Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why We Watch... The Simpsons (Part 2)


Hunter's new interest in "The Simpsons" television show has naturally led to an interest in "The Simpsons" comic books. We read several a week. A while ago a friend mailed him three comic collections that she found at used books stores. We immediately started reading them and we were quickly working through the collection. Then, for his birthday, another friend gave him a different collection and he also received a stack of individual comics from a different friend. Just this past weekend, we found yet another collection at the library book fair which funds our summer reading program. There are a lot of learning opportunities in the comics.

Here is a list of just some of the topics that we have read about in "The Simpsons" comics (I took these examples from just five different comic stories that I glanced back over briefly).
nuclear power
workers unions
baby-sitting
computer jargon
the internet
subliminal messages
childcare/daycare centers
politics
Harriet the Spy
university
tuition
garbage dumps
philosophy
Nietzche
Yale
chemistry labs
revenue
caviar
Thanksgiving politics
gambling
Native Americans
animal rights
vegetarianism
charity



The following is a list of some of the learning opportunities that I was able to pick out from barely watching Episode 17 from Season 18 called "Marge Gamer".
email
internet
conspiracy theory
Googling
Google Earth
Christopher Columbus
online gaming
Renaissance
soccer
girls in athletics
rioting at sporting events
Virgin Mary


I also have shown Hunter some videos on YouTube related to "The Simpsons". We watched the episode of "Inside the Actors Studio" with the cast as guests. It was so interesting. We enjoyed learning tidbits of information about the show and watching the actors move fluidly from one character to another. We learned why the characters are yellow (because Matt Groening wanted to make viewers fiddle with the color on their set... this reminded me of Andy Kaufman's little stunt when he intentionally made the picture roll for a short period of time during his Television special.)
We also watched "The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special In 3D on Ice" which is funny, interesting, and loaded with great trivia about the show. It really illustrates how much you can learn about our culture from merely watching the show... and how much our culture has been influenced by it as well.

What is your favorite episode of "The Simpsons"? Do you have a favorite character?

1 comment:

  1. Even though I posted a long screed saying exactly the opposite about TV at our house, I am really enjoying reading this series! Thanks for posting these!

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