Lately I spend most of my days watching The Simpsons series. I already watch the whole episodes for like thousand times but still, the series did not lose its sense of humor. Usually I don’t get the idea of American jokes quite clear to my sense but The Simpsons author seems to understand, attended and signed the Treaty of Universal Joke of The World (if it is existed). The humor of this series is not always from the dialogue between each character but also built from its gestures, catchphrases and other gimmicks. IMHO, unlike movie or series which played by real human, cartoon is a brilliant product of motion pictures. In common movie we may find bloopers, unnecessary scene or element which accidentally put in a frame. In cartoon series or animation movie, every element even its gimmick is put deliberately in frame, the chance of finding bloopers in animation is nearly zero. No wonder it takes years to produce an animation movie, for the production team have to spend most of their time to think and draw every detail. Every little detail of drawing is intended and has its own semiotic function.

The Simpson’s is an American cartoon series created by Matt Groening. This series has been aired in Fox since 1989 up till now. The Simpson’s idea was based on Matt Groening family. Bart represents Groening himself. Bart is the anagram of ‘brat’, which is Groening’s nickname in his family. The Simpson’s is a series of satirical parody of working-class American. The family is portrayed being too attached to television. It is simply what American usually stereotyped with. We can tell it by the opening of the series, which is called ‘couch gag’. The Simpson’s in every different couch gag is striving to get their way in front of the TV. It is like a routine, and they can’t get away from TV. Almost every event in this family is based on TV shows. They go somewhere fun because the TV said so. They eat a new product of food because the TV said so. In conclusion, television told The Simpson’s what to hear, see and most of it affects their action in reality. They identify themselves so much to fictional TV characters. So it’s clearly to say that the power of The Simpson’s family is on the TV. They could even sell their soul to devil just to get a TV.

I admire most of all the characters in this serial show. Every character in this serial show has its own characterization, a vigorous characterization. Even when I hate Mr. Burns who plays antagonist part, I begin to love him for his extra slim body that wind can blows him easily and his denial of all so-called affection. It’s true that every character in this serial show represent almost of all personality of people we live with. The neighbor, Ned Flanders who always plays saint and preaches here and there is best put as catalyst next to the chaotic, messy, noisy Simpson’s house. There is always yin for every yang. In my opinion, the author of the script must have thought about it. It is like a drawing. You have to prepare an eraser, so that you can fix your unnecessary drawing.

Homer Simpson is the father and husband of The Simpson’s family. He’s well-known for the catchphrase D’oh!. Thanks to Homer, the D’oh! expression is now listed in Oxford English Dictionary. Homer’s made a real example of a family man. Despite of his dumbness and ignorance, he managed to solve every problem’s of his family in about 25 minutes duration. Homer is described as a father of three children, working in a nuclear plant and always spends his night with his low-life friends in Moe’s bar.  He often trapped in a problem due to his lacking knowledge and somehow get through it easily. He also chews with his mouth open. No matter how reckless he is, he always showered by unconditional love of his family. His kids usually called him by his name, not father, yet the kids have not lost their respect to him as the father figure. Every father figure has to learn fathering from Homer. Homer doesn’t depend on intelligence in everyday life; he depends on his happy-go-lucky nature. Homer with the lack of intelligence and care is sometimes having a rough time in his work but when he arrived at home he quickly adjust his position as a boss, a father and a husband to his family. For a man who is not quite intelligent, we have to admit that Homer is a good father. He could be such a help to his family. Since a family is always depending on father, Homer does not want to let them down. He tried his best to solve every family’s matter. He even gave his saving to buy an air conditioner in summer twice just to buy saxophone for Lisa. He could position himself as father and friend at the same time to his children. There are no boundaries between him and his children. And especially he has loyalty and his magical teasing-words to calm Marge’s nerve whenever she gets upset. After all, Homer is really a devoted husband.

Marge Bouvier Simpson or Marge is a typical housewife, also well-known for her nagging and murmuring for almost every occasion. Yet she also has a big heart for his entire family and accepts every bad habit of her husband Homer. Although she had more intelligence than Homer, she always shows her ‘needy’ side to his husband. What a man could possibly need is the feeling of being needed. Marge, with all of her gifted skill and intelligence could play the husband role. She can do anything she wants and be responsible for it, not like Homer who messed up everything he’s started. But the sweet thing about Marge is she never gets too far and interfering Homer’s authority as a husband. She respects Homer as a husband and lover. Her trust and loyalty to Homer and the entire family are unquestionably enormous. Marge’s described as a wife who has a lot of patience in facing her troubled and crippled family. Instead of giving up, she gives compliment to each of accomplishment that her family might achieve. It is important to give such compliment to grow self-esteem. Self-esteem makes each member of the family feeling more valuable and confident to face the world outside the house. This is what Marge good at, to make her family feels worth it.

