When I was growing up, if you showed up to school and didn’t know where the reference “Do’h!” came from you just weren’t cool. Actually, I kind of wanted to be a radical skateboarding Bart Simpson myself, we all did. For longer than I’ve even been alive The Simpsons has made American audiences laugh with their low brow, but surprisingly witty humor. Well, now the epitome of American satire will do its best to make Chinese audiences laugh as well.
That’s right Homer Simpson is headed to China. Just pray he isn’t in the airline seat next to you.
Sohu video, a large Netflix-like online video provider in China, will stream The Simpsons for free. That means Bart and family will be introduced to their biggest audience yet. Fox commented that the deal would be multi-year and it’s unclear how many episodes would be available or even what episodes.
I think we can rest assured that anything edgy (basically anything to do with anything that the insanity of the government deems subversive) won’t be shown. A funny episode I remember, that’s mentioned in this Wall Street Journal blog, is a good example of what probably won’t be shown. It talks about the time The Simpsons visited Tiananmen Square and looked at a plaque that read: “On this site in 1989, nothing happened.”
This type of witty and dry humor plays well with western audiences, but it remains unclear whether Chinese audiences will think it’s just as funny. I read alot of netizen comments online though and I think most young Chinese viewers will totally get and appreciate the humor in The Simpsons. I just fear that the local papers may think The Simpsons are a real live American family… Who knows? They’ve been easily fooled before.
Any of our Chinese readers out there big Simpsons fans? You tell me whether you think China will find this funny. I’m betting on yes.