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Thread: Rate & Review: "Treehouse of Horror XXXI" (ZABF17)



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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    @orangemo They did indeed! They vanished into nothingness before my very eyes.

    It should go without saying but spoiler protocol will remain in effect for this thread until the episode airs... and that could be as far away as November 1st.
    I checked the animation on fox instagram and the Bless the Harts post actually disappeared in front of my eyes too!
    Simpsons S32 ratings: - "Undercover Burns" - 2/5 - "I, Carumbus" - 4/5 - "Now Museum, Now You Don't" - 2/5 - "Treehouse 31" - 4/5

    Bless the Harts S2 ratings: - "Violet's Secret" - 4/5 - "The Last Supper" - 3.5/5 - "My Best Frenda" - 4.5/5 - "Dead Mall" - 4/5

    Bob's Burgers S11 ratings: - "Dream a Little Bob of Bob" - 3.5/5 - "Worms of In-Rear-ment" - 4/5 - "Copa-Bob-bana" - 4/5 - "Heartbreak Hotel-oween" - 4/5

    Family Guy S19 ratings: - "Stewie's First Word" - 1/5 - "The Talented Mr. Stewie" - 3/5 - "Boys & Squirrels" - 1/5 - "Cutawayland" - 3/5

  2. #32
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    Welp, gave it a go. What a load of absolute bull--

    ... gotcha! This did what so many others from the latter seasons failed to: Be a fun watch! Always a welcome change!

     
    THE OPENING
    Well, like I said in another thread, it's pretty impossible to not be heavy handed when it comes to these sorts of things. Didn't expect it all to be a dream though. (that said, a little missed opportunity in Homer not trying to read the backwards text there)
    S'about... 3/5, can't analyse an opening too much so getting a giggle or two is good enough. Highlight: "That's what I get for voting Kanye!"

    TOY GORY
    Oh boy, this is definitely the one that the most effort went into, I'd say. Mostly for the 3d, yes... writing wise they're all pretty equal and I actually mean that in a good way for once! It's probably because they're designed to feel solid but the 3d actually comes across really well, except for Lisa but that's mostly because of her hair, I don't remember actually seeing Maggie but it'd apply to her too. Unrelated but it was pretty funny hearing Bart trying to imitate Krusty's voice, sounded a lot like Nelson. It clicked well and worked great with a mostly centralized cast (just Bart, Homer, Lisa, Marge, Hibbert and Milhouse) and it was hard not to feel bad for the poor Radioactive Man toy. It was pretty clever using the Toy Story theme to go all out with the toys' deaths.
    And well, what happened with Bart at the end, yeesh that was brutal. They turned him into a marketable plushie... and then had a song number parading that fact. It's a real messed up ending but it sure kept the tone. That's been a problem with a lot of segment endings when they break what they had going. Homer eating the "brains" though was a bit of a squick moment... again suppose it fits! And while sorta unknowingly, Bart did do something to bring it all on himself.

    Overall, great to look at, paced great, oh so brutal. 5/5
    Highlight: Puppy Googoo and the Unopened gift... so full of hate.

    INTO THE HOMERVERSE

    It's true that it's the weakest of the three... but for once the bar's pretty high and for what it's worth, it was just something dumb and canonically impossible and I like those. Granted there were some odd continuity things (the bear Homer getting swapped out for Snagglepuss mainly) and I think some things likely had to be changed around later on. I noticed that while the Homers and Smithers' were based on more general tropes, the Burnses were more specific parodies (not that I recognized them all... or most of them) for instance Homer just being 8-bit Homer but his Burns counterpart being a nod to Bowser. And it was a perfectly Burns-esque petty move to abort his own scheme just because one Burns was a lackey to one Smithers.
    Overall it was a bit hit and miss but not bad! 3/5
    Highlights: Homer duping the security guard, Burns in general, he's usually the high point of whatever he's in.

    BE NINE REWIND

    Clearly the one they had the most fun with and it oh it shows. Like Homerverse this one is very gag-heavy but many of them work much better (like Krusty's 0-effort balloon animals, "are we that predictable!?" in stereo, Nelson telling Lisa there's an alternative to the wood chipper... after she's already thrown herself off (knowing Nelson, it's hard to tell if he didn't do that on purpose). And speaking of, well, I guess Julia was taking note of Lisa's plot armour from a lot of other segments and not gonna lie, it was cathartic as can be but it still got a lot of laughs! Actually I'm not sure if it's intentional but I found one of the funniest things was how noncalant everybody was, especially towards Milhouse getting hit, I think the twins were the only ones that were even shocked. Speaking of, it's the first time they've had lines that weren't in stereo (well, Sherri at least) since Grey joined and... yup, I'd say it sounds pretty good, while not exact (yet?) she even got a little bit of that tone/inflection/Idon'tknowtheactualword from Russi.

    And well, it wouldn't be a modern THOH if it didn't have a last-moment asspull solution but where Geriatric Park and the Last Thanksgiving failed hard, this one succeeds for one very simple reason: it's played for laughs instead of some "happy" ending that may or may not cause plot holes, and kept with the segment's overall quick pace. I can't help but feel Lisa's talk about reuniting Nelson with his dad and then going for such an amusingly blunt solution was a jab at Happy Death Day in how Tree's character development ended up not really mattering as far as changing her fate went, if so, that's a definite clever nod. Wonder how Ralph got his neck messed up if Gil's dead... unless he somehow got non-fatally run over earlier the final loop. There's also a little fun to be had imagining what all the other deaths were like. Nelson having the pole through him was weird but it specifically was hilarious because nobody called any attention to it, it's usually hard for a modern writing staff to resist that.
    Overall: Toy Gory was great but this was still an easy highlight! 5/5! Um... a better 5/5 than T.G's. Having Nelson to tag along also really helped this segment in the long run. Like Burns, he also tends to work really well in these sorts of stories (being easily the best thing in MultipLisaty for instance)
    Highlights: "So that's what I forgot to screw in!" especially with Homer saying that almost happily. Also "there's an alternative!", the mirror, the ease of the resolution (again, it works if it's meant to be funny), "Okay, you killed a kid, you better do really well on the written portion" 
    .. OH I ALMOST FORGOT, Bart's card was perfect and the hand-me-down was great too.

    ... overall, an easy 5/5 actually, first time there's been a good THOH (or THOH-like) in what feels like forever. I know she's a freelancer but if Julia Prescott were to be a regular, this would be one hell of a start and I'll almost definitely want to check out anything else she might end up doing! In fact, unusually for any modern episode, I rewatched it almost right away, that's always a great sign.
    Last edited by Venomrabbit; 10-18-2020 at 12:36 AM.


  3. #33
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    @Return Of The Living Trab I like your new avatar.

    FOX: "Treehouse of Horror has been delayed!"
    Lisa: <deep sigh> "Somebody kill me now."
    SEASON 32 RANKINGS
    Undercover Burns - 2.5/5 / I, Carumbus - 4.5/5 / Now Museum, Now You Don't - 1.5/5
    THOH XXXI = Toy Gory - 5/5 / Into the Homer-verse - 2/5 / Be Nine, Rewind - 4/5
    The 7 Beer Itch - ???/5 / Podcast News - ???/5 / Three Dreams Denied - ???/5


  4. #34
    pineapple shoes Dark Homer's Avatar
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    Stop soliciting links to the episode


  5. #35
    Why game 7, WHY? Return Of The Living Trab's Avatar
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    I understand why you've deleted that first one. That was clearly my fault.

