Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Watching with The Simpsons

Television, Parody, and Intertextuality, 1st Edition

By Jonathan Gray


216 pages

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Using our favourite Springfield family as a case study, Watching with The Simpsons examines the textual and social role of parody in offering critical commentary on other television programs and genres.

Jonathan Gray brings together textual theory, discussions of television and the public sphere, and ideas of parody and comedy. Including primary audience research, it focuses on how The Simpsons has been able to talk back to three of television’s key genres - the sitcom, adverts and the news - and on how it holds the potential to short-circuit these genre’s meanings, power, and effects by provoking reinterpretations and offering more media literate recontextualizations.

Examining television and media studies theory, the text of The Simpsons, and the show’s audience, Gray attempts to fully situate the show’s parody and humour within the lived realities of its audiences. In doing so, he further explores the possibilities for popular entertainment television to discuss issues of political and social importance.

A must read for any student of media studies.


'essential reading for fan and academic alike.' - The Velvet Light Trap

Table of Contents

Part 1: Reading Through Intertextuality 1. Intertextuality and the Study of Texts Part 2: Watching with the Simpsons 2. Domesticom Parody, Genre, and Critical Intertextuality 3. Ad Parody and The Logic of Television 4. News Parody and the Public Sphere Part 3: Talking with the Simpsons 5. Parody and/as Interpretive Community 6 ‘The Simpsons Attitude’ Conclusion

About the Author

Jonathan Gray is Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University. His research and publications examine television and film textuality, audiences, and entertainment’s contribution to the public sphere.

About the Series


The Comedia series features new theoretical and empirical work exploring the dynamics of the arts and culture industries, and addressing critical issues in the field of contemporary popular culture: issues of production, design, marketing, and consumption. While the principle focus is contemporary, the series also offers historical, educational, and policy-oriented perspectives across a broad range of media and cultural forms, from the news media to the visual arts.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Television / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Television / History & Criticism
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies