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Satire and the Simpsons.

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Introduction

SATIRE AND THE SIMPSONS Matt Groening's, the 'Simpsons' rose from a comic strip to a thirty-second spot on the Tracy Ullman show to the major primetime show that it is today. The creativity of the writers produced a show whose popularity extends to foreign countries. Critics of the show claim that it is crude and needs to be put off the air, but I don't agree with them. This show is absolute genius in that, The Simpsons, is a show of pure satire on American life. How ironic: The most sophisticated script, the greatest acting, and the most intelligent character on television (Lisa Simpson) hides itself inside a cartoon and then blast out at every angle of the show no matter how trivial the scene or moment. No wonder the show is so successful. Most of the criticism regarding television programs lies in the fact that they have little or no substance and have no relation to everyday life. They lack Satire. Programs such as Ground Force and Changing Rooms leave an educated viewer in despair while they grow restless searching for some sort of entertainment worthy of their intelligence. ...read more.

Middle

Perhaps the best way of putting this is that the writers give every character and extra a personality that is emphasised whenever possible just to give that extra feeling of real people and not just time and space fillers. This is unlike many programs where extras are used to just fill time and space the Simpson's creators gave strong purpose and qualities to each and every character in the show no matter how insignificant they were to that storyline. Take for example Barney, a bright college student with a promising future. Homer introduced Barney to beer which metamorphosised Barney into a drunk instantaneously. The reason the writers instantly transformed him into an alcoholic is because, unlike real life were it can take months or years his character would not be as effective to the plots if they had to wait that long for his character to develop. Now when Barney is ever introduced to a storyline, you see him drinking beer, preferably Duff Beer, or by then already drunk. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Simpson family shares few characteristics with the ideal family in other comedy sitcoms; however that is where the true genius subsides. The family consists of a father, mother, three children, a dog and a cat that live in suburban America. The father works for a nuclear power plant, the wife takes care of the house and kids, and the children except for Maggie are in primary school. They meet all the criteria of a typical suburban working class family. Even their children meet the viewer's stereotypes of what they should be. Bart could be described as mischievous, Lisa is the intelligent young girl with little self-esteem, this is shown when the family went on holiday to a seaside resort and Lisa felt it necessary to reinvent her whole lifestyle just to gain respect from 'cool' teenagers, and Maggie whose often used to emphasise vulnerability. Other institutions that are satirised in the show include the police department and the mayor's office. Chief Wiggum, the captain of the Springfield Police Department, has all the stereotypical characteristics associated with police. He's fat, lazy, eats donuts, and is corrupt. The only public official that rivals him would be Mayor Quimby who is even more corrupt. ...read more.

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