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Scaring up the Simpsons' 28th Annual 'Treehouse of Horror'
October 22, 2017  | By Ed Bark
 

The horror, the horror . . . The Simpsons’ 28th Treehouse of Horror.

Boo, it’s coming again on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, where Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie have been taking up residence since a Dec. 17, 1989 Christmas special. It’s so long ago that ABC’s original MacGyver and Dynasty series were still on the air and since have reemerged as reboots on CBS and The CW.

Fox sends the latest Treehouse every October, always with an accompanying vessel full of Halloween candy. Your friendly content provider, of course, can’t be bribed, but, er, most of the candy will be re-gifted to trick-or-treaters (well, at least half of it) and it’s been quite a while since I’ve paid any attention to this annual rite of lightly coated scariness.

As usual, the latest Treehouse has a new opening sequence and then three tales, each disembodied from the other.

This time out, the five Simpsons are first seen as four Halloween candies -- and a yucky apple. Bart gets to be a “Barterfinger.”

Then comes “The Exor-Sis,” a parody that assuredly will be seen by more viewers than Fox’s severely struggling Friday night regurgitation of The Exorcist. Little Maggie ends up being possessed, with a quintessential Irish Catholic priest called on to bring her out of it. “If you can’t trust a Catholic priest with a child,” he reasons, “who can you trust?”

“Coralisa” finds Lisa venturing to meet her “other family” through a portal at the direction of the Simpsons’ cat, Snowball. The show’s 3d animation technique is deployed to good effect here.

The showcase segment, “MMM Homer,” carries a viewer advisory from Lisa: “What you’re about to see is so disgusting, you’ll watch Game of Thrones to calm down.”

It proves to be only a wee bit stomach-wrenching, though, when Homer begins consuming himself as a “Me-gan” after being left home alone and to his own devices. Among the offshoots are a chain of “Kentucky Fried Simpson” restaurants. Apparently, there’s an awful lot of Homer to go around.

Treehouse of Horror easily is the longest-running annual holiday special in TV history. But remember, as Fox says in a “Dear Human TV Critic” letter, “nothing is as terrifying as what’s going on in real life.”

It’s signed by Kang & Kodos, the aliens from planet Rigel VII. Look to see them again -- but don’t blink -- in the opening Halloween candy segment, which also is in 3D and ends rather badly for the Easter bunny. OK, you’re now on your own. And it’s always fun to go out on these limbs.

 
 
 
 
 
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