March 2, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “The Book Job”

In which Homer gets a gang together to pull of a huge heist...writing a best-selling book for tweens.

You know, this episode was actually just…cool.

I mean, it clearly went for an Ocean’s Eleven vibe, and having Andy Garcia guest star as the ultimate mark makes that especially clear if you somehow missed it before that point.

The Simpsons are visiting a show that is clearly not the live version of Walking with Dinosaurs.  For one thing, it’s called Sitting with Dinosaurs.  And most of the children of Springfield panic and run screaming when the dinosaur puppets come out and start roaring and looking deadly.  I can vouch for that because I took my niece to see that show once when she was a pre-teen, as opposed to now when she’s a current-teen, and the T-Rex scared the crap out of her from the top section.  The Simpsons stay, learning the valuable lesson that an asteroid could wipe out the human race at any time, so why worry about the environment, which is almost certainly the wrong lesson.

But a chance toss of a souvenir unmasks a raptor on a lower floor and Lisa recognizes the woman!  It’s T.R. Francis!  Author of the Angelica Button book series she loves so much!

Or, it isn’t.  The woman is just an actress who posed for the book jacket.  There is no T.R. Francis.  the books were written by corporate group think, marketing trends, and anonymous grad students looking to earn a living at a pittance.  Lisa is devastated.

Then, since it’s Lisa, she gets angry, and spouts off that the whole thing is a sham, a very valuable, million-dollar sham.  I am sure Homer overhearing that would not get the wrong idea.  The wrong idea for Homer would be not to exploit that by getting a gang together to write a “perfect” tween novel.  That would be the right idea for most people, but Homer isn’t most people.

Who’s in Homer’s rather cool gang?  See for yourself:

That’s some cool music.  I wonder what was up with Kansas City and Lenny’s monkey.

Of course, Lisa overhears this and decides to write her own, but procrastination keeps her from doing it.

How does Homer’s team do?  Very well, as it turns out.  They meet in a book store and manage to cobble together a plot that does not involve vampires as Homer initially suggested because there’s so darn many of them.  You know, like Twilight.

Twilight sucks.

Things start to improve a bit when guest star Neil Gaiman comes by looking to get involved, and they opt to write a book about trolls in a magical school.  Moe wants to stab him, but the others agree to make him their gofer so someone can keep bringing them food.  The established author is remarkably good at that.  He doesn’t even complain.

As it is, though Lisa never finishes anything, the gang gets the book done and take it to a publisher (Garcia), and he agrees to publish it, but they don’t have a fake author with a compelling bio to go with it.  Lisa, desperate to get her name on a book, agrees to do it.

And then the early proof shows up at the gang’s doorstep and the company changed it to…vampires.

C’mon, man, Twilight has problems.

But wait, they were given a million dollar check.  The scam worked.  Why is this a problem.  Gaiman lets them know they all have pride of ownership now in their creation.  Even last holdout Bart goes for it when he learns the troll battle from centuries earlier was changed to a prom night.  He even rips up the check.

So, that leads to a great break-in sequence.  I wish someone on YouTube included that one.  Thanks, everyone who uploads Simpsons videos to YouTube but not that one.

But the problem is even though the gang manages to evade the guards and the robotic dogs and whatever the hell else they’re dodging to that remarkably catchy music, Garcia’s nameless publisher is there with his own people because someone tipped them off.  It was Kansas City all over again, whatever happened there.  Who’s the rat?  Lisa.  She gives Bart a quick hug before plugging the flash drive with the vampires into the computer and the book starts printing.

She wanted her name on a book cover so badly…

But wait, as the gang passes a book store, they see the book they wrote actually did get published.  The troll book is a big success.  Lisa, pleased, explains she switched the flash drives when she hugged Bart because she knew they’d need the publisher’s password to pull the whole thing off.  And she still got her name on…wait, no she didn’t.  The author listed is Neil Gaiman…and he’s suddenly missing.

Cut to a beach in Shelbyville where Gaiman is enjoying maitais and claiming there were actually three flash drives and he is a best seller again, despite being illiterate and never actually writing anything.

Oh, and Moe was in on it, but he may have been poisoned.

That music is still so damn cool.