Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On Writing, by The Simpsons

If you missed the hilarious episode of The Simpsons last week about writing children's books, you can watch it on Hulu now! Even if you did see it, it's worth watching again.

I caught most of it last week but missed the first few minutes, so I'd been waiting to see it from the beginning, when Lisa finds out that everything she's ever known about young adult literature is a lie. Of course the painful discovery involves a piece of fossilized dinosaur poop. Isn't that always the case?

Some people were upset about the implication that the Harry Potter series was also ghostwritten by a team of idiots, but I think readers are familiar enough with Harry Potter to know that J.K. Rowling wrote the books herself and isn't a front for a room full of pill-poppin' lit majors desperate for work.

I loved the whole episode, but here are a few favorite moments:

Lisa breaking the news to Marge about Betty Crocker: My own mom still insists that Betty Crocker is not an invention of "Twenties-era ad men," but a real person.

"Follow that dinosaur!" Homer's response to this request from Lisa is "I've waited my whole life to hear that!" Haven't we all, Homer. Haven't we all.

Lenny turning down the offer to join the writing team: Homer and Bart go to Moe's bar to recruit Lenny, who can't join because he's "just adopted a Capuchin monkey and can't leave it alone during the bonding phase." I cannot wait to use this excuse.

The vampire genre has been sucked dry. Some of the titles on the library shelves during the team meeting: Vampire Cheerleaders, Southern Vampires, Vampire Frankensteins, Vampirates, Vampire Babysitters, Vampire Princesses.

Everything Neil Gaiman: Bart makes it clear from the beginning that Neil Gaiman's job is "to get lunch, and lose the British accent." Neil gets defensive later about his contribution to the book and points out, "That tuna didn't salad itself!" British Fonzie is right.

"After just two more games of online Boggle, I'll be ready to start writing." While Homer and Bart's team is busy finishing The Troll Twins of Underbridge Academy, Lisa is organizing her CD collection, building a tower of pencils, cleaning windows, visiting a book fair, and watching cat videos. In other words, BEHAVING EXACTLY LIKE A REAL WRITER.

So, what did you think of the episode, and what were your favorite parts? I'll enjoy reading your comments while I sip this Mai Tai.