Book Review: Simpsonology

With over four hundred aired episodes, America’s longest running sitcom and animated series goes under the microscope in this comprehensive look at the creators and characters of this wildly popular television show. Delaney explores the show’s impact on society and vice versa as it parodies a number of socially charged subjects like feminism, infidelity, marriage, depression, the impact of TV violence including cartoons on young people, family dynamics and so much more. The many insights and observations are liberally illustrated with quotes from the shows that include episode names and numbers, a boon to die-hard fans. No aspect of daily life is overlooked and some of the insights are surprisingly adroit as shown by “In Marge We Trust” where the subject of religion, particularly attending weekly services includes Marge saying, “Church shouldn’t be a chore. It should help you in your daily life.” To which, Homer replies “It should, but it doesn’t.” Delaney sheds light on how “The Simpson’s” provides a safe place to explore and vent on current issues, the many double standards that confound us on a daily basis and a myriad of other topics that are frequently considered too emotionally charged to confront in other contexts. This well written, thought provoking commentary, couched with plenty of Matt Groening’s wit and dialog allows even the show’s detractors to learn much about general sociology and maybe themselves.


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