Blog Post #9: Simpsons

I felt it necessary to write a blog based off of the first prime time cartoon that offers funny social commentary and paved the way for many other cartoons to follow, The Simpsons. Now I am a huge fan of the series going all the way back since it’s start on the Tracy Ullman Show in 1987. I have watched the show since i was old enough to understand words and probably even earlier. I will defend the writing and comedic style until the show finally ends. over 20 years ago Matt Groening invented his family of middle class Americans dealing with, often, absurd situations at home. From there the characters gained personality and depth along with a whole universe to co-exist in.

This is a segment of a poster made 8 years ago containing all of the Simpsons characters up to that point.

Having been on the air for 25 years, survived one movie, and been beaten in ratings by newer cartoons made by Seth McFarland, some of the material might get stale or simply lose it’s humor. I will conceded that the show got a little old after the Simpson’s Movie, but their ability to maintain the same style of, questionably, wholesome family fun is remarkable. With the, at the time, emerging humor style of Family Guy where obscene situations and ridiculous cut scene antics is most of the joke, the Simpsons was still able to avoid that and keep it’s subtle humor and character types.

One of my favorite Groening-isms are his use of bulbous eyes, 4 fingered hands, and the varying into scenes that appear in both Futurama and the Simpsons.

here is a video of every single gag from the first couple seasons of the Simpsons

As far as what The Simpsons did for the world of animation. Being the first, or one of the first, cartoons in a prime time slot paved the way for other cartoons to be taken more seriously as an art form that is more than just a children’s entertainment thing while at the same time making a genera to be played with by other, perhaps more crudely minded animators. The social commentary it offered often had a good lesson in the end that was meant for children and adults alike.

I wish I could write about every single notable episode in the series and about every real world character that has been Simpsonified but i don’t want to delve too far into nostalgia and keep it at a more professional level.


About andrewmclarty91

I am a junior at George Mason University. This blog is aimed to track various animations I have viewed and give a critical response to each one for History 389. View all posts by andrewmclarty91

2 responses to “Blog Post #9: Simpsons

  • lookleftthenwrite

    I remember and loved the Tracey Ullman show too! In regards to the Simpsons, after Sam Simon, one of the creators, left the show things changed. Initially I thought they took a hit with the writing but then they regrouped and amped the ante. They used to have a moral to their episodes but then I thought they digressed to shock values and crassness. Overall, I am still a fan and impressed with the staying power of the series.

  • jcampion

    This is one of my all time favorite shows. I literally own the box set of seasons 1-14 and can quote just about every Simpsons episode. I concede the same points you do, but like you said, I’ll defend the writing to the death, and yes, Family Guy is funny and I watch it, but for me, nothing can beat a classic and nothing can beat the original. Like the South Park episode says, “The Simpsons did it,” and for my money, they did it the best.

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