Admit it: no matter organized you may be during the week, there are times when you wish you could be lazy. So lazy, there is no excuse for it. You want to lie on the couch, open a beer, and watch mind-numbing television. You want to be Home Simpson!
Over the years, Homer has proven himself to be the absolute epitome of sheer laziness. He never shows up for work on time, he naps on the job, he once gained over a hundred pounds in order to work from home, and so much more. Believe it or not, that is just the beginning! He eats non-stop, watches TV laying on the couch and drinking beer for hours on end, and spends hours at Moe’s Tavern drinking at the bar.
Obviously, Homer can get away with much more than anyone ever could in real life. He is just a cartoon after all. He is a well-rounded caricature of the American Dad. Just about all Dads have at least some redeeming qualities. Poor Homer has but one: He loves his wife and children unconditionally. Even though he doesn’t show it as well as he could at times, and is extremely selfish at others, his love for Marge, Bart, Maggie, Lisa, and his Dad all come shining through in every episode. That isn’t exactly the worst message we could be sending Dads out there.
It is true, however, that the Simpsons, and Homer especially, has added to the trend of showing the children in charge in American television. When you think about it, Marge means well, but is so frazzled that often Bart and Lisa have to pick up the slack. Homer, on the other hand, is shown to be inept, downright stupid, and inconsiderate. In fact, he is so buffoonish in his behavior as an employee and as a Dad that you can’t take it seriously. It is this aspect of Homer that allows the deeper message to come through: As long as you love your family unconditionally, all will be well in the end.
This simple message has been with the Simpsons since the beginning. During the earlier episodes, Bart’s escapades were often the subject of the show. However, if you view episodes being produced currently, you are more apt to view shows surrounding the antics of Homer. He is so ridiculous that audiences can’t seem to get enough of him.
As a result of all of his antics, he never seems to grow up or grow as a character from episode to episode; he, like the rest of the Simpsons, appears to grow each episode. This technique, along with the fact that the creators refuse to let the Simpsons age, keeps the show fresh. It allows the creators to comment on every aspect of the American family and American society as a whole. For example, traditional sitcoms such as Cheers and Seinfeld, have their characters learn lessons each episodes as well; there is little, if any, growth over the length of a season or the entire show. The difference, however, between the traditional sitcom and the Simpsons is that the Simpsons can remain the same age forever. It isn’t a stretch to only have character growth within the episode itself.
No matter how you look at it, Homer’s character, as embellished as it may be, strikes a chord with all of us. All of us feel lazy, fat, and inadequate sometimes. We all need to remember the people who love us unconditionally and whom we love unconditionally. It is those relationships that are truly important.