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Trope and Irony in The Simpsons' Overture

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Using the initial sequence of The Simpsons as a case study, this article analyzes the role of television music in the construction of the medium's total audiovisual message. The one-minute opening, a luscious symphonic overture complete with sound effects, introduces the five family characters plus the small-town suburban culture that surrounds them. Inscribed within Hollywood's cinematographic language, the music is a powerful generic marker often projecting absurdity and irony. Notwithstanding the pantomimic effect, these comedic contradictions address the dysfunctional life of the Simpsons, defining the American Dream in ways distinct from other TV shows from the '50s, '60s, and '70s.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-12-01

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