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With reference to The Simpsons and other situation comedies; “situation comedies are perceptive and thoughtful commentaries upon contemporary society”, do you agree?

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Introduction

With reference to The Simpsons and other situation comedies; "situation comedies are perceptive and thoughtful commentaries upon contemporary society", do you agree? The origin of situation comedies dates back to 18th November 1947 when a fifteen-minute programme entitled Mary Kay and Johnny made its debut on the Dumont network. Similar to the more famous I Love Lucy series that ensued, Mary Kay and Johnny starred a real-life couple. Many such domestic shows were already playing on radio, but none had yet made the groundbreaking transition to television, which had only been around for less than a decade. Thus began a trend of family or couple based situation comedies. The Flintstones was the pioneer of animated sitcoms and was premiered on 30th September 1960. It became the precursor to a flourish of animated sitcoms including The Jetsons, Family Guy and of course the proverbial Simpsons. In the beginning, the humour involved in sitcoms was innocent in that it avoided involving any sensitive subjects. ...read more.

Middle

Childbirth is a frequent topic and three different age groups show marriage issues: the grandparents, the parents and the children. The Simpsons revolutionised situation comedy when it was first aired on 17th December 1987; a Christmas special entitled "Simpsons roasting on an open fire". Based loosely around the life of its creator Matt Groening, the show was originally targeted at young audience but adults became captivated by the yellow characters too. It was effective because being an animated program The Simpsons was not real and subtle differences were intentionally added to enforce the idea, for example, all the characters only have four fingers. This allowed the producers extraordinary scope to effectively do as they wished and get away with it. However, people were still able to relate to the characters. Violence is regularly exhibited on the sitcom, most notably by the notorious Itchy and Scratchy, a parody of the cat and mouse antics of Tom and Jerry. Far from being a negative factor, this is intended to highlight the amount of violence on television and how children can be easily ...read more.

Conclusion

Similar to other sitcoms like "The Young Ones" and "Faulty Towers" It only exists purely for entertainment values. The coarse language and often obscene story lines may be offensive to some viewers, especially when the show involves four eight year old children as the central characters. However, its twisted humour still succeeds to amuse many others. A typical episode portrays the strange day to day lives of Eric, Kenny, Stan and Kyle. Kenny dies a gruesome death in each episode and this has become a trademark for the program. The show, similar to The Simpsons and all other memorable sitcoms, has also spawned many catch phrases. Southpark specialises in creating comedy from another person's misfortune. If everybody took Southpark too seriously then it has the potential to offend anyone and everyone. The level of perception in situation comedies varies from one to the next. Whereas The Simpsons contains a spectrum of deep messages, other sitcoms like Southpark have no meaning whatsoever except to entertain viewers. Although both are animated shows, the former still possesses similarities to contemporary society and its themes are very realistic issues. ...read more.

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