Rate & Review: "Treehouse of Horror XXXIII" (UABF18)

How would you rate this episode?


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    60

SimpsonFan18

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This delivered on all the hype. All 3 segments had me cemented to the screen. Awesome THOH this year. 5/5
 

dorian

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Actually a really great THOH, The Pookadook was average HD Simpsons fare but not painfully bad and the last two segments were great probably the best THOH since XXV or even XIV
 

Wile E. the Brain

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If The Pookadook ends up overshadowed by the other two, I'll be sad. I've been thinking about it and I truly think it's my absolute favorite segment of the HD era, along with The Fourth Thursday After Tomorrow from Thanksgiving of Horror (I guess it shows that we need more segments about Marge, aha). It stuck with me, for some reason.
 

Venomrabbit

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...

...

ughhhhh

yeah FINE I liked this.

Though, for the most part, it was really carried by The Pookadook. Go figure, the highlight was done by Carolyn Omine. I guess what I would've said is already covered though. Though I'd also say it's actually the funniest one. Especially with the brick joke about the vaccuum being a good present and Maggie's nonchalant shrug. It's the kind of segment that had an atmosphere I didn't think possible from HD Simpsons and a lot of nice n' freaky imagery.
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I think they knew that well, no way the family's getting killed so might as well go with freakiness and music and getting the best outta Kavner. And it really worked! Aquarium Sleepover was such an asspull but it was a funny one and having a happy ending actually made some sense (especially when nobody died)

Death Tome... was alright. I mean, at least once I get past the art-nerd feelings. I mean, holy shit, an alternate design of the twins in an ep that doesn't ruin it by context. Guess I gotta draw that now. Otherwise, not that impressive. But it still had a coupleof good gags like Bart's "So now you're tryin' to bore me to death?" that's very classic-Bart. Throughout the entire ep he was written well, just a shame he didn't show up that much and maybe shoulda been the second-most-important in the third segment since Marge and Lisa already had their own.

Also nobody has pointed out this yet? Apparently Globo-Warm is made up of ex baseballers. I can safely say that this is a reference I never expected. Oh god if they reference something like Vinesauce any time soon...
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Had to pause on this bit but Sleve is a name I'd recognize anywhere. The death montage kinda ate up a lot of time but the toilet-lion was funny at least.

Simpsons World... eh. Easily the weakest of the bunch and don't really have much to say on it that I didn't just say above. However, it was actually cute that Homer insists on taking the hottest Marge and then goes with the default. Also Lisa having to have her self-awareness dialed down was probably the funniest bit.

Overall good, enjoyable, different for a damn change, even if Pookadook was the only one that really floored me.

I wouldn't say Matt Selman was the reason why this was good. His last one was dreadful and his segment in this one was pretty feeble. Nono, what I think helped more than anything was just getting three different writers to do each of the segments. The solo-written ones tend to lag and get tired around the end so having different people work on it lets them keep that energy going. That or Carolyn Omine, still being my fav writer by a mile.

Think the other thing that helped was, outside of one or two in Death Tome and the employees at Simpsons World, this went light on the gore. And that's 100% a good thing. For a start, it meant they actually had to try and do an atmosphere (the music was actually good throughout) and actually had to write jokes. Oh shock, horror!

So yeah, more multi-writer THOHs. I'm guessing they broke the bank on Death Tome so it'd probably be unreasonable to want a different style for each segment like the comics used to do but... that'd also be theoretically cool. Guess it's a 4.5 for me, just wish they were all as good as Pookadook but they weren't really bad either.

I think the overall feel might've been better if Pookadook was in the middle. As is, there's a feeling that it gradually goes down as the episode progresses and by the end I was just waiting for it to be over. It's like lowering the volume gradually and waiting for the song to loop again...
 
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Marioburgercream

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Seriously ? I'm i the only one who eschewed it ? Note, that i never judge anyone, on this forum, but i really really found it disappointing. The first part was very annoying, it reminded me Maggie's possessed segment 29.04 episode and the only thing i really liked was Homer and the two first (Bart and Lisa) appearances.
The second was a Death Note parody and i don't know very well this segment, because i don't know very well this manga, so i did not understood all.
And finally, the third one was OK. But it's few compared too the others Treehouse of Horror.
 

