Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Pile

Yes, disappeared for awhile and can't believe it's been a couple of months! 'They' told me to post regular but clearly I forgot to put that on the Work In Progress sheet. Anyway, lots of work, work work, which is great, some of it pretty nice, too. 

But there's also been a bit of read, read, read from the birthday book pile that complements perfectly the bottles of single malt scotch. 

'The Simpsons. An uncensored, unauthorized history' by John Ortved. It's inspiring in many ways, charting the birth of a cultural icon as the child of many parents, not simply Matt Groenig. But the parents clearly fought a fair bit. Over money and status and influence and credit and respect and the brown couch, the usual 'family' stuff, often bitterly and sometimes ruthlessly. All the while still creating some of the best TV you are ever likely to see, animated or not.

It's Ortved's writing that links the book together, but it's told mainly in the words of those involved in the show themselves, writers, producers, animators, rupert murdochs, guest stars and critics. For a 'history' it's an immersive experience, revealing and often hugely entertaining.

I'd have no idea about all the truth of the matter, maybe there's more to tell, maybe some told more than there was. No doubt you could level the 'out of context' criticism at it, but aren't all quotes by definition out of context?

What I am sure of is that if a TV executive ever asks you to sign away something as 'a sign of good faith' its a reasonably good sign that you better get a lawyer, son. You better get a real good one.

Faber and Faber, 2009. 
(and thanks Caitlin Crowley for a perfect prezzie!)

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