    However, the 2nd one I don't really know why... it wasn't asking for anything. So I'm just gonna have to wonder about that one.
    Last edited by Return Of The Living Trab; 10-18-2020 at 02:43 PM.
    My Favorite and Least Favorite from every season.
    U1: Babysitting Maggie/Burp Contest, U2: Space Patrol/The Funeral, U3: The Bart Simpson Show/Bart's Nightmare, S1: Krusty Gets Busted/Homer's Odyssey, S2: Lisa's Substitute/Principal Charming, S3: Saturdays Of Thunder /Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington, S4: Homer The Heretic/Marge In Chains, S5: Deep Space Homer/Sweet Seymour Skinner's Badasssss Song, S6: Lisa's Rival/Another Simpsons Clip Show, S7: Bart Sells His Soul/Scenes From The Class Struggle In Springfield, S8: The Springfield Files/My Sister, My Sitter, S9: The City Of New York vs Homer Simpson/All Singing, All Dancing, S10: Lisa Gets An 'A'/When You Dish Upon A Star, S11: Behind The Laughter/Kill The Alligator And Run, S12: Trilogy Of Error/Simpson Safari, S13: I Am Furious (Yellow)/The Frying Game, S14: Bart vs Lisa vs The 3rd Grade/Helter Shelter, S15: I, (Annoyed Grunt) Bot and The Wandering Juvie/Bart Mangled Banner, S16: Don’t Fear The Roofer/On A Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister, S17: Girls Just Want To Have Sums/Bonfire Of The Manatees, S18: 24 Minutes/Rome-Old and Juli-Eh, S19: The Debarted/All About Lisa, S20: Coming To Homerica/Lisa The Drama Queen, S21: Homer The Whopper/The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed, S22: Homer The Father/The Great Simpsina, S23: Holidays Of Future Passed/Treehouse Of Horror XXII and Lisa Goes Gaga, S24: The Saga Of Carl/Love Is A Many Splintered Thing, S25: Steal This Episode/Diggs, S26: Simpsorama/The Musk Who Fell To Earth, S27: Barthood/Friend With Benefit, S28: The Town/The Cad And The Hat, S29: Flanders Ladder/Treehouse Of Horror XXVIII, S30: Baby You Can't Drive My Car/Treehouse Of Horror XXIX, S31: Highway To Well/Warrin' Priests, Both Parts, S32: Treehouse Of Horror XXXI/Now Museum, Now You Don't.

  6. #36
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    I was able to see the episode thanks to Lenny (Thanks again man ! Considering where I live, it doesn't really change anything if I watch this episode earlier since it still would have been online otherwise, but don't worry, I won't share the link anyway) and I do agree this was definitely an improvement on the TOH episodes from the last two years. I'm gonna save my full review for when it finally airs but some quick thoughts about this special :

     The introduction is better than I expected, they actually find a way to make it more timeless than it would have been if it was only a jab at Donald Trump as a whole, but I still think it's a bit out of place for a Treehouse of Horror episode, I would have prefered it as its own short. Toy Gory is pretty neat, visually impressive, clever and actually has a shivering ending which caught me off guard a little (even though the promo spoiled the pay off, shame), maybe a bit too straightforward but still well done structure wise. Into the Homer-verse is indeed the weakest segment of the three, as I feared the alternate Homers are mostly here for cliché jokes about what they come from and are underdeveloped otherwise, even for a 7 minutes segment, but it wasn't all that bad either, the fight was entertaining if a little shoehorned and short and it has its moments. Be Nine, Rewind might be my favorite of this episode (debatable with Toy Gory), entertaining and interesting all throughout despite a couple of headscratchers, I liked the chemistry between Lisa and Nelson a lot and the many deaths are executed and paced well enough to keep being humorous (and while I wouldn't say seeing Lisa being killed all over again was cathartic, it was indeed a nice change of pace for these specials). 

    So yeah, a solid Halloween special overall. 4/5 rounded up from a 3.5/5.
    Last edited by Wile E. the Brain; 10-18-2020 at 10:28 AM.
    It ate EVERYBODY, stupid !

    Undercover Burns - 2.5/5 / I, Carumbus - 4/5 / Now Museum, Now You Don't - 1.5/5 / Treehouse of Horror XXXI - 3.5/5 / The 7 Beer Itch - TBA

    Best / Worst from each season
    1. Krusty Gets Busted / Homer's Odyssey - 2. Two Cars In Every Garage and Three Eyes On Every Fish / Dancin' Homer - 3. Homer at the Bat / The Otto Show - 4. Last Exit to Springfield / Brother from the Same Planet - 5. Cape Feare / Bart's Inner Child - 6. Homer the Great / Another Simpsons Clip Show - 7. Raging Abe Simpson (...) / Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming - 8. Homer vs. the 18th Amendment / The Twisted World of Marge Simpson - 9. The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson / All Singing, All Dancing - 10. Mom and Pop Art / They Saved Lisa's Brain - 11. E-I-E-I-D'oh / Eight Misbehavin - 12. Trilogy of Error / Worst Episode Ever - 13. The Blunder Years / Gump Roast - 14. How I Spent My Strummer Vacation / Pray Anything - 15. My Mother the Carjacker / Bart-Mangled Banner - 16. Thank God, It's Doomsday / Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass - 17. The Seemingly Never-Ending Story / The Bonfire of the Manatees - 18. The Haw-Hawed Couple / Little Big Girl - 19. Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind / Hubsband and Knives - 20. Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes / The Burns and the Bees - 21. Moe Letter Blues / The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed - 22. Flaming Moe / Elementary School Musical - 23. Holidays of Future Passed / Lisa Goes Gaga - 24. Dangers on a Train / Love Is a Many-Splintered Thing - 25. Steal This Episode / The Man Who Grew Too Much - 26. The Princess Guide / The Musk Who Fell to Earth - 27. Halloween of Horror / Teenage Mutant Milk-Caused Hurdles - 28. There Will Be Buds / Dad Behavior - 29. King Leer / Frink Gets Testy - 30. Daddicus Finch / The Clown Stays in the Picture - 31. Livin' la Pura Vida / Better Off Ned


  7. #37
    Wears sneakers for sneaking Financial Panther's Avatar
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     The into was decent, although Lisa's scolding was a bit annoying. I know the writers don't make it a secret which political side they're on, and given that, I think they made it funny enough. Moleman's Kanye line made me smile too.

    Toy Gory was the best segment of the episode. Visually, it was excellent, and I loved the original plot that put a dark twist on Toy Story. I thought it was odd at the beginning how Bart was so cruel to his toys and willing to destroy them, but that character bending was necessary for the plot, and I can accept it more in a THOH. The songs were outstanding as well. And the fact that Bart was turned into a toy himself who could only say stock phrases about how he loves his family or something...truly horrifying. One of the best segments in years. 5/5 for sure.

    Into the Homer-verse reminded me of Send in the Clones, but it was much weaker and easily the worst of this episode. Still, it wasn't terrible. There were a few decent jokes in it, like the Smitherses as the notetakers. The part with the guy electrocuting himself was pretty eyeroll-worthy, but it was really the only true dud of the entire episode. I think they depended too much on the characters being parodies of sorts, and the songs weren't nearly as good as the one in Toy Gory. Burns was in decent character, though. 2/5

    Be Nine, Rewind was another standout. I think they got away with recycling stuff a little by redoing the same scenes, and the fact that it was just death after death reminded me a little of Days of Future Future. But this is obviously far superior in that the deaths were the central part of the segment and they were actively attempting to get out of the loop of deaths. Lisa and Nelson worked better than I thought they would (I was never a fan of their pairing in Lisa's Date with Density.), and the segment was able to straddle the line well of making the deaths all creative without making them seem too repetitive. And while I don't like modern Ralph much, he did have a good line to cap it off. 4/5 