John95

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Eh, this was a mid-tier THoH at best with Death Thom being the only segment that I'd maybe rewatch at a later point.

Once again, this ended up being slightly better than I thought it would be because just like with Not It everything that was known about this episode going in weren't selling points to me. So it wasn't hard for this to not fail as badly as Thanksgiving of Horror or most THoH's of the last 10 or so years when I went into this with very lowered expectations. But at the end of the day, besides going back to using different writers for each segment (which only helped this so much just based on Selman handling Simpsonsworld), there wasn't much in this to make it stick out compared to most recent THoH's other than I'd put it in the mid-tier but very bottom mid-tier.

As for the other two segments, Pookadook was OK I guess while Simpsonsworld lived up to being the weakest of the three.

2.5/5 generously rounded up.
 

BloodySimpsonChibi

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5/5 5/5 5/5! All the way through! Where to start with this masterpiece?

The Pookadook: To be fair, I've only ever watched the Babadook twice and only got to really understand it the second time around. That being said, this segment was just fun to sit through. How do I put this....it was weirdly adorable! Marge and Maggie were just too cute, especially with that whole cheek thing. Hell, hearing Marge read the Pookadook book was cute. All in all, a weird choice for a TOH parody but a welcome one! 5/5

Death Tome: If my wet-behind-the-ears self knew that at some point he'd get to watch official Simpsons anime, he'd probably make like Milhouse in the original comic parody and die of happiness. I mean, FUCKING SIMPSONS ANIME! Ok so I'm also excited for that but enough about the otaku baiting. How does it hold up as a segment?

Well very good, I would say. Steven was a great Ryuk expy and I liked the change of dynamic with Lisa being Light and Bart being L. The only thing I would have changed is Lisa changing into a Shinigami at the end but hey, it is Treehouse of Horror and at least she seemed pretty chill about it. (Janey totally gonna die tho. Lol) 5/5

Simpsonworld: When I found out about this segment, I had my reservations. I'm not too much into the meta stuff. That being said, I think this was a rather great segment all things considered. I liked that scene of Homer basically feeding those two guys to the bushes and the cameo with Linda Belcher at the end "chef's kiss."

That being said, I do have one question though Why the fuck is Big Mouth among the cartoons with their own "worlds?" I do have a theory: The joke here is that all those cartoons have run for way too long and since almost nobody likes Big Mouth, it simply existing for the few years it has is too long. Idk. 5/5

Also the meta joke with Kang and Kodos was funny. 5/5 I've never been so happy to be a Simpsons fan!
 

HomerFan1998

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@SimpsonsWillGoOnForever Right then, it turns out that 'Thunderhead Hawkins' is actually Hank Williams Jr. who originally used to voice as the "Canyonero" singer since somewhere back in Season 10 I believe. Anyway, I'm surprised that Matt Groening used his 'Rat Groening' scary name this year which he originally used back in THOH IX instead of his 'Bat Groening' scary name
 

Venomrabbit

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... Am I going nuts? I thought it was "Death Tome" and Tome is spelled... like that. Did this somehow break me? Kinda thought I was already broken so, um...

But outside of Pookadook, I do get why the other two might be seen as weak or meh. There were some things that worked for me but I can see where it wouldn't for others. And Death Tome would probably have been weaker for me if I'd seen DN at all. Or wasn't taken off guard by the silly faux-english names.

Also, outside of Mr Burns, Snake and (possibly) Janey off-screen, were all the deaths randoms and/or guest characters? I'm not sure if the Ralph-bots count... and even then they weren't exactly destroyed in graphic detail or anything. That's also strange for a THOH but I welcome it. Still weird that Janey's framed as the bully when... well, Shauna'd be more fitting but I guess they still can't bring themseves to do that for some reason. Death Tome just did not seem to be a good time for black women/girls considering two randoms were also part of the death montage. :V

Also, liked that with Marge in the 1st one, they actually seemed to go a little more off-model for expressions when she's possessed. Maybe it's that animation bump I've been noticing but if it's an intentionally uncanny-valley effect then damnit, that's actually clever.
 

