Advance Review: "The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice!" is not what I was hoping it would be. It is not an expansive look at the history of one of my favorite television series of all time. It does not show us a variety of rare, never-before-seen sketches of Matt Groening's original pitch to Fox. It does not document the rise of the series with in-depth interviews with the stars of the show. There is no breakdown of the most popular episodes, with writers giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the process and what ideas were not allowed to make it to air. But how could it be? This special is only an hour long and the series has been on for 20 years. Instead, the anniversary special is a lighthearted celebration of a series that began its life as animated shorts and has since become an icon.
The special is produced, written, directed and hosted by Morgan Spurlock, the man who brought us Super Size Me and the FX series 30 Days. Spurlock was well aware of his limitations of trying to fit 20 years of quotable history into a one-hour timeslot, so he chose to focus more on the fandom surrounding the series than tell the story of the series itself. He calls it "Yellow Fever." To that end, we seem to spend more time with random folks on the street and selected "super fans" than we do with the people directly associated with the show.
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