FAMILY GUY, SIMPSONS, AMERICAN DAD, CLEVELAND SHOW Halloween Lowdown

THE SIMPSONS "Treehouse of Horror XX"

Halloween is not over yet! FOX still has its Hallowscream night of animiation tonight. I had the opportunity to preview all four shows. They were all a lot of fun, and funny, in their different ways. My favorite by far was The Simpsons.

The Simpsons – The 21st Treehouse of Horror episode is broken into three short stories as it is every year. Before that, however, there is a change in the opening credits that is a spooky take on a popular non Fox TV show. I think you will like it. As for the stories themselves, the first one was the best in my opinion. It finds Bart and Millhouse opening a portal into another world through a spooky old board game that they dig out of the attic. I never would have thought I could find so much humor in board game pieces but I could not stop laughing. What board game do you think would give Homer the hardest time if he had to live it? It is probably not the one you are thinking. The second story centered around Marge and Homer on their second honeymoon in unchartered waters. When a stranger makes his way to their boat, they have to decide if his story is true or if he is out to murder them. We actually get to see Marge in a bikini which kind of threw me at first. My favorite part is when Homer suggests to the camera what they should have named this story and Marge asks him what he is talking about. Finally, we have the third part where Lisa falls in love with a kid at school who is a vampire named Edmund. Not Edward, but of course that is where it stems from. With the introduction of Edmund’s father, though, Lisa finds herself in danger of being turned. Millhouse also makes an appearance as a supernatural. Can you guess what he turns into? Overall, I thought it was one of the best Treehouse of Horrors I have seen in a while. It is good to know that after 21 years, The Simpsons can still hit it home.

The Cleveland Show – The Cleveland Show’s Halloween special centered around Cleveland Jr. and his desire to go trick or treating as a large pancake. Cleveland forbids him from going. After Junior sneaks out anyway and and gets into trouble with some high school kids, Cleveland put his foot down and goes about trying to change Cleveland Jr. completely into a normal 14 year old, taking away all of his innocence and uniqueness. After a party with the cool kids does nothing to change Junior or make him more popular, the gang rallies together to come to Junior’s aid in quite an awesome presentation. I liked how they dealt with the issue of being at the inbetween stage, too old to trick or treat and too young to wear adult costumes. I also liked how they dealt with that inbetween stage of not quite being a teenager but too old to be a kid. All of it was done with the right amount of humor. The ending with the gang coming to Junior’s aid is my favorite scene. This was definitely a good episode.

Family Guy – My second favorite of the four was definitely Family Guy. From the initial inappropriate costume donned by Chris all the way to Quagmire’s prank on the guys, every moment was hilarious to me. Meg gets to go to her first high school party, as a slutty cat of course. When her friends decide they should all keep their masks on to have a greater chance to make out with boys, the results aren’t quite what they expected and probably collosially traumatic. Talk about a horror show! Stewie goes trick or treating for the first time and also falls victim to a gang of older children who steal his candy. When he and Brian’s attempts to get the candy back fail, they have to call in the big guns who gets more than the candy back from the kid. The pranks between Peter, Joe and Quagmire kept growing more and more outlandish as the show went on. I loved when Joe told Peter “I went rogue with that.” Indeed. Family Guy rarely disappoints me and this episode was no different.

American Dad – Stan is proud of being the best haunted house on the block at Halloween, but when the new neighbor Buckle decides he is going to have a haunted house complete with changing weather systems, Stan feels threatened. Francine does nothing to assure him and tells him to give it up. Determined to keep his reigning status as king of horror, Stan takes Roger’s advice to get “real” creepy things from the CIA office. Unfortunately, Stan does not pick up cadavers or eyeballs but horrors so real that his house is now a threat to the neighbor’s lives. Can a kid in a costume avenging his sister really be the savior of the block? My favorite part of this episode was Stan’s costume. After Francine complains about being a nun and says that she wanted to dress sexy, Stan declares sexy costumes are out then appears as the sexy lion from The Wizard of Oz. This episode was definitely a good one. I loved the competitiveness between the neighbors. Buckle’s inappropriate decorations were too funny. Stan’s thought to go to the extreme while picking out “real” scary things at the office seemed fitting. Although the ending was a bit reaching, it worked well with the theme.

If you have been waiting for Fox’s Animated Halloween Specials, then tonight is your night! The costumes, the stories, and the one liners are all terrific. If you do not want to watch a full hour, I would definitely recommend The Simpsons and Family Guy above the rest. However, I think they are all stand out episodes. Watch all four shows starting tonight at 8 p.m. on FOX and then come back here and tell me which show was your favorite and what your favorite costume was.

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