My dear readers, now I touch upon horrors so great, the makers had to warn people ahead of time because they feared reprisal. I’m not joking they actually thought parents would complain because the stories could be perceived as scary… that says one of two things, either they really had a low opinion of people or parents in America really do complain about the slightest thing, history implies the latter.
For almost as long as the Simpsons have run there have been the annual Hallowe’en special called the Tree House of Horrors. Today we look at the first example of this by going all the way back to the second season. As mentioned above the people in charge were genuinely concerned that some parent may complain so advised the more cautious (namby pamby) of those viewing to turn off now rather than complain later. In hind sight it makes one of Bart’s closing statements about the raven even more poignant.
For those that have seen later episodes of the Treehouse of Horror but wondered how it got its name, well here is the answer. The episode features Bart, Lisa and Maggie in Bart’s treehouse telling each other scary stories. This takes the form of 3 shorts one featuring a haunted house (they would later reuse the design for some background appearances) second featured the first ever appearance of Kodos and Kang and finally as mentioned above has Lisa reading the raven with the role of the narrator taken by Homer and the raven as Bart.
Now I never found this episode scary, even when I first watched it and that’s when it was one of the first ever episodes of the Simpsons I ever watched back when I was a small child. (We had it and the Christmas special on VHS) I loved the episode though as the tales were fun and seeing the cast out of the norm in little non canon bits was enjoyable just to see them react. It wasnt trying any sort of message it was just having a good time, though I did enjoy their take on the raven.
The Tree House of Horrors ended up becoming an annual staple but after a few years not only did they drop Marge warning them about it being scary ( they just started to use it as a bit of a joke after the first genuine concerned time) but they also lost the framing device of the tales, while it means there is more room for the story I feel it misses something out. But anyway hunt this down for some early Simpsons fun and find out where so much of the series came from.
Ok guys, next up the reason this October’s run is jumbled up as something I wanted to review didn’t come out till the last week of October. Maybe you can figure it out, there is a hint in this month’s reviews.