We’re in an age of controversial cartoons – from American Dad to Archer, our screens are no stranger to animation designed to shock laughs out of us. Amongst all this, The Simpsons.
You might say The Simpsons has remained an island of relative innocence, an often heart-warming picture of American family life that has been at the forerunner of its genre for over two decades. Yet recent years have seen the show become the centre of its own controversy. As the family sitcom enters its 27th season, many viewers, even die-hard fans, are beginning to ask one big question, namely: has The Simpsons, once a show with its bright yellow finger firmly on the comedic and political button, become irrelevant?
The show’s creators say no, of course, but they’ve certainly been left with something to prove in this premiere episode of the new season. Hardly surprising, then, that the run up to the American airing was preceded by news of the biggest celebrity breakup since Kermit and Miss Piggy: Homer and Marge, the producers revealed, would be formally separating in the new season.
‘Every Man’s Dream’ promises to test their relationship, with Homer’s newly-diagnosed narcolepsy leading, unsurprisingly, to a chain of events that drives the marriage past breaking point and ends in the separation of TV’s most stable couple. Only time will tell if the separation proves to be permanent, though Homer’s new relationship with his pharmacist (voiced by Lena Dunham) adds a new dimension of division within the Simpson family that may be hard to come back from.
The Simpsons airs Friday at 9pm, on Sky1.