This Is So Not About The Simpsons, Assembly Rooms

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The Independent Culture

I really wish this show had been about The Simpsons because, as it is, it's about nothing in particular. It has no more to say about America's foibles, obsession with the human form, fame, and religion than the target audience already know. This is no Michael Moore effort from Harry Shearer, known as the voice behind Mr Burns and Ned Flanders, and as Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, and his songwriting wife Judith Owen's contribution is a series of earnest songs that confuse what this show is doing.

The promotional material promises a "comic commentary on the world's most powerful nation" but, power ballads aside, Shearer is hardly pushing boundaries when he says that Americans have usurped the idea of 15 minutes of fame and made fame a continuous state of being, or that it really is true that anyone can become President of the United States.

Meanwhile, Owen does supply a few intentionally comic numbers (you can tell they are supposed to be funny because she is wearing a wig) such as a Shirley Bassey-style number called "Connect the Dots" about the warning Bill Clinton gave to George Bush about al-Qa'ida. That warning proved ineffective but I can put you on a high state of alert if you were thinking of seeing this show.

To 28 August, except 15 (0131-226 2428)

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