'Treehouse of Horror XXXIV' tests the Simpsons' grip on NFTs and crypto coins | Web Series - Hindustan Times

'Treehouse of Horror XXXIV' tests the Simpsons' grip on NFTs and political satire, Brings back old Twitter punchlines

Nov 06, 2023 12:38 PM IST

The latest 'Treehouse of Horror' episode of 'The Simpsons' receives mixed reviews for its approach to topicality,

In the realm of animated television, few shows have left as indelible a mark as ‘The Simpsons.’ The long-running series has become a cultural touchstone, known for its sharp wit, humour, and, in the case of the annual ‘Treehouse of Horror’ episodes, its satirical take on pop culture and societal trends.

'Treehouse of Horror XXXIV' Examines Contemporary Issues with Mixed Results(Twitter/ The Simpsons)
'Treehouse of Horror XXXIV' Examines Contemporary Issues with Mixed Results(Twitter/ The Simpsons)

The latest installment of this beloved tradition, ‘Treehouse of Horror XXXIV,’ seems to have garnered mixed reviews and prompted a reflection on the show's evolving relationship with topicality.

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The episode begins with a segment titled 'Wild Barts Can't Be Token,' in which Bart accidentally gets digitized into a living NFT, or non-fungible token. The segment delves into the world of digital art, cryptocurrency, and blockchain, making references to ‘Bored Ape’ NFTs and the crypto economy.

The attempt to parody these contemporary topics didn't land as effectively as the show might have hoped. The references felt somewhat out of touch, as the blockchain and crypto discussions have evolved since the show's initial foray into this territory in the 2020 episode ‘Frinkcoin.’ With the recent downturn in various cryptocurrency markets, the timing of these punchlines was questionable.

The next segment, ‘Ei8ht,’ takes a different approach, exploring the true crime and psychological thriller genres. It revolves around Lisa Simpson's pursuit of revenge against Sideshow Bob, who has been incarcerated after a feud with Bart turns fatal. The segment offers a darker and more compelling narrative, with a focus on serial killers and the complexities of Lisa's character. It's a significant departure from the NFT-focused opener and provides a welcome change of tone.

The final segment, ‘Lout Break,’ takes a humorous twist as Homer Simpson, in typical fashion, breaks safety regulations by consuming a radioactive donut. This leads to a transformation that spreads a contagious "Homerized" condition, turning everyone into versions of Homer. The humor in this segment lies in its absurdity and the humorous references to the "nanny state" and online misinformation.

However, the main criticism of ‘Treehouse of Horror XXXIV’ centers on the show's approach to topicality. The episode's attempts to tackle contemporary issues, such as the crypto economy and political satire, have been met with mixed reviews. The show's once-subtle and clever social commentary has evolved into a more direct and often ham-fisted approach. The references, while occasionally inspired, often feel out of place and heavy-handed, detracting from the episode's overall enjoyment.

‘The Simpsons’ has a rich history of blending humour with social commentary, and the ‘Treehouse of Horror’ episodes have been a platform for some of its most iconic satire.

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