Behind Us Forever: Treehouse of Horror XXVI

Brother From Another Series12

“At last, I’m going to do what Bob never could: kill Bart Simpson!” – Cecil Terwilliger
“By throwing me off a dam?  Isn’t that a little crude for a genius like you?” – Bart Simpson
“Ooh, I suppose it is.  Enh.  If anyone asks, I’ll lie.” – Cecil Terwilliger 

The annual Halloween episode has come and gone, and this year’s was just as bland and forgettable as last year’s, and the year before that, etcetera.  Perhaps next year’s will break the cycle of boredom, but I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

– Before we get started, let’s just pause for a moment to note that this is the twenty-sixth(!) edition of this. Jebus.

– Another weird opening, this time a bad “Grinch Stole Christmas” take off. Took the better part of two minutes, though, so at least there’s that.

– Segment one opens with Bart spinning Wendell on a merry-go-round so the kids can gamble on when he’ll puke. Wendell both barfs and doesn’t, so Bart somehow keeps the money and no one cares. This is off to an incoherent start.

– Sideshow Bob shows up to tell us what we just saw and explain a joke about the wallpaper on Milhouse’s phone.

– Bob’s dancing around with Bart’s intestines on his shoulders. Kinda weird.

– Bob is now drinking Bart’s blood with some wine. You know how you can tell these segments are slapdash? We’re two minutes in and barely anything has happened except Bart and/or Bob explaining what we’re seeing at that moment. For a brief comparison, by the two minute mark of “The Shining”, the family has arrived at the house, Bart’s met Willie and had his power explained, and Burns and Smithers are cutting off the cable TV and beer supply.

– After nothing happened for another minute, Bob is now using Bart’s corpse for putting practice.

– Bob stepped on a rake. Good work, guys.

– Bob is expositing again. Seems he misses Bart.

– Now we’ve got a montage of Bob killing Bart and reanimating him. This is gonna go on for a while.

– Homer just exposited what the “Reanimate” lever does after we saw a montage of it working.

– Anyway, that ended.  On to segment two, “Homerzilla”!  (There’s a fresh idea.)

– You know that joke where dubbed Japanese dialogue is deliberately offset from the character’s mouths (they did it at the juicer factory in Season 4)? They just did that joke, but had Comic Book Guy pre-explain it by saying, “Yes, let us show disrespect with poorly dubbed laughter.” Woof.

– Two minute mark. Still expositing the setup.

– Homerzilla is attacking now. It’s just a series of disconnected and not terribly clever sight gags. Ooh, Homerzilla has the fighter planes on yo-yo strings!

– And now we’ve swerved into a movie parody where Hollywood executives remake Homerzilla as a big, American extravaganza. Still mostly just Homer doing weak sight gags like plugging Buzz cola.

– And it ends on them narrating text we can read.

– Segment three just started with Lisa, off screen, expositing at Bart and Milhouse. Milhouse then fell down a hole, but told us about it so we wouldn’t get confused. Then Lisa and Bart talked about getting in the hole, then they got in the hole.

– Apparently we’re doing a Chronicle thing here, so the annoyances of found footage movies can come to the small, animated screen. Lisa and Milhouse have powers, Bart doesn’t and . . .

– Montage!

– Now Lisa lets us know that, “Milhouse has gone mad with power”.  K.

– Now Maggie has superpowers and the episode finally gets around to ending with another montage.

– And we end on another admission that the show sucks, with Kang and Kodos yelling that it isn’t Season 4 anymore.

Anyway, since I’ve been blissfully slacking on this, let’s take a look at the numbers for the last three episodes.  Two weeks ago, “Puffless” pulled just 3.29 million viewers, which places it at #10 on the all time least viewed list.  A week ago, “Halloween of Horror” was watched by 3.63 million viewers.  That makes it #16.

Of course, neither of those episodes had a football lead-in the way last night’s did.  “Treehouse of Horror XXVI” was seen by an appropriately spooky 6.66 million viewers, which counts as a good number for Zombie Simpsons these days.  That’s about a million people less than last year’s Halloween show, a dropoff that’s been pretty consistent this year.