    I'll give this THOH a 4/5 as a whole. Good stuff!
    Last edited by Brad Lascelle; 10-18-2020 at 11:35 AM.
    Favorite and least favorite by season
    1. Life on the Fast Lane Homer’s Night Out 2. Bart Gets an F Dead Putting Society 3. Homer at the Bat Like Father, Like Clown 4. Brother From the Same Planet Krusty Gets Kancelled 5. Cape Feare Lady Bouvier’s Lover 6. Homer Badman Another Simpsons Clip Show 7. King-Size Homer Lisa the Iconoclast 8. Homer’s Enemy The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase 9. Bart Carny The Trouble With Trillions 10. Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo Homer Simpson in: “Kidney Trouble” 11. Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner? Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder 12. HOMЯ Tennis the Menace 13. Tales From the Public Domain She of Little Faith 14. The Dad Who Knew Too Little Helter Shelter 15. I, (Annoyed Grunt)-bot Bart-Mangled Banner 16. A Star is Torn On a Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister 17. My Fair Laddy Bonfire of the Manatees 18. The Haw-Hawed Couple You Kent Always Say What You Want 19. Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind All About Lisa 20. Gone Maggie Gone The Good, the Sad and the Drugly 21. The Bob Next Door The Color Yellow 22. Donnie Fatso Love is a Many Strangled Thing 23. The Falcon and the D’ohman A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again 24. Hardly Kirk-ing Moonshine River 25. The War of Art What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting 26. Sky Police Let’s Go Fly a Coot 27. Halloween of Horror Lisa With an ‘S’ 28. There Will Be Buds Moho House 29. Springfield Splendor Throw Grampa From the Dane 30. Daddicus Finch I Want You (She’s So Heavy) 31. Thanksgiving of Horror Warrin’ Priests (Part Two)


  8. #38
    Stonecutter The Abominable Dr. Lenny's Avatar
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    @Brad Lascelle Do you think there's a chance of you tallying the average before it airs, considering that it's been delayed and that a sizable amount of people have already seen it and voted?
    The Simpsons, Season 32:

    Undercover Burns - 3/5
    I, Carumbus - 4.5/5
    Now Museum, Now You Don't - 1.5/5
    THOH XXXI - 4.5/5: Toy Gory - 5/5 Into The Homerverse - 3/5 Be Nine, Rewind - 5/5

    Family Guy, Season 19:

    Stewie's First Word - 2/5
    The Talented Mr. Stewie - 2.5/5
    Boys & Squirrels - 1.5/5
    Cutawayland - 2/5


  9. #39
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    @The Abominable Dr. Lenny I think I'd still prefer to hold out... if only to not color the episode's reception prior to its official airing for those who'd prefer to go in unspoiled.


  10. #40


    The Best Treehouse of horror un recent memoria 5 / 5


  11. #41


    Hey guys! In Canada, Treehouse of Horror XXXI is on CityTV tonight, I'm not even kidding! Plus, I may want to share a few Halloween names that I don't think Brian Kelley, Dan Greaney, Richard Sakai and possibly Danny Elfman didn't have yet once after Treehouse of Horror XXXI in CityTV is over

  12. #42
    Irken Invader Zim999's Avatar
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    I for one am REALLY ticked off that the episode was preempted at the last minute to make room for sports.
    I HATE sports.
    I hope it gets aired soon, I was looking soooooooo forward to it.
    Simpsons Tapped Out name: Zim999777


  13. #43


    I know the Halloween names that Brian Kelley and Dan Greaney and Richard Sakai has for this year so far. Brian Kelley's halloween name is Cryin' Skelley, Dan Greaney's halloween name is The Future Foretold by Dan Greaney, and Richard Sakai's halloween name is Evil Dr. Sakai, that's all I know so far

  14. #44
    Hercules Rockefeller Homer Samson's Avatar
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    How the hell is everyone being able to watch it? I need this. Then again November 1st is closer to Halloween than October 18th. But they could just like, broadcast it next week,
    Best and Worst Episode per Season:
    1: Krusty Gets Busted/Homer's Night Out 2: One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish/Bart's Dog Gets an 'F' 3: Bart the Murderer/Saturdays of Thunder 4: Homer the Heretic/So Its Come To This: A Simpsons Clip Show 5: Cape Feare/Lady Bouvier's Lover 6: Homie the Clown/Another Simpsons Clip Show 7: Raging Abe Simpson and his Grumbling Grandson in " The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"/Scenes From the Class Struggle in Springfield 8: The Springfield Files/The Old Man and the Lisa 9: The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson/Miracle on Evergreen Terrace 10: Mayored to the Mob/Homer Simpson in: Kidney Trouble 11: Grift of the Magi/Eight Misbehavin' 12: Trilogy of Error/I'm Goin' to Praiseland 13: The Blunder Years/The Lastest Gun in the West 14: Moe Baby Blues/The Strong Arms of the Ma 15: My Mother the Carjacker/Co-Dependent's Day 16: The Heartbroke Kid/Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass 17: The Seemingly Never-Ending Story/The Bonfire of the Manatees 18: The Mook, The Chef, The Wife, and Her Homer/The Boys of Bummer 19: Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind/Husbands and Knives 20: Gone Maggie Gone/Lisa the Drama Queen 21: The Squirt and the Whale/The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed 22: Homer Scissorhands/The Fight Before Christmas 23: The Book Job/Lisa Goes Gaga 24: The Saga of Carl/Love is a Many-Splintered Thing 25: Brick Like Me/What to Expect When Bart's Expecting 26: Sky Police/The Musk Who Fell to Earth 27: Barthood/Every Man's Dream 28: 22 for 30/The Caper Chase 29: Flanders' Ladder/Singin' in the Lane 30: Woo-hoo Dunnit?/I Want You (She's So Heavy)

  15. #45


    It depends on whoever else lives in Canada, unless if they watch it on the CityTV channel

  16. #46
    Mod, eh? Tomacco's Avatar
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    Yes, this aired on CITYTV tonight in Canada. Pretty surprised! I saw it on t. Preview screening Wednesday but glad other Canadians at least saw it tonight.
    Really solid THOH btw.
    Signature.


  17. #47
    Stonecutter
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    It’s also on Disney+ Hotstar in India.

  18. #48
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomacco View Post
    Yes, this aired on CITYTV tonight in Canada. Pretty surprised! I saw it on t. Preview screening Wednesday but glad other Canadians at least saw it tonight.
    Really solid THOH btw.
    I believe this is the first time I can recall Canada getting an episode broadcast two weeks in advance of the United States.

    I'm fairly certain one week advance screenings have happened previously but I can't recall a precise instance off the top of my head.
    And they're almost always due to last-minute preemptions.

    Frankly, I'm dismayed it didn't even don on me that CityTV might run the episode.
    Odds are I would have entertained the possibility had I not partaken in that early preview screening Wednesday night. I simply didn't consider it.

    Needless to say, spoiler protocol will still be enforced here despite the episode having been made available to watch to a much larger initial audience than anticipated.

  19. #49
    Mod, eh? Tomacco's Avatar
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    CityTV also aired the new Bob's Burgers and Family Guy.

  20. Thumbs Up To This Post by: orangemo

  21. #50
    Why game 7, WHY? Return Of The Living Trab's Avatar
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    (and Bless The Harts as well, making all 4 of the Animation Domination parts air today)

  22. Thumbs Up To This Post by: orangemo

  23. #51
    SuperFriend Kaine's Avatar
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    Very solid THoH. Keeping my first thoughts spoiler free, and as a Dutchie I got to watch the episode as long as you know the right places. I can already say that it is a huge improvement over last weeks episode, since they are both anthalogy episodes it is somewhat comparable. Instead of doing segments about artists we are getting spooks and parodies. I thoroughly enjoyed all 3 segments and the intro which all had some horror elements to it but also a lot of parodies as is to be expected.

