The Simpsons: Beyond Forever A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family…Still Continued is the third entry in the series of books that offers up a perfectly cromulent amount of information on the longest running sitcom in American history. Having bought the first two books and being a major league Simpsons fan, I proudly strolled into Books-A-Million and demanded to be sold this third entry. After being escorted out by two sales associates trying their level best to convince me that the book wouldn’t come out until the next day, I vowed to wait outside and be there when the doors opened. My wife had other ideas.
The Simpsons: Beyond Forever A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family…Still Continued takes up where The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family and The Simpsons Forever: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite FamilyÃ¢Â?Â¦Continued left off. Namely, with seasons 11 & 12. Although covering only two seasons like the previous book, it’s thicker than that one. Why? Because where the first two books granted only a few episodes two pages worth of information, The Simpsons: Beyond Forever A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family…Still Continued gives each episode at least two pages, and Treehouse of Horror Halloween specials no less than FOUR pages each. Wow! Why you don’t own this book if you are a Simpsons fan is beyond me. It’s beyond forever beyond me.
Like the first two volumes, the meat of the book is a detailed analysis of each episode. Buy this book and you will get a full-length synopsis of each episode. You will get a recreation of each of Bart’s chalkboard gags. You will ooh and aah over the large-scale drawings of all your favorite Simpsons character. There are more classic quotes featured in this book than in the other two, as well more things that you may have missed in each episode. A lot of the greatest gags in any Simpsons episode are ones that you miss the first time around. Things like the funny names given to products and companies, or books and movies, etc. You can find some terrifically funny stuff contained in these pages that completely slipped past you.
Something new to The Simpsons: Beyond Forever that wasn’t featured in the first two volumes is the inclusion of production art from the show. If you’ve ever wondered what some of that gorgeous animation in your favorite Simpsons episode look in its formative stages, here’s your chance. The highlights are the line drawings that would eventually become Xena the Warrior Princess in one of the Halloween episodes, and a simply stunning drawing of Moe after his plastic surgery.
Like the first two Simpsons episode guides, this one has some extras. One of my favorites is the page that features some of the hilarious signs that have been seen on marquee outside Rev. Lovejoy’s church over the years. (Today’s Topic: There’s Something About the Virgin Mary.) As with the first two Guides to Our Favorite Family, this one also features a listing of the situations which caused Homer to say “D’oh!” as well as the things which caused him to say “MmmmÃ¢Â?Â¦..”
As with the other two, fans of Itchy the homicidal mouse and his unfortunate feline victim Scratchy will find exhaustively detailed synopses of all their shorts, this time with some dialogue added to the mix. The couch gags are also exhaustively detailed to the point where you could adequately describe what is happening on screen behind you without looking.
The page which lists which characters are done by which voice-over actor has grown substantially by this volume. Just a cursory glance at this page should draw anyone’s admiration for the amazing ability of these men and woman. This page is also an eye-opener for anyone still labors under the impression that The Simpsons is about five members of a family. The cast of this shown continues to expand exponentially; try to imagine a live-action show that had this voluminous cast of characters.
As with its predecessor, The Simpsons: Beyond Forever also provides the lyrics to many of the great songs written and performed on this show. Most non-fans don’t realize that The Simpsons has showcased more original songs than any other show in American history. Not only have there been more songs sung on this show, but both the music and the lyrics are far more clever than any music you will hear anywhere else in America today.
A clever and witty show like The Simpsons deserves a clever and witty episode guide and the guys behind The Simpsons: Beyond Forever continue to produce quality work.