Back in my high school and college days, I used to watch “The Simpsons” religiously, and my most anticipated episode every year was the annual “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween episode.
I eventually stopped watching “The Simpsons” every week, but still would make the time to catch the Halloween episode -- which thanks to FOX’s baseball obligations would usually air after Halloween.
Thanks to a World Series scheduling quirk this season, FOX had to air “Treehouse of Horror XX” two weeks before Halloween, so it kind of caught me off guard (actually, the incessant promos this week caught me off guard -- there were so many of them that by the time Sunday rolled around, I knew the episode was this week).
After watching last night’s episode, I don’t want to make the reactionary statement of “worst... treehouse... ever”, but it was pretty bad.
The first segment was a reference-heavy Hitchcock homage that never really got going from a comedic standpoint, and just fizzled out at the end. The second segment was a semi-timely zombie story that had its moments, but paled in comparison to recent feature film “Zombieland”. And the third segment, a Sweeney Todd homage featuring a fake play production was almost unwatchable.
A few years ago, “The Simpsons” hit rock bottom creatively as the staff was focused on making the movie, but it bounced back over the last couple seasons. Now, though, it seems to be sliding again. The non-Halloween episodes so far this season haven’t been great (each of the last two had a “done that before” feeling), and this episode barely made me laugh. I’m still holding out hope for this season, but compared to last year, things aren’t looking good.