The Simpsons is the longest-running scripted program in prime-time television history. This cartoon follows the exploits of the titular dysfunctional family and their fellow citizens of Springfield. Homer, a beer-guzzling, donut-munching schlub, is married to dutiful, neurotic Marge. Their ten-year-old son, Bart, is a mischievous brat constantly outsmarting his hapless school principal; Lisa is their diligent but oft-overlooked eight-year-old daughter; and Maggie is their pre-verbal toddler.
The Simpsons varies widely in terms of content from one week to the next, but has become steadily more graphic as the years have gone by. Some episodes are tame, while others remind viewers that The Simpsons can still be controversial. For example, in one episode, Homer introduced his young children to comedy duo Cheech and Chong’s pot-laden comedy albums.
Sex can be surprisingly risqué for what is ostensibly a family show. One episode involved guest Joan Rivers quipping, “Today’s kids are less sensitive than an Army condom. They see more on TV than my mother did on her wedding night.” Profanity is generally limited to “hell,” “damn” and “crap.” Violence, however, can be alarmingly graphic, particularly during the annual “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween specials and the ultra-violent cat and mouse cartoon-within-a-cartoon, “The Itchy and Scratch Show.”
The Simpsons is not recommended for viewers under age 14.