Trouble in Springfield: The Simpsons and Changing Family Structures
The Simpsons has become a symbol of American Television with its hysterical spoofs of current events and iconic characters. After 26 seasons, The Simpsons will be addressing a new topic in its 27th season that has had a steady increase in American life- legal separation and divorce. Executive producer Al Jean told Variety that in its new season, Springfield’s supercouple would be splitting with the appearance of a surprising other woman. “In the premiere [of the 27th season], it’s discovered after all the years Homer has narcolepsy, and it’s an incredible strain on the marriage,” said Jean. “Homer and Marge legally separate, and Homer falls in love with his pharmacist, who’s voiced by [HBO’s Girls creator and star] Lena Dunham.”
The Simpsons separation is not unusual in modern society. In the United States alone, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples divorce and the divorce rate of subsequent marriages are even higher. In the state of California, the divorce rate per year has grown to every 8 out of 1,000 couples divorcing. Consequently, these rates have led to a change in the American “family values.”
There are many who still fight for the return of the “good old days” and the traditional two- parent household. However, recent research cast doubt as to whether most Americans agree that a healthy family must have the traditional two-parent household. The “reality is that we live in an era of change and controversy with respect to many kinds of values, including values about family life.” In a survey conducted by the Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit New York research group, only two percent of the women and one percent of the men questioned define family values as being about the traditional nuclear family. Additionally, nine out of ten women defined family values as loving, taking care of and supporting each other, knowing right from wrong and having good values, and nine out of ten said that society should value all kinds of families.
In its 27th season premiere, The Simpsons will reflect this indication of changing family values in American society as it is becoming more prevalent in today’s world. But let’s hope that Springfield’s favorite couple reunite.
If you have any questions about legal separation, divorce, or any other issue, the Certified Family Law Specialists at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri have decades of experience handling complex family law matters. Please contact the Certified Family Law Specialists at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri for further information. Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Source: Twila L. Perry, Family Values, Race, Feminism, and Public Policy, 36 Santa Clara L. Rev. 345 (1996).
*Since the writing of this post The Simpsons divorce rumors have been invalidated