“Homer doughnut. Bacon doughnut. Paradise.”
Thus says Morgan Spurlock in The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special.
When I first heard that Spurlock, whose most renowned contribution to film is a leftish anti-fast food screed, was tasked by Fox to make a special documentary for the Simpsons’ 20th anniversary, I was mildly irritated by the choice. I say mildly, because I figured that he wouldn’t do things much differently than anybody else with that job. Indeed, Spurlock kept the documentary mostly focused on the Simpsons, rather than himself — but not entirely.
The show’s (thankfully light) political content fell embarrassingly flat. First, Spurlock interviews Catholic League head Bill Donohue about an episode he claimed to have found objectionable. Donohue merely restated his time-worn claim to a right to not be offended in the media; Spurlock couldn’t have made him look worse if he tried.
Spurlock then takes a swipe at the nuclear energy industry, by comparing people who work in it to Homer and his bumbling colleagues. This would be scurrilous if it weren’t so lame. The industry representatives he talked to merely said that, no, things like three-headed fish don’t really occur and that people like Homer would never be hired. None seemed to take umbrage at the show. To Spurlock, this is somehow damning.
But those are minor quibbles; the special is well done and entertaining for any Simpsons fan. And as a bonus, we get to see anti-McDonald’s food puritan Morgan Spurlock stuff his face with two doughnuts at once, at Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts. I wonder if he, or any of his fans, got the irony of the moment.
The Simpsons special can be viewed here. (The Voodoo Doughnuts segment is at 14:14.)
For more on Morgan Spurlock’s attack on the fast food industry, see here.
For more on Voodoo Doughnuts, see the mini-documentary below, by my friend Shayne Hansen.