Analysis Of The Article ' Simpsons, Hyper Irony, And The Meaning Of Life '

1134 Words Apr 18th, 2016 5 Pages
In the early 1950s up until the late 1960s, television was a colorless form of entertainment that many traditional American families so eagerly enjoyed together. Picture this, a father and mother lovingly sitting next to each other while their rambunctious children lay sprawled out in front of a boxed television set with unquenched enthusiasm. This is the image of a traditional, nuclear family—the epicenter of American values and way of life according to the mainstream media of the time. Likewise, it is also the trope of any situational comedy show. However, this charmingly picturesque image of idealistic expectations cannot be further from the truth of reality. Unlike its predecessors, contemporary television seeks to openly dissect and question any strongly held notions of society through the use of satirical comedy. In the article, “Simpsons, Hyper-Irony, and the Meaning of Life,” Carl Matheson examines the primary components of contemporary television—quotationalism and hyper-irony. These devices are used to enhance the postmodernist inclination of contemporary television via satirical comedy. In effect, contemporary television holds nothing sacred, and thus is simultaneously depraved and yet so profoundly enlightened. It employs the lessons of satire to incite thought-provoking laughter, and consequently highlights the over-arching dichotomies of life itself. Contemporary television seeks to satirize the deeply embedded cultural, political, and ideological beliefs of…

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