Original Air Date: Sunday, November 6, 2005
The World Series Interference
It has been brought up before, but just for convenience-sake, it's a good time to go over why these Halloween specials keep airing in November. Basically it all boils down to Fox's contractual obligation to cover on the World Series. This pushed the episode back by about a week, and it wouldn't be until 'Treehouse of Horror XX' that we'd go back to the Halloween tradition of airing it before Halloween by, guess what, airing it before the World Series as well.
Anyway, this one starts off, for the second time, poking fun at the whole November situation. Kang and Kodos (who seem to have taken on the role of Halloweeen openers) are watching the World Series, and complain about the Halloween special being late. They then use an "accelerray" to speed up the game, but when things go haywire, they also destroy the space-time continuum. One of them says "it's okay, I'll leave a note", slaps the note to the screen, and it reads 'Treehouse of Horror VI'. It's definitely one of the more humorous openings, and it seems we may be off to a decent start.
'B.I. Bartificial Intelligence'
In a parody of 'Artificial Intelligence', Bart attempts a backwards jump into the pool at Patty and Selma's apartment. He plummets to what seems to be his death, and Dr. Hibbert makes the recommendation of getting a new robot son named David to fill the void. However, Bart wakes up in the hospital, only to learn that he's been replaced.
At first, Bart and the robot make an attempt to get along, but when Bart just won't have it, Homer drives him out to the wilderness, abandoning him and keeping David - mostly because David can do things like make ice cream with his nose, and upon eating Bart's shorts can throw together a teddy bear. The other side of it is simply that Bart can't keep up with a robot. But Bart soon gets a pretty sweet revenge, after he meets some throw-away robots.
This one isn't bad. I enjoy some of the creativity behind what David can do, and the way Bart takes his revenge is fairly satisfying and, once again, just Halloweenish enough. It ends so abruptly though, and although the gag at the very end is pretty funny, it's out of nowhere and honestly a bit jarring. But with all the rest of it, I still find it pretty passable. It lingers in that category where you almost forget it exists, but when you check it out again, you know you've seen worse.
'Survival of the Fattest'
In a parody of 'The Most Dangerous Game', Homer gets invited to Mr. Burns' private estate to join a hunt. Against Lisa's objections, Homer goes, and meets up with a handful of other Simpson regulars who have also been invited. Mr. Burns enters, and the games begin when he tells the group that they are all there to be hunted, rather than be the hunters. Burns offers them a 5-minute head start, and the group has until noon the next day to survive and win their freedom.
As the game goes, things get pretty funny when it turns out that the whole thing is also being presented as 'The World Series of Manslaughter', complete with commentary from Terry Bradshaw. On top of that, the way various characters do get picked off is kinda hilarious. But it also ends pretty abruptly, and though the sports parody is pretty funny, it's safe to say that it was already covered in the episode's opening, and the whole thing just feels crowbarred in so they could feature another celebrity guest appearance.
Yet again, this one is just Halloweenish enough, being based on something considered to be a very realistic horror movie. But to be honest, it does feel a little bit all over the place, and didn't really need certain aspects it dragged along with it. It's funny, but it feels very thrown together, and the way it ends feels pretty weak. So while I get a chuckle or two from this one, it's not among my favorites.
'I've Grown a Costume on Your Face'
I'm not sure a lot of people got much out of this one, but it's definitely a forgotten, hidden gem among the 'Treehouse' segments. It pulls a simultaneous parody of 'Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge', a 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' episode called 'Halloween', and a 'Twilight Zone' episode called 'The Masks'. Beyond these farces, it's the most Halloween-feeling segment we've seen for quite some time. It just plain fits, and it's everything one of these segments should be.
When the citizens of Springfield attend a Halloween party, complete with costume contest, the winner turns out to be a real witch. When everyone accuses her of cheating, she then curses the townsfolk to become their costumes, which results in several great visual gags that include Moleman being turned into a mole, with no costume at all, and Nelson turning into a raccoon when he's supposed to be the Lone Ranger. However, the witch doesn't think things through, doing this out of anger, because it turns out Lisa dressed as Einstein, and Maggie dressed as another witch - the only character with the ability to stop the real witch now.
Although things move pretty quickly here, they move smoothly as well. My only real problem is the way it ends - guess what? Abruptly! But I will admit that the gag is really quite funny. This segment is an example of the creators finally kicking things up a notch, and making things feel like Halloween the way they used to in the older segments. The ending is the only thing keeping it from earning a maximum score though. I have to admit that it is pretty irksome when it comes to how the segments in this one just seem to slam on the breaks, but that's the only true downfall of this particular segment. In many ways, this one makes it feel like Halloween again.
The show ends on a visual gag, and Moe concludes the show for us, along with Lenny and another crow-barred in guest appearance from Dennis Rodman. Together they provide a PSA about adult illiteracy and how scary it is, and the whole thing feels like a weird after school special that you're not sure whether you're supposed to take seriously or not. So, throughout this episode, there's a lot of weird stuff that seems to be jammed in there out of nowhere, and as a whole, it doesn't flow entirely smoothly. But the segments themselves do seem to have gotten a bit of a boost, especially from the last episode, which I consider probably the worst one so far.
Overall Episode Rating: 60%