Nerd Caliber
Nerd Lifestyle Magazine

TV/Movies & Music

October 6, 2013

Guillermo Del Toro Breathes New Life Into The Simpsons Couch Gag


The Simpsons has maybe been running too long. That’s a completely objective viewpoint, and The Simpsons still has a hardcore following. I also get it, Fox has one of the longest running shows in History as well as one of the longest running Animated shows and they want to ensure nothing can come close to touching it. The Simpsons, however, will never be what it used to be. At all. Not to take anything away from their current writing or production team but it is for that reason I’d rather have my classic Simpsons, the show I grew up with, untarnished by the new stuff. With one notable exception, the annual Treehouse of Horror.

Every year, for better or worse, I tune in for Treehouse of Horror. Ever since the first year when Marge came out onto an animated stage, broke the fourth wall, and told us:

“Hello, everyone. You know, Halloween is a very strange holiday. Personally, I don’t understand it. Kids worshipping ghosts, pretending to be devils. Things on TV that are completely inappropriate for young viewers. Things like the following half-hour! Nothing seems to bother my kids, but tonight’s show—which I totally wash my hands of—is really scary. So if you have sensitive children, maybe you should tuck them in early tonight instead of writing us angry letters tomorrow. Thanks for your attention.”

Treehouse of Horror became my Halloween routine. Early on it became the thing we raced home for after trick or treating just to make sure we saw. IF for no other reason than nostalgia I show up every year ready to see what horror classics the Simpsons lampoon, and what original stories they can come up with to kill one another. Will there be Vampires? Ghosts? Ned Flanders as the Devil? This year, the intro has proven that no matter what tricks those writing demons behind the Simpsons has tempted us with, we’ve already been treated.

Thanks, in large part to Guillermo Del Toro, the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XXIV couch gag is one of the best couch gags the Simpsons has created. We see references to Alien, Hitchcock, Edgar Allen Poe, and we even get to see Bart escape the clutches of Cthulu. We also see a number of in jokes to the Del Toro universes (Mimic, Devil’s Backbone, Pacific Rim, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) we also see references to the Simpsons/Matt Groening universes (using images from past Treehouse of Horrors in the Lisa Saxophone scene, the old school Simpsons trapped under the Earth, and Lisa running into the Hypnotoad on her way to Wonderland). This new couch gag (Arguably the best part of any Treehouse of Horror.) is a real breath of fresh air to the show, and I can’t WAIT to see it!

About the Author

Ashley Rogers
Ashley Lauren Rogers earned a Bachelor’s of English Literature and Theatre at Fitchburg State College, was invited to the two week summer playwriting intensive at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, had shows produced in New York City as part of Stage Left Studio and the New York Nineteenth Century Society, Theatre To Go in Melrose MA, and as part of the Fresh Fruit Festival in NYC. Recently her work has been displayed as part of Stage Left Studio’s sold out Gender: A Performance Project, and her show Bite Curious,was a part of White Rabbit Production’s Scream Queens and Crazed Fiends, short play event. Her one person show PASS/FAIL will receive its premiere at Dixon Place Lounge NYC in February and will be performed for The Midtown International Theatre Festival: Spring Edition in March. Ashley is a recipient of the ACM Award for Comedy Video for writing the pilot of Marisa and Rocco, is the creator of Ashley Rogers Does Something Awesome, Monthly Tea with Madeline Foxtrot, all through Dogtoon Media. She has been featured in the Frenchy and The Punk Music video for “House of Cards,” Sundance Channel’s “Young Broke and Beautiful,” and TLC’s “Bling It On.” Ashley has written articles for Beyond Victoriana and Steampunk Magazine Online, has been a vlogger and a blogger for Ashley has developed a workshop for writers to learn how write for trans and non-binary narratives.



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