CousinMerl

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Sweet Jebus, this was really impressive. Now this is how to do a Treehouse of Horror in the era of modern 'The Simpsons'. All the three segments (that were all parodies) were handled pretty much superbly: Well written and well paced, with solid jokes & voiceacting, but maybe most of all really had the right creepiness and horror tonalities and style to them (and for a 'Treehouse' that's almost half the challenge) and to be really honest I really liked them all, with not a weak one in the bunch (I also liked how they skipped any opening skit to get more room for the segments and boy, did it pay off!). I had my skepticisms before watching (despite never thinking it'd disappoint, far from it) but as soon as the initial story got going my minor worries quickly went away and what I wound up with was a feeling that this is might be my favorite HD era 'Treehouse of Horror' thus far. Selman, Omine, Koh & Oliver did an amazing job with this.

'The Pookadook', which opened the episode, positively surprised and shocked me. Based on the horror film 'The Babadook', I think it got the episode off to a surprisingly great start with an all good story on Maggie & Marge ending up in trouble due to a demonic scary kids' storybook. It did grea building the story with the creepy atmosphere and unsettling moments with the seemingly sentient 'Pookadook' book Once Marge is possessed by the Pookadook demon & starts to menace Maggie, it really explodes into an intensely creepy tale with Maggie running for her life and trying her best to get her mother back (hell, it's essentially one of those "I know you're still in there!" fights & I mean that in the best of ways). Maggie as the protagonist worked oh so well (and what she did felt believable & not over the top) & Possessed Marge was genuinely threatening (and Kavner's vocal performance suited was excellent; I loved that demonic double voice, but she did well elsewhere as well. Maybe just me, but I liked the way she says "The Pookadook"), but it was also really funny (with Homer being the natural main source for humor), the scary music was great & the animation was thoroughly excellent (with some of the best and well constructed shots in some time). The silly happy ending was great. It understood what it means to be a horror story. Easily my fav segment of these.

'Death Tome' was also a great one. It took the popular manga & anime 'Death Note' and very neatly built up an entire anime-styled universe for our Springfield favorites with heavily stylized anime animation, which was maybe the most noteble thing (I think the anime designs for the character were all good and surprisingly enough worked really well & the visuals and effects themselves were great), but like the prior segment it focused on telling a creepy and atmospheric horror-themed story with Lisa finding the mystical, magical 'Deat Tome' notebook (which holds the power to kill everyone who'se name is written on the pages) so it was in no way a lame story with only the animesque animation to hold it up: Lisa using the tome to become sort of an eco terrorist (by killing off people who threaten the environment) was an amusingly dark play on her pro-environment tendencies & there were a lot of creative (and darkly funny) kills such as when her imagination runs dry, "Steve Johnson" was an amusing corrupting influence character (sounded like Moe, tbh) & that twist thing with Bart I kinda started suspect but that El Barto reveal still made me laugh & the ending was great (death by space junk was funny) with a nice subversive twist with Lisa ending up taking Steve's place as a death god (and Bart helping her to cope with it & suggest she could still kill Janey; lol).

'Simpsons World' might be the weakest of these, but I'd say it is by default. I think that in doing a 'Westworld' parody (with a theme park based on Springfield & more or less classic 'The Simpsons' episodes with all the characters being robots and having the Simpson family robots gain sentience) there is a danger in relying on referencing past episodes, etc., but they really made it work by using the right story to do it, deconstructing the show and its legacy with good satire (such as the park based on a show that's been on for way too long, but also how some "normie" fans only really care for the memes). It had dark & the creepy moments (some gruesome kills) & the jokes were nice (such as there being a simple option to increase robot sentience (what they did with Lisa was hilarious), the Homer hedge meme bit & the security bots being a Ralph Wiggum army, plus the really dark joke with a random Maude bot being hit by Homer's T-Shirt cannon made me chuckle). The escape to freedom scene was neat (gotta have Marge driving a Canyonero) & the final twist with there being multiple domed amusement parks based on adult animation sitcoms was perfect (I wonder how Futurama World & Rick And Morty World are like. Big Mouth World felt like the odd one out considering it was never a popular giant). Solid sci-fi story with an existential horror slant.

