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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Is Banksy’s ‘Simpsons’ couch gag a load of pretend outrage, or is it eye-opening commentary?

Enigmatic British street artist Banksy struck again last night: on U.S. television. He supplied the “couch gag” bit during the opening credits of a new episode of The Simpsons entitled “MoneyBart,” and it’s a doozy:


I was stunned to see something this (apparently) subversive on primetime network television… but I also imagine it’s not too far from the truth. So isn’t then, you know, sort of hypocritical? It’s not like anyone behind The Simpsons is going to change how the show is produced, or how its spinoff merch is manufactured.

Hecklerspray thinks it’s all a bunch of bullshit:

Amusingly enough, this weak-wristed attack on mass-production will no doubt end up on a Simpson’s DVD at some point, made in some unpleasant warehouse somewhere. That’s nice isn’t it? It’s like Radiohead advising their fans cycle to their shows while jetting around the world in planes fuelled by rocking horse shit.

Apparently, this extended intro was inspired by reports that the show outsources the bulk of their animation to a company in South Korea.

Banksy has stated that his storyboard led to delays, disputes over broadcast standards and a threatened walk out by the animation department.

Then, Al Jean, The Simpsons executive producer, showed Banksy how to be funny by dismissing the furore with:

“This is what you get when you outsource.”

ZING!

So: Is Banksy’s Simpsons couch gag a load of pretend outrage, or is it eye-opening commentary?

I figure the audience already knows what goes into producing a show like this, and either doesn’t care or feels powerless to change it, or the audience doesn’t know and will take this sequence as entirely fantastical and comedic, removed from all reality.

What you do think?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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