TV Club: The Simpsons’ evil scheme to reach 600 episodes lands in the Treehouse Of Horror

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That The Simpsons’ 600th episode falls on a “Treehouse Of Horror” is for the best, ultimately. Milestone episodes, event episodes, episodes built around a huge guest star—these are not generally great Simpsons TV, as the show tries to craft a story around something external. While the annual “Treehouse Of Horror” episodes traditionally get decent ratings, and have produced some classic scenes over the decades, the expectations are lower regarding character development, plot, or general coherence. The Simpsons’ Halloween tradition is for quick-hit horror and sci-fi parodies, a heap of references, some gratuitous bloodshed, and the occasional actual smidgen of heart. Grading on that curve, the 27th installment does its job, for the most part.

(Image: Fox)

The promotional materials, including the usually amusing snarky screener announcement sent to critics (or “critics” as such people are called within), hyped the return of still-hotly-debated Homer nemesis Frank Grimes, or at least ...