(Oh, and then there was the final scene (tying in with the very opening of the 'Treehouse Of Horror XXXIII storybook) with it turning out it's Kang & Kodos who owns the book we've just seen the stories from (and it's in CGI, though we only see one of their tentacles; would've been cool to see either of them in full stylized CGI) and it ends on a funny note with them scared off when the book suddenly has a deriding comment they just made on it. It was a fun end (and also doing a little different with the usual Kang & Kodos appearance).

So yeah, all in all I thought this was a pretty much an excellent 'Treehouse', perfectly balancing both the creepy, the scary, the interesting, the visual & the funny with three well told segments that all felt like they brought something entertaining to the table, really tapping into what makes for a really solidly good 'Treehouse Of Horror'. All segments were great in my opinion, but I'd say that my favorite was 'The Pookadook' (it was great with it's unsettling creepiness & excellent animaton, but the humoristic elements also worked like a charm), with 'Death Tome' being a great second (yeah, it has the anime style & it was cool with something this stylized, but the story also had my interest and I enjoyed it from start to finish) & 'Simpsons World' being a really fun science-fiction finish that took advantage of being metafictional in a really good and funny way (lots of really fun references and nice satire on the show itself). Entertaining all the way.

An easy 5/5 for me. This was fantastic by modern 'The Simpsons' standards & deserves all the praise it can get. I'm trying to think of something I disliked about it, but I cannot think of something at the moment (Maybe the fact that more modern 'Treehouses' doesn't hold this high of a standard? No, that's not even a negative thing about this episode, just that it makes all the usual Jean ones we tend to get look much worse in comparison). Now I all the more want to see even more stuff with Selman & Omine and maybe Koh as well, as the latter did really nice too (and Rob Oliver as the director if possible as this episode was so well directed). Unbelieavable they got it this right.
 
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John95

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@Venomrabbit Simpsonsworld was definitely weak in the fact that Selman took what felt like a season's worth of his kind of pandering to the classic era (along with some of his own episodes) and stuck it in a whole seven minute segment of an episode not even halfway into the season.
 

wiley207

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I think Matt Selman will once again be showrunning an another Treehouse of Horror next year. So hey, you're in luck
That would be great. I think Matt Selman is starting to become the permanent new showrunner, with Al Jean being reserved for certain special projects. Selman is REALLY livening up the show, and making it more experimental as well.
 

Venomrabbit

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@Venomrabbit Simpsonsworld was definitely weak in the fact that Selman took what felt like a season's worth of his kind of pandering to the classic era (along with some of his own episodes) and stuck it in a whole seven minute segment of an episode not even halfway into the season.

Hey so long as it's out of his system now... :P
 

CousinMerl

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I don't get what was so bad about taking advantage of a 'Westworld' parody to do a meta take on' The Simpsons', with the story obviously being set an alternate universe where the show & its characters are fictional and have apparently gone on for even longer than what we have experienced in the present but seem to be still just as popular, even if what is relived in the amusement park is mainly the classic episode with some Scully and pre-HD Jean stuff here and there). I was skeptical at first but ended up finding it a neat alternate universe tale.

Of all the thickly meta & self-referential/satirical stuff we've gotten on the show as of recently (and where some moments have been a little much), I think this was one of the better attempts (maybe especially as it is an anthology segment where they have fun with this type of "What if 'The Simpsons' was just a fictional show in-universe?" kind of approach) but I dunno; I guesst can understand why some are not into it, especially those who are tiring on meta stuff, good or bad.
 
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Jackomon

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Still weird that Janey's framed as the bully when... well, Shauna'd be more fitting but I guess they still can't bring themseves to do that for some reason.
Yeah...while I can see a reason why it wouldn't be Shauna (given she is a teenager and shouldn't even be attending elementary school), they could of used Francine Rhenquist or even Jessica Lovejoy.

