Episode 7 - Treehouse of Horror II
25 December 2010
Synopsis: Lisa, Bart and Homer all have bad dreams after eating a lot of candy on Halloween. The first dream sees Homer purchase a magic monkey paw which grants wishes. Though the wishes come true they bring with them great misfortune. The second dream visits a world where Bart has immense power and forces the residents of Springfield to think happy thoughts or face his wrath. Finally we see Mr Burns try to create a robot employee and use Homer's brain to control him.
The Good: This was a lot of fun. Each story was fleshed out enough to provide its own interesting story and funny moments.
The monkey paw wishes were particularly clever as the wishes all backfired in plausible ways. Bart wishes that the family were rich and famous and it comes true. But as with real celebrities soon the town is sick of them and resents their ubiquitous presence. Lisa wishes for world peace and soon the earth is enslaved by aliens Kang and Kodos. The humour was good throughout this with the aliens taking control with nothing more than a sling shot and club and Flanders cheerfully greeting Homer with "Hey fellow slave!"
Bart's scary control over Springfield was explored well. We had Skinner playing him tunes over the PA at school and an exhausted Krusty forced to never go off air. I also smiled at Moe falling for a prank call which didn't even have a prank attached; he just witlessly announced self abusive remarks. The story then took the amusing turn of showing Bart going through therapy and being forced to actually rebuild his relationship with Homer and admitting that he loved him. That it turns out was the actual nightmare for Bart, a fun twist.
Finally we had Mr Burns revelling in the role of Dr Frankenstein and attempting to use Homer's brain to operate his robot employee. I particularly enjoyed Burns' claim that his robot was "the greatest breakthrough in labour relations since the Cat-o-nine-tails!" The end to this story with Burns' head sewn onto Homer's shoulder was pretty memorable.
The Bad: Nothing much.
Best Joke: Homer buys the monkey paw from a Moroccan street vendor who warns him that the wishes will bring great misfortune. "I myself was once President of Algeria!" he adds. Marge sees the paw and asks where he got it. Homer turns around and says "right over there" and is shocked to see nothing there but dust blowing in the wind as if the vendor had never really existed (complete with appropriate music. "Oh no wait it's over there" he then says turning his sight a bit to the left where the vendor is very much present. It's a brilliant parody of a mystical movie cliché. The first of many.
The Bottom Line: With the shackles of regular storytelling removed the writers go all out with this. Each story was inventive, entertaining and played with familiar stories, giving them new twists and laughs.
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