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The Simpsons Folder : Special : THOH XV

  • SNPP Episode Info
  • Reviews by
    – Joe Klemm
    – Steve Brown
    – Jonah Flynn
    – Jolly Bengali

snpp episode info for thoh xv

“The Ned Zone”
a head injury gives Ned the power to see upcoming deaths, but he’s particularly disturbed by Homer’s death…as Ned is the one who kills him.
“In the Belly of the Boss”
A giant medicine capsule this is shrunk and then swallowed by burns has a passenger – Maggie – so the other Simpsons are shrunk and go after her Fantastic Voyage-style.
“Four Beheadings and a Funeral”
In Victorian age London, the Muttonchop Murderer’s days are numbered when detective Eliza Simpson (and her assistant Dr. Bartley) are on the case

review by joe klemm

Even if the series is currently in it’s 16th season and a few of the recent THOH episodes could have been a little bit better, this episode proves that the there’s still plenty of good THOH stories to be told. The prologue piece (with the aliens), is probably the weakest part of the episode, with no real laughs at all IMO (although it was was silly to end it with the Perfect Stangers theme song). The Ned Zone provides a good comical take of Stephen King’s Dead Zone with a few goofy moments that made the THOH such a fun experience (i.e. Hibbert injecting himself with anestisia while he’s falling, the garage making to Heaven as well). Four Beheadings was definitely the best part of this year’s trilogy, with London variations of the Springfield residences and a few LOL moments (i.e the child abductor joke, the ending with Ralph having an opium-induced dream). The final story, while it fell victim to the fact that many animated programs have done Fantasic Voyage parodies this year, was still a fun experience thanks to the usual idiocy that makes Homer so enjoyable. In short: a great THOH to start off the season. – Joe Klemm

review by steve brown

Well, I must say I’m pleasantly surprised. This was easily the best THOH in years, which bodes well for Season 16, because this used to be one of Jean’s biggest problem areas. The animation was absolutely beautiful, thanks to David Silverman. Anyways, Keepin’ It Kodos was an hilarious way to start off, following last year’s role for them in the
beginning, instead of tacked on at the end. The Ned Zone was far and away the best segment, and will certainly go down as a classic THOH vignette. It had me in stitches the whole way through, and actually had an interesting characterization of Ned too, grabbing it an A. Four Beheadings and a Funeral wasn’t quite as good, but it’s great use of characters (and great character design) and plot that keeps the viewer at least mildly interested, along with sufficient humor gets it a B. Finally, In the Belly of the Boss was slightly disappointing, with a Homer that was a bit too wacky at times, and a few poor jokes. But the rest of the gags more than make up for it, so that it’s not a total disaster, or even a mild one. ItBotB gets a B-, putting the total score for THOHXV at 8.5/10. (B+)

review by jonah flynn

This is what makes this THOH the best since season 12’s. Every segment was at least of cohesive quality and not feeling too rushed. “The Ned Zone” was the best one, in terms of story and laughs. Homer’s endless search for his frisbee never got old, and his taunting of Ned was amusing too. I would have enjoyed Homer’s struggle to not hit the button more if I hadn’t seen the commercial in which we see his tongue hit it. Stupid Fox.

“Four Beheadings and a Funeral” was less interesting in story, but carried some good bits, such as Marge’s overuse of British slang, Wiggum’s arresting of the darkest person, opium den humor in general, and the stool coming to life. The ending was too whacked out for my tastes though, which is something I’ve never liked about Halloween specials.

“In the Belly of the Boss” was decent, and having Burns involved helped (I loved “well…that hurt like hell”). The fact that it was a Fantastic Voyage Parody didn’t matter to me since it’s been done before by other shows. They didn’t really have enough time to cover much of his body, although Bart’s “LEARNING IS COOL!” was a pretty funny jab at the whole idea. The biggest laugh was the ending, having Homer’s entire body jutting out of Burns, especially when he tried to eat. The dance number was typical for a THOH episode.

The intro was a lark, as I like spoofs of dumb formulaic shows like Perfect Strangers. I find it ridiculous that Fox advertised the episode with this blatantly bad dialogue, tricking us into thinking it wasn’t on purpose.

Nothing in the episode was really LOL funny though to me, which irked me a bit. I think the writers should stop trying to force jokes too much, and just let them come naturally. But that’s another discussion altogether, that I’m too beat to get into. I’m not sure what I wanna give this episode yet either. 3.5 lowest and 4 highest. So take that for what it’s worth. Can’t wait for a full-story episode next week!

review by jolly bengali

It feels almost hypocritical to criticize “The Simpsons”, a show which has consistently broken convention after convention over its evolution, for messing with a formula. It seems more natural to applaud every break with the norm as an affirmation of the show’s intelligence and originality. Nonetheless, sometimes it is undeniably better to stay within the mold. The “Treehouse of Horror” episodes have a well-defined formula at this point: 3 one-act stories, each usually written by a different writer, with a low-key opening segment and/or premise. That construction for the episode worked wonders year after year, with seven or eight straight hilarious Halloween specials. Although the TOH episode have declined somewhat over the years, they’ve still found success sticking to the script. “Treehouse of Horror XV” attempts to be a fun re-invention of the specials, with jokes and characters moving between stories, Kang and Kodos seemingly omnipresent, and opening and closing segments far more “wacky” than segments of old. The sad truth is that all these attempted “improvements”, intended to make for a more fun and electic episode, simply come off as embarassing. The opening segment was at best underwhelming; the ending song-and-dance number, with the writers shamelessly reusing the concept of Homer and Mr. Burns being in the same body from a previous Halloween episode, almost made me want to change the channel. No Simpsons episode should do that. Aside from all the painful Kang & Kodos moments and the attempts to be off-the-wall, the episode largely succeeds. The first act was quite funny, and although the second and third take a hit in comedic potency they still offer decent entertainment. But the entire episode is mired in the taint of some terrible creative decisions. After the opening segment, the three acts largely make you forget about how bad the episode started off… and then just when you feel as if the episode has redeemed itself, it jumps right back in to a sea of idiocy. In the end, it’s not the worst Halloween special ever; that title probably belongs to last year’s effort. But it’s not good, period. I doubt this episode will have any bearing on the quality of Season 16, but it will still exist as a rather unpleasant memory in my mind for a few weeks. Here’s hoping some good episodes come along to wipe this mis-fire away. Grade: C-/D+

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