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Leaving Springfield: The Simpsons and the Possibility of Oppositional Culture (Contemporary Film and Television (Paperback)) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Dezember 2003

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"Authoritative voices speaking from various well-informed critical perspectives provide Leaving Springfield with rewards for scholars and Simpsons fans alike. Framed more coherently than most collections of television criticism, this volume makes a persuasive case for the series as an act of cultural resistance. Accessible language and detailed textual analysis lend the volume strong student appeal. Devotees will appreciate the close scrutiny of key episodes and intimate knowledge of the series that characterize these essays."


This is a study of the television programme "The Simpsons" which focuses on the show's dual roles as subversive political satire and mainstream mass media hit. Since its first appearance as a series of cartoon vignettes in 1987 and its debut as a weekly programme in 1990, "The Simpsons" has had multiple, even contradictory, media identities. Although the show has featured biting political and social satire, which often proves fatal to mass public acceptance, "The Simpsons" entered fully into the mainstream, consistently earning high ratings from audiences and critics alike. "Leaving Springfield" addresses the success of "The Simpsons" as a corporate-manufactured show that openly and self-reflexively paraodies the very consumer capitalism it simultaneously promotes. By exploring such topics as the impact of the show's satire on its diverse viewing public and the position of "The Simpsons" in sitcom and television animation history, the commentators develop insights into the ways parody intermixes with mass media to critique postmodern society.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9fdf1258) von 5 Sternen 4 Rezensionen
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9fa81c84) von 5 Sternen The Best of The Simpsons Books 3. November 2004
Von Hank Jennings - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
From an academic perspective, David Arnold et al's book is amusing, but too "lite" on theory at times, with non-media-scholars coming to grand conclusions that media scholars in the eighties came to. Mark Pinsky's book is a very amusing book, written with such a love for the program that it's delightful, but I didn't feel it enlightened me about The Simpsons as much as it made a strong argument for and defense of its morality and ethics (a book that's a must for Simpsons-dislikers). Steven Keslowitz's book is atrocious, poorly written, and not worthy of a single purchase. Which leaves this book as the best serious treatment of The Simpsons.

Why not the 5th star? Well, several of the contributors start to wander away from the topic, and I also feel that if you're going to analyze the media in an academic way, you need to secure a few more articles from actual media scholars. This oversight is evident in the lack of essays looking at The Simpsons from some form of structural or economic standpoint. The book is more humanities-based than social sciences, and that's a pity.

However, it still examines some important issues, and thus digs under the surface of the text in a convincing and thoughtful way. Alberti's introduction is arguably the best "article" in the book, as he positions the program brilliantly, and gives a great sense of the ways in which The Simpsons might be doing something special that very few if any other programs in television history have. I found the essays thought-provoking, and a lot more dense than other writing on The Simpsons.

So, while I could see how a fan of the show who wants to keep viewing it as light and mellow wouldn't enjoy this book or appreciate it, if you actually want to engage with the program and its politics on a deeper level, this book does an admirable job. Very good stuff, some essays especially excellent
16 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9fb82018) von 5 Sternen for smart simpsons geeks 11. Mai 2004
Von chiyeko - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I am a Simpsons geek; I admit it freely, and with pride. I have greedily grabbed up all of the academically-slanted studies of the show that have trickled out over the last few years, including studies on philosophy and religion in the show. They have all been interesting, but flawed. Finally, in Leaving Springfield, I get a book that does more than simply summarize plot lines I already know, and then run off its own agenda. This book analyzes episodes, and provides new insights by interpreting them through a variety of critical perspectives. The most interesting essay, for example, examines The Simpsons as a bridge between so-called "high" and "low" art, combining the "lowbrow" media of television and animation with literary "highbrow" irony, self-reflexivity, and wit. Other essays examine the way the show uses ethnic stereotypes to undermine social racism, gay life on The Simpsons, and The Simpsons' place in the animation tradition. All the essays are brought together under a broad topic: can a show like The Simpsons, which is owned and televised by a multinational conglomerate, still be a legitimate social satire?
The writing is academic, and at times a bit dry, but if you like The Simpsons, you'll love this book. Even if you aren't a big fan, I still recommend it; books like Leaving Springfield are becoming more and more important, because as visual media continues to take over print, we need to start looking seriously at television for the few (albeit very few) works of true art it offers. This book is a bit hard to find, but well worth the search.
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HASH(0x9f88d540) von 5 Sternen Subversive-minded readers only! 1. Juli 2004
Von Timothy Sexton - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
The reviewer who complained that this book is just academic twaddle seemingly couldn't possibly be a true Simpsons fan. This book is an excellent entree into the culture theory of ideological poisoning that is at the heart of all media--conservative, right-wing media--in America today. (Not that there is any viable liberal left-wing media in America today, regardless of what the GOP would have you believe.) Every image you see coming at you from TV, movies, video games, etc. is designed to suck you into the consumerist ideological trap that the writers of the Simpsons are dedicated to making you question. The Simpsons as a cartoon is show to be highly worthy of penetrating critique, something that most viewers aren't bothered with attempting. The first two chapters of the book, both of which examine consumerism/capitalism's failings and how the Simpsons manage to exploit those failings, are the highlights of the book. If you just want a listing of movie references, read the highly entertaining episode guides (I own all three to date), but you want to understand how the film references are used to provide further dissident and subversive layers to the show, buy this book. The only quibble: It fails to entertain the question of how oppositional--to consumer culture--the Simpsons can be when it produces billions of dollars of revenue from merchandise.
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HASH(0xa02b84b0) von 5 Sternen What a Bunch of Academic Twaddle! 2. April 2004
Von Donald C. Brown - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I'm probably numb to the nuances of Cultural Criticism, but the essays in this book are the worst sort of claptrap from grimly earnest strivers in the groves of academe.
Trying to evaluate the cultural significance of The Simpsons is a fool's game--it's there in plain sight every night in reruns--but these authors are undeterred. They are bound and determined to override a work of collaborative genius with their own stale biases and canned interpretations.
And not a one of them shows a sense of humor, so far as I could discover. The writers and illustrators of The Simpsons are miles ahead of these writers in evaluating contemporary culture.
Maggie would not countenance their hogwash.
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