An Analysis Of The Simpsons Essay Research

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An Analysis Of The Simpsons Essay, Research Paper Jordan Palk An analysis of The Simpson s in relation to the cultural circuit In society today we find that Mass Media surrounds us, it has become an institution in our everyday lives. The success of each individual medium such as television, radio and magazines depend on its approach to the cultural circuit. The five aspects of the cultural circuit representation, identity, production, regulation and consumption all combine with one another to create a marketable commodity. Television in particular works on many levels, it educates and informs viewers on events that happen on a national and international scale, and it could be argued that it brings the vast array of cultural differences closer together. Through television

Global companies have also used the opportunity to advertise their products to a potentially world wide audience, but amongst television s usefulness as a vital means of communication, we are constantly being supplied with a vast array of light entertainment. News updates and factual documentaries are in an increasingly losing battle against the forces of comedy sitcoms and soap operas. This has been made evident by terrestrial channels like BBC One and ITV who have put back news programmes to later times to cater for the growing demand in soap operas, that is particularly effecting the market of young viewers. One such example of modern populist television is The Simpsons. Throughout this essay I will make reference to a particular episode The call of the Simpsons . Its

re-release onto video eight years from its first screening is indicative of its success throughout the nineties. Similarly to the Sony Walkman, I will explore how it represented, what social identities are associated with it, how it is produced and consumed, and what mechanisms regulate its distribution and use . (Doing Cultural Studies: The story of the Sony Walkman) The Simpsons had developed a large and devoted audience of young people and young thinking adults . The American public could identify with what John Fiske labels as not just a cartoon but a sitcom , undoubtedly due to its representation of supposedly traditional family life in an American suburb. The notion of representation unquestionably involves the use of stereotyping. The Simpsons clearly portray a variety of

stereotypes which spread from within the domestic household and the neighbours, to outside representations of an incompetent sense of authority, and the influence of an over the top media. Characterisations such as these are designed to be culturally specific, if not slightly exaggerated, depicting everyday events that the everyday public can identify with. The opening scene in The call of the Simpsons sees Homer, a beer drinking, doughnut eating husband, and father of Bart, a cocky pre teenager, a failure at school and misunderstood at home (a typical stereotypical view of teenagers), is mowing the lawn and asks why they cannot get a new mower like the neighbours. A well-used phrase of keeping up with the Jones is utilised here with Homers response of don t try to keep up with

the Flanders . A message designed to make the family happy and content with what they have, however, this advice is corrupted as Homer sets out to buy a bigger and better motor home than his law abiding, church going neighbour. Yet another example of those all to familiar fatherisms , do as I say, not as I do. Marge, the mother of the children and often Homer is not left out in the representation of typical family life. With the aid of her daughter Lisa, who is portrayed as vastly superior in intelligence to that of her brother (a reference to modern school statistics, that see preteen girl do better academically than disruptive boys4), Marge is often seen cleaning the home and preparing the food. This allowing the father to wander off, often finding himself in Moe s Tavern the