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'The Simpsons': America's First Family (2000)

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23 June 2000 (UK)  »

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Workmanlike, unanalytical history of genius show.
6 July 2000 | by (dublin, ireland) – See all my reviews

This belated tenth anniversary BBC tribute to the third greatest show of all time (the first episode aired Christmas 1989) is pretty much what you'd expect - interviews with the creator, producers, voice actors, celebrity guests, animators, composer etc., interspersed with illustrative clips and a narrative history that tows the conventional line. The conservative heart of this supposedly 'dysfunctional' and 'radical' show is mercifully admitted

  • it's as hard to take satire seriously from murdoch-employed millionaires


as it to root for Thomas Crown; and the reason the film has 'adult' levels is so children can be surveilled (who wants subversion their parents enjoy?).

The programme does pinpoint the reason for the show's success - a depth of character which does not inhibit disruption when the need arises; an expressive freedom that allows expressionistic, dream, fantasy sequences run riot; a crucial mix of comic registers. Dan Castellenata is deadpan hilarious in interview, sweetly displaying the range of his genius. Not enough Monty, though. Hopefully too much evisceration won't spoil the magic of the whole.


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