Monday, October 11, 2010

Street Artist Banksy Creates Dark Opening For 'The Simpsons'

It takes some effort for a TV series to inspire shock, amazement, and controversy in its 22nd season, but last night's episode of "The Simpsons" accomplished this apparently impossible feat.

The episode, "MoneyBART," opens with an extended "couch gag" the opening series in which the Simpson family takes its place on their sofa created by British street artist Banksy. The artist's dark vision gives viewers a horrifying look at how he envisages the hit show and its profitable merchandise are made sweatshop conditions for its animators unsafe conditions for producers of its apparel boxes sealed with the tongue of a disembodied dolphin head the center holes popped out of its DVDs with the horn of a shackled, emaciated unicorn.

According to the Guardian, Banksy's involvement marks the first time "The Simpsons" has begged the work of an artist unconnected to the show. And though "Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean's comment on the disturbing sequence was, "This is what you get when you outsource," he and his colleagues had to have known that Banksy couldn't help delivering something subversive. Banksy who recently reached a wider audience with last summer's documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop" is known for making notorious statements with his work, which most frequently involves stenciling public buildings all over the world. Banksy even once creep into the Louvre to hang one of his paintings, which mimicked the "Mona Lisa" with a yellow smiley face in place of the original visage

The opening also joins a long tradition of "Simpsons" producers sardonic their corporate masters. There have been countless jokes over the years about the moral bankruptcy of Fox programming and the evil genius of Rupert Murdoch, founder of Fox parent company News Corp. However, this instance pushed the show's self-mockery to a new level.


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