The Simpsons Essay, Research Paper
The Simpsons: Up Close and Personal
There is a fine line that exists in TV land that had never been crossed until The Simpsons graced the television sets of over one million Americans. This sitcom has become one of the most popular television programs in America. Is it because The Simpsons is a cartoon? My answer is yes! This show is able to sneak through the wormholes of TV land because it is a cartoon. People are overlooking the underlying issues conveyed through the characters because it’s only cartoons right? Wrong!
The Simpsons is a satirical sitcom that makes fun of everyday issues that Americans in today’s society are faced with. In a way this is a fabulous idea. Most television shows mask the reality of life, making every conflict easy to solve and finding love is as simple as snapping fingers. These notions that are fed into the minds of Americans are false and unfair. The goal of most TV shows is to create a fantasy world where we can forget all of the hassles of life by escaping into our television sets for an hour. The Simpsons does the exact opposite. The show is designed to get Americans to confront the issues of life and take them for all they can offer, while making a joke out of issues that most Americans become overly stressed about.
In the episode I viewed in class, Homer decides to illegally install cable television into his home. Without acknowledging the fact that it is actually stealing he rationalizes that it is only fair, because the Cable Company has plenty of money. It is ironic that a nuclear power plant employs Homer because nuclear energy makes it possible to provide homes with cable television. Homer is actually stealing from his place of employment. His job is to monitor energy use, and document it precisely so American’s are billed correctly for their energy use. He is working to prevent exactly what he is doing wrong at home by stealing cable television. Many Americas could have been watching this episode on their cable televisions. For those Americans who are actually stealing cable television this episode will either consciously or unconsciously make those families think about what they are doing is wrong. This is an intelligent way of conveying an important message to people. This type of action is not acceptable behavior. This format is brilliant because it is actually funny but at the same time very serious. Americans can relate to this issue and respond in a more understanding way because this cartoon is more approachable when stealing is addressed in a humorous manner. Hopefully, this will cause people to think twice about what they are actually doing.
Bart takes this whole idea of stealing the cable as an excellent opportunity to make a little cash by inviting his peers to view the pornography channel at a cost of fifty cents per head. At first, this appears to be hilarious because most people can relate to what Bart is doing. Yet it is not the fact that Bart was selling pornography. Homer freaked out over Bart providing sexual viewing in his home rather than realizing it is the cable that he is stealing which provides his son with this opportunity. I am sure this idea has crossed the minds of many young boys at some point in their lives. Did they ever stop to think that this was a moral issue? Probably not. The Simpsons make it possible to observe actions from a different angle, allowing us to think twice about the difference between moral and immoral. Bart eventually comes to realize that this display of behavior is not right, but only through the help of his sister, Lisa.
Lisa Simpson is the most important character in The Simpsons. Her character makes it possible for the show to be satirical at all. Lisa is the black sheep of the family. She appears to be smarter than her parents. Lisa, unlike her family, is able to clearly and effortlessly distinguishes between right and wrong. Through her character immoral issues are addressed in an affective way. Lisa realizes that her family is participating in an illegal act just by watching the stolen cable. She sees visions of Hell, which drives her mad. Lisa pleads with her father to cut the cable line. She enables Homer to see the immorality of what he is doing. At the end of the show Lisa wins and her family will not be going to hell. This influences Simpson viewers across America to step outside of their actions and reevaluate what consciously is right from wrong.
The Simpsons crosses that fine line between what is acceptable on television and what is not. Various Americans might view this in a negative way. But if looked at closely, what the show is actually attempting to do is positive. Through poking fun at everyday life The Simpsons is able to reach all of the Americans who are illegally or immorally acting. Within the subconscious mind this cartoon is actually implanting a positive influence in a satirical format. Everyone loves The Simpsons; I’m glad I understand why. Now I can actually appreciate what the show is trying to accomplish. This cartoon is a brilliant way to surpass the censorship of television production companies. Television possesses a power to create an illusion of reality. This is why America is so addicted to television programming. The Simpsons through a cartoon like mask expose American society for what it has become. It emanates only the truth, but gently.