Convergent Website

Dissect podcast

The Dissect podcast utilises the aural nature of podcasting to deliver in-depth musical and contextual analysis’ of Hip-Hop albums. For the fifth season of the podcast, host Cole Cuchna analyses DAMN, the fourth studio album from Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar.

Dissect Season 5 Cover.

The technology for podcast producing and listening continues to be increasingly simple as journalists take advantage of its ability for personal and intimate storytelling. Bigger media outlets have started to create their podcasts to shift the established radio audience to this new form of journalism, however, Dissect benefits from its independence and creative freedom.

Dissect demonstrates multimedia journalism by being accessible for streaming on services such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify and using an online presence on social media including Instagram (24k followers) and Twitter (31.6k followers), and a website with articles and merchandise. Each season, Dissect analyses a popular album, song by song, with episodes ranging from five minutes to two hours. According to Meagan Perry, “podcasts liberate you from the clock, so tell your stories at the length that strengthens them.” Through these differing lengths, Cuchna can to delve deep into the intricacies of the albums’ music theory and thematic contents.

In an LA Times article, podcast producer Tim Lloyd refers to himself as “a storyteller who knows how to commit acts of journalism.” This can be applied to Cuchna’s approach to Dissect as he incorporates his narrative, sound bites from the artist’s songs and interviews and other relevant sound bites of news reports and viral videos. This balance between curation and personalisation is a key attribute to high-quality journalism. Being the only host of the podcast, including various audio is essential to create innovative journalism that is equally entertaining as it is informative and well-researched.

Social media, as a medium, is used to compose, amend and circulate digital information at a nominal cost. Dissect understands the cost-effectiveness of advertising their podcast through promoting the weekly release of new episodes and directly engage with their audience on Instagram and Twitter. Listeners of Dissect even have a subreddit where the audience can interact and discuss each episode.

In ‘What’s in a Niche?’ from the Journal of Media Business Studies, niche journalism is framed as an opportunity to deliver an audience with high-quality journalism in a tightly defined domain that was previously unavailable. Although Hip-Hop is now, according to Nielsen, the most popular genre, there is still a niche audience for examining Hip-Hop through an academic lens. Dissect is a leading contributor to this niche and, in bonus episodes, collaborates with other contributors such as music review YouTuber Anthony Fantano and podcast show Watching The Throne.

Illustrating the rising trend of podcasts in journalism, Dissect use an investigative style similar to the Serial and This American Life podcasts that Cuchna cited as influences in an interview with Billboard. With this storytelling technique, Dissect uses social media for advertising and as an extension of the niche audience that Cuchna and other prominent figures have innovated.

For comprehensive analysis’ of some of the most critically acclaimed Hip-Hop albums, be sure to check out Dissect.


Module 3: Making

Throughout the Making stage of my Digital Artefact, I continued to focus on content creation and curation as I reflected on my project and began ideating ways of improvement. My Digital Artefact consists of the articles I write for Eject Music and an Instagram page (eject_ftremain) where I promote my work and create further discussion around new Hip-Hop music, news and issues.

While there weren’t any mandatory readings during this stage, I often found myself referring back to previous readings such as How Often Should You Post on Social Media? by Meltwater. When writing my contextual essay, the template asked us to consider what we would do differently if we could restart. While I wouldn’t necessarily change anything, Meltwater’s article highlights the importance of utilising multiple platforms and how Twitter . If I could restart, I would have created a Twitter account that would promote my articles but more importantly, allows for easier content curation and more casual and joking interactions with my audience.

I prototyped this theory but using my account to retweet and tweet memes and opinions relating to the release of Kanye West’s Jesus is King. Based on the feedback loop, this received decent engagement and showed potential as a useful platform to interact with my audience and an alternative way in promoting and building hype for future articles. Speaking of Jesus is King, myself and the other writer have collaborated on writing the review which should be posted over the next couple of days. Writing a review with another person made the process a lot quicker to structure and vocalise my opinions. With it being highly talked about, and the early release of our review, I intend to pay close attention to its engagement from my audience as well as the larger Kanye West audience.

As shown in the Types of Content graph, stories were heavily used throughout all stages of my digital artefact. While I’m proud of the consistent amount of content that I have produced, I would have liked to have released more Instagram posts and, as stated before, explored other mediums such as Twitter to balance out my graph.

Adhering to the Making stage, I continued to experiment with my photoshop skills for my Instagram post on my article on posthumous works in Hip-Hop. Originally I intended on breaking my page’s aesthetic but utilising the slide feature on posts but after further consideration and editing, I decided to maintain my aesthetic while still putting my skills to good use. Keeping this editing process online and open led to it being used for the actual article photo.

While this article is still in the process of being edited and out of my control, I have been hosting a topical voting bracket in the lead up to its release. I altered it from my previous voting bracket to be smaller in contestants and had the final round be a 1v1v1. Due to the feedback, I think voting brackets are becoming outdated and repetitive, indicating that I should seek out other forms on audience interactions possibly with trivia tournaments.

