This Sunday, The Simpsons premieres its latest “Treehouse of Horror” episode, the XXXIII’rd in the never ending series.
This generally means a pail full of tiny Halloween-sized American chocolate bars is shipped north to the Brampton bunker. It arrived last week, and there are bite-sized versions of Twix, Snickers, Milky Way and Musketeers Minis that will be distributed to innocent young trick or treaters in my neighbourhood.
The chocolates arrived with a review from the Comic Book Guy. “Dear TV Critic (A.K.A. Wannabe Me’s!),” the note began.
This was Fox’s way of letting reporters know that the annual “Treehouse” would extend over two episodes. Things kicked off last week, Oct. 23, with “Treehouse of Horror Presents: Not It,” which was about a supernatural clown from the past named “Krusto” who seeks revenge on adult Homer.
This Sunday’s episode, however, is more in keeping with the usual trilogy of terror format.
“Before I rip into this year’s pale attempt at horror and comedy, I’ll first rip into this candy,” writes Comic Book Guy. “The rush of sugar is weakening my critical facilities. Maybe this ‘Treehouse of Horror XXXIII’ is not a total disaster.”
I’m with the Android’s Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop proprietor on this one. The first part, inspired by The Babadook, is a particularly dark chapter featured Marge and Maggie. Part II is a special treat for anime fans, particularly those familiar with “Death Note.” Seeing Lisa, Bart, Marge and Homer and even Mr. Burns drawn anime style is visually arresting. The Simpsons‘ producers handed the Korean studio DR Movie the task of animating the segment, and they did a remarkable job.
Part III is more of a Westworld parody, one that will test the knowledge of even the most ardent Simpsons‘ trivia buff. Everything from the Canyonero to the Monorail episodes are referenced. Pay close attention, for instance, to what characters are wearing. It’s an Easter egg explosion.
Comic Book Guy agrees. “The anime is a triumph and the ultra-meta ‘Westworld’ parody warmed this fanboy’s dangerously engorged heart,” he writes, before reverting back to his snark self with, “Worst. “Treehouse.” Ever.”
Seems a bit harsh to me. Look for it Sunday amid all the football overruns.