Faculty Sponsor(s)

Mary Beth Ray

Abstract

This project seeks to determine the cultural themes reflected in the 28th season of The Simpsons, a worldwide popular animated TV show about a stereotypical American household living in the fictional town of Springfield, through the qualitative research method of textual analysis. Preceding research, including Keazor’s (2011) article on how The Simpsons use meta-reference to make jokes and Lewis’s (2002) work on its double-coded portrayal of a sensitive subject namely religion, are examined. The sample size of 22 episodes of season 28 was accessed through purchase on Amazon, and each researcher watched the show separately and repeatedly until theoretical saturation was reached. Major cultural themes found in season 28 are Reliance on technology, including every instance when The Simpsons parodies existing technological trends such as virtual reality, over-reliance on mobile apps and obsession with mobile games; Parodies of existing movies & TV shows, including Adventure Time, Planet of The Apes, The Hunger Games and Goldfinger; and Breaches of the 4th wall, most notably within every episode’s opening, specifically in the intro couch gag.

Location

Hartman Union Building Courtroom

Start Date

5-2-2019 4:00 PM

End Date

5-2-2019 5:00 PM

Share

COinS
 
May 2nd, 4:00 PM May 2nd, 5:00 PM

What Cultural Themes Are Present in the 28th Season of The Simpsons?

Hartman Union Building Courtroom

This project seeks to determine the cultural themes reflected in the 28th season of The Simpsons, a worldwide popular animated TV show about a stereotypical American household living in the fictional town of Springfield, through the qualitative research method of textual analysis. Preceding research, including Keazor’s (2011) article on how The Simpsons use meta-reference to make jokes and Lewis’s (2002) work on its double-coded portrayal of a sensitive subject namely religion, are examined. The sample size of 22 episodes of season 28 was accessed through purchase on Amazon, and each researcher watched the show separately and repeatedly until theoretical saturation was reached. Major cultural themes found in season 28 are Reliance on technology, including every instance when The Simpsons parodies existing technological trends such as virtual reality, over-reliance on mobile apps and obsession with mobile games; Parodies of existing movies & TV shows, including Adventure Time, Planet of The Apes, The Hunger Games and Goldfinger; and Breaches of the 4th wall, most notably within every episode’s opening, specifically in the intro couch gag.