Tween lit parodied by 'The Simpsons'
|Twitter photo of animated Neil Gaiman on "The Simpsons."|
The main plot of the episode was a satire of tween lit: that it is formulaic, written by committee, and overly dependent on marketing the authors and their personal stories. And about vampires.
A chain bookstore with a cafe is also prominently featured: Bookaccino's.
Neil Gaiman pops up when several of the Simpsons characters, including Homer, decide to write their own tween bestseller and assemble a team as in caper films such as "Ocean's Eleven." They decide an actual best-selling young adult author might be handy, so they bring Gaiman in ... to fetch sandwiches.
The subsequent book fits a formula that is obviously based on the Harry Potter books ~ an orphan who discovers he is magical and needs to fulfill some sort of quest/scavenger search while going to a special school that is also magical and where they play an incomprehensible magical sport ~ but which they allege applies to all tween fantasy series.
Further Bitsoli's Biblio-Files connection: Homer says something like, "I hope we put in enough steampunk, whatever that is."
They sell "The Troll Twins of Underbridge Academy" for $1 million after setting up Homer's daughter, Lisa, as the fake author, complete with hard-luck bio, but are then dismayed when it is rewritten to be about vampires instead of trolls.
There then follows their attempt to restore the original text, a double cross or two, the twist ending ("I got the idea from every movie ever made," Lisa says) and a denouement out of the film "Wild Things."
Earlier in the episode, Lisa attempts to write her own individual book, but keeps getting distracted by making a music selection, straightening up, playing online video games, moving with her laptop to a cafe and other self-dodges familiar to all writers with writer's block.
There might have been an Ayn Rand joke in there too; I don't remember.
It was a fun half-hour. If you have AT&T U-verse, look for it. Otherwise, watch for the inevitable reruns.