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Hello everyone. Can you please check my guess about the meaning of the sentence? Options
riverbottom
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 9:05:51 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/29/2018
Posts: 7
Neurons: 150
Hello everyone, I'm reading a book about the Simpsons, and I'm trying to understand this paragraph.

Quote:
Like Homer, the rest of Springfield now bore only a surface resemblance to the characters they’d once been. But this newfound enthusiasm for character development created another problem that has endured throughout the Simpsons. As the show became more emotionally heavy handed it also became wackier. And instead of doing one or the other, it tried to have it both ways at once. The episode would be dour and serious, but there was no payoff for the audience. No matter how sad the proceedings, everything was back to normal (or very close to it) by the time the credits rolled. The result is emotional episodes about sober Barney and widowed Flanders that don’t follow through, leaving the characters changed but unchanged, and still able to react to Homer’s antics.

Season 11 is rife with tone deaf juxtapositions like that. In addition to dead wives, multiple births and droning sobriety, Season 11 sees Homer use a full size motorcycle as a sword to rescue Marge, pirates kidnap half of Springfield and drown many of them, and an episode that ends with racehorse jockeys turning out to be magical, subterranean elves. Not only was the deft touch for tender or heartbreaking moments gone, but the stories that had grounded those moments had been replaced by adventures that Bugs and Mickey would consider outlandish. The show hadn’t previously been sappy or stupid, and now it was being both at the same time.


So, I suppose the author says that the Simpsons were trying to use the two contradictory trends: drama and slapstick. But I'm not sure what it means 'leaving the characters changed but unchanged'. I assume that means that people of Springfield despite its new developments were reacting invariably to Homer's antics. I don't know whether I'm right or not. All ideas are welcome.
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 1:41:49 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 9,725
Neurons: 51,343
riverbottom wrote:
Hello everyone, I'm reading a book about the Simpsons, and I'm trying to understand this paragraph.

Quote:
Like Homer, the rest of Springfield now bore only a surface resemblance to the characters they’d once been. But this newfound enthusiasm for character development created another problem that has endured throughout the Simpsons. As the show became more emotionally heavy handed it also became wackier. And instead of doing one or the other, it tried to have it both ways at once. The episode would be dour and serious, but there was no payoff for the audience. No matter how sad the proceedings, everything was back to normal (or very close to it) by the time the credits rolled. The result is emotional episodes about sober Barney and widowed Flanders that don’t follow through, leaving the characters changed but unchanged, and still able to react to Homer’s antics.

Season 11 is rife with tone deaf juxtapositions like that. In addition to dead wives, multiple births and droning sobriety, Season 11 sees Homer use a full size motorcycle as a sword to rescue Marge, pirates kidnap half of Springfield and drown many of them, and an episode that ends with racehorse jockeys turning out to be magical, subterranean elves. Not only was the deft touch for tender or heartbreaking moments gone, but the stories that had grounded those moments had been replaced by adventures that Bugs and Mickey would consider outlandish. The show hadn’t previously been sappy or stupid, and now it was being both at the same time.


So, I suppose the author says that the Simpsons were trying to use the two contradictory trends: drama and slapstick. But I'm not sure what it means 'leaving the characters changed but unchanged'.
I see it as the characters going through all of these strange events that happen to them, changing their normal routines and forcing them to adjust, but in the end, returning to the same place, emotionally, as they were before all this happened to them. In other words, they didn't grow, or learn anything from their experiences. In the end, "everything was back to normal" and Homer's antics became the focus once again.

I assume that means that people of Springfield despite its new developments were reacting invariably to Homer's antics. I don't know whether I'm right or not. All ideas are welcome.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 8:39:36 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 14,541
Neurons: 45,412
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
I interpret it as saying all the characters had, at that time, evolved into different characters from the early days. As they evolved so the show began to change. It had begun to deal with real, emotional topics and not just with crazy visuals. So they tried to retain the crazy capers while they dealt with the heavy, emotional message.

They then mention another aspect of these kinds of format: continuity changes. In some episodes a character would go through a life-changing event; like Barney getting sober. But in the nest episode Barney was back to being a drunk - with no reference by anyone, to the fact that he had ever been sober.
riverbottom
Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2018 8:04:51 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/29/2018
Posts: 7
Neurons: 150
Thank you all!
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