39 Responses to “Behind Us Forever: Treehouse of Horror XXVI”

  1. 1 Rob J.
    26 October 2015 at 5:42 pm

    The Show will end at Season 35.

  2. 2 Joe H
    26 October 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Kinda weird that last week’s in-universe episode had more effort put into this. It wasn’t very good by any stretch, but compared to the who-gives-a-shit attitude this THOH had, it certainly upstaged it.

    They might as well have had John K do the whole episode, because as much as I didn’t think it was very good, he was still trying in his usual way.

    Also it was kind of odd they had Bob become a professor. I thought for sure he’d try going back into acting once his revenge was finally.

    Oh, and I’m not sure this was intended, but having Bob say “I’ve spent 24 years trying to kill a 10 year old boy” really makes no sense in any reality considering no one would spend more than one on a 10 year old. Wouldn’t that statement have made Bart 34 years old? On second thought spending the rest of the segment trying to solve that paradox would have been more interesting.

    • 3 Stantastic
      26 October 2015 at 6:10 pm

      What’s that term? Navel gazing? When you think finger pointing at your own absurdity is suddenly funny.

    • 4 FireFlower
      26 October 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Yes that was a terrible line. I also don’t think a child being murdered is funny.

    • 6 Ryan
      26 October 2015 at 11:44 pm

      “Oh, and I’m not sure this was intended, but having Bob say “I’ve spent 24 years trying to kill a 10 year old boy” really makes no sense in any reality”

      Are you serious. Of course that was intended. That was the joke. Holy shit lol.

      • 7 Stan
        27 October 2015 at 12:01 am

        No, that isn’t called a “joke”. The word of choice here would be “shit”.

      • 8 Joe H
        27 October 2015 at 12:15 am

        Well the way it played out, I wasn’t completely sure if it went beyond “haha, it took him 24 years to accomplish such a ridiculous goal”

        But you’re right, I was probably selling the writers short there even though I’ve never really found much humor in the show pointing out its ludicrous rubber-band timeline. Or maybe I still think Bob should be intelligent to say such bizarre thing without at least doing a double take.

      • 9 Disenchanted Viewer
        27 October 2015 at 12:31 am

        Well, to be honest, it was a 4th wall breaking moment but not a joke. It would have been a joke if what Bob said made sense in the show’s “reality”, but it did’t – like Joe H said.
        So it was not a joke, even if I’m sure the writers intended it as a joke.

        • 27 October 2015 at 9:32 am

          “It would have been a joke if what Bob said made sense in the show’s “reality”, but it did’t”

          That’s an interestingly limited — and pretty clearly ridiculous — idea of how jokes must work.

          • 11 Stantastic
            27 October 2015 at 10:24 am

            That’s a pretty expected comment from a narrow-minded individual thinking that a show pinpointing its own loopholes and absurdity is somewhat funny because you can’t attempt killing a 10-year-old person for 24 years. Wow Family Guy has a talking dog! And we know dogs can’t talk! How wicked it that, huh?! HUH?!?

          • 12 spiderterry84
            27 October 2015 at 3:05 pm

            “That’s an interestingly limited — and pretty clearly ridiculous — idea of how jokes must work.”

            Boy, how many times has that been said in the writers’ room to Al Jean or Matt Selman?

            As for the line itself, well, lampshading your own work can be funny, but this particular line was forced and badly written. It’s really not so much Bob breaking the fourth wall, as it is the writers nudging viewers and asking, “Got that audience?” The line also stems from the show’s usual “Let’s point out our own flaws instead of trying to fix them” mentality. The Season 4 joke end at the end was similar to that, too.

  3. 13 Stantastic
    26 October 2015 at 6:08 pm

    You know what’s funny? I’ve seen so many comedians once being genuinely funny, truly funny, like when it comes from the heart. And then, years later, they go so bland it’s incredible. You’d always look at them do their thing and ask yourself: “Why are they still on stage? What are they even doing there? Their spotlight faded years ago”. I’m getting that same impression here right now, especially when you mentioned the last scene.
    Saying “This isn’t Season 4” is like saying “I’m old, but I used to be good, so love me for that!” It makes little sense and comes off as pure arrogance. Even worse, it’s like trying to milk your former self for more ground to make jokes, and the Bob-rake “joke” is yet another example of this behavior.
    Oh, and about Chronicle… I’ve never heard of the movie, but if the third segment tried to parody it (and failed miserably), then this is even worse. Can’t they write anything themselves anymore?

