Simpsons turns 20

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Simpsons turns 20

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:48 pm

Yesterday, January 10, 2010, The Simpsons officially turned 20, surpassing any other primetime television program as the longest running series in the history of American broadcasting. Regardless of how you feel about the Simpsons (more on that later), the influence and impact it has had on television, humour and satire are undeniable, especially for those of you (who like me) literally grew up with the Simpsons.

I can not say I was there in the begining, (being about 6) I missed the Ulman shorts. I can however state that I was there from serialization, and being 7 much was utterly lost on me until I would rewatch the episode in syndication years later. But I was a child of the 80's and early 90's and cartoons, any cartoons, were (and in many ways still are) a way of life. I still remember my first article of Simpsons paraphenaila, a saucy t-shirt/ short combination depicting Bart exclaiming "I'm an underachiever and proud of it", doing my bit (or urging my mother) to add to the"mini-simpsonsmania" which followed the show in its first and second seasons, and had critics quickly looking into the more gaudy bits, the sass-mouth of Bart and Lisa, the terrible "example" (after all cartoons were supposed to be teaching wholesome values, I'd expect everyone who grew up in the same period, to remeber the snippets of air time at the end of GI Joe, the Thundercats, Heman, the Care Bears, even tacked onto Sailor Moon, which provided some lesson to the episdoe you just watched.) which the Simpsons set for the children. All of this however,totally overlooked the deep, deep soul of the show, which was satire pure and simple.

Everything was a target: family, marriage, religion, friendship, politics, nationalism, consumerism, education, entertainment, work; if it was (or has been) part of American (and arguably Western) culture it has been satirized in the Simpsons. This of course had much to do with the originator of the show, Matt Groening, who had been an "underground" cartoonist ten years prior. His skewed view, the notion that everything was a target and ripe for satirizing, was (and remains) the heart of the show. A very healthly (arguably scathing) questioning and critique of authority, which is arguably one of the hallmarks of any robust democracy, and a generally decent way to go through life. If the Simpsons has enforced any endearing values on me ( see, educational!) it is critical thought (and an almost international lexicon of words, phrases and speeches which can be recited verbatim, at need, and for which there is one for every percievable situation.)

For those of you (and there are those of you) who "don't like" or "don't care" for the Simpsons, aside from pity, the next sentiment I would harbour would be a deep mistrust. As Joe Montanya (The voice of Fat Tony) remarked, "I don't understand the kind of people who say, "I don't like the Simpsons", they're like the people who say "I don't like dogs", who the f*ck doesn't like dogs?". Then again, these are just the gushings of a fanboy, take them for what they are.

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Re: Simpsons turns 20

Post by Mal5252 on Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:54 pm

D'oh!
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Re: Simpsons turns 20

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:03 pm

Guess Gorm meant me. Dogs or The Simpsons, I can take 'em or leave 'em and have been quite content without either for the last twenty-some odd years.

Not that I actively dislike either one, I'm simply overcome by ennui when someone starts rhapsodizing about whichever. < YAWN! >
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