How does The Simpson’s episode ‘Itchy and Scratchy and Marge’ show the ways in which television influences children? Does it show these influences to be positive or negative? Parody is an amusing imitation of another’s work. The Simpson’s use exaggeration and comedy to mock the TV culture of America. In America, at the moment most children tend to go home from school and spend the rest of the night watching TV. On average the TV is on for six hours and 47 minutes a day in America.
This is becoming a problem because as the average child has seen approximately 8000 incidents of TV violence by the age of 11, and by the time they are 18 they have witnessed over 200,000 acts of violence. Statistics also show that children who watch 4 or more hours of TV a day were significantly fatter than those watching fewer than two. In the episode ‘Itchy and Scratchy and Marge’ the producers use a variety of techniques such as humour, music, exaggeration and parody to show that too much TV violence could have harmful effect on children.
In this episode Maggie, the baby of the family attacks her farther, Homer on two occasions. Both incidences occur just after watching the cartoon ‘Itchy and Scratchy’. Itchy and Scratchy cartoons are used to demonstrate the negative effect of TV violence. In the episode Maggie is watching a violent cartoon. The lyrics used in the theme tune ‘they fight they bit’ indicates that the two characters don’t get on and that the scene will probably include acts of violence.
The episode ‘Hold the Feline’ starts with Itchy and Scratchy hitting each other over the heads with mallets, Maggie sees this and imitates it by attacking her father. Bart and Lisa carry on watching the cartoon laughing because the violence is so exaggerated. Later, in the episode ‘kitchen cup-ups’ Itchy and Scratchy attack each other with knifes, Itchy gets the upper hand and stabs the cat Scratchy. The episode finished and once again we see that the scene has influenced Maggie. She finds a pencil and tries to stab Homer.