It was a Halloween-themed night on FOX, with every show aside from Family Guy featuring a Halloween-centered episode. Unfortunately, the scariest thing about the night was the second consecutive absence of Bob’s Burgers… stupid football. Anyway, the big question of the night (for me and me alone) was whether this would be an improvement over last week’s disappointing 5.8 average. Find out below, or scroll straight to the bottom, as I assume all three of you do.
The Simpsons – “Treehouse of Horror XXV” (NEW)
For the past 25 years, The Simpsons has done an annual Halloween-themed episode known as “Treehouse of Horror” and this year was no exception. The first two segments were generally forgettable, with the first featuring Bart transferring to school in Hell and the second being a parody of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. Because I have never seen the aforementioned film, the segment did little for me. I’m sure if I were more familiar with the original source material, I would have appreciated the story more. The final segment of the show was definitely the highlight, as the 2014 Simpsons came face-to-face with the original 1987 Tracey Ullman Simpsons in an homage to the 2001 film The Others. Yes, Family Guy did this first in 2011 when Stewie and Brian travelled back in time to the pilot, but considering how often Family Guy copies The Simpsons, I think it can be excused. Seeing the old and new Simpsons interact was fun and silly, while incorporating a nice message, and it definitely ended the relatively mediocre episode on a high note.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Halloween II” (NEW)
As The Simpsons honors a 25-year tradition, it appears Brooklyn Nine-Nine is in the infancy of starting its own annual tradition. Last year, Detective Peralta bet Captain Holt he could steal his medal before midnight, and was successful. This year, he hoped to defend his winning title by betting the Captain he can steal his personal watch by midnight. With the rest of the squad by his side, how can he not be successful? Aside from seeking the aid of criminal… The episode featured some great dialogue and a fun subplot that humanized the inhuman Gina. I look forward to future Halloweens if the show continues the tradition of the Peralta/Holt bets, especially if they continue to employ great twists and surprises like this episode did. If you’re a fan of the show, this episode is a must-see.
Family Guy – “Baking Bad” (NEW)
In the only non-Halloween-themed episode of the night, Peter and Lois decided to open a bakery after realizing how well Lois can bake cookies… much like Marge and Homer did last week, but with sandwiches. Meanwhile, Stewie became addicted to cough syrup, leading Brian to initiate an intervention. In traditional Family Guy style, the episode relied on its cutaway jokes and dialogue to mask the mediocre plot. But tonight, that formula actually worked really well and some of the jokes were the funniest I’ve seen on the show in years. I laughed out loud a few times, and gasped as usual at some of Seth MacFarlane’s crude humor, but I have to say, this episode delivered. After last week’s absence, it was good to see Family Guy back in good form.
Mulaney – “Halloween” (NEW)
The title of this episode was more creative than the episode itself. Please FOX, just cancel this shit show so I don’t have to keep reviewing it as part of this lineup. Anyways, tonight on Mulaney, Mulaney realized that Mulaney isn’t funny enough to keep Mulaney’s job as a writer, so Mulaney steals jokes from a dead guy and takes credit for them. Hmmm, as I write this I realize that maybe the show is more self-aware than I give it credit for. Too bad it’s still not funny. The one highlight of the episode was the cameo by Dan Mintz (better known as Tina in Bob’s Burgers), who also wrote the episode. His appearance was the only tolerable 30 seconds of the show. Sorry to shit on your episode Dan, I love you on Bob’s Burgers, but you’re better than this.