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An Analysis of The Simpsons.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

An Analysis of The Simpsons The Simpsons is a very successful animated sitcom. Sitcom is an abbreviation of situation comedy. A sitcom is a comedy in which you have different storylines every episode. Other famous animated sitcoms are Family Guy, Futurama and South Park. The Simpsons is the brainchild of Matt Groening (rhymes with complaining) and started of as 30 second sketches on the Tracy Ullman Show. They proved so successful that the Fox Network decided to produce a half hour long version and so on December 1989 The Simpsons as we know and love was born. Before The Simpsons was introduced many sitcoms were quite bland and a perfect reflection of family life. Matt Groening decided to make a programme that reacted against these middle class, formulaic sitcoms. The purpose of The Simpsons is above all to entertain otherwise no one will watch it, however The Simpsons also exposes stereotypes and satirises aspects of mainstream cultures and institutions that are wrong as a way of ridiculing them. The main appeal of The Simpsons lies with its target audience. My younger sister enjoys watching The Simpsons as she enjoys seeing Bart and Lisa getting into trouble and also because it has a lot of funny moments that even children will enjoy, for example when Barney rolls into everyone during the soccer riot.

Middle

This is showing that politicians often abuse their power and are very dishonest because there are some real life Mayor Quimbys. For example Bill Clinton. The Simpsons also satirises the legal world by focusing on the Five Day Waiting law. Homer must wait five days before he can be issued a gun. This is done to ensure that proper checks can be undertaken on whether someone is eligible to carry guns. However The Simpsons claims that five days is not enough to determine if someone is fit to carry guns, as this could be a life or death decision. This is highlighted by the fact that Homer says 'Five days! I'm mad now'. This is saying that often people buy guns on an impulse and that they do not really think about what they are getting themselves into. Also the law is portrayed as not being very effective. Homer is an 'alcoholic', has a 'mental problem' and has beaten up important people, however this only limits Homer to 3 guns. This is ridiculing the law as it is not working. If it were working America would not have such a high crime rate. Unlike English mainstream culture, America does not view soccer that highly. Americans consider it boring as it is 'low scoring' and has 'draws'. Because of this The Simpsons makes fun of our soccer culture.

Conclusion

However a cartridge reminds us of a gun. On the whole I think this episode was quite successful as it has strong images such as the gun falling into Bart's hands and then Bart nearly shooting his best friend when he has the gun. These ideas stick in our minds so we think twice about buying guns. However the episodes strongest feature is the comedy it can generate over as sensitive a subject like keeping guns in the house An interesting point is that The Simpsons contradicts itself. Firstly it has become what it is against. 'The Cartridge Family' makes fun of celebrities being used to sell products and the public buying these things by using the example of Pele endorsing Crestfield Wax Paper, however I have seen The Simpsons lend it's name to all sorts of products like cereal and ready meals. So in a way either inadvertently or deliberately it has become a contradiction. However I find it hard to believe that someone as clever as Matt Groening would be na? enough to accidently let The Simpsons become the contradiction it now is. Another point is that The Simpsons critisices the very medium it uses which is TV. Matt Groening satirises TV for making people want things they don't need however I have seen a lot of kids go and buy Simpsons toys and games after watching The Simpsons. Because of this I find it hypocritical for The Simpsons to critisice other things for doing the same thing it (indirectly) does.

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