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D’oh

Wednesday, 17 December, 2014

The Simpsons are not politically correct, but they are human. Created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company, the dysfunctional cartoon family have appeared in 561 episodes since the show had its debut on 17 December 1989, and the 26th season began in September this year. But the Simpsons is not simply a TV series; it’s a language says Chris Turner, author of Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation. As to the precise nature of the language the Simpsons speak, linguist Mark Liberman called it Homeric.

Best episode? Take your pick. Ours is “Homer’s Enemy”, the 23rd episode of the eighth season. During a “Design your nuclear power-plant” contest for children, Frank Grimes alters the competition poster in hopes of embarrassing Homer, but Homer wins the contest in typically surreal fashion. Filled with rage, Grimes goes mad and, well, no spoilers here. The subversive message of the story is that sloppy sloth is OK. The punctual, efficient, ambitious Grimes is a bore. Homer, by contrast, is happy. D’oh.


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