Review
Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation
Armen Boudjikanian · From fps #1 · March 1, 2005 | When one philosophizes about a cartoon show, even a show as smart and popular as The Simpsons, one can run into some problems.  For starters, there are specialists out there in contemporary media who simply cannot accept that a cartoon show can aptly document their culture. As Chris Turner reports early in his book, one such case occurred in 2003 when a journalist criticized the popularity of the show by writing, "Have we lost so many vestiges of mass culture that a TV show—a cartoon!—has to be the glue that holds postmodern society together?"

Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation
Written by Chris Turner
Da Capo Press, 2004
450 pages

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Perhaps a person who would make such a declaration requires what is generally accepted as a higher form of art—books, music, a particular film or an ideology—to represent the society he or she lives in. With Planet Simpson, Turner demonstrates that the cultural content of The Simpsons legitimizes the show for being an instigator of serious discussions on today's important issues. The book argues that in almost every Simpsons episode, behind the cartoony references that generate the laughs, there lie in fact debates on aspects of Western culture.

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You'll find it and many other articles in the March 2005 issue of fps, available as a free download.
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