Here are the somewhat horror-related things being mocked in this year's Simpsons Halloween special
Over the years the once-stellar "Treehouse Of Horror" episodes of The Simpsons have increasingly become more like "Shanty Of Outdated Pop Cultural References Only Tangentially Related To Horror" episodes, but this year promises to at least try for timeliness. As executive producer Al Jean tells TV Line, the Oct. 7 installment (which numbers "Treehouse Of Horror XXIII," in case you were feeling young and vibrant) will feature a riff on the semi-topical Higgs boson particle, in which Springfield is terrorized by a black hole, as well as something on the Mayan 2012 prophecy and its prediction that the world will end before The Simpsons. But of course, this is a modern-day "Treehouse" episode, which means it's also going to do "a found-footage parody" of Paranormal Activity, as well as mock, um, Back To The Future, with a segment that explores the "horror" of Bart travelling back in time and preventing Homer and Marge from getting married (with Jon Lovitz returning as Artie Ziff). That is indeed a disturbing universe, to quote an episode from when The Simpsons was better at this sort of thing.