     Intro: This had some good jokes to it. While I'm not much into US politics, it was a fun opening and didn't take to long. Every character was wearing masks due to the corona pandemic which is probably the most of what we can expect to see of it. I liked the throwback of having Kang & Kodos as options to vote for. I liked the way Homer was looking at all the text messages in a reverse way of how the audience sees them. The ending was good, although they ddin't specify if this was indeed caused by Homer not voting. For a 2 minute intro I can give it about a 3.5/5

    Toy Gory: The 3D animation is really solid. Bart is portrayed as a brat and like the Toy Story movies this is parodying he is ''torturing'' all of his toys before deciding to get rid of them. Some fitting music aswell. I like how most of these toys develop their own personality so quick and that we see a lot of recognisable ones, one of my favorites being the headless doll that Bart once stole from Lisa. The unpacked box being so mad as Bart aswell was pretty funny. Radioactive Man gets microwaved which makes the toys turn against Bart. Really liked the Millhouse gag where we also see his dog loathe him. Kinda surprised to see the amount of treatment Bart has been getting where not only he gets turned into a doll, but the other dolls continue to fool around with his body. I guess they really wanted a much darker version of Toy Story where the dolls are merciless. And it fits the message at the end where the show tells us not to buy dolls. Overall I'd say its a 4.5/5, I was thinking of rounding it down to a 4/5 buit then it feels like I do the animation team a disservice as they have done an excellent job. So it gets rounded up to a 5/5.

    Into the Homerverse: I think its save to call this the weakest segment. It sounds like a recycled ''Send in the Clones'' where the clones are from different dimensions, and as expected there are a lot of parody jokes where most of the delivery feels rather flat. I didn't care much for most of the Homers and I thought that the ones from Burns were more interesting. I like some of the little gags like Burns having Hansel & Gretel caged while not feeding them, the way Homer confused the guard and tased himself, and ofcourse the final showdown between all the Homers and Burnses. If anything I'd say Burns was the best character this segment had. Homer's interactions with his versions wasn't much to speak off. You can definately tell that Dan had some fun getting to voice all kinds of different Homers. The ending was pretty weak, though I do like noir Homer the most out of them all. I'll give it a 2.5/5 rounded up to a 3/5.

    Be Nine, Rewind: Well, Lisa dies for once. And its not just once but like a lot of times, so I guess its to make up for all the times she had plot armor in older segments. I found this one to be very enjoyable, and not just for all the kills but it was rather fun how Lisa dealt with upcoming deaths (like throwing Millhouse to a car) and the way they solved the mystery of how to break the cycle. I also liked that Lisa had to team up with Nelson to deal with the situation, they do have some chemistry together. Some good jokes like how Lisa got killed so easily while sitting at her desk doing things quietly, Gill failing his driving exam for killing a kid, and pretty much all the ways that Lisa and Nelson are caught to die and the other has to die aswell. Comig Book Guy has a good scene, though having Nelson being impaled the entire time felt off. The ending was kinda nice where they had an easy solution to end the cycle to just have Gill killed off. A solid segment that I'll give a 5/5

    Its one of the better THoH we have gotten in a while. The first and third segments were really good, the 2nd less so but was still enjoyable. I'm actually not sure if I prefer the first or third segment as my favorite. The animation (especially the 3D animation) was solid, the characterisation for most characters were on point, we have seen a lot of the family in their own stories while most secondary characters managed to be funny aswell. I don't know what to rate it overall, the second segment brings it a bit down but the other segments were so solid and I have given a lot of credit while I don't have a lot of complaints. So I'll give it a 4.5/5 and be generous to round it up to a:

    5/5 
    Last edited by Kaine; 10-20-2020 at 02:17 AM.
    Episodes rated best and worst from each season:
    1: Krusty Gets Busted/Homer's Night Out 2: The Way We Was/Bart's Dog Gets an F 3: Colonel Homer/Dog of Death 4: Marge vs. The Monorail/So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show 5: Cape Feare/Bart Gets An Elephant 6: Treehouse of Horror V/Another Simpsons Clip Show 7: Mother Simpson/Homerpalooza 8: You Only Move Twice/The Canine Mutiny 9: Lisa's Sax/The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons 10: Lisa Gets an A/Sunday Cruddy Sunday 11: Behind The Laughter/Beyond Blunderdome 12: Trilogy of Error/The Computer Wore Menace Shoes 13: I Am Furious Yellow/Homer the Moe 14: The Dad Who Knew Too Little/Large Marge 15: The Way We Weren't/Diatribe of a Mad Housewife 16: Thank God Its Doomsday/Mommie Beerest 17: Marge's Son Poisoning/Bonfire of the Manatees 18: Marge Gamer/Revenge is Best Served Three Times 19: Treehouse of Horror XVIII/That 90's Show 20: Gone Maggie Gone/Coming To Homerica 21: O Brother, Where Bart thou?/The Devil Wears Nada 22: Homer Scissorhands/The Fool Monty 23: Holidays of Future Passed/Moe Goes From Rags To Riches 24: Adventures In Baby-Getting/Whiskey Business 25: Brick Like Me/White Christmas Blues 26: Bart's New Friend/The Musk Who Fell to Earth 27: Halloween of Horror/Every Man's Dream 28: There Will Be Buds/Moho House 29: Gone Boy/Throw Grampa from the Dane


  24. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Return Of The Living Trab View Post
    (and Bless The Harts as well, making all 4 of the Animation Domination parts air today)
    I think people seem to forget that show exists, and I'm wondering if people are ignoring it on purpose, cause unlike Bordertown, it's sandwiched between two veteran shows. But yeah all of them aired. Unforutnately city just removed the links to the episodes to watch on demand.

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  26. #53
    cauldron born CousinMerl's Avatar
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    A way for me to watch it presented itself (due to the Canada airing) so therefore I was able to catch it without having to wait two weeks. Gonna do a review as usual (expand and/or change it later) and will do spoiler tagging (up until after the 1st).

     This was a really good 'Treehouse of Horror'. One of the better 'Treehouses' of the HD era overall, I must say. While the segments themselves varied a bit in quality and weren't all top notch I'd say that all of them were pulled off at least fairly well, were nicely paced (even the middle segment escaped feeling really rushed), sported some overall solid animation, good characterizations and many nice good jokes & gags as well as references, plus also having some suitable Halloween spookiness throughout. The modern 'Treehouse Of Horror' episodes don't have a very good track record at all, with many of the recent ones having come off as lackluster (the most recent one I liked a lot was 'Treehouse XXVIII', which I think stands out as one of the more positively memorable modern 'Treehouses') but here they managed to construct a very good and fairly strong 'Treehouse' that was entertaining from beginning to end, even with its minor issues. The writing by Julia Prescott was good (even in the middle segment, again) and the direction by Steven Dean Moore was well done and worked nicely alongside the writing. I did not have super high hope for this one but lo and behold, it was actually really quite good in my opinion (and an postive surprise after the shoddy previous anthology episode we got, 'Now Museum, Now You Don't', which gave this one a little boost). 

     The opening with the 2020 election was alright. It was a natural choice having the opening bit be about the election & I did like the premise with Marge forcing Homer to go and vote (and then it turns out to be a dream), but I felt it should've been a little more clever than with the in-your-face listing joke (of Trump's actual misdeeds, some of which are jarring to see listed on the show, to be honest), but I liked the back view gag with the text physically scrolling in front of Homer like a reverse mirror (good breaking-the fourth wall jokes) & the Faye Dunaway joke really made me chuckle a fair bit (definitely my favorite part of this opening). Everyone aside from Homer constanly wearing face masks (even Marge as she talks to Homer in the yard) was suitable due to the topical nature of this intro with the 2020 setting with Trump and Corona (though I felt that it felt a little off, as everyone wore them aside from Homer and that was not touched upon. The last part with the Apocalypse happening in January 2021 because of Homer having skipped voting was over the top (with even the ED-209 robot from RoboCop being there for some reason), but I liked the apocalyptic animation, Hmer's homemade apocalypse gear and the Four Horsemen appearing as a lead-in to the episode (with the fourth of them having the episode name on its flag). A nice way to start the episode, but was too long at 2 minutes. 

