“The Simpsons” were back Sunday, Oct. 19 in more ways than one. Season 26 continued Sunday with the 25th annual “Treehouse of Horror” episode. The yearly Halloween special has become one of the more popular episodes of the FOX show each year (FX is even airing a marathon Sunday, Oct. 26, of every “Treehouse” episode). However, the new special would be notable for an appearance of the original Simpsons family from “The Tracy Ullman Show.”
The episode began with Bart (Nancy Cartwright) stuck in detention when the troublemaker, joined by Lisa (Yeardley Smith), was sucked into a desk transporting him to hell. Things got weird when Bart turned out to be a star student in hell-school. When Lisa found a portal back to Earth the two returned, but Bart convinced Homer (Dan Castellaneta) and Marge (Julie Kavner) to let him use the portal to continue going to school back in hell. After torturing his father, Bart graduated at the top of his class.
The special continued with a parody of “A Clockwork Orange” centered around Moe (Hank Azaria). In the parody, Moe led a gang of hoodlums much like the one in the film. After crashing a party full of Springfield residents the party turned into a brawl featuring parodies of nearly every Stanley Kubrick film ("Eyes Wide Shut," "Full Metal Jacket," "2001: A Space Odysssey" and "Barry Lyndon"). The skit ended when the story was revealed to be a movie being edited by Stanley Kubrick himself who decided to scrap the film and start again.
In the final short of the "Treehouse of Horror" special the Simpsons family’s house was being haunted. After a few haunting gags (including a milkshake callback to early “Simpsons” shorts) the ghosts were revealed to be the original Simpson family from the “Tracy Ullman Show.” After Homer took a liking to ghost Marge, the current Marge killed herself to join the old Simpsons in the afterlife. By the end of the episode the whole current Simpson clan was dead and both families were ghosts, but each Homer decided to stay with their respective version of Marge.
The ghostly encounter between the two Simpsons families was all the spookiness the show could cram into one special. Fans will have to wait until 2015’s “Treehouse of Horror” episode for more “Simpsons” scares.
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