    • 14 Sarah J
      26 October 2015 at 10:19 pm

      Yeah, got pretty annoying when ToH became nothing but weak-ass parodies. I mean, yeah, classic era did lots of parodies for Halloween, but they were written in such a way that you could enjoy them without knowing the original material. Hell, how many people are aware that a lot of the older ToH episodes are parodies of Twilight Zone episodes? One of the great things about The Simpsons was that they did a ton of parodies, but you could enjoy them even if you don’t know what it’s a parody of. (or if it’s a parody at all) As a kid, I didn’t understand a lot of the cultural references, but I still loved the show. (knowing the references just makes me appreciate it more. “A Streetcar Named Marge” is so much funnier when you’re familiar with A Streetcar Named Desire)

      If you’re just repeating the story with Simpsons characters, it’s not very interesting nor is it entertaining. It’s more like bad crossover fanfiction.

      • 15 Joe H
        26 October 2015 at 11:40 pm

        Even being familiar with the source material, couldn’t save that last segment. Maybe the first minute, but after that it’s a wasteland.

        • 16 Sarah J
          26 October 2015 at 11:57 pm

          True. Like I said, it comes off more as bad crossover fanfiction. A Chronicle parody could be funny, but I don’t trust ZS to make anything good with it.

          • 17 Stantastic
            27 October 2015 at 10:28 am

            They’ve been like this for even longer than I know of this blog. But up until Season 20 these so-called “parodies” were only limited to their Halloween specials. Afterwards, they stated making them into full regular episodes. So desperate to suck out at least anything to make it 22 minutes of screen time.
            The worst of all this, though, is when they decide not to truly follow the original. Then it ends up an even bigger mess, because they simply can’t write. At this point, I don’t even know whether to blame them for ripping stuff off mindlessly, or to praise them for at least doing that.

            • 18 Sarah J
              27 October 2015 at 9:29 pm

              Yeah, I remember they did a pretty lame parody of 24. There’s an episode where Homer and some other characters get together to co-write the next big YA novel. It was parodying something but I dunno what. After I stopped watching, I guess they did a Moneyball parody. It’s definitely lazy, and yet another sign that the show needs to be put out of its misery.

            • 19 Anonymous
              30 October 2015 at 10:17 am

              Cape Feare is a parody and it’s part of the non-Halloween classic era. The problem isn’t making parody in regular episodes, it’s the writing that is simply not up to it.

  4. 20 Victor Dang
    26 October 2015 at 6:51 pm

    You know that joke where dubbed Japanese dialogue is deliberately offset from the character’s mouths (they did it at the juicer factory in Season 4)?

    Man, you truly are the superfan when you notice stuff like this, Charlie. I don’t think I even noticed this until I rewatched it a while ago with a critical eye.

    What’s hilarious with that scene is it’s REAL LIFE dialogue and not some crappy dub-over like in the Godzilla clip in The Critic. What makes it even more hilarious, for me at least, is that this deliberate offset was probably ignored when that episode was dubbed into other languages. After noticing that subtle detail, all I can wonder is how that scene was handled in the actual Japanese dub…

    And we end on another admission that the show sucks, with Kang and Kodos yelling that it isn’t Season 4 anymore.

    Jebus, did they actually do this? Specifically reference Season 4, I mean? All I can think about is that guy who complained about that Season 4 Itchy & Scratchy episode, imagine how he’d react if he saw the show NOW…

    • 21 Victor Dang
      26 October 2015 at 6:54 pm

      Asso, just look at that great frame-grab of the animation at the top. Picture-frame worthy in my book. Nothing in Zombie Simpsons can even compare to this.

    • 22 Joe H
      26 October 2015 at 8:01 pm

      Regarding the season 4 bit, it was just at the tail end in a sequence of dialogue that has no logical flow.

      Kodos: Once again we just have a cameo
      Kang: Don’t complain or they’ll put us in 4:3…
      *aspect ratio becomes 4:3
      Kang: Ahhhh-oooh they’re doing now!
      Kodos: (angrily at the screen) Just because it looks like Season 4 doesn’t make it Season 4!

