Times of Oman
Jul 22, 2017 Last Updated at 07:33 AST
Times Digital Download: The Simpsons
April 23, 2017 | 6:04 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan
The Simpsons is now the longest continuously-running TV show.
 
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‘Out with the old, in with the new’ is not really an adage the makers of The Simpsons follow. To some extent at least. While the animation has been brought up to date, the resolution has been made High Definition and now Ultra High Def, The Simpsons has stuck to what is tried and tested because it follows a different philosophy: Old is gold.

The Simpsons is now the longest continuously-running TV show. Ever. Period. Think of some of the legendary shows of yesteryear, the ones that are right up there in the history of the small screen, and while it may not immediately spring to mind, this amazing animation from Fox will go down as one of the most successful shows of all time.

It’s a show that doesn’t just surpass all expectations, but sets the bar for all other TV shows to aspire to, because it’s one that all of us can relate to. The Simpsons offers a brilliant, satirical view into working-class America. The family of five – now instantly recognisable around the world – live at 742 Evergreen Terrace in Springfield (we might never know which one — there are about five towns with that name in the States).

The patriarch of this family is Homer Simpson, a hilarious stereotype of the American working Joe – he’s ignorant, lazy, boorish and just barely educated. Incredulously enough, he’s the Safety Inspector for the nuclear power plant in Springfield, a job he received by walking in. His world view is simple, one he shares with magnanimity: “Try, until you succeed. My motto is never try.”

He’s a man who lets his wandering mind and un-fillable stomach govern his day. He’s prepared to do anything for a free meal, whether that’s skip out on a friend’s wedding to scarf down stale doughnuts, or head to the nuclear plant and inadvertently cause a meltdown, just for a slice of ice-cream cake.

Putting up with his inept, indifferent view of life is his long-suffering wife, Marge, who is a devoted housewife and loves Homer, despite his near-constant embarrassments in public. She’s a devoted wife and caring mother, even if she can be a bit of a nag. She’s the measured yin to Homer’s unpredictable yang.

Homer and Marge are mother and father to Bart, Lisa and Maggie. Bart – a slightly reshuffled anagram of ‘brat’ – is the eldest, and a constant source of nuisance to everyone around him. This skateboard-riding, slingshot-wielding 10-year-old considers himself to be prankster-in-chief at Springfield Elementary, and is (almost always) up to no good. Homer and Marge ended up together because she was pregnant with Bart, and Homer knew that marrying her was the right thing to do.

The main recipient of his ire is eight-year-old Lisa, a self-confessed nerd and the resident family Brainiac. She’s the teacher’s pet and is a student so bright at a school that is so bad that her grades alone are all that keep the school from losing its status as a place of education. She’s fully aware that popularity is a fickle friend, and is looking forward to growing up, when she can be free of her ‘awkward years’.

In the midst of all of this chaos, the one island of calm is little Maggie Simpson, universally loved and adored by all she sees – well, almost all. Despite saying nary a word – her trademark sound involves her sucking on her pacifier – Maggie displays a precocious intelligence and awareness that belie her tender years.

The Simpsons has always been and continues to be a much-loved family cartoon that has won the hearts of viewers the world over.

With its amazing voice cast, superb animation and many poignant episodes that focus on very real issues around the world and its trademark brand of shameless satire that takes on everyone – from current US President Donald Trump to singers such as Lady Gaga, from the Watergate scandal that rocked America to the fast food problem that’s gripping the world – there is no one and nothing the Simpsons will not poke fun at in an unabashedly hilarious manner.

It’s a show that must truly be downloaded this week. And for many more to come, as you prepare for the longest TV marathon you ever sat down to.

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The Short and Skinny

Name: The Simpsons

Genre: Anime/Comedy

Produced For: Fox

Produced By: James L Brooks, Matt Groening and Sam Simon

What it’s about: A hilarious, satirical take on modern-day America, told through the eyes of a working-class family

Starring: Dan Castellaneta, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith

Runtime: 30 minutes

Where to Watch: OSN.com, Fox.com, Simpsons World, DVD from Netflix

IMDB Rating: 8.8/10


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