I gleefully unwrapped my two new seasons of Simpsons DVDs just now, and my father looked over and shook his head.
“I don’t see how intelligent, educated people, with university degrees, can watch the bloody Simpsons, he said.”
“It’s quite clever, Dad,” I said. “The use of comic timing and irony makes for great one-line jokes. Besides, you watch Family Guy all the time.”
“Well, that different! It must be written by Englishmen! All those English references!” Then he quoted the episode where Stewie fell over and said, “do not go gently into that good night!” and attributed the quote to Bob Dylan. “And then he sat up,” Dad continued and said – ”
“Dylan Thomas,” I finished with him.
“Right. Bloody brilliant, it was!”
I think that goes to show that Family Guy has appeal to an audience beyond the fratboys everyone thinks it’s limited to.
This was one of the successful Christmas gift exchanges ever at my house though. Aside from receiving several DVDs I wanted (two Simpsons seasons, one Mark Romanek retrospective), I also received a gorgeous sake serving set from my little sister. And everyone seems to like the gifts I bought them as well. My little sister squealed at her “chai maintenance” (the “chai” is “high” in Hebrew letters) T-shirt, as she’d seen the shirt in LAX last summer and almost bought it then. My older half-sister is wearing the scarf I bought her in the Fashion District. My mother was delighted with the new Bob Dylan biopic on DVD. And my father hasn’t put down the three books of photo history from his hometown that I had air-expressed in from Carlisle, Cumbria, UK. He keeps going through them and pointing things out. “There! That molten steel! I used to jump right over that.”
I wandered off to the kitchen to get a snack after opening gifts, and suddenly, it struck me, how happy everyone was. How wonderful it was to be home, with my family, with everyone exchanging all these carefully chosen presents, and actually happy to be together. Yeah, G-d bless us, every one, indeed. If this is the holiday that our culture has chosen as a catalyst to promote the ties that bind, and the love that we have for others, so be it.
Now we’ve finished our traditional Christmas brunch (lox and bagels) and can move on. And I hear my sister watching Road Runner cartoons, so I’m going to go watch with her.