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The Simpsons is an animated situation comedy (Sitcom) based around a family, set in a small town of America. I think that situation comedy formula is so popular with TV audiences because it makes fun of everyday life so things that we worry about do not matter anymore because we can laugh at ourselves. The Simpsons is similar to other situation comedies in that it is family based. It makes fun of serious problems and exaggerates everything. It also is different to other situation comedies in that it can be even more exaggerated and made weirder because it is an animated cartoon and anything can be done e. g. in the episode homer goes into another dimension that would be almost impossible to do in any other situation comedy.

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The Simpsons are an American family; they are middle classed with two adults mum Marge, and dad Homer and three children, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. People relate to the family because in some ways the characters remind them of themselves or people that they know, like I personally feel that my mum is a bit like Marge because Marge is very responsible, She helps Homer sort out his mistakes and is a very good caring mother to her children like my mum.

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My Dad is like Homer because Homer is often presented in the family as lazy. We see this when he spends a lot of time sitting down and watching television. He drinks beer all the time and is always eating just like my dad. I would class the Simpsons as a typical American family but not for today because the mum stays at home whilst the dad works. Bart and Lisa get picked up in the traditional American school bus and go to a traditional American school and they have a typical small town American life like when they get involved in what goes on in the town.

I think that it is typical for when the programme was first created in 1991. Bart is presented in the family as a stereotypical boy, He likes playing jokes such as phoning the pub and says things like is Ima there Ima fool. He is a bit like his dad In that he is not very caring towards the others. He does lots of stupid things like trying to jump over the Grand Canyon on a skateboard. Bart is much more than a stereotype because deep down he is a thoughtful, loving and kind boy we see this in the episode “Bart Sells His Soul”.

He is at his bedside and crying, he whimpers to God, “… I’m… afraid. I’m afraid some weirdo’s got my soul and I don’t know what they’re doing to it… I hope you can hear this. ” His admission of being “afraid” is hardly what one would expect from a rude mischievous boy. Homer is presented in the family as a stereotypical Man. He is the father in the family and he is a self centred, overweight klutz who enjoys sitting on the couch in Rebecca Lambert-Williams Page 2 front of the TV or sitting on a bar stool in the local pub.

Homer’s job itself is an irony because he is employed as a safety inspector at a nuclear power plant but in actuality there is nothing safe about Homer. However, Homer is more complex than the stereotypical bumbling idiot of a father he is portrayed as being. Despite Homer’s seemingly idiotic and uncaring attitudes, ultimately he is accepted to symbolize the new American father for all classes Marge is presented in the family as a stereotypical Female. She is the mother and she stays at home with the baby, Maggie.

Marge wants nothing more than to have “one big happy family” but that is spoiled in almost every episode by Homer’s stupidity or by the trouble making of the older child Bart. Through the use of satire, Marge shows that she is more than a stereotypical woman. In the “A Streetcar Named Marge” episode, Marge explains to Homer, “… I spend all day home with Maggie. Sometimes it’s like I don’t even exist,” to which Homer, eyes fixed on the television, robotically responds with, “Sounds interesting. ” Lisa is presented in the family as a stereotypical girl.

She is a member of the club Mensa which only accepts members if they possess a genius IQ level. Lisa is often the voice of reason for the family. But she is so much more than a stereotype because not only does her family ignore her exceptional talents, she is a social outcast and knows it. Maggie Simpson has done a lot in her one year of life. She’s learned to spell her own name with an Etch A Sketch, she’s wandered the town of Springfield all by herself, and she’s shot Springfield’s richest man because he attempted to steal her lollipop. So she’s definitely not a stereotypical baby.

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Kylie Garcia

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