Beginning to Understand The Simpsons


I must admit that before being forced to watch the show this week, I have always hated The Simpsons.  However, after listening to the interview with Peter Steeves and watching the episodes that followed, I have a new appreciation for the show.  I watched the episodes through the lens of it making fun of our culture while also showing that the characters and even the writers are a product of that same culture, no one’s hands are clean.  I could first see this in the theme song/introduction.  The entire Simpson family sits on the couch at one point and the couch turns into a monster that swallows them all.  This plays on our culture because the writers are making fun of our couch potato society, yet at the same time showing that the characters they have created also fall prey to this same culture as they are completely engulfed by the couch and television as well.  As I continued to watch the episodes I actually laughed at the show, I was not watching it as a person annoyed by the arrogance of the writers poking fun at the rest of us, but rather ingenious writers who are making fun of the things that everyone in society, even them, falls victim too.  I cannot wait to continue watching this show in the future with this new perspective.

Stephanie Rubin

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8 Responses to Beginning to Understand The Simpsons

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I felt the exact same way before having to watch the show for class the week. In general, I am not a big fan of animated shows, and I especially didn’t like The Simpsons. After listening to the interview, though, I realize the same thing – that the writers are also making fun of themselves. I also like how Steeves talked about how the show contains significant cultural references. I appreciate that they do it in a more accurate and revealing way than does a show like Family Guy. I used to associate these shows together, and now I know not to.
    Nicolette McCann

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I could not agree more. I grew up absolutely hating this show, and almost every other animated show that was similar, including the likes of South Park, King of the Hill, etc. After reading this week’s chapter and listening to the interview, however, I was able to gain a different perspective into the show and its writers. I found it almost relieving to hear that by making fun of cultural contexts, the writers are in turn, poking fun at themselves. It almost adds a more lighthearted and humorous tone the show (adding to the already funny tone) knowing that the writers are self-deprecating and humble, willing to make fun of themselves and society. I always saw The Simpsons as a potty trash show, with absolutely no substance, but after viewing a few episode from this different lens, I can now see why many sitcom lovers praise the show. – Eleanor Raether

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I completely agree! When I was growing up I remember being so annoyed with the characters, especially their voices, when my brother would watch the show. I never took the time to consider the significance of the show prior to watching it for the class because it was cartoon. It seemed silly to me before I was required to look at it through a different lens for this class. By watching the interview and reading the chapter before I watched the episodes I was able to appreciate them on a level i never considered prior.

    – Sarah Bonner

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I think the Simpsons is a special kind of television breed, namely because the show writers managed to make yellow cartoon characters a symbol for society as a whole. It’s a brilliant and timeless concept, and yes, the chapter did make me have a further appreciation of the show as well. –Serena Daya

  5. mediaphiles says:

    Growing up, my mom never allowed me and my siblings to watch The Simpsons. And although I was very curious as to what the show was and what it was about, it never really bothered me that I wasn’t able to watch it because it just seemed kind of stupid to me. Now that I realize what they are joking about and am more attentive to what is happening in society I am able to understand the quick-styled humor and appreciate the writers of the show more.
    -Kendall Fischlein

  6. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with your post and with the comments above. I never understood or appreciated The Simpsons (and I wasn’t allowed to watch it when I was younger). I don’t think it’s going to be my new favorite show, but I can now say I appreciate it! The chapter and interview did a good job of explaining the purpose of this series.
    – Sarah King

  7. mediaphiles says:

    I totally agree with you! I hated The Simpsons before watching these episodes, but the insight of the interview and the chapter helped me understand its cultural value. Even though the show can seem painfully stupid, a lot of the humor is contextual and actually extremely relevant to our culture. I could definitely tolerate the show a lot more after this lesson. Arianna Gershon

  8. mediaphiles says:

    The Simpsons was either a hit or a miss for me. I thought some episodes were funny and some were just strange. I feel the same way about characters. I know many think Apu is offensive but as an Indian person, I can honestly say I am not offended by Apu.
    Laya Mohan

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