Based on my final analytics, my audience is gender balanced, dominantly Australian and aged between 18-24. Though my hometown and Wollongong were the top locations of my audience, I still gained an audience in Brisbane and Melbourne, and internationally in places like the United States and Ireland. This indicates that I have an audience who actively engages with my content outside of BCM114. I’m looking forward to expanding this audience as I intend to continue my project after this semester. This will be used for building my online presence as a music journalist, but hopefully again in future subjects where a digital artefact is required.

If you’d like to check out what I’ve produced throughout the Making stage, or would like to stay posted on all the new content coming, you can find me at Eject Music or on Instagram

Frank Tremain.

Digital Artefact Contextual Essay: Eject Music

My digital artefact includes the work I produce for the Eject Music website where I release Hip-Hop reviews, interviews and features; and my journalist Instagram account (@eject_ftremain) where I promote my articles, host voting brackets and closely engage with my audience.

This project was inspired by Australian media outlets such as Off The Clef and AUD’$, and unofficial accounts such as rap.ranked. My previous digital artefact for BCM112 followed a similar music reviewing structure but with BCM114 I wanted to create something more professional and explore different forms of content creation and curation within music journalism. I developed my project by using Instagram as my primary platform to my professional writer account where I advertised my articles and used the story feature to host voting brackets, report on news and promote new music. Canva was used to format Instagram stories and posts and match the aesthetic of the Eject website while Wix was the home of the website and used to draft and publish articles. Other useful websites include Mojo for Instagram story design and Linktree to create my link in the bio.

With my previous knowledge from BCM112, I quickly began early ideation and rapid prototyping through continuing story highlights from my previous digital artefact and posting reviews on the Eject website as well as promotional posts for these on Instagram. Since then, I have continued to post regular content that created a constant feedback loop that allowed for frequent iteration. A large part of my digital artefact were the two voting brackets that I conducted on my Instagram story. I ideated and prototyped this content by reading the Institute of Design at Stanford’s ‘Process Guide’ where they discuss creating experiences for audiences. This content received high engagement although after testing and modelling it with paper prototypes I realised that the voting experience quickly becomes monotonous. I iterated this by including more sliders, audio and visuals to further encourage public interaction and create private discourse.

Since beginning my digital artefact, I have curated and created 121 pieces of content which accumulated 225 followers with each post/article averaging 30 Instagram and 17 website likes. Though these kind of analytics do not entirely indicate that my digital artefact was a success, it still clearly demonstrates the small and engaged audience that I have created. My original proposed social utility is supported by digital artefact as I have made Hip-Hop the most popular category on the Eject website and I have created a writer and reader relationship with my audience through my discussion driven Instagram account.

If I could start my project again, I would further utilise the posting feature of Instagram and more consistently curate and create smaller pieces of content to maintain a regular posting schedule. Additionally, I would expand my digital artefact to exist on more platforms such as Twitter as it is great for curation through retweeting and quicker production of content through relevant tweets and polls. My future plans for my digital artefact include continuing it outside of BCM114 and to begin prototyping a podcast that could coincide my digital artefact for future subjects such as BCM206.

Frank Tremain.

What’s Hidden?


The art of tattooing has a long and vibrant history that traces back to ancient Asian, European and Polynesian cultures. Today, tattoos can be found in almost every pocket of the world and have become a vehicle of confident self-expression.

According to a 2016 report from Analyse Australia, 19% of Australians have at least one or more tattoos. Out of those Australians, I sat down with Cooper McDaid and Mike Wicks to talk about their own inked skin journey.

Nine years ago, Mike Wicks received his first tattoo of a Chinese dragon that tangles around his left bicep and spreads as far as his back and chest.

“There’s no real meaning behind it, it’s more that I liked the idea for 3 years before I got it and thought, if I still liked it for this long, I’ll like it forever,” Wicks said.

While his first piece didn’t hold significance, the rest of his tattoos hide a powerful story of grief and rebirth. When Mike’s brother, Jeff, tragically drowned in 2014, he used tattooing as a way of dealing with his loss.

“Not long after he passed away I got the tattoo on my ribs, which is apparently one of the worst places to get it but I didn’t feel any pain throughout it all,” Wicks said.

After immortalising his love for his brother, Mike later got a phoenix tattooed on his left forearm as a symbol of overcoming his adversity.

“I was going through a lot of hard times with anxiety and stuff in social situations so it was more just a rising from the ashes type thing,” Mike said.

Cooper McDaid similarly resonated with the phoenix symbolism and had it tattooed on his left forearm, along with a Celtic cross on his wrist.

“Both the men in my family have tattoos so they were a big influence on me getting them,” McDaid said.

“The Celtic cross ties in with my Dad’s tattoos, he has a lot of Celtic knot-works and it just relates to my last name and my heritage.”

After the recent passing of his young niece, the phoenix tattoo held a hidden meaning of persevering strength for Cooper. To give him more strength in hard times, and to finish his half sleeve, McDaid had a hooded guardian angel figure tattooed next to his phoenix.

“I like the idea of hiding meaning in tattoos and not exposing it to many people because you can have a tattoo and it might mean something to you but to the outside world it can look completely different.