     'Toy Gory' was a solid first. Making a dark 'Toy Story' parody is a good choice (and this one is essentially Toy Story but if Sid was the lead kid) and I was a little worried they would do it poorly (modern episodes doesn't always pull off movie parodies too well) but they did a surprisingly good job here. I really liked the colorful CGI style (if a little stiff, which doubles as a take on the first film in the franchise looks a little crude now but still looks great all things considered) and Bart as the kid who plays rough and ruins & tortures his toys until they are fed up was a good story with nice jokes & some creepy moments (especially in the last third). The dark parody of the 'You've Got A Friend In Me' song (used at the start and the beginning) was great, I liked how the Radioactive Man figure was introduced as the protagonist (as the Buzz Lightyear newcomer like in the film) and settles in with the others (like Krusty & Headless Malibu Stacy whom was pretty funny) but was then killed in a microwave halfway in (good subversion and a 'Gremlins' reference, I'm guessing. Also nice Marge joke with her just downing a bottle of wine) and the Krusty doll assumed the lead toy role (the funeral for Radioactive Man was pretty funny with the monkey having been his partner, but a little weird with Bart walking inside the room and they talk with each other on the floor). The finale with the toys kidnapping Bart at night was a great scene and where things got real spooky. Nice joke with Milhouse showing up and his "Puppy Goo Goo" dog now speaking back to him, Bart getting turned into a human doll with pull string was perfectly creepy (yet funny); I loved the simplistic stock phrases he said (the one that scared Lisa was hilarious) and the Dr. Hibbert scene balanced sadness and dark humor. Nice end with the montage of the toys playing cruelly with him from now on (made even darker with the family essentially keeping a lobotomized Bart in the house). Very good stuff, this segment. 

     'Into The Homer-Verse' was a decent one. It was technically the weakest one of these but much due to default as the other two were so solid. This one was a parody (of 'Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse', naturally) and more or less existed as a reason to do a story of Homer teaming up with some alternate universe Homers and doing funny stuff. To parody the abeformentioned movie with Homer inadvertedly creating a multiverse mix-up with a strange portal machine at the powerplant in his desperate quest for Halloween candy (including a nice sight gag with him gorging on the candy meant for Halloween night at work, needing several interventions by paramediscs) made sense as a way to do the story (pretty much a smaller scale 'Send In The Clones' with the Homers having their unique looks and personalities) and for the most part it is just entertaining to see these various Homers along with the normal one (Disney Princess Homer, Hannah Barbera Homer who shifts into at least three different characters, Noir Homer, 8-Bit Homer & Manga Homer). They had some amusing scenes together wreaking havoc across town as only Homers could do but nothing really stood out as really original or eye opening (as said, it was more or less just a reason to have these alternate Homer's together). The Disney princess-styled explanation song was fun & the finale with the Homers fighting Burns & his alternates to be able to go back was enjoyable (also nice jokes with the alternate Smitherses and the reason why Burns sends them all back, because Noir Smithers' sidekick is a Burns). I also liked the reason why Burns had such a machine in the first place (it being a way to get cheap labor). The ending was really a mindscrew of sorts that had me re-check if I had missed something (regular Marge making out with Noir Homer, whom turns into Hannah Barbera Homer. I guess it was just regular Homer still having a problem). It was alright and had its moments. 

     'Be Nine, Rewind' was a very good one. A "time loop reset by death" story starring Lisa in the lead role was an interesting choice (and unusual, considering how Lisa is so often spared from death in the 'Treehouse' episodes) and the setting being on her 9th birthday was a good one (the basis is the show 'Russian Doll' which I hadn't heard of until some days ago). The story was a bit cliched but it made sense with the parody factor (of 'Happy Death Day', 'Groundhog Day' & others) and it was suitably gruesome and creative (plus Comic Book Guy had a scene where he commented the clichéd nature of such stories. Though I think at least Star Trek IV felt out of place since it's not a time loop story but a regular time travel one). How it started with Gil crashing the car into the house (perfectly extreme) and starting the loop by killing Lisa with the car (in an very vividly visceral scene. Love the details there) was a nice one and the stort kept going in a good way with interesting intrigue and creative deaths for Lisa (and Nelson, as he's in a loop as well and partners up with her to try solve the problem). The contrived ways they died cracked me up (loved the moment where she dies repeatedly at the start of a couple of loops as she sits at her desk, even if it was predictable, & the deaths by wood chipper and loose air conditioner were funny as well. I noticed most of the deaths involved crushing, which I suppose was due to keep the gore down), Milhouse & Ralph's "orchestrated" deaths (by Lisa & Nelson respectively) were amusing (the animation of Milhouse thrown across the room was kinda funny) and I liked the simple solution of Lisa & Nelson just killing Gil to end the loop & restoring everything (aside from Ralph, whose head is on backwards), despite this whole climax being kinda confusing in the end with some odd details and a few plot holes. Still nice that Lisa could finally have her cake with the family (which was a nice bookend). Good stuff. 

     Overall, a good 'Treehouse Of Horror'. After a couple of years with kinda lackluster 'Treehouses' this one was a good change of pace and welcome. It had an okay intro and three colorful segments. 'Toy Gory' was a very good opening story with some great-looking CGI, 'Homer-Verse' a decent middle with some nice jokes (and a bizarre ending, but it makes sense in the context of the story) & 'Be Nine, Rewind' ending the episode on a solid note with a nicely dark time loop story. I'm not sure which one of the segments was my favorite, but I'm leaning toward 'Toy Gory', all in all (it had the best structure, humor & that dark last third really bumped it up). I had a few issues, such as the opening now wow-ing me all that much and being just alright, 'Toy Gory' missing out on being a little more complex and being more straightforward & 'Into The Homer-Verse' not being all that good and kinda lackluster (as if they only wanted to do a parody but not put a ton of effort and creativity in it) & 'Be Nine, Rewind's climax being confusing in the end with the time loop logistics, but those were fairly minor and didn't really hurt the episode much at all (I really don't have much to complain about this time around other than point out some nitpicks which I guess shows how good I found this episode). 

     I'll have to give it a 4/5. Very good episode that came out as one of the best 'Treehouses' of the HD era. It was three different tales that had fun and some creativity, were nicely animated and had some well suited darker moments and sequences that cranked up the Halloween feel. Solid stuff that surprised me, especially the first and third segments. 
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 10-22-2020 at 08:50 AM.
    The Simpsons - Season 32 Undercover Burns - 3/5 / I, Carumbus - 4/5 / Now Museum, Now You Don't - 1/5 / Treehouse Of Horror XXXI - 4/5 / The 7 Beer Itch - TBD / Podcast News - TBD / Three Dreams Denied - TBD


  27. #54


    That was very enjoyable.

     The Intro was a little lame, the animation was a little weird to me, it's hard to pinpoint but something just looks off, thankfully the rest of the episode had great animation 

     Segment 1 was great, I had a little apprehension with the CGI since they already did something like this in THOH and with the lego episode this was original enough and the writing was good for me to enjoy it, 5/5 

     Segment 2 was my least favourite of the bunch, the plot felt lazy and was resolved much too fast, the multi verse designs weren't very original. I also didn't care for the singing 2/5 

     Segment 3 was great, I don't know if I preferred it to the 1st segment but both were 5/5 in my opinion, the animation looked great, the random deaths were original, It had a similar feel to a previous THOH segment where they develop psychic powers but I remember that episode not working for me, this one did, maybe it was because there was more development in the plot and it was resolved in a more interesting manner, even if the plot didn't really drive home that they had to kill gil  


    overall It's a 5/5 for me


  28. #55
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    So I promised myself to wait until its US airdate to talk about this episode in full detail but since everyone is seemingly doing a full review and I want to write something while the ideas are still fresh in my mind, then here it goes.

