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Violence, alcoholism, sex, oh, and yellow people! Yes, I’m talking about the cartoon comedy The Simpsons. Now entering its 19 year on television the cartoon is enjoyed by all ages, indeed all ages! The controversial show arises many questions not only about some of the divisive jokes, cult horror and bad language used but the question that divides a lot of frequent and infrequent viewers of the show; is The Simpsons suitable to be show during children’s TV time?
The never aging family consists of the unconventional father, Homer, perfect housewife/mother, Marge, insurgent son, Bart, intellectual daughter, Lisa, and baby Maggie. Both father and son portray ever growing problems within society; in many episodes Homer finds himself strangling Bart as a punishment yet, child abuse is a massive problem and with out realising I find myself laughing. Its not until I think about what Homer has actually done is when I kick myself for it. And Bart is always getting in trouble and in some cases leads a rebellion all over Springfield.
Okay, why is that funny and think of your children, if they see their parents laughing at that what’s to say they might re-enact Bart’s ‘teachings’? Will you be laughing then? Moving swiftly on, the cartoon regularly releases a new episode (mainly at Halloween) called ‘Tree House of Horrors’. In one of these degrading and preposterous episodes the family act out some famous scenes from a very hellish horror film; originally a book by Stephen King, The Shining. For anyone who knows this film it includes the father going insane and savagely murdering his whole family.
What sort of image is this portraying to your children? The young children who watch The Simpsons go to bed with the thought in their mind that their Dad could go cerebral. When we think it’s all over and are trying to leave the imaginary, stereotypical, demoralizing world of the yellow Americans we are quickly bashed back in with another degrading and inhumane part of the show… Itchy and Scratchy. The show within a show has its own theme tune and being based on violence it also has its own share of blood and gore. Although, cartoon blood is not terrible it is still not very enjoyable for young children.