The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Posted by Matt on January 3, 2010

I finished The Simpsons: A Full, Complete Unauthorised History yesterday. There’s a lot of interesting things in the book, almost all of them revolving around the writers room. I really do get a kick out of reading about how the writing teams and showrunners worked together or didn’t; some of the behind-the-scenes stuff involving James Brooks and the executives was also enjoyable, but that’s pretty standard Hollywood stuff.

I think the main problem with the book is that Ortved is a little too eager to hammer us over the head with how much of an asshole Matt Groening supposedly is. Maybe he is an asshole, and some of the evidence seems to point to that, but he really should have let that evidence speak for itself. His little asides were completely unnecessary.

I could also complain about the lack of scope in the book, which really isn’t Ortved’s fault, seeing as though he did try to interview those closer to the show (and the fact that they refused probably led to the problem I spoke off in the last paragraph). It doesn’t bother me that much, as I found the information provided by the writers and others to be more interesting. I guess it could have benefited from the voice actors’ input, considering there’s a big chunk of a chapter all about them, with only Hank Azaria being quoted. But I think the book works well with its limits, and we get a really fascinating story nonetheless, even if it is slightly sensationalized.


I watched the two-part Doctor Who special last night. It was pretty fun overall, and with an epic feel that doesn’t wind down anti-climatically like most of the other ‘epic’ episodes do. Evil Timothy Dalton was able to out-evil The Master turning everyone on Earth into a cackling clone of himself, which is pretty impressive.

At points, some of the special effects were more iffy than normal. John Simm bouncing around and shooting lightning like a Dragon Ball retard was a little off, as were the effects where they had to CTRL-C/CTRL-V his head on everyone in a room. The show has never had spectacular special effects, but these seemed a bit off, and made those scenes look goofier than I think they were intended to be (maybe not The Master clones).

Good performances all around, though. And the saccharine ending didn’t come off so bad, really. Tennant and Davies get a good farewell show, overall. I had actually fallen out of watching the show more recently, only seeing new episodes sporadically. But this had got me really pumped for the next season, to see what Matt Smith and Stephen Moffat bring us. I’m really looking forward to the whole thing, is what I’m saying.


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