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Why do you think the TV. programme The Simpsons is so successful?

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Introduction

Why do you think the T.V. programme The Simpsons is so successful? In recent years, a certain animated sitcom has caught the public's attention, evoking reactions that are both favourable and unfavourable, but hardly ever apathetic. As a brilliant, socially aware satire, Matt Groening's 'The Simpson's' has effectively stirred different emotions from different factions of the culturally deadened American populace and for this alone, it should be recognised as quality programming. The Simpsons is a brutal satire of our society and our family structures yet it offers several redeeming qualities such as feminism, endurance and most of all humour. The American animation was created by Matt Groening as shorts for the Tracy Ullman Show and was bought by Fox Network, which began screening it as half hour shows in 1989. Initially its success was restricted to the 9-16 year old age group, but its success grew quickly and it is now popular in many countries with many different audiences. The Simpson's is one of Americas most popular television shows. It ranks as the number one television programme for the viewers under eighteen years of age. Matt Groening intended for them to represent the American typical family "who love each other and drive each other crazy." The improbable long term success of the Simpson lies in its producer's ability to understand the expectations of the television audience and the culture that surrounds them. This understanding, combined with wry sarcasm, topical themes, and superb scripting that puts most other comedies to shame, as well as some old slapstick comedy, makes the Simpsons one of the most popular television programmes in television history. The show is often complex and highly intellectual, while remaining funny at the most basic levels. The fact that the show works on several levels at once draws a generational diverse fan base. The adults are attracted by the surprisingly sophisticated dialogue, while the children enjoy the clumsy antics of Homer and the traditionally "cartoonish" aspects of the programme. ...read more.

Middle

The sun sets and rises five times, and each day, a set of dancing targets pass him. One day it is shooting targets, another day it is rabbits, then ducks, then Patty and Selma and finally Ned Flanders. This creates visual irony because Homer really wants to shoot something, and lots of targets pass him. Unlike English mainstream culture, America does not view football that highly. Americans consider it boring as it is a 'Low scoring' and has 'draws.' Because of this the Simpson's makes fun of our football culture. The Simpson's satirise the fact that football supporters get overly emotional about the 'beautiful game.' Before the match, Homer turns to Marge looking very worried and claims that he will 'kill himself if Portugal wins.' Matt Groening is trying to say some supporters treat football as a life or death situation and get too intense about their team. The Simpson's also try to imply football is all hype. His expectation of the crowd is tremendous during the build up to the match but it all fizzles out once the match kicks off. The football match is satirised as the ball is passed motionlessly between three players for a long time. This is America parody on Britain's sport, suggesting that it is boring, lacks excitement of any kind. It also manages to make a parody of the football riots that occurred in Britain in the 70's and 80's. The British riots happened because of team loyalty and tension between supporters, but the parody of the riots shown on 'the cartridge family' episode began because they were fighting to get out of the stadium, to get away from the game. It implies that all football fans must be maniac hooligans and although the riots in Britain were dangerous and often tragic, the parody of them makes them seem humorous. Sarcasm is so casually used it is almost over looked, weaved into the dialogue with ease. ...read more.

Conclusion

Celebrities would want to be on the show because it is so successful and it gives them more popularity. There are several other reasons why the show has remained so popular. Some involved change, and others include the fact there has been none; Bart has been ten since forever and still is a vehicle promoting the 'cowabunga' tag line. These cartoon characters with funny hair, funny voices and yellow skin are, some say are corrupting humanity? As a reply in the words of Bart Simpson 'Eat my shorts!' There is undoubtedly more to the Simpson's than just humour; it has depth and variety that most cartoons lack greatly. The show does not face the problem that many others experience, being that they stick to the same philosophy in each and every episode, making them mundane. The Simpson's affects kids, just as anything around them will. Perhaps people fear the Simpson's because they can see a little of the Simpson's in themselves. We all have inner child's that are trying to get out just like Bart. We all do 'pull a Homer' sometimes. It just happens; the show doesn't make us do it. If this world did not have the Simpson's children would behave in the same manner, they just might laugh quite as much. Matt Groening is an extremely intelligent and intellectual man who should be given a tremendous amount of credit. He has made a cartoon that can be viewed and understood at so many different levels. For example, a child could relate to each character for their face value and get enjoyment out of simple humour. It could also be viewed simply as a humorous cartoon with an unforgettable family and furthermore it could definitely be viewed at an educational level. Which ever level it is viewed at, in every episode Groening makes it clear there is nothing more important than family. Kiran Lakhanpal 21/02/05 Mrs Moores ...read more.

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