Blog: Why The Simpsons Continues to Work

Love them or hate them, it cannot be denied that The Simpsons have been an animated mainstay for a little over a generation. But why is it so? It has been written that, “a pictured parody of controversial issues of a society is the most effective approach that target various dilemmas within a society without offending anyone belief, notion, religion, gender and lifestyle.” I consider this to be one of the reasons for longevity of The Simpsons.

The show has always been paraded as highly dysfunctional. Nevertheless there is an undeniably traditional ‘every’ American family model to the show (father, mother, and the ‘2.4’ children). It is one of the things which has anchored it: we can bank on this dynamic of returning to the comfortable American family scenario by the end of every episode. That trusted formula has allowed the writers to explore some hotly contested social commentaries over its 27-year tenure on TV. Unconsciously knowing that by the end of the 22-minutes everything will be back to normal, we have felt safe exploring these topics with the family.

Now I admit that this doesn’t sound very video-crafty – so why am I writing about it? Well, I thought it would be an interesting backdrop for what I believe is the second reason that the Simpsons have continued to work: the incorporation of pop culture into the story-lines.

The pop-culture celebrity list alone is huge, and there are far too many pop culture references to include in a humble blog post (well, one short enough to be read. Honestly, a TLDR comment is the bane of bloggers!). Still, I want to do this point justice.

As someone who enjoys cinematic elements, I was well pleased to find the following clip. It is my joy to share a cleverly montaged side-by-side comparison of some of the Simpsons cinema references. Created by Spanish student Celia Gómez, I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did!

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