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Quite surprising news, that’s one way to put it, coming out of Glasgow University today (November 16). The news is that they will be offering courses on Homer Simpson philosophy next year – and sure enough, the British papers went wild.
Well, universities seemingly offer a course in everything these days.
The “D’Oh! The Simpsons Introduce Philosophy” short course runs four times next January and February from 10am to 4pm each day with tutor Dr. John Donaldson, costing £30 per person. It has been reported that all courses have been fully booked (the fact this happened so quickly showing how popular the show and the franchise still is), so don’t expect to be learning about the American way any time soon.
Donaldson said of the course: “This course is an introduction to philosophy; it’s a pick and mix of philosophy” and “uses the Simpsons as a vehicle to introduce new areas.” He said “there’s a lot of philosophy in the Simpsons,” comparing it to “a work of art” because of the depth and scope it has, it touchea a lot of philosophical areas. Donaldson also referred to how the course itself had gone viral. ‘Homer Simpson’ was a low trending topic on Twitter in the UK on the evening of the announcement.
Donaldson referred to “Matt Groening’s monument to the absurdities of human existence” enabling the ability to “explore some of philosophy’s most inspiring ideas”, and professed hopes the subject matter would help to attract people into studying philosophy, and also cited Groening having been a philosophy student himself, stating that his studying of it “comes through in each episode”.
The course will concern Homer’s deeds and pose the question if Aristotle would have regarded him as a virtuous figure, as well as morality and free will by examining early season 1 episode “Bart the Genius“, the plot of which involves Bart being referred to a school for the gifted after swapping test papers with fellow student Martin.
The University of Glasgow already offers philosophy courses derived from Doctor Who (time travel and the nature of reality), The Sopranos (about self-interest, moralty and the ethics of loyalty) and The Wire (in relation to drugs, Diogenes and the death of the American dream). Oh, and they also offer a Game of Thrones course revolving around politics, power and war.
TV fans, I think Glasgow Uni’s for you…
But I’m not sure Homer is exactly an encouraging force for students:
Trying is the first step toward failure.
– Realty Bites
Or should that be REALITY bites…? In any case, it resulted in Homer’s dinner all over the tablecloth.
But of course, it is 2016; what else would you expect?:
Homer Simpson is trending and I was worried he’d died. It’s 2016 after all.
– Dr Pops on Twitter.
For further information on the course, you can visit the university’s website.
Be sure to check our update page for all the infos you’ll need!
As always with a football lead-in, any show after it gets boosted. Well, The Simpsons got boosted up on Sunday by 1.7 from the last episode to a 3.103 rating (share of the 18-49 audience) and a 9% share of the overall audience (up a miniscule 0.002 from 3.101 in the prelims). 7.101 million tuned in as well to see the Simpsons travel to Cuba. The episode tied 20th for the most-watched show on American TV for the week ending November 13th in 18-49s with 3.982 million of its viewers in that demographic. Sunday night’s lead-in was The OT with 6.7/21 and 18.557 million.
The last episode equalling or above a 3.0 rating was the also football-helped “Treehouse of Horror XXVII” 4 weeks ago, which scored a 3.0/10 and 7.442 million viewers. Sunday’s episode was up slightly in 18-49 ratings and down in total viewers and share of total audience. No original episode was broadcast on the equivalent night last year, so no comparison can be made.
Including episodes with a football lead-in, The Simpsons is currently averaging a 2.07/6.9 rating, with a 4.804 million viewer average, up on the same period last year (the season’s first SIX episodes) which had 1.95/5.8 and a 4.42 million viewer average.
Elsewhere on FOX, a 52.7% retention isn’t great for Son of Zorn, with its 1.635/5 looking solid but a non-sport boosted Simpsons last week saw it dip below the point of likely renewal with 0.9; who knows where it’ll be next week, except either high 0s or low 1s. Family Guy was slightly down from Zorn with 1.622/5, and also dropped just 57,000 viewers from it with 3.58m.
The highest rated show of the evening was a 4-minute NFL overrun on Fox, with 8.5/25 and 24.182 million, and second to that, Sunday Night Football on NBC averaging 7.675 and 22.513 million viewers from 8:32pm. Outside of sports, Simpsons was second behind a 60 Minutes containing a presidential interview with a 3.363/11 (the only other show of the night above a 3.0 rating outside of sports) and 20 million viewers on the dot.
Opposite ‘Simpsons’, there was around 25-30 million tuned into the other three main broadcast networks.
In catch-up news, The Simpsons snuck incongruously into the top 25 shows of the week ending November 6 concerning the most-watched shows after 3 days of catch-up. “There Will Be Buds” rose by 0.3 (21% of original audience) from 1.4 to 1.7, tying 24th. Family Guy came above it, as usual, but marginally, increasing 0.6 (50%) from 1.2 to a 1.8, tying 21st to be FOX’s most-watched non-sport show of the week; The Simpsons second – and it appears ‘Simpsons’ will also be FOX’s most-watched non-sport show of the week ending November 13th outside of catch-up, with it beating Wednesday night staple Empire by two tenths of a point (although, Empire‘ll rise by a point or nearly two after three days of catch-up)!
