Is Homer Simpson Abusive

"The Simpsons" celebrate their birthday : The world is yellow

If the sentence is correct that any critical television series is only as good as the criticism of it is loud, then "The Simpsons" are very good. US President George Bush warned in 1992 that Americans should be "more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons". Teachers attacked the character of Bart Simpson for his attitude of being underperforming but still proud of it; at all - according to a general criticism - the family is not a good role model; the Republican Joseph R. Pitts blamed Homer Simpson for the decline of the American father role.

The criticism of the wicked and funny cartoon series, created by Matt Groening, comes mainly from the conservative corner, all the more remarkable that "The Simpsons" has been produced and broadcast since its start on December 17, 1989 by the television station Fox. Fox is the television thinker, if not the prayer leader, for (right-wing) conservative America. “The Simpsons” will remain on Fox's program, even if the production company of the outspoken Donald Trump supporter Rupert Murdoch was sold to the entertainment giant Walt Disney.

Breaking expectations

But what about the chaos father Homer Simpson (lazy, lusty and certainly not the brightest light on the Christmas tree), mother Marjorie "Marge" (the morally firm soul of the family), the flail Bart, the nerdy Lisa and Margaret "Maggie" (first a Year old, speaks the word “yes” with a Norwegian accent) to offer or target more than 700 episodes, that doesn't work according to the left / right scheme. Fitness gurus, gun fools, radical feminists, fast-food junkies - whatever influences or determines the everyday life of the American way of life, is satirically shredded in the 22 minutes of an episode. Not grainy, but subversive in gags and meta-gags, neither in crystal-clear child nor exclusively adult humor. "The Simpsons" position themselves between the poles and clearly not in the middle. In breaking expectations, there is attraction and attractiveness. And because the celebrities from politics and science - British Prime Minister Tony Blair or physicist Stephen Hawking - as well as showbiz - Beatle Paul McCartney or actress Kim Basinger - appeared as cartoon alter-egos, numerous pop-cultural references such as the jungle scene from "Apocalypse Now" there was a diverse audience for the characters.

Why are the figures wearing yellow? Yellow is a bit like a skin tone and a bit like a skin color, wrote author Mike Reiss in his book "Springfield Confidential". Why only four fingers on each hand? Figures with four fingers are easier and faster to draw, and therefore also cheaper. The creators have been working on an episode for nine months; if the plot is ready, it will be drawn in South Korea. God is the only one who falls out, God has five fingers.

Average, trivial, typical

In the other characteristics, everything is based on average, triviality and a typology suitable for the entire USA. The Simpsons are an average family, living in the fictional town of Springfield, the most common place name in the United States. The place is named, not the state, which makes further localization of the peculiarities and peculiarities impossible. Springfield including the Simpsons is everywhere and nowhere. And because that's the way it is (by design), the series is one of the greatest TV successes in the world and an export hit. It begins with global broadcasting, in Germany in 1991 only on ZDF, since 1994 on Pro Sieben's program, in 2005 licensed to the Arab world as "Al Shamsoon" without the scenes with duff beer and pork; the ban imposed in Iran in 2012 reflects the tense relationship between the Islamic Republic and the USA.

Makers and broadcasters also react to circumstances. When allegations of abuse against the late pop icon Michael Jackson became loud, the episode disappeared with his appearance in the poison cabinet. All the more vehemently there is reference to “Bart's look into the future”, in which Lisa Simpson has to clear away the US President and the mountain of debt that her predecessor left behind - Donald Trump.

A huge merchandising tableau has been created around the "Simpsons" - rag dolls, video games, pinball machines, amusement park. The popular culture success has also become a commercial one. But how long does it go on together? "The Simpsons" are still prime-time material at Fox, although the ratings have dropped to an average of four million viewers. The record high of 33.6 million was years ago. Shift in the "Treehouse of Horror"?

Homer Simpson: "No!"

"The Simpsons", Pro Sieben, Tuesday, 6:10 pm

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