The Simpsons: A Cultural History
Rowman and Littlefield
Using a flipchart to outline the immense influence The Simpsons have had and still have on the fabric of our cultural DNA would hardly to justice to the impact of the show that once derived from The Tracey Ullman Show.
What started as a countercultural and alternative experiment arrived in the middle of society decades ago and it is astonishing to see what a fictional primetime series can achieve on different levels of the collective mind that underpins popular culture.
The elaborately thought through characters of the show have not only become icons but also archetypes that are informed by so much more than an accumulation of stereotypical traits.
The Simpsons: A Cultural History does not only shed light on the show’s roots and its development but also dissects the characters with surgical precision from a variety of angles – be it subversion, pop cultural phenomena, comic strip traditionalism, comedic lineage and histories, transcending boundaries between worlds through carefully orchestrated cameos and the influences and sources of inspirations along the way.
The fact that the book caters to both hardcore aficionados as well as the uninitiated by not only relying on trivia and rehashing its glory by elaborating on its episodes, but also a borderline scientific and never not unentertaining approach, is testament to the ground-breaking nature of the show.
The Simpsons: A Cultural History offers an in-depth look at how the times influence and have been influenced by this powerhouse of a show and brilliantly captures the background and impact of the hilariously dysfunctional, quintessential American cartoon family that became a tremendous force in pop culture.
As someone who has read quite a few books on the show, I’d recommend this one as it goes in depth without lacking entertainment and also without paying attention to the criticism the show has been exposed to.