See you next Tuesday with analysis as FOX’s Sunday will go back to normal.
Sources: TVByTheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily
Check all you need to know on the Treehouse of Horror XXVII event here!
In an interview with Variety Latino, Al Jean talks about the upcoming episode: “It was inspired by Dan Castellaneta and his wife who went to Cuba and they wanted to turn in a script. So that was the genesis and it deals with how it’s a little easier now to go to Cuba from America. This episode was written a year ago so we write about what we think will be important a year from now or five years from now. Grampa can’t get affordable healthcare even being a vet.”
Next Jean explains the new phenomenon dubbed “Cubagasm” that is shown in the sneak peek: “Cuba has these old American cars in incredible condition. There’s this phenomenon that old people experience when they’re surrounded by objects from their youth that make them feel younger and they act younger. So Granmpa is seeing all these old cars and he starts feeling younger and better. ‘Cubangasms’ is the medical term that we’re coining for it.”
Jean adds that the episode will have beatiful Cuban music, Bart and Lisa arguing in Spanish, and Fidel Castro: “There’s a Castro joke in the episode where it’s like, ‘I’d be surprised if he’s still alive’ and he is! He’s over 90 now. He’s dealt with presidents since Eisenhower, it’s unbelievable.”
The episode will also explain the prediction of Donald Trump becoming president, once Jean was asked about him having informations thanks to him working with Scott Baio in Charles in Charge, he jokes: “That gives you the Scott Baio connection. Oh my God, it’s all my fault! We were surprised like a lot of people. All I can say is to hope for the best but we will certainly make fun of whatever happens. It is crazy. There was the Trump one and there was another one that was nuts where we had a brochure that said New York on $9 a day and then the Twin Towers were next to the 9 so it looked like nine eleven. I don’t know what to tell you. These things are just nuts. I can’t explain it. We definitely think about the future [when writing]. We’re sort of like futurologists because we work so far ahead.
So for example, when we said Brazil was going to lose the World Cup to Germany we had a joke about how funny it would be if after they lost they would sing Ole! Ole! very sadly. So sometimes we have good predictions. The Trump one was just…what odds would you have given that one?
There will probably something else that will happen, only God knows. I don’t know.”
Source: Variety Latino
In the episode …
“A workplace accident leaves Homer in a cast, and in a position to sue Mr. Burns. This leaves Marge unfulfilled, so she turns to an unexpected source for romance. Meanwhile, Lisa is made “Bus Monitor” and tries to keep the peace.”
For further information…
If you want to read the original listing from FOX, visit this page.
If you want to know further info about the episode, check our Wiki article on it. We’re always keeping it up-to-date.
If you want to know more about Season 28, visit our page for it in our Wiki!
Stay tuned for more!
— Chris Ledesma (@mxedtr) November 11, 2016
In an interview with the New York Post, Al Jean talks about the 30 years with the show, hitting December 17.
“A lot of people who were fans of the show at the beginning don’t watch anymore, but we always have a new audience coming in. It’s a new show to them, which is a pretty amazing thing. And that’s partly due to its animated nature, since the characters always look the same. I look at it as someone who’s under the age of 30 can’t remember life without ‘The Simpsons.’ That’s a weird fact.”
The show was just renewed for two more seasons, 29th and 30th, taking the show up to 669 episodes, surpassing Gunsmoke‘s 635 (1955-75).
“When we hit 300 episodes I looked it up to see what show had the most episodes and saw that it was ‘Gunsmoke.’ I joked back then that we were heading for them, and here we are, closing in. But it’s never about hitting milestones. There was a definite pride in reaching 600 episodes and it will be cool to surpass ‘Gunsmoke’ … but we just want to keep going if it’s good. The audience will tell us [when to call it quits] when the ratings start to drop.”
Looking back at the start of the current season, September 25th, Jean reports on him thinking he already had an idea it would have been renewed. “I just looked at the ratings. I always thought it was coming back, I believe we’re currently the second-highest-rated show on the network after ‘Empire.’ ”
NYP asked Jean if, after 28 seasons, the show is running on auto-pilot to which he comments “My answer would be I wish we could be on auto-pilot, but every episode is its own struggle. We never get to rest on our laurels. It’s animated well and we make it funny — but we’ve never, from the beginning of the show to now, phoned it in. I work pretty much every weekday of the year trying to figure out how to make the show better. People want [the ‘Simpsons’ characters] to be happy. We’ve always resisted any permanent change to the template because I think, once you do that, it becomes a different show. People ask, ‘What if [the characters] did a time-jump to high school?’ I would say that, rather than do that, I would end the show. It’s gone on so long it has to stay in its current incarnation.”
Jean concludes talking about a future episode he’s excited about: the 666th: “The one I’m looking forward to is number 666, which will fall around Halloween. It’ll probably be a ‘Treehouse of Horror’ episode. Aside from 666, I imagine the next milestone we’ll be celebrating is our 700th episode.”
Source: New York Post