I recently read one of the Treehouse of Horror Comics and there was a segment called "Dark Lisa" where Jessica Lovejoy is essentially the main antagonist, and seems to be the one causing Lisa total misery, so Jessica would be way more fitting instead of Janey.

Of course, I am coming of a bit biased here as I have stated that I would prefer Janey still been close friends with Lisa (alongside Allison & Alex, and maybe Isabel).
 

Jackomon

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Also, forgot to say, but I'm glad Lisa doesn't mention Sherri & Terri as the ones been mean to her
 

CousinMerl

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I wouldn't think too hard about the logic of a 'Treehouse Of Horror' segment. I think they picked Janey to supposedly be bad kid in 'Death Tome' was because the idea was funnier and more subversive (as usually she's a friend to Lisa, but in this anime universe). Had they had someone like Shauna instead it'd have been too expected and boring (and besides, it was just a name drop mention).
 

Wile E. the Brain

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I don't get what was so bad about taking advantage of a 'Westworld' parody to do a meta take on' The Simpsons', with the story obviously being set an alternate universe where the show & its characters are fictional and have apparently gone on for even longer than what we have experienced in the present but seem to be still just as popular, even if what is relived in the amusement park is mainly th classic episode with some Scully and pre-HD Jean stuff here and there).
Also, I think the many references to the classic era, aka the most popular with fans, make sense in context... as the segment also pokes fun at fans who endlessly quote the glory days of the show and the memes it generated. But, I'm glad that the segment acknowledges that there are still many seasons after that and includes them as well. It helps it not to feel like its only purpose is to remind us how good it once was.
 

Smear-Gel

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Hey, if they're going to have a meta episode about moments from the show that were bad and making fun of the discussion around it they may as well follow up with one about moments from the show that are good and making fun of the discussion around that.
 

Venomrabbit

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@CousinMerl Well, to be fair, most of the characters were still otherwise consistent with how they usually are even Lisa trying to go easy on Burns. TRYING. How is it she's far more likeable in the one where she's actually committing murders as opposed to most others she stars in?
 

Jackomon

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I wouldn't think too hard about the logic of a 'Treehouse Of Horror' segment. I think they picked Janey to supposedly be bad kid in 'Death Tome' was because the idea was funnier and more subversive (as usually she's a friend to Lisa, but in this anime universe). Had they had someone like Shauna instead it'd have been too expected and boring (and besides, it was just a name drop mention).
Fair point.

From what I recall from the first episode of Death Note (Which is the only episode I've seen), its implied that the main character of the anime has no friends, so I was okay with Lisa having no friends in this adaptation (don't remember if the main character had bullies thou, haven't seen it in a long time). Its just the fact that Janey is implied to be the central mean girl (similar to Heather from Total Drama or Chloe from Miraculous) is the main nitpick I have.
 

Nitsy

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Yeah, this was pretty good. I don't have a big write-up for now, but I thought the first one was the creepiest (though also a good example of how to do a Maggie-centric segment), the second one was awesome to watch (I'm glad they decided to make the goriest segment anime-animated), and the third was clearly fan service, but I'm fine with a self-referential silliness aimed at the long-time fans (I think the line about how the show stopped being good after Season 45 made me laugh the most). Overall, I agree this is one of the best Treehouse of Horror episodes in a long time. They just need to shake up the writers every now and then.
 

Venomrabbit

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Again, the "one writer per segment" method seems like it's a very good one. Looking at the credits for earlier THOHs, they had multiple writers (more than 3, even) so, seems the way to go and hopefully it's the case next time too.
 

Marioburgercream

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OK, to be honest, i did not know either of the books, except of deathnote (never read it, but someone told me about it and i searched it loooong time before 34.06 was released). Anyway. I must be old fashion because i got bore during watching the episode. I actually continue to watch the show, because who knows ? I can have a good surprise with future episodes.
 

John95

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@Venomrabbit This going back to having a different writer for each segment is really the only thing that sets this apart from half the ones that don't. Otherwise, the quality is still largely the same as most HD THoH's (one OK or decent segment, two that vary).
 
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