Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons by Mike Reiss, Mathew Klickstein

springfieldI have been a Simpsons fan from the beginning. I am old enough to remember them on the Tracey Ullman Show (that makes me older than Bart but younger than Grampa). I didn’t know much about the behind the scenes of the show. I did know that Conan O’Brien used to write for them (and did one of my favourite episodes Marge vs. the Monorail. Sing it with me…monorail! Which I do every time I see a monorail!) So I was intrigued to read about how the show works and get some behind the scenes gossip.

The book is written by Mike Reiss who was one of the original writers on the show, along with Al Jean. his writing is…well exactly as you would expect. Sorta like a Simpsons episode. And it’s not a bad thing. I think that if the book was written totally seriously and straight it wouldn’t work. I was laughing out loud at many points in the book.

This book actually helped me to confess a secret I was holding from my husband. I had never watched the Simpsons Movie. *GASP* Luckily this was not a deal breaker. This situation was rectified, we both watched it and I got to experience Spider Pig. (Honestly, could not stop laughing for 10 minutes.) However….I digress…..

For me, I found the process of writing and producing an episode fascinating. The amount of work and time and effort that goes into one episode is mind boggling. I think it is one of the reasons that it is still on TV after 30 years (wait….what??? Maybe I am closer to Grampa’s age than I thought!) The number of jokes that are pitched and rejected is amazing. Ok, I know what you are going to say….it’s not as good as it used to be. I get it, and so does the author. You try coming up with original material for 30 years.

I think that if you are a fan of the show, or of the writing process, you will enjoy this book. If you are a super fan – I can’t speak to how much ‘original material’ the author talks about or reveals. For me, I found it interesting and engaging.

I gave it a 4/5 star rating on Goodreads.

Full disclosure: I received this eARC from Edelweiss for a fair and honest review. (Thanks Edelweiss!)


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