Leaving Springfield: The Simpsons and the Possibility of Oppositional Culture

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John Alberti
Wayne State University Press, 2004 - Drama - 344 pages
6 Reviews

Since its first appearance as a series of cartoon vignettes in 1987 and its debut as a weekly program in 1990, The Simpsons has had multiple, even contradictory, media identities. Although the show has featured biting political and social satire, which often proves fatal to mass public acceptance, The Simpsons entered fully into the mainstream, consistently earning high ratings from audiences and critics alike.

Leaving Springfield addresses the success of The Simpsons as a corporate-manufactured show that openly and self-reflexively parodies the very consumer capitalism it simultaneously promotes. By exploring such topics as the impact of the show’s satire on its diverse viewing public and the position of The Simpsons in sitcom and television animation history, the commentators develop insights into the ways parody intermixes with mass media to critique post modern society.

In spite of the longevity and high cultural profile of the show, The Simpsons has so far attracted only scattered academic attention. Leaving Springfield will be of importance to both scholars of media and fans of the show interested in the function of satire in popular culture in general and television in particular.

  

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Contents

The Simpsons and the Threat
1
Mr Bennett Bart Simpson
29
The Simpsons and HannaBarberas Animation Legacy
63
Learning Irony with The Simpsons
85
Homer Simpson As Everyman
107
Who Wants Candy? Disenchantment in The Simpsons
137
Ideological Fault Lines in The Simpsons
172
Oppositionality and
197
Gay Life on The Simpsons
225
The Simpsons As AntiNuclear Satire
244
Ethnic Stereotyping
273
Prince of Irreverence
292
List of Episodes Cited
303
The Simpsons Complete Episode Guide Seasons 113
309
About the Contributors
327
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

John Alberti is Associate Professor of English at Northern Kentucky University.

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