The importance of Itchy & Scratchy show?

Robotics

魔女旅人
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
Messages
1,800
Location
Taipei City, Taiwan
I was looking through the Season 24 information thread when a topic came up that there hasn't been an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon for a while. And it also appears that many fans seem to regard this "cartoon in a cartoon" as something of importance. So, what role does the Itchy & Scratchy show play in The Simpsons? What do you think about the show and its roles of satire, parody, or whatever effects it may have? Share your ideas!
 

Dark Homer

pineapple shoes
Administrator
Joined
Oct 18, 2001
Messages
10,853
Location
geohell
it's perhaps their most direct satirization of pop culture and they often use it as an avenue to explore issues relating to television, mass media, childrens' entertainment, animation, merchandising, as well as the show itself and the culture around it.I'd also say it contributes to the show's overall cynical worldview
 
K

Kid Moe

Guest
It's essentially just an "edgier" version of Tom & Jerry. But it's enough to keep us wanting more.
 

Larry Christmas

aka..BarFly#2
Joined
Nov 16, 2009
Messages
1,712
Location
California
Not to mention, the Itchy & Scratchy Show usually seems to have something to do with the story in Simpsons episode that it is being played in. Which is something I always enjoyed just as much as the violence (or lack there of, as in "Porch Pals" one of my favorite ones)
 

ManiacalRoboKiller

Nintendo Dance Party!
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Messages
9,428
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Yeah I was the one who made that observation btw [MENTION=46754]Ernie[/MENTION] Anyway I was just wondering if they discontinued them or not. TBH I&S never really entertained me much but losing them is like losing a special part of The Simpsons. With them losing I&S there will be nothing left for The Simpsons to lose. :lol:

It's like the show getting rid of all the side characters and only leaving The Simpson family. Technically it would still be "The Simpsons" but the side characters are just important as the family themselves. All of the side characters have made names for themselves in pop culture.
 

Sideshow Ben

Pin Pal
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
256
Location
Halifax, nova scotia, Canada
Itchy and Scratchy was a pressure-free way to escape the main storyline, even if it tied in thematically. It must have been very helpful to have that in the arsenal to help control the story's flow whenever the writer needed it.
 

1010011010

Remember Me As I Was
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
9,563
Location
California Coast
It was a nice side gag within the show that could provide a quick funny slapstick gag in an episode, usually relating to the main plot. Sometimes the show would become the main plot of an episode and lead to some great plots and jokes, but it was mostly just a fun thing to watch on the side. Sadly nowadays the show is basically here as filler for the show, usually not being that clever and mostly parodyzing new movies which might also be a reflection on the newer Tom and Jerry stuff, but it's just a unfunny filler gag now, sort of like the couch gag has become as well.
 

Robotics

魔女旅人
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
Messages
1,800
Location
Taipei City, Taiwan
I'll just fish out a quick example.
-"Lisa the Vegetarian"-- the Itchy & Scratchy short proves to have some impact on the character's thoughts by directing more repulsion on animal cruelty/ eating meat. This kind of connotes over how we might be influenced by television culture, and this short definitely provides more points of conflict. Another quote that intrigues me a bit would be Bart's dialogue after the short:
Cartoons don't have messages Lisa. They're just a bunch of hilarious stuff, y'know, like people getting hurt and stuff-- stuff like that.
Are the Simpsons kids watching a cartoon show really a mirror image of ourselves watching The Simpsons? Regardless of what the writers wanted to deliver, this quote is probably few of the best moments of social parody in my views (From the show).

And of course, we must not forget that "Itchy& Scratchy & Marge" is a perfect example of satirizing pop-culture/media and young viewers. Many others I&S shorts are also rich when delivering the same societal issue. I'd say that I&S show plays a major role in enhancing satire in The Simpsons, while also making social commentaries and parodies. This mostly applies to the older I&S appearances though.
 

