the composition of this extremely truncated terror. you can enjoy homer losing it because of how we see him spiral like jack torrance from a kind, if ailed man to a deranged lunatic but based on so much less to suit his character's concerns and needs, or you can simply enjoy homer simpson, ever devolving in his relation to the human species anyway, driven from his usual caveman brain idiocy to caveman brain violence, flipping the switch so that his simple nature goes from endearing to terrifying simply because the target changes, it's incredibly aware of its protagonist's potential and the inherent unease of poking the bear. the why of his spiral is exactly as funny as it is disturbing without any contradiction, and that truly allows for its efficiency. so i do get why this often tops lists, even if i feel for halloween humor, gnarled character stories, and immersive direction there are quite a few entries worth contending for its canon crown, but if a brief manic burst of kubrick-homage nightmare comedy can so directly inspire in viewers remembrance of why they love the original while gleefully diluting it, they must be doing something right.

we are quite a ways from where we started. consider the original intent of treehouse of horror was to replicate the pulpy schlock of 50s ec comics like tales from the crypt, inspiration that lent to the simpsons an opportunity to tell striking spooky stories surfacing from several subgenres. from the age-old tropes to the engrossing visual palettes and direction, they succeeded in illustrating the kinds of eye-catching genre horror well worth the spare dime. there's a certain hard-to-evoke-with-words sensibility to telling these stories the right way, but they've certainly taken more and more liberties over time to varying results, simpsonifying further and further until the series became its own thing even in the confines of dedicated parody. id say it went from "halloween world featuring the simpsons" to "simpsons with a halloween undercurrent". nothing wrong with that, but you could just tell the show was itching to break more and more rules to the point the schlock homage was fading. so it only made sense to break the biggest unspoken rule at last and make a thoh segment directly based on no classic novel, short story, movie or twilight zone episode. typically, people point to the lack of horror in later segments to assert why they don't work anymore. that's not it, if it was this one would be lambasted, and the case is the opposite, as it damn well should be.

sure, we are dealing with familiar and as-of-yet untapped genre territory for the simpsons with time travel and all its butterfly effecting, but as mirkin has proven, the truth is both simpler and more complicated than that. simpler because free of constraints we can just kickoff a story by having homer's hand shoved in a toaster, and we can also have him somehow turn that toaster into a time machine, and from there turn the whole affair into a madcap slapstick looney tunes cartoon with all the prehistoric animal abuse and elastic timeline warping. its unpredictable and eclectic and oodles of fun, but again, deceptive, because what mirkin and his fellow maniacs have done by making such a loose and self-constructed narrative free of necessary homage is not just send homer through a flurry of great jokes about him borking the timeline, despite its assertively irreverent tone its a more comprehensive amalgam of genre homage than any segment since the first thoh thanks to its timeline borking.

we dip into dystopian futures with oppressive systems, where of course flanders is in charge, perfect for the genre's illusion of perfection conflicts. then homer makes bart and lisa massive and they begin trying to crush him inside the house like adolescent kaiju. THEN there's the terrific perfect universe with the scariest horror genre for homer, post-donut (or so he thought), and just in case you needed a little more of that thoh I style mashing goodness we got james earl jones back to perform our second willie killing. okay maybe the word genre is a stretch but you know what i mean, this isn't just homer screwing around through time blindly, we are still creating thrilling scenarios and lots of them, it's an absolute blast. it pays that homer has stakes himself too, as simple as getting back home, but it's something, it prevents aimless jerkass homer time escapades with no repercussions, his usual goldfish brained antics destroy the future time and time again, he has intent to try but as history has proven its rarely enough, he is his own folly, and god bless him for it. i told you, mirkin's potential would truly be proven under less restriction, and while his knack for contained homage certainly improved, honestly just let the man and his writers go hog wild and make some great cartoons. can the best treehouse of horror segment be sans horror? no? too bad. still my favorite.
'Time And Punisment' is possibly my favorite segment of 'Treehouse Of Horror V'. While 'The Shinning' is a solid parody and has many great jokes it's a little overrated and I think that makes 'Time' stand out more to me is the unabashed creativity (in tandem with the goofy humor); they weren't as limited by the constraints of a straight up movie parody they could just do whatever wacky stuff they wanted.
People seem to think that the Shinning is easily THOH V's best, but I think it would be a complete and utter pain for me. All three segments are equally amazing.

can mirkin pull off the treehouse of horror hat trick? why yes he can, and he does so with what seems to be becoming a grossly underrated short. to a degree i get it though, this is no longer your charming throwback to horror's past or homage that even at its darkest contains a certain order and poise. as the mirkin era made the show zanier, the opportunity for its sinister flipside to grow more insistently violent and demented arose, and this is the apex, a blatantly grisly and disturbing segment more in line with horror's evolution through the provocative, and why not let the show take a trip through shock horror? we've praised plenty of hallowed classics, let's get a little lowbrow! nuance is jettisoned in favor of full-blown cannibal horror targeting every delicious youth in springfield elementary, the teachers more than eager to partake upon skinner's delightfully devilish cooking. im sure some would deem it a bridge too far, but extrapolation and acceleration of potentially malleable traits has made for some quality horror, and something about the inherently over-this-shit demeanors of the springfield elementary staff and passive disdain for their jobs being spun into an active hostility and deviance fills me with delight, taking how little they care and seeing just how far they can push it, and man is it far. it's unnerving enough that we see the staff jovially munching down on sloppy jimbos, but add onto that the kids being fed their old schoolmates and the disgust compounds, effectively. this isn't really relevant to the rest but i feel the need to mention it so here it comes: thicc krabappel. mmm. what was i saying?

