Two of my favorite things are coming together next month for a once in a lifetime event. (If every basic cable limited series can be called an “event,” so can this.) The May 4 episode of The Simpsons is the long-running series’ 550th episode, which they’re celebrating with their most conceptually daring half-hour yet: a LEGO episode titled “Brick Like Me.” You could probably tell that from the picture above, but don’t go jumping to conclusions like so many did when Under the Dome was announced, saying that the Stephen King-adapted series was ripping off The Simpsons Movie. Note from the offset that Matt Groening and his creative team weren’t ripping off Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s near-perfect The LEGO Movie, as both projects were conceived independently of one another. Plus, LEGO was also involved with this episode. And that concludes today’s edition of The Simpsons Defender.
But it’s still a genius concept, right? LEGO has somehow managed to create unique experiences with every franchise they’ve attached themselves to, and America’s most long-running family is past ripe to get the block-headed treatment. For the occasion, EW sat down with executive producers Matt Selman and Brian Kelley, who wrote the episode, and the duo shared the interesting and amusing background to the idea, as well as what we can expect to see built into the show.
But first, another slightly disturbing image, courtesy of Fox.
It’s so strange to see the three dimensional CGI put up next to the familiarly flat images we’ve known for the past 25 years. But it isn’t unpleasant. Selman and Kelley started seriously kicking the idea around in early 2012, and Kelley calls it the most ambitious episode ever, at least “if the ambition of a Simpsons episode can be measured by how much sleep I lost.” They’re keen to point out this won’t just be like a completely bonkers “Treehouse of Horrors” episode, and an extreme amount of care was taken to make this as realistic an adventure as possible, at least within the strained definition of “realistic” as this show offers. Think 3D Homer, just with 2013-2014 computers.
Though the details about the plot were kept hush-hush, Selman and Kelley promised as many LEGO puns as the brain can comprehend, as well as an endless amount of background jokes and silly references, with much attention paid to keeping the story relatable to both children and adults who act like children. They also said as many beloved characters as possible made the hard-angled jump to LEGO-dom.
The animation will look quite different from Warner’s film, and the toy universe will allow these characters to do things that they wouldn’t be able to do in the real world. As Kelley explains, “We could have something happen to a character that would kill them or cause them great pain, but in the LEGO world, there are no consequences.”
They also hint at a hard plastic sex scene between Marge and Homer that made LEGO request a re-edit. Maybe a Lincoln Log was used in that scene, eh? Tune into Fox on Sunday, May 4 to see just how risqué it gets.