Bartholomew J. Simpson a.k.a Bart is the eldest son of The Simpson’s. This cool dude is my favorite character. He is famous, mastering skateboard, vandalism, prank calls and other rebellious acts. Bart character represents almost all of the entire kids of the world of his age. He’s uncontrollably naughty, hyperactive, did not respect of every established institution, norm and moral value. He’s the best partner in crime of Homer, his dad. His ‘underachiever’ title given by authority figures doesn’t make him feeling so low about himself. It is because there’s no favoritism in The Simpson’s family. Every kid is treated the same way in this family. That’s why they are not jealous each other and think that each of them is special, in bad or good thing. There’s no good in blaming Bart for every bad deed he did because he may do the same mistake again anytime. Yet Homer and Marge manage to perform a good-parenting. There are always punishments and rewards for everything they did. Bart with his coolness doesn’t mind to compromise his reputation in front of his bully friends just to help his sister whenever the bullies harm his geek sister. This shows a true love; although as a family they may quarrel or say bad word to each other and they both have different point of view in any subject, but the main idea of family which obliged them to do anything just to protect the family remain the same.

Lisa Simpson is witted daughter of the Simpson’s family. It is a common sense for smart child who happens to know everything would be categorized as a geek and being rejected in a community is one of its consequences. Not like Bart, Lisa is a little bit anti-social and when you come to the attribute of coolness, don’t mind not to give it to Lisa  Even though she’s often mocked and harassed by Bart, she doesn’t lose her respect of her big brother. She doesn’t mind to get along with her half-witted brother. She always helps Bart and the whole family with her big brain and heart. The Simpson’s family is either blessed or cursed, the male members of the family are always born reckless and ultra dumb while the female are full of wisdom and remarkably smart. There’s something wrong with The Simpson’s gene. It is clearly said by one of their relatives in one episode of why this is happened; “The defective Simpson gene is on the ‘Y’ chromosome, so only men are affected”. In this series, Lisa is portrayed smart, full of knowledge in math, physic, science, culture, history, art and literature. Yet like the other member of the family, Lisa has bad habit. She can’t stand the competition. She is smart but she just can’t accept if anyone is better than her in every subject. This bad trait is leading her to many hard times. But again, her family always has some way to soothe her. For someone who is smart, wise and able to answer every matter in life, Lisa always needs and depends on her family to help her through the hard times and the good thing is, her family is always there and stand by her side whenever she can’t depend on her knowing-all brain to solve every problem she had.

Maggie Simpson is the youngest daughter of The Simpson’s family. In this series, Maggie is a baby who hardly talks but communicates by sucking on a pacifier. Just like Lisa and the other women family of The Simpson’s, Maggie is a gifted child. She even rescued Homer from being kidnapped by riding a dog. For Homer, Maggie is the ‘forgotten’ one. He only counts the existence of Bart and Lisa. But it doesn’t make his love to Maggie less. In one episode, Homer had been asked about why there are no pictures of Maggie in family album. Homer then responds that he placed pictures of Maggie in hardest place that he needs to feel special. The hardest place which Homer meant is his office at nuclear plant. Homer never do the right thing at his job so to make him feel relieved and special, he needs someone to remind him how special he is. And the only one who could cheer Homer up is Maggie, the ‘forgotten’ one.

All I want to say is as a family, The Simpson’s may not be perfect but they’re a perfect family in a way of respecting each other. The Simpson’s is a dysfunctional family but each of them plays the important function of the family. They manage to tolerate every difference of each member of the family and appreciate it. It is important to be acknowledged by other, but what really matters is when you’re being trusted by your own family. It’ll help you to grow as confident individual and prepared to face the real jungle out there. Every child’s future is started from a family and depends on how family treats them. So don’t bother to encourage and give compliment to your family for doing the good deeds. If you can easily praise people’s achievement, why it is so hard to praise your own family? Even if he’s a brat or Bart.

True perfection has to be imperfect
I know that that sounds foolish but it’s true. (Oasis-Little by little).

References:

http://thesimpsons.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Simpsons

Smith, Ivan, Freud Complete Works. 2000

Photo stocks: http://www.simpsoncrazy.com/pictures/family

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