     So first thing first, the opening. I feared it would be just like the TOH XIX one, with a satire that falls flat, but it actually manages to surprise me on some levels. I mean, the Trump jab is still very on the nose (then again, fighting fire by fire I guess, but I still have trouble with it for how lacking of subtlety it is) but they find a good way to land the predictable apocalyptic pay off by making it the result of Homer not voting at all. At first I expected this kind of outcome but being the result of Trump being elected for the second time and I'm glad they found a way to make this opening more timeless by reminding every single voice has its importance. I'm also glad the covid context only served as a reminder of the current situation (and it was interesting to see these characters going through that), though a part of me believes that the masks were added later and the opening was intended at first to be the same but without the masks. Since Homer doesn't get scolded for not wearing a mask, it's seems plausible to me. By the way, I find it very funny that, at the end of the opening, the townspeople keep their mask on while it's the apocalypse out there. Gotta love their sense of priorities, aha. I still think it would have worked better as its own YouTube short rather than as a TOH opening but it was better than I expected, and pretty short too, at least. However, still far from being a good opening in my opinion, but it's an alright one.

    Toy Gory : Besides the opening, it looks like they wanted this episode to start off with a bang, and this segment was really enjoyable. What I liked the most about it is that it's probably one of the darkest segments since quite a long time (it's up there with MMM... Homer as one of the most unsettling of the HD era). And it shows that right at the beginning with this dark rendition of You've Got a Friend in Me which pretty much announces the tone of the whole thing from the outset. It fits really well, not gonna lie, not just there for the sake of making a dark rendition of this song without further thought put into it. Animation wise, this was really pleasant, probably not perfect but still impressive in such a series, I especially like the colors and the details in the texture of the toys. For some reason, I find the Krusty doll pretty adorable in 3D animation (and him humming the jack-in-the-box music backwards always makes me chuckle and I don't know why; overall I think he's got some of the best lines of the segment). The Radioactive Man figure is a nice touch to parody Buzz Lightyear and kicking off the toys' revenge plot to get rid of their torturer once and for all. I like how quick they went to kill the Radioactive Man figure and the way they used it is one way among others to show how well-structured this segment is. And when they do get to the part where the toys get revenge on Bart, well, it's actually really frightening. Again, it's been ages since a TOH episode managed to make me shiver as much as this segment does, but the ending is truly horrifying and not completely played for laughs (even Marge crying was on point for once, I'm positively shocked). By the way, since the toys now get to torture Bart forever the same way he did to them before, does that mean the family keeps Bart's lifeless body with them instead of burying it ? Damn, that makes it even more chilling if you have to ask me. The montage itself already is kinda unsettling, especially with an even better use of the Randy Newman's song dark rendition, I also have the feeling its tone is even more cheerful than the first one and somehow that makes the whole thing even more disturbing. I really like this segment but one reason I don't consider it one of the absolute best of the HD era (but it's still probably top 10 material) is because it's pretty straightforward and lacks twists and turns a bit; I think maybe it could have used a little more scenes, but in a way, that straightforward side is well-executed : a story a la Twilight Zone or something, with a character doing bad stuff and suffering a ironic fate. Simple yet efficient. That's some impressive stuff right here. Though the TCM bit feels a little out of place (not only because it's a 2D animated scene), even if it's a quite funny joke. Side note : while I remembered the Krusty doll coming from the segment Clown Without Pity, I actually forgot that the headless Malibu Stacy also comes from the same segment.

    Into the Homer-Verse : Gotta agree with all who think it's the weakest segment of this whole special, even though it started off quite well with that Halloween spirit through the quest for candies and a couple of good jokes like the guard electrocuting himself because nobody should be where he is. Even involuntarily, seeing Homer outsmarting someone in such a way is pretty damn funny to me. Then Homer does stupid things and he opens alternate universes accidentaly, with five alternate Homers coming into his dimension. And for a parody of a film as creative as Spider-Man Into the Spiderverse, it's ironic to see how lacking of creativity it is. Like I said earlier, to me it looks like the alternate Homers are mostly here for predictable jokes about their origin. Like, of course there's gonna be a scene with Manga Homer eating something like in an anime action scene, of course there's gonna be a scene with Disney Princess Homer singing for any reason (I think Family Guy did the Disney songs satire way better in its own multiverse episode, even though I still liked the scene and what it tried to serve), etc. The other ironic thing is that this segment is if I don't say BS the longest of the three and paradoxically feels like the shortest. Too bad they didn't get enough material out of alternate universes since it could have been a lot of fun and creativity. The best idea is shoehorned at the end, with Burns and his alternate versions fighting the Homers (for a pretty lackluster reason though), for a 30 seconds scene that still is probably the most entertaining of the segment. And the ending is awfully rushed and therefore a bit too nonsensical, but my guess is that the original Homer still has his transformation problem and that's why Marge would end up with Homer Noir that all of sudden becomes Homer Barbera at the very end. In fact, overall it's a segment with its fair share of nonsensical stuff that doesn't always feel well executed (like Ned being killed by Noir for no other reason than rule of funny). Despite some of them being pretty funny like Noir and Disney Princess, the alternate Homers are pretty bland, and they did go overboard with Homer Barbera's schtick as Snagglepuss. As it is, this segment is kinda average, but not all that bad either, I like the chemistry between the Homers for the short time it truly shines and it has its funny moments (like Homer being scared upon the thought of dying again and again and again and again... and again; foreshadowing for the last segment by the way ?). Overall it feels like the writers had the idea but didn't really know what to do with it or how to make it going along with what a TOH segment allows. In the end it kinda reminded me Multip-lisa-ty with the segment mostly being an excuse for a voice actor to have fun with multiple personifications.

    Be Nine, Rewind : Last but not least. First off, I thought this segment was a parody of Happy Death Day (a movie that I actually haven't seen) but it appears that it's actually a parody of a series that I didn't know it exists until yesterday. But with the way it's executed, as far as I'm concerned not knowing the source material wasn't a problem at all, since the whole segment mostly played with the well-known timeloop trope : as the Comic Book Guy said, the most ambitious and lazy science-fiction plot device. It was pretty refreshing to see a segment that isn't afraid to downright destroy Lisa's plot armor she usually has when it comes to TOH episodes, even though I don't have enough of a problem with Lisa to find it cathartic like a couple of people here do. But after all, it serves a good story, I genuinely wanted to see where they would go with it even though the "multiple silly deaths" montage was unavoidable but it kept getting very funny in my opinion, thanks to the great pacing (I saw the mirror joke coming before it happened but the timing just made it hilarious to me regardless) and the overall played for laughs tone (pretty much everyone being kinda nonchalant about all the deaths, especially Homer's "That's what I forgot to screw in" when Lisa and Nelson are crushed by the air conditioner) while still being interesting and a little engaging. Overall I think this segment used absurd humor in a very good way, through jokes like Lisa saying that she and Nelson tried every possible way to solve the problem the CBG gave them based on timeloop movies. Like I said in my short review, I liked the chemistry between Lisa and Nelson a lot in this segment, even though, like Financial Panther, I never was much of a Lisa's Date With Density fan. But there are a couple of scenes that feel a little off here and there like when they finally do break the timeloop and Lisa just going home right after, and I don't really get the ending, I mean, I guess they're supposed to kill Gil before he could crash into the house in the first place, but if so, since the loop always starts seconds before Gil crashes into the house, how were they able to go back way before that ? But I did like that they made the solution to break the loop out of that, it's clever and humorous for how simplistic it is. So despite a couple of issues, it's a very well done segment overall and it might be my favorite of the special even though Toy Gory would also be a great pick. I just feel like I have a softer spot for this one, for some reason.

