18 July 2014
Evaluating Adult Animated Sitcoms
Many television shows in circulation are now perceived almost identical in the sense that they are exactly the “same show”, which extends beyond appearing at a certain time of day or falling into a specific type of television genre. These shows also seem to have the same character types, story lines, and settings in which the show takes place. Adult animated sitcoms feature the ideal American nuclear family, through satirizing parodies on religious beliefs, thus portraying politics and media as corrupted. This is especially shown to be true in the adult animated situational comedies The Simpsons, Family Guy, and King of the Hill.
One primary reason these television shows are being depicted similar is the fact that they all appear at the same time of day, prime time. The Simpsons, Family Guy, and King of the Hill, all adult animated genres, fall into the prime time showings. The prime time showing is aimed at the mature audience as it is the time usually associated when the children are asleep in bed.
There are a couple representation issues that can be spoken about these three television shows too. All of them have the age regression factor that makes them age a lot slower. The producers have a way to make each episode seem as if it has been all shot in the same year. Another commonality is how there isn’t any laugh tracks in the background. Most situational comedies do utilize laugh tracks but none of the three do, which is unusual for an “Animated sitcom”.
The settings that all these episodes were shot at are another similarity in the television shows. They all seem to be taking place in what appears to be middle-class suburbia. Hank Hill lives in a small town in which everyone seems to know everyone in Arlene, Texas. As for Homer Simpson’s family they reside in the small town of Springfield, but the state they live in is never revealed. Peter Griffin’s family has again been found in the same type of living arrangements by living in the suburban area of Quahog, Rhode Island. Another coincidence would have to be that their ethnicity seems to be the same too. All leading characters are represented as being of the Caucasian decent, which of course is implied from the Simpson’s family too except for them to resemble the color yellow.
These television shows all seem to reinforce ideas of the “nuclear family”, which presents the father, mother, and children. Paul Cantors’ “The Simpsons: Atomistic Politics and the Nuclear Family” explains “The Simpsons now serves as one of the representative images of American family life “(735). Matt Groening’s The Simpsons features Homer Simpson, who plays the father role, while Marge takes the mother role. Then the three children Bart, Lisa, and Maggie presents the celebration of the “nuclear family”. It portrays an average middle class American family, husband, wife, son, daughter, and in this case a baby as well. In Mike Judge’s and Greg Daniels’ King of the Hill series, the same family portrait is being shown with Hank Hill, the father, Peggy J. Hill, the mother, Bobby Hill, the son, and also the newer addition to the immediate family whom is actually the niece, Luann Kleinschmidt. The same “nuclear family” is expressed in Seth Macfarlane’s Family Guy, with Peter and Lois Griffin, as the loving parents, and their three children Megan, Chris, and the baby Stewie.
Not only do these three shows celebrate the “nuclear family”, but they also possess similarities in their characteristics. The father figures throughout these sitcoms, Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin, and Hank Hill are all portrayed as the alcoholic fathers who drink beer at the same place with their buddies. Peter Griffin is shown throughout the series getting drunk with his neighbors Cleveland Brown, Glenn Quahog, and Joe Swanson frequently at Quahog‘s local bar “The Drunken Clam”. Likewise, Homer Simpson and his lifelong