John Ortved is the author of this Simpsons ‘book’. I came across it on a pretty good recommendation and being a huge Simpsons fan I couldn’t say no to reading a Simpsons book. There are plenty of things to like and dislike about this one, first thing you’ll probably notice is the weird way the book is written. It closer resembles an assembled collection of quotes and notes than a real book. It takes a little while to get use to and I can see where some people will just not like reading it at all. I would say it seems like the lazy way out if you didn’t take into account the massive amounts of quotes that the book contains. Luckily even as disorganized and thrown together as this book seems it does follow a coherent timeline. Starting from the early days of comic strips and reviews of Groening it goes to the shows early development and branches out in detail into all the different stages of the show, concentrating heavily on the writers room. All of this stuff is pretty good, the Groening stuff and the way the show came about and the writers, I enjoy reading all of that. However my major problem with the book is what it becomes, most of the book is pretty good but the last quarter of the book just becomes a bitch fest attack on the show. It’s kind of like when a good movie has an ending so bad it ruins the entire thing. It’s painfully obvious that the writer is one of the people that hold the opinion that the show now sucks, throwing in shots at every chance he can get. This really makes no sense to me, I’d imagine if you were writing a book about the Simpsons you’d be a huge Simpsons fan, instead we have a guy who it seems is one of the fair-weather turncoats that has become associated with the show disguised as fans. Another thing that really bothers me about this book is the stance on Family Guy. Personally I use to like Family Guy a lot but since the show has come back it’s flat out sucked. This Simpsons book started out pointing out what an ungrateful rip-off Family Guy was but by the end of the book it was sucking Family Guy’s dick. South Park is also referenced a fair amount towards the end, the author doesn’t really seem to know what he’s talking about when he’s referencing that show. He makes it seem like they’ve got some sort of rivalry or hate, but if you’ve ever listened to South Park DVD commentary or read anything the show’s creators say about The Simpsons (oddly enough even in this very book) it’s very apparent they have a lot of love for the Simpsons. This book is about 290 pages; roughly 250 of them are pretty good. If you’re a Simpsons fan you might want to check this out because it does have some good stuff, just be warned you may be sick of it by the end. A casual Simpsons fan may not be as interested because this is mostly a behind the scenes type look at the show.
Posted on May 17, 2011 by Uncle Critic