Donuts, D’ohs! and more celebrity guests than you can shake a Squishee at. Yes, as the team will testify (and often to their displeasure), The Simpsons is my first point of reference for virtually everything.
(Embarrassingly, I once applied to go on BBC’s Mastermind, selecting The Simpsons as my specialist subject).
As the iconic show celebrates its 25th year on air, here’s my guide to why a certain yellow-skinned, Springfield dwelling family has been one of the most important things to grace television. Ever. So, grab a space on the sofa, and enjoy…
The bright colours, flashy opening sequences and recognisable intro music has had millions of us hooked from a young age, but as we grow, so too does our awareness of this clever show. From being mesmerised by the colours as a toddler, revelling in the pokes at authority as a teen and picking apart/dishing out the pop-culture references as a student, The Simpsons offers fans of all ages an invitation to the party.
The show’s examination of societal trends and cultural happenings wickedly satirises the postmodern world that we live in. From poking fun at popular figures, or joking about the things we buy or the things we do, The Simpsons holds a mirror up to the world and gives us a moment to giggle at ourselves.
Irony is cleverly placed within the long-standing sitcom and nods to our relationships and the ways we interact with one another. Take for instance Bart’s appreciation of TV clown, Krusty. Bart idolises the pie-throwing, chain-smoking TV personality, but wipe away the make-up, take off the red nose and Bart’s long suffering father can be seen beneath the surface. Patriarch of the family, Homer Simpson, receives no respect from his anti-authority son, who quite literally worships a clown instead of his regularly-failing ‘old-man’.
Time Magazine named The Simpsons the best show of the 20th Century. Fun fact: the show’s yellow-hue was used as a tool to stand-out when channel-surfers were flipping through stations.
Homer Simpson was voted Britain’s favourite TV character ever in 2001, above Basil Fawlty, Father Ted and Del Boy.
The teeny in-jokes and ‘Easter Eggs’ make the show unmissable. Take for instance the ‘Number of days (7) since last accident’ sign outside the Springfield Power Plant, or the fact there’s a full McBain (parody of 80s/90s shoot ‘em ups) movie hidden in across multiple seasons – the show’s multiple-layered creation is sheer genius.
Finally, the side-splittingly beauty of Troy McClure and fabulously incompetent lawyer, Lionel Hutz (voiced by the late Phil Hartman) are the crowning-jewels of the sitcom. “This is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the film The Never-Ending Story” – Lionel Hutz.
So take another journey to Springfield and a trip down memory lane. I’ll probably see you there, dude.