    Definitely a step up from the last two TOH episodes as it was said before, this one is perhaps uneven but pretty damn solid as a whole, the highlights clearly being a surprisingly unsettling segment which fits very well with what I usually expect from a TOH segment and a darkly silly and entertaining one. And coming from a freelance writer, that makes it even more impressive considering how Julia Prescott managed to nail the TOH spirit with two of her three stories. 4/5 rounded up from a 3.5. 
    Last edited by Wile E. the Brain; 10-24-2020 at 10:49 AM.


  29. #56
    cauldron born CousinMerl's Avatar
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    I didn't expect such a big write-up from you, @Wile E. the Brain. I usually do a bit of longer and detailed reviews but I think you've even got me beat this time (I usually want to keep my reviews down to a fair minimum to not make them too bloated, which sometimes prevents me from writing large pieces). Great job and I agree with much of what you've said.

    By the way, I've also expanded my review now. I wanted to add more things that I didn't the other day (and also because I felt I trimmed it down too much before the initial post and it felt like I didn't get everything I wanted said then).
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 10-21-2020 at 08:50 AM.


  30. #57
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    @CousinMerl, yeah, I wanted to take my time for a complete review of this specific episode since I thought there was a lot to talk about and it was nice to look back on it and to try to explain in details what makes it a good episode in my opinion, with what I had in mind about it. Especially since, whether they're good or bad, I like to talk about the TOH episodes quite a lot. Thanks for the kind word, I'm glad to know that some people around here like to read my reviews. I like reading yours as well (whether they're about The Simpsons or other animated shows both of us are currently watching).

    By the way, something I forgot to talk about and I just remember now,  Into the Homer-verse made me think about the ending of the segment from the XXV, The Others, will all the alternate versions of the family coming to the house. And it's weird that this little scene felt more creative than this entire segment, aha. Maybe they should've used it as a blueprint for an improved version of this segment, in fact. 
    Last edited by Wile E. the Brain; 10-21-2020 at 05:27 AM.

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  32. #58
    cauldron born CousinMerl's Avatar
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    @Wile E. the Brain , 'Into The Homer-Verse' is certainly a bit reminiscent of that bit from 'The Others', now that I think of it. To base 'Homer-Verse' a little more off that one that could have been neat and allowed for more creativity, but handled the wrong way and it could've been a mess (maybe they considered something more complex but went more safe with a direct and more typical parody instead). I think they at least missed the chance to have some of those alternate families cameo in some way. 
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 10-21-2020 at 08:50 AM.

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  34. #59
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    Another one of these? The past several Treehouse of Horror specials rarely lived up to my expectations, so why should this? Especially since it's written by a freelance writer. (Oh well, at least it's not Joel H. Cohen!)

     
    Of course, since this is a presidential election year, we get an opening about it, complete with starting with that Warner Bros. gunshot-like thunderclap Travis Powers has been using for 30 years now, a funny list of all the bad stuff Donald Chump has done, and a very brief cameo by Kang and Kodos.

    I do love when THOH segments are in a very different animation/art style, and "Toy Gory" was no exception.
    And so Malibu Stacy has been recast from Pamela Hayden to Tress MacNeille, shifting between her usual stock voice she gives all incidental females nowalong with sounding like Babs Bunny.

    Heh, I like it when "Into the Homer-verse" when Dolph tugs on his Halloween mask we see his eye-obscuring hair through one of the eyeholes! Nice detail!
    LOL at Homer-Barbera and the Art Carney reference! I also liked his brief change into a Quick Draw McGraw-parody. The Hanna-Barbera cartoon sound effects also work well with him, too.
    The Disney Princess Homer and Anime Homer funny, too.

    Lisa turning nine years old? This is DEFINITELY non-canon! (Previous canon episodes where it's her birthday have her turn eight.) I like how Krusty came to her birthday party, too.
    I find infinity loop stuff like this interesting, such as "Groundhog Day." In a way, it also liked of reminded me of the Goosebumps story "The Cuckoo Clock of Doom," as that also involved the protagonist repeating a birthday.
    LOL at the birthday candle fire!

    We now have Grey DeLisle-Griffin's first scary name: "Ghoul Dielisle-Griffang!"
    I liked how the end credits showed all those stills from the past THOH specials,  
    and then we get the usual Gracie Films scream and synthesized pipe organ!
    I enjoyed this one, as I did find all three stories pretty interesting. This is probably one I will re-watch every Halloween season, which is rare for newer THOH episodes. I give it a 3.8 out of 5, rounded to 4/5 for the thread.

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  36. #60
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    INTRO
     
    This time, the intro has a duration of 2:17 minutes. Big improvement over the last year's never-ending parody of The Omen. But still, unnecessarily stretched out. In my humble opinion, the intros should last about a minute, except they have something really special as they had in Treehouse of Horror XXIV. I guess this is a lost battle, and what is supposed to be one or two gags to acclimate us and maybe make us giggle once or twice, ends up looking like a fourth segment in which they don't put much effort into. Fortunately, none of the segments had pacing problems to blame the intro but still, I don't feel engaged with this format until the first segment starts. Basically, the clip that was leaked out in Variety before the episode aired plus a scene of the apocalypse with the Horses showing on the screen the name of the episode, Treehouse of Horror XXXI, would've been enough for me. They could've easily stripped-down this removing a bunch of scenes like the octogenarians taking care of the elections and Homer resting down in the hammock, and they still would fulfill that heavy-handed satire about the upcoming elections and the possible re-election of Donald Trump. That's another thing that bothered me a little bit. I don't have problems with the Simpsons effusively attacking Donald Trump. I don't have problems with The Simpsons taking sides either. I have problems when the satire lacks subtlety. There are countless examples of irony employed against The President that are thought-provoking and smart. This is not one of them. These first two minutes were all right, but it has absolutely nothing in particular to remark. By the way, it was funny to watch the characters using masks and being affected somehow by COVID-19. 






     The first segment, as the name and the title card indicate, is a parody of the classic animated movie, Toy Story. I didn't have high expectations for this one. We are talking about a non-horror source material that invites the writers to make as many easy references and easter eggs as they can. Pitifully for the recent record of Treehouses of Horror but thankfully for this special in particular, it surprises me that Julie Prescott didn't make a formulaic copy and paste of the movie parodied. This segment is so original that the only thing directly borrowed from Toy Story is the pivotal idea of living toys. Most stuff feels like a suitable adaptation from a family film to a horrific Halloween-ish segment or from a Pixar's Movie to the very own Simpsons universe. Consequently, Bart is completely different from Andy. While Andy adored his toys, innocently played with them, and was nice chemistry between him and the toys, Bart, although with the same unawareness of the toy's feeling that Andy had, behaved completely different and he tortured his toys before donating it to charity, destroyed them in perverse ways, and even traumatized them with his actions. Another dissimilar similarity is the reconversion of Woody and Buzz Light Year into classic Simpsons characters. The choices of Krusty and Radioactive Man were loyal to both Toy Story and the show, and a wise inclusion for sure. I liked the parody songs of "You Got a Friend in Me", and I was truly fascinated with the cameo of Pixar's Lamp. It was in an accurate moment and it brings a lot of nostalgia for me. I genuinely loved that. 

     The story was genuinely chilling. It actually started quite straightforwardly with an inspired montage of Bart mistreating his toys in creative ways. I chuckled with some of them, like the Stretch Arm-Long. I liked how they introduced Radioactive Man and how quickly they get rid of him for the benefit of the story development. After the other toys honor their melted friend, the real frightening started with the grim idea of killing Bart and become him into a toy. Even if they censored the scene where he is killed, the surgery still transmits awful vibes and it feels completely disturbing. It also feels weird the insatiable thirst for revenge they have for Bart. He is genuinely sorry, he didn't know they have feelings, and it was not enough to kill him – apparently, they also tormented him forever. It's cynical, and in these specials, that's fantastic. There are some good jokes here and there, even if it's not exactly funny. The unwrapped gift was funny, and Milhouse and Hibbert have solid appearances. It's one of the best-balanced segments in recent memory in terms of horror and humor. And, of course, the animation was gorgeous. It reminded me a lot of The Simpsons: Hit & Run in the character designs, backgrounds, and character animations. It was clear, colorful, vibrant, natural, and fluent. Something that completely distunes from the rest is the 2D animated cameo of Ben Mankiewicz. It was not only unwarranted in terms of writing, but it was also visually demotivating. But it's the only sin for an aesthetically animated and cleverly written segment. 





