October 26th – “Treehouse of Horror XXIII” (S24E02)

Opening:

23-2This opening, riffing on the 2012 “Mayan Apocalypse” fear-mongering, goes on for three full minutes–and that length is noticeable in the worst way.

The Greatest Story Ever Holed

23-3Springfield builds a Large Hadron Collider, which quickly creates a mini black hole in the town. Despite warnings of danger, the Simspon family uses the black hole to dispose of everyday waste and causes a cataclysmic disaster.

Similar to XXII’s Avatar riff (and even more so), this segment has fun ideas and great visuals but is really brought down by a lack of any good jokes. The only moment to crack a smile is listed below as the memorable gag. As I’ve said before, I’m the farthest thing from a Dead Homer Society “the new seasons are trash” fan, but the lack of humor has a consistent element across these past few Treehouses. Also, they’re relying way too much on licensed music montages in the middle of every other story.

Memorable Gag:

“Lisa, do you have a stray dog down there?”
“Um, it’s a lot worse than a stray dog!”
“TWO stray dogs?”

Un-normal Activity

23-1An unseen demon haunts the Simpson house, possessing Marge and trying to carry Maggie away. Homer sets up video cameras to capture the spooky happenings on film.

Take away the cool visuals of the first segment, add in a couple more jokes, and you’ve got Un-normal Activity. While it made me laugh a couple of times (such as the demon being revealed to coincidentally look just like Moe), there’s very little memorable about the story…except for the vile ending, where Homer saves his family by agreeing to a threesome with two demons. Gross, unfunny, and gross.

Memorable Gag: “Oh, sweetie, sometimes an invisible demon from Hell waits for a family to fall asleep and then kills them. Now go to bed.”

Bart and Homer’s Excellent Adventure

23-4Bart Back-to-the-Futures his way to the ’70s to buy a classic comic book, but ends up preventing his parents from meeting…and accidentally brings a teenage Homer back to 2012.

You know what? Not bad. This segment is a huge improvement over the last two or any from the previous year. The plot kind of loses itself midway through, but seeing Homer enlist Homers from every era of time to win back Marge from Artie Ziff in an alternate timeline gave me some good laughs. And after some of the unbearable recent segments (Farting Homer, anyone?), that’s all I can ask for.

Memorable Gag:

“I was supposed to be with all of you! Even you, Caveman Homer.”
“That’s Renaissance Homer.”

Overall Thoughts:

A huge step up from the dreadful XXII, but that’s still only a step into mediocrity. With two forgettable segments and one I’d call “better than okay”, you’re not missing much if you haven’t caught Treehouse of Horrror XXIII.

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