‘The Simpsons’ is a very popular cartoon and also the longest running comedy series in American television history. This is due largely to its ability to entertain people of all ages, with its variety of humour and its true to life style, although it is often exaggerated. The show itself centres around a stereotypical American family living in Springfield (the most common town name in the US) and their everyday lives, conflicts and arguments. Although a cartoon, ‘The Simpsons’ is presented much more as sitcom. Each show has a main story line with a few smaller ones in the background.
Despite its strong sitcom style it disguises this with its simple cartoon appearance, especially the yellow skin of the characters. The family depicted are based on the creator, Matt Groening’s own family, only substituting himself for Bart (an anagram of brat. ) The show has been criticised by many who suggest that its true to life style gives a bad impression of the American public. This even went as far as the then president George Bush, mentioning the show in his 1992 speech when he said, “The nation needs to be more like the Waltons than the Simpsons.
” ‘The Simpsons’ Opening Titles As we watch ‘The Simpsons’, we firstly hear the angelic singing of ‘The Simpsons’ accompanied by soft music. Fluffy white clouds part to reveal a perfect blue sky and ‘The Simpsons’ writing moves toward the screen in an almost heavenly way. This is perhaps to give the misleading impression that ‘The Simpsons’ are yet another perfect television family. Bart Next we meet Bart for the first time. He is in school detention, writing lines on a blackboard.
These lines change each episode, making it topical and also drawing people into the show, because they want to see what Bart is going to write. In this particular episode he is writing, “I will not sell land in Florida”, a reference to the scandal involving former president Bill Clinton selling land in Florida and is an example of one of the jokes only adults may appreciate. He has almost finished writing and is looking rather grumpy when we first see him, then the bell goes for him to leave and his face changes to a grin as he races out of the classroom.
He anticipates the bell, showing that this is a routine for him. The music here has altered dramatically compared to the opening and is now more upbeat and almost funny in its own right. Homer The next character we are introduced to is Homer, the father, a large, over-weight man. From what we see of him, he acts very much like his son. He is wearing protective clothing and handling a radioactive substance, but as the sound goes for his shift to end he drops what he is doing and is out of the door, just like his son Bart has.
This is despite the fact that he has not finished what he is doing and is handling this dangerous material. We can see in the background that there is a “caution” sign next to a nuclear symbol, but even this does not stop him from simply taking off his mask and leaving. Although they are not the focus of this scene, we also see Homer’s boss Mr Burns and his assistant, Smithers in the background. From their small appearance, we already get the impression that they are watching over the employees to make sure that noone is messing about or perhaps they are there to fire someone.