     I am not surprised that –I guess– everyone before me considered this segment the weakest of the three. I can easily see all the problems it has. Starting with those predictable jokes that exploit the characteristic of each version of Homer, most of them barely inspired and easy to foresee. It suffers from a bunch of jokes that floated, like when Noir Homer kills Ned. I understand that it has a derivative plotline from Send in the Clones and Bart and Homer's Excellent Adventure, maybe a bit of The Others too, even if that's not a drawback for me. I can notice the problems of the plot: the arrival of Homers have a weak explanation, the news presented by Kent is a bit senseless since the joke of multiverses is that the group of Homers is heterogeneous –I mean, they are supposed to be different from each other but here all of them loves bowling and beers and hates books and salad, for instance–, and the resolution was a bit rushed. Yeah, I admit and recognize those failures. However, I am here to write my own thoughts and I must politely disagree with you guys because of a subjective reason. I am a sucker for three kinds of stories: outer space, time-traveling, and multiverses. Most of the movies or TV episodes about those topics are reliable content for me, and this segment was not an exception. The story stands by in the surest ground and takes the predictable road and that's enough to indulge me in this particular case. The lack of originality and shallow writing was not kind of a problem for me and it didn't prevent me to enjoy this. 

     The selection of the versions of Homer was fine. Nothing bad but nothing that could amaze us as it could've been the shapeless Homer that barely appears when Homer was going to strangle Bart. From the less funny or visually amusing to the best one, I think I'd rank them like this: Disney Princess - Anime - Noir - 8-Bit - Barbera. Disney Princess was fine, but he has a weird character design because his face without a beard makes him seem like Bart. I agree with @Wile E. the Brain that Family Guy made a better job with their Disney-verse. Anime was a common stereotype although I actually laughed at the scene where he eats the bacon. Noir was all right, I quite liked his design and he seemed like the most interesting of the group. 8-Bits was amusingly designed and I found him the most interesting visually. But Barbera steals the segment with his recurring appearances. Yeah, he was overused but I continuously enjoyed his entrances mainly thanks to the brilliant voice acting of Dan Castellaneta. There are also five new designs for Mr. Burns and Smithers. The former played the role of villain although it was not for a convincing reason. I adored the callback to Treehouse of Horror XII's Wiz Kids. It annoyed me a lot that they recycled two designs of Smithers from Homer (black and white, and 8-bits). I mean, you literally have infinite options and the solidity of the segment is completely based on the creativity of the characters for other universes. The final battle was rushed, but I enjoyed it. All in all, It's a segment played for laughs, and I laughed a lot with this one. I am not looking for a coherent story or a wise development. They did what I expected and I am pleased with that. 





     I am used to be someone who enjoys modern Simpsons more than the average. I am not the one who criticizes the episode everyone else enjoyed. So it's a bit shocking that everyone praises this last segment and I can not see what makes it special at all. Could this disagreement have a cause in the fact that I've never cared about Lisa's immunity in Treehouse of Horror? Would it be as beloved if the protagonists would've been, let's say, Bart and Milhouse? A problem I had with this segment is the under-reaction of the characters after watching Lisa dying. Typical error of modern Treehouse of Horror, where the characters are indifferent to tragedies. Patty observes how Gil suddenly killed a kid, and she makes a random comment about the writing portion. Homer watches how an air-conditioning kills her daughter and he smilingly says that is what he forgot to screw in. I understand they don't have a tragic reaction all the time because it would be derivative, but the other extreme is not sane either. I didn't like some of the cartoonish deaths. The scene where the roof falls onto Lisa, or when the mirror falls onto her, or when Lisa lits Nelson on fire are poorly animated, they didn't transmit the feeling of horror as Toy Gory did. And, to be fair, the segment is quite nonsensical. The loop started seconds before Gil crashes in The Simpsons house so, how did Lisa and Nelson anticipate this? Why Patty wasn't in the car anymore? Why Lisa doesn't have a minimal amount of remorseful after being an accomplice in his death? If the loop was broken, why is Ralph's head reversed? Those are deep plot holes to simply ignore for me. 

     However, to be fair, there is a lot to highlight here. I have to give credit to the segment for the serviceable use of the cast. I liked how Lisa used his second opportunity to avoid Sherri or Terri's ironic observation about her fest. I laughed out loud when she evaded the death in that second time and she replaced herself with Milhouse (hahaha, shouldn't it be better to site nobody there?). Ralph delivers two of his usual silly one-line observations. Krusty had a funny line too in the shameless show he makes. Incidentally, I enjoyed a lot the repetitive scenes. Reminded me of Trilogy of Error. Comic Book Guy brings a lot of pop-culture references as he uses to make, including a forced mention of Black Mirror and an interesting tour of content where loops are the main event. I found his appearance a bit longer than it should but I guess I enjoyed it. I chuckled when they show Comic Book Guy was the person in the town who can help with time and eternity, after the insinuation it was going to be Lovejoy. I also loved how Lisa and Nelson worked together. They are not the best couple of children in the show but it's a charming pair and it's refreshing when they are together because they are different and they complement each other quite well. I like how they try to figure out their problem, and the moment where they kill Gil and they cheer up they will come back to the normal was nice for them. They were good picks to lead this segment. 





     Treehouse of Horror XXXI was a solid episode. Another surprise in a season that started with a lot of energy and invites us to be confident for the future. It easily accesses to the TOP3 of the HD era behind Treehouse of Horror XX and along Treehouse of Horror XXV. I wasn't expecting anything from this episode. After all, it's written by a freelancer, directed by a not-so-ambitious director unlike the previous two episodes were, the parodies didn't look promising, it comes in an epoch where Treehouse of Horrors are devalued, and less than a year after the insurmountable Thanksgiving of Horror, which promised to dwarf every upcoming Jean-run Treehouse. But it was fantastic. Principally because of Toy Gory, which reminded us what these specials are supposed to be balancing humor and horror impressively. It's a pleasure to watch, constantly enjoyable, even if there are some incoherences, some lackluster executions, and various aspects of the episode could have been handled differently. It's was the first time in, geez, more than a decade, that no segments were rushed and there weren't pacing problems. With HD era standards, that is meaningful. It adapts which were weird decisions to parody in a horror-themed episode and squeezes the material in a proper way. Julie Prescott has to come back soon, she completely deserves it. The writing in this one was refreshing and smart, better than experimented writers like Omine, Kelley, Burns, or Frink. I envy those who realized in-time this was the only year where you can watch one and only one Halloween special episode each day of October and end up with this one on October, 31st. It requires a lot of sacrifices in the last fortnight but the mystery box wrapped for Halloween Day has the grand prize inside. This episode deserves to be called a Halloween Special. 


    Toy Gory: 5/5
    Into the Homer-verse: 4/5
    Be Nine, Rewind: 3/5

    TREEHOUSE OF HORROR XXXI: 4/5
    SEASON 32 - RATINGS

    Undercover Burns - 4/5 / I, Carumbus - 5/5
    Now Museum, Now You Don't - 2/5 / Treehouse of Horror XXXI - 4/5 / The 7 Beer Itch - ?/5
    Podcast News - ?/5 / Three Dreams Denied - ?/5 / The Road to Cincinnati - ?/5




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