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Still crazy after all these years, The l K a ‘ \ Simpsons finally make it onto the _ .g ‘ g \ ‘‘‘‘ ~. BBC after becoming the most ~‘ ~ “
successful animated series ever in
The Slmpsoris: upholding iamlly values
the Eddle VISltS. Presumably Barbara Bush's problem was the show‘s episodes of The SillipSUNS.
Springfield, home Of America’s relentless liberalism and the fact that the Simpsons A recent episode had Bart and his super-bright sister
most famous dysfunctional are somewhat less than the idealised. middlerclas’s Lisa uncovering local government corruption; they
family which marks out its territory wrth white picket met their source in an underground in an echo of
When Barbara Bush accused The Simpsons — and in fences. The Simpsons are not at home to the Watergate‘s Deep Throat. ‘This is just like Woodward
particular the ten-year-old delinquent. Ban - of American Dream. Think Roseaane‘s animated next- and Bernstein.‘ says Lisa. ‘Yeah. but they didn't have
undermining family values in the US of A, the door neighbours. However they are a nuclear family their dad waiting in the car.‘ replies Bait.
ﬁercely maternal Marge Simpson wrote an open letter — by day Homer works at a plutonium reprocessing When Sky began transmitting The .S‘i'mpsmis a
telling the former First Lady to lay off her brood. Mrs plant. couple of years after the show became a hit in
Bush apologised. The .S'i'mpmns. a creation of cartoonist Matt America. it was initially regarded as too American So what have we got here? A cartoon family living Groening for Murdoch‘s Fox network. started life as for British audiences. We got the drift eventually.
in an American anytown called Springfield whose ﬁfteen-second hits before the ads in The Tracy however. and the show is a permanent fixture in the
primary-coloured exploits offended the occupants of Ullman Show before graduating to their own half— schedule. with repeats running daily in an endless
the White House, and yet are so popular that a hour series in 1990. Approaching 200 episodes have loop.
presidential spouse will enter into a public dialogue now been made. and each one takes a team of When the show started in the UK. Ban‘s rarely used
with a character noted for her towering. purple animators months to complete. Groening gives catchphrases — ‘Eat my shorts!‘ ‘Don‘t have a cow,
beehive hair-do. As Ban would no doubt exclaim: detailed instructions on the right and wrong way to iiian!’ — gave the perception that this was a kids'
‘D’oh!’ draw every character. show with some cult appeal amongst adults. But if The irony which was clearly lost on the white-haired The dialogue is produced by almost entirely male anything. the reverse is true; the goofy-looking
Republican momma was that The Simmons is writing teams who can reportedly stay up all night characters belie the subtle humour and layers of
absolutely steeped in family values. Marge. a 605 reﬁning a single joke or deciding on a character‘s meaning. it may be hard to take social commentary
radical who has been absorbed into suburban name. Nerds they might be. but these guys know their from a bunch of canary-yellow cartoon characters
normality, talks as ifshe swallowed a textbook by popular culture. Though there is an underlying with no chins and protruding upper teeth. but it‘s
American child-rearing guru Dr Benjamin Spock. morality to every storyline. much of the humour there if you look.
Not an episode goes by without some comment on comes in the endless references to movies and other The .S'i'mpmns starts (in Sat 23 NUl' at 5.30pm on
the responsibility of parents for the way their kids TV shows. A Web site on the internet is devoted to BBC]. The show (‘unlinues on weekdays at 7pm on
turn out. spotting references to Stanley Kubrick ﬁlms in Sky].
ARTS DOCUMENTARY cast back to the Caribbean island fat and speccy, was inevitably nick- where they iilmed an adaptation oi named Piggy. Tire sense oi Fr William Golding’s classic novel, lord vulnerability that swamps him when e 0! The Flies, 35 years ago. The story his glasses are broken is hard to oi a group oi school children who iorget. ‘l’ve never considered myseli revert back to a pro-civilised state to be Piggy in any respect,’ says Hugh when they are marooned on an island Edwards, who played the character. without adults, was cast with non- “There’s a lot oi rubbish that comes “'9' a “mm 3'0“ and My first actors. out oi his mouth during the iilm but 30"” " “Bht down to its title - the ‘I think the boys we iound were so possiny I can say things about Piggy “WNW”! strand Tx returns for close to the characters they had to that others wouldn’t say because “mum ""1 "ml 3" “9'08"”? play that directing was trying to there is a iairly close relationship loom! "HO-"P 0' ﬂlms- Sublocts make people ieel at ease, and do between us.’ moo irom a video dlary oi comedian what they were doing naturally,’ As it happened, a iood theme 5‘le 'mﬂl 0|! his world To"! which remembers Brook. ‘For the past ten continued in Edwards’ liie aiter lord "Wild" 8 “IMO-WM meldoncy in years, I’ve been trying to iind the 0! The Flies. lie appeared in the ‘go New York, to a proiile oi ‘Brit-pack’ possibility oi bringing us together to work on an egg’ commercials artist Sarah lucas whose use oi iood again just to discover what we have which were also directed by Brook, stuiis and dead animals is not a done to the children, what we have and as an adult went on to become an mm“ “in” from Million llll'st. maybe done ior them - and quite engineer with Mars coniectionery. “M "P. MIMI". '8 ‘Tlme Fllos'. all , -- - , 4,, simply, what have they become.’ Tune in to discover it he is still Piggy. ltrlguing documentary which iollows " ‘ The class victim, weighed down by (Eddie Gibb) director Peter Brook and the original Tit: return to lord or The Flies the school handicaps oi being both Tx begins on Sat 23 Ilov on 8802.
’ “The List 15-28 Nov 1996