Did anyone see the new Simpsons episode on Sunday, Sky One? It was called The Book Job and was a wonderfully cynical take on the influx of tween fiction. Lisa discovers that her favourite fantasy authors actually don’t exist, the novels are written by literature graduates paid pennies and the faces of the authors are actually actors. Lisa complains to her father who, naturally, decides that as this is an excellent way to make money and forms a group to write a book. Lisa, to counteract this, claims that she will write her own book.
Homer recruits Bart, Moe, Patty, Skinner, Professor Frink and Neil Gaiman (as you do) and they write their money making bestseller and fall in love with their book as they do so. Lisa, on the other hand, fails to write one single word.
I loved this episode. It will have spoken to writers on a level that no one else would understand. Yes, it’s funny to watch Lisa go nowhere while the group discuss and plot and write but no one other than writers will laugh with a sense of familiarity and pain. We’ve been there, we’ve done that and we have the blank document to prove it.
Similarly, Homer’s group falling in love with their beloved book really hit home. I know that feeling too, even if I know the book isn’t to the standard that I want it to be I still love it and will defend it to the end.
I wanted to share with you Lisa’s procrastination but couldn’t find any video footage. The part where she discovers even a dog has written a book nearly made me fall off the sofa laughing. It’s very difficult to not be jealous of other people who have succeeded where you have procrastinated.
Speaking of procrastination, today I found myself with two spare hours. What joy! I thought. I shall write, or perhaps I will edit. What did I do? I watched Three Men and a Baby which happened to be on Sky Movies (never turn the TV on, never turn the TV on)...
What really made this Simpsons episode though was Neil Gaiman - The British Fonzie. I don’t want to give away the ending but I will tell you that it made me laugh and it’s very rare that I laugh out loud at The Simpsons these days.