  5. 23 Rob J.
    26 October 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Ploop! Triple Coil Turd 💩

  6. 24 Vinny Souleman
    27 October 2015 at 4:05 am

    Is there going to be a Top 100 Least-Watched Simpsons list when all is said and done?

  7. 25 Scorpio
    27 October 2015 at 7:35 am

    Wouldnt mind a Behind Us Forever on last weeks episode as I enjoyed it more than any episode I can remember in the last 10 years.

  8. 26 Supernintendo Chamlers
    27 October 2015 at 9:18 am

    Was there a fart joke in the segment where Sideshow Bob kills Bart? I remember that long after Bart is killed, Sideshow Bob sorta grabs and squeezes him, and then a fart-like sound is heard, which makes bob say/go “eeewww” or “uuugghh”.

    • 27 Stantastic
      27 October 2015 at 10:40 am

      Yeah, but it was actually worse. When a corpse decomposes, it emits toxic gases, so the joke was a fart/rot joke. Oh, I’m sorry. I used an improper term. Scratch the word “joke” off.

      • 28 Stantastic
        27 October 2015 at 10:44 am

        Actually, the whole first segment was so unfunny it seems even somewhat creepy, come to think. Bart’s corpse thing going on for 3 minutes, unnecessary death-resurrection scene taking up another 2, and then it ends with Bob becoming a living freak. Was that supposed to funny or just disgusting again?

      • 29 Quagmire
        27 October 2015 at 12:08 pm

        “Joke” off. Giggity.

      • 31 Anonymous
        27 October 2015 at 5:19 pm

        4 stages of decomposition explained to me by Joe Freas, an intellectual and eccentric U.S. Army Chaplian.

    • 32 Joe H
      28 October 2015 at 3:45 am

      Question there is–how did Bart fart it Bob removed his large intestines?

  9. 33 Stan
    27 October 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Just from the top of my dome, here are 10 things wrong with the first bit:
    – How does Sideshow Bob manage to sneak weaponry into the school and get a hold of Milhouses phone?
    – Why does Skinner think it’s the afterhours even though Bart gets a text about a teacher giving classes? Was Bob dancing with Bart’s intestines for 3 hours?
    – What’s that Homer and his dog were looking for again? Bart or Bob’s tattoos about killing/loving Bart? “He’s cool” because he has a cute tattoo? WTF?
    – How come Bart’s corpse doesn’t truly rot all the time Bob returns to the university and starts teaching AND has time to realize the students find him boring AND has Bart’s corpse hidden right in the classroom with nobody looking? Shouldn’t it be reeking of dead by now?
    – Moreover, how does he invent a WHOLE FUCKING machine to bring Bart back to life with his corpse just lying there? That thing takes MONTHS to build even for a scientific genius.
    – And then he turns into a frog after drinking whatever. Bad New Yorker cartoon indeed!
    – So Bart gets a bill with his name on it (even though the whole world thinks he’s missing/presumed dead by now) at Sideshow Bob’s address and now has to pay up for electricity produced to revive him? What?
    – Lisa finds Bart’s dismembered corpse, first reaction: “I knew it was Bob!” Then the whole family gets into his basement, the dog barking and everything. Bob must be like “Mmm okay”…
    – Was the lamp a living being too? I don’t know, they just “reanimated” it because fuck you.
    – So Bob became a monster, but was somehow admitted to teach classes, and nobody cares anyway.

    • 34 Joe H
      28 October 2015 at 3:43 am

      I admit, I laughed at Lisa having no reaction to seeing Bart’s grossly decapitated corpse but instead focusing on “I knew it was Bob!” Lis has nerves of steel in this one.

      Although the problem there was that no one knew he was dead to begin with up until she found the body. Apparently they knew but did almost nothing about it? Mmmkay!

    • 35 Anonymous
      28 October 2015 at 7:46 am

      Good points. The episode was nonsense, garbage. The writers are young, lazy drunk pot smokers and uncreative.

  10. 5 November 2015 at 12:44 am

    El Rage es el único hechhizo que vale la pena.

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