sure, this segment doesn't have that intoxicating sense of lived-in tone that many thoh classics do, but it feels like exactly what it is, a nightmare, which is what alot of less subtle, splatter-adjacent horror conjures. in the place of aesthetic eloquence, we have stunning escalation as every single kid is wiped out, few moments in thoh are as visceral as milhouse meeting the giant blender blade, not much in thoh actually makes my stomach churn but this one cranks the violence to a degree that it can inspire just a twinge of that familiar trash horror nausea. is this a sign of thoh getting less sophisticated and more lunkheaded? i dunno, possibly. the problems that would persist don't really get a chance to prove that though. all i know is i love this segment, and i love this thoh. thoh v really redeems mirkin's capability in my eyes to sell his style in halloween form, and while it may be miles away from our intent, so too was the simpsons, but it was still great. my favorite thoh even still, and something of a last gasp of genuine disturbia within them. things are about to change, and i hate being ominous when it involves my boys o&w, but does anyone praise them for their thohs? guess we will see.
This really is a good one. I’ve gone back and forth on whether it’s weaker than Time and Punishment, but they’re both among the best segments ever, and I think this one has some of the best truly disturbing scenes. True, it’s lost some of its sophistication; The Raven, this ain’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good. THOH V is the best, and it’s not close.
dunno if id call nightmare cafeteria "underrated" since thoh v is almost unanimously considered the best thoh as a whole, but i still fuckin love it anyway because its the only segment thats gone so deliciously overboard its actually managed to creep me out a bit. i think its because it does such an insidiously good job of playing into my massive distrust of teachers/school officials/authority figures as a whole (which is a topic classic simpsons consistently portrayed really well, so did life in hell before groening evolved into a serial toesucker), along with, well, the cannibalism. its a topic thats morbidly fascinating AND incredibly disturbing at the same time, win-win for everyone

also preemptively stating that lolno the thohs dont start instantly dipping when o&w step in. cant speak for The One With Bill Clinton In It but i just rewatched thoh vi and its still great. it continues the trend of "simpsons with a halloween undercurrent" but its still fucking hilarious so i dont really mind at all. 50 ft eyesores has some great bits and i adore the segments premise, just the idea of these monstrously huge commercial mascots violently destroying and tearing down the insatiable consumerist reality that brought them to life to begin with is kind of amazing and i love it, plus the ending with paul anka is so goddamn stupid that it somehow works. nightmare on evergreen terrace is just comedy gold throughout... martin's corpse being wheeled out into the kindergarten... "when im done with ya, theyll have to do a compost-mortem!".... and every single second of the flashback where willie gets burnt alive in the school ("lousy smarch weather..."). its just them reenacting elm street for the most part but the jokes still hit. i can absolutely see someone arguing that homer³ is a bit of a downgrade but i still really like it because i absolutely love dated 90s 3d. plus it has erotic cakes so you really cant complain.

too bad you only have two more classic thohs left...
'Nightmare Cafeteria' is really good but when put up directly against the former two, to me it falls a little short due to their high quality. Still great though (and it being an literal nightmare solves an issue like Marge being way too calm and not taking her kids' fear seriously, which I guess a play on how in horror movies/thrillers the adults doesn't believe the kids at all and just handwaves it all).

While 'Treehouse Of Horror V' is a very strong episode with three great segments I don't think it's my favorite overall. I even kind of prefer the next one to be fair.

well it was bound to happen eventually, and it's certainly gonna happen alot more from here but let's make the first time count by saying it declaratively: this segment is kinda bad, and as such i don't even have too much to comment on, which will help me navigate seventy five of these things as they give me less and less ammo i'm sure. i'll start by complimenting the conceit however. there's a cheeky prod at capitalism, intentional or otherwise, by making the ostensible kaiju of a common american town their figures of branding and advertisement, soulless and by juxtaposition of their intended wholesomeness, amusing as destructive monsters. the problems: well first of all homer is annoying in this, causing the mass destruction of the town and it's people because he wanted to steal a giant donut as a temper tantrum because lard lad's colossal donut promotion was misleading, and i don't even understand why he would want his massive revenge donut. giant statue donut? you can't eat that!

i understand the idea is to playfully satirize the dangers of advertising and their power over one's will. two issues: it is still entirely homer's fault and he never pays for it, so uh yeah jerkass checkbox marked, and this is a halloween segment. i said i don't care if segments are scary, but they better at least have some goddamn stakes or some framework of parody in the holster, and this one has its godzilla jokes of which a few are funny, notably giant mr. peanut cracking open a car and devouring its passengers and bart atop the red devil realty devil acting as the devil on both his shoulders to destroy the school. that's about it though, alot of the jokes just don't land, feel too obvious or dragged out, and ultimately there's just no story here, so when instead of homer having to have anything to do with solving the dilemma for his misdeed we get paul anka, i'm checked out. it isn't even just that homer gets away with peak reckless behavior, but he's so barely involved in the narrative, what little there is past concept on paper, it just feels loose and all over the place. a shockingly terminal segment for the era, and while i've had my gripes with lacking tone before, this one has none. extremely ominous.