By Joe Clancy `18
For nearly 30 years, The Simpsons have been the satirical face of the average working class American family. The show first aired in 1989, and just recently celebrated releasing its 600th episode, making The Simpsons one of the longest running television shows in history.
After all, the show has received 32 Emmys and has even seen Homer’s catchphrase “D’oh” become adopted into the English language. In a 30 year run, it is often hard for a show to maintain relevance and popularity, especially in an era of greater choice of media outlets and changing generational preferences. The Simpsons have been the exception to the notion that popularity fades and have proved to be more of a fine wine of shows, as their 28th season and general presence in the American psyche has never been stronger than it currently is now.
The Simpsons centered their show around the wide scope of the American way of life, featuring characters that represent all types of groups in the country. From Ned Flanders’ religiousness, to Mr. Burn’s arrogant wealth, to Disco Stu’s obsession with the mid ’70s music fad, there are endless possibilities for the writers to channel a narrative for nearly every demographic.
Before the 28th season had even aired in September 2016, The Simpsons were all over the internet and public forum because of an episode they shot in 2000, which showed the middle child of the iconic family, Lisa, being President after a Donald Trump administration.
To follow up their eerie prediction, the first episode following the election featured the family son, Bart, being stuck in detention having to write on the black board, “Being right sucks” in the opening credits. This scene helped the show gain even more traction and publicity on the internet, especially among younger millennials who are not as familiar with the show as older generations.
The show has had even more success attracting a younger demographic as they have episodes that focused around satirizing President Trump’s controversial Trump University and the blind popularity of the Pokémon Go App among America’s youth. The new season is also showcasing very popular guest voices. For instance, Amy Schumer, Bill Burr, Stephen Curry, and rappers Snoop Dogg and Common have all made appearances in the 28th season, helping the show further gain popularity while relating to the younger generations.
The Simpsons have also hired guest stars this season who will attract their original audiences like movie star Michael Sheen and Seinfeld legend Jason Alexander.
Overall, the 28th season has boasted shows that have seen audiences of more than eight million viewers, which is no easy task for a Sunday night show in the wireless period.
When it comes down to it, The Simpsons have such eloquent and expanded writing for their show that it is easy for the show to adapt to the changing American culture, especially in these uncertain times. One thing is for sure, The Simpsons will remain America’s family for a long time to come.