That’s completely encapsulated by the opening of the episode Bart’s Good friend Falls in Love, the place Bart Simpson steals a jar of pennies from his dozing father. The complete scene is a wonderful pastiche of the opening of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Misplaced Ark (itself a figuring out tribute to these rough-and-tumble Saturday morning matinees Spielberg cherished as a baby), full with Homer resembling an enormous boulder in an epic chase down the steps. It stays, greater than 20 years later, one of many present’s nice, laugh-out-loud moments.
Each Simpsons fan may have their very own favorite – for me, it’s just about the entire season six cliffhanger and season seven opener break up episode, Who Shot Mr Burns? It’s a Dallas homage that additionally packs in references to the Mambo Kings, Hitchcock’s Vertigo and in Homer’s cellmate Dr Colossus, each B-movie mad scientist ever. However The Simpsons’ enduring attraction – even when long-time followers may sniff that its greatest days are lengthy behind it – is that it’s a lot, rather more than a set of popular culture jokes.
“The Simpsons took [that referential humour] mainstream through just being a good show,” says Christopher Irving, a popular culture historian and author. “It’s that simple: the pastiche, parody and inclusion of pop culture isn’t what the show is built around – the show is built around relationships, which is what makes the Simpsons themselves believable enough to love.”
Irving believes the present additionally celebrates among the arcane geek tradition that the programme’s writers are clearly followers of – whereas most individuals are prone to spot the references to Star Wars, Jaws and Shut Encounters of the Third Type, there are numerous references that attraction to a way more selective viewers.
“Oh, God, yes. Look at comic book guy; sure, he pokes fun at the stereotype of the obsessive comic book fan, but that works because people like him really do exist,” Irving says. “The ‘geek culture’ aspect of the show might not have worked without the production getting the real people on board for guest voice spots.”
British cultural historian Christopher Prepare dinner believes The Simpsons has some robust hyperlinks to the previous – and never simply TV. “You could argue that this is already a strategy developed by Pop artists – Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, to name three. However, it does seem to me that The Simpsons is the television series that really embraces the idea,” says Prepare dinner. “It may be significant that The Simpsons were created by Matt Groening who began his career as a cartoonist, so that he would clearly be across the work of, say, Lichtenstein.”
“But I would suggest that you also need to see The Simpsons as one the very first postmodern TV shows developed for mainstream US TV,” Prepare dinner says. “Someone once defined postmodernism as an ‘aesthetic of quotations’, in other words it collages material from pre-existing works in unlikely ways. And the ‘glue’ that holds the assemblage together is irony, knowing where the references come from and how they have been replaced. I see a lot of that on The Simpsons.”
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The present maybe betrays a few of its pursuits and influences, which undoubtedly appear to stray into the geekier spectrum, says TV author David Stubbs. “Matt Groening once boasted, ‘The Simpsons is the counterculture.’ I think that’s maybe truer of earlier [seasons] than more recent ones,” he says. “And I think they only go so far. Groening’s favourite ever album is Trout Mask Replica [by Captain Beefheart] but I don’t think he’d feel able to get away with Captain Beefheart references on the show. Sonic Youth, yes…”
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