The Simpsons. An American cartoon which shows the extravagant and chaotic life of the people of a fictional town called Springfield. This programme was first viewed in year 1987, they had a five-minute slot on the Tracey Ullman show. The creator of The Simpsons is a man called Matt Groening. He is the one who had the great idea to make a story of an American family, using quite a lot of exaggeration. This idea got bigger and now they have their own show. The Simpsons family consists of five people. The mother, Marge, the father, Homer and their three kids Bart, Lisa and Maggie. They also have two pets, a cat called Snowball and a dog called Santa's Little Helper. Matt Groening named all the characters of the Simpsons family members after his own family. The only name that's different is Bart, which is an anagram of the word brat. Bart is the oldest child, the one that is always causing trouble, he isn't interested in anything if it doesn't suit his own purposes. Lisa is the smart one, a child that always gets the best marks and often corrects her own father Homer who is the dumb one. The youngest child is Maggie, she is one of the characters that are not so important in The Simpsons, she usually isn't the character who is making the episode interesting.
The creators of The Simpsons are making sure that the cartoon attracts all the generations of people. They are using all kinds of humour, mostly with a serious point. To attract the younger population, they are using primary colours: all the people in The Simpsons have yellow skin; Marge's hair is blue, just like Homer's pants. Also the music they are using is simple and makes children like it and listen to it, they find the cartoon interesting. To make the children like it they are also using slapstick humour, which children understand and find funny. To attract the adults, they are making a lot of incisive comments regarding their own government, the country and other things hidden in the humour although exaggeration is used. Matt Groening said "It always amazes me how few cartoonists in print or animation go after bigger issues, the kind of things that keep you lying awake in the middle of the night... And that's what I try and do inject the stuff that people really care about into my cartoons!" A lot of the characters from The Simpsons are stereotyped. The humour that is used quite often includes sexual innuendo and double entendre. That's the type of humour used to attract the older audience. Also for the older generation they are using homage, which refers to other programmes, songs or films. The humour that is used quite often in real life, not only in The Simpsons, is called satire. It's that kind of humour, which makes fun of someone but does make a serious point and this perhaps reinforces the likelihood that the programme is in fact a Trojan Horse. As C. Turner says in his book, Planet Simpson, "Disguised as an inconsequential children's confection-a mer cartoon-The Simpsons erupts each week in a series of spectacular satirical detonations, expressing a deeper contempt for authority than anything else on primetime".
The Simpsons is one of the most successful sitcoms in the world. The number of awards the show had won is countless. It is strange that some parents once disapproved of such a popular show. They weren't too happy about the show because they thought Bart was a very bad role model for their children. His "I don't care attitude" and also the way he behaves and what kind of a student he is made them think that their children might find it amusing and do the exact same thing. And so some of the parents did not enjoy the show very much. At the time, when George Bush was a president of the USA, he made a comment on the show. "We're going to strengthen the American family to make them more like The Waltons and less like The Simpsons." The wish he openly stated seems very naive and surely unrealistic. As a president of the USA he can't expect the people to be the same as they were ages ago. His wish is quite impossible because what he obviously wants from Americans by saying this is to be perfect, which cannot be done. The Waltons was a television show set in the 1930's and 1940's although produced in the 70s. The Waltons were always portrayed as a perfect family. Even though there are real actors in the show, there is less reality in the situations. The Simpsons might be the cartoon characters but still the way they are and the way they deal with many situations is a lot more realistic, even when the exaggeration is used.
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The Simpsons - Trojan Horse or Court Jester?
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