Monty_Burns

Pin Pal
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
790
i thougth their real purpose was to fill in screen time, personally i thought they were ok. dont really miss them much
 

The Monorail

Wanting to switch seats
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Messages
1,556
Location
Fake Location
I have always enjoyed most of them, especially when they have something to do with the plot, like in Cape Feare Bart didn't enjoy watching them as he was getting threating letters and in Bart's Friend Falls in Love there is a love-themed cartoon while Bart is watching with Milhouse and Samantha.

Although it is good they don't make them often anymore as I&S have started to suck as well as the whole show.
 

Monty_Burns

Pin Pal
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
790
I don't know if there's a real purpose, but yes, they use it as a filler too. More or less relating to the plot in a way.

at least they did relate them to the plots, so even if it was just to fill time they they didn't feel to be out of place, we gotta give them props for that, back then they focused in so many details, that's one of the reasons the show was so especial.
 

Nebuchanezzar

Out of touch old timer
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Messages
3,580
Location
Australia
great thread ernie.

that example from lisa the vegetarian is a really good example to show how i&s are used on the show. another nice example can be found in 'i love lisa' (i think?). in that case, scratchy chases after itchy ala ralph chases lisa. i think that's the perfect way to implement i&s within the show. it's not (or, it rarely was) just a side track joke or a piece of filler material: it's the writers fleshing out a theme from the episode in the form of an itchy and scratchy cartoon. we don't really learn anything new about the theme in question, and that's never the point of the cartoons. it's just the main theme or idea, re-stated.

another example is in one of my all time favourites, 'itchy & scratchy & marge'. in this case it's a little different. it seems that when a new plot beat is introduced then it's fleshed out in the form of an i&s cartoon. we learn that maggie's copying the tv by watching her imitate i&s. marge learns it by watching another episode of the cartoon. when the audience is supposed to be feeling that marge is a nag, we see her as a nag in an i&s episode. when marge has censored television we see the results in an i&s cartoon.

why are they on the show though? it's easy (and wrong) to say that it was originally just filler, but in the first instance there was a reason why sam simon or whoever it was decided to implement i&s. there was a reason why they felt the need to relate something, anything, through a tv show. i think it's partly a parody and a nod to those looney tunes cartoons. that would explain the violence and the fact that they're animals. i think it's also got to be a reflection on the position of tv back when the simpsons first started. it's not as timely now with the internet and all, but back then so much time was spent in front of the tv and so much information was received through tv. the simpsons (back then) was a razor sharp reflection on society, and tv was an important part of that society. tv includes childrens shows so they had to be thrown in there.

when i was a kid i used to get a great kick out of seeing the outrageous ways scratchy would die. good times.
 

Haoie

Stonecutter
Joined
Jun 14, 2005
Messages
1,772
Location
New Zealand
I always thought of it as the most prominent show within a show. Admittably only the Simpson kids watch it.

What's a reocurring show within a show that the whole family always watches?
 

shawn

d o double g
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Messages
13,872
Location
handsome's van
Itchy and Scratchy was created to show us, the viewers, that violence is the new era of entertainment. To add to the effect, they just made a more violent Tom and Jerry.
 

ManiacalRoboKiller

Nintendo Dance Party!
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Messages
9,428
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
I always thought of it as the most prominent show within a show. Admittably only the Simpson kids watch it.

What's a reocurring show within a show that the whole family always watches?

McBain!

sshot4d52f54895f12.png
 

Lance.Uppercut

Stonecutter
Joined
Aug 6, 2012
Messages
2,043
Location
Milhouse once mentioned a city very close to mine.
They've been a way to poke fun at the animation industry. They were used as a catalyst for the debate on violence in children's television in S2 and as a commentary for new and edgy marketing in S8. I&S Land proved to be an interesting set-up on Disneyana in general, not just the famous theme parks. A Disney-like history of I&S has been established to help make that great ep about Chester J. Lampwick; I don't know if that plot is a reference to the creation of any particular cartoon characters, but the whole thing is packed with thinly-veiled references to Disney, Ub Iwerks and Ralph Bakshi.

Even in the Ten-Per-Cent Solution, Krusty (or an outlet for The Simpsons' producers, if you will) use I&S to talk about about The Simpsons' lack of timeliness in their cultural references due to how much time it takes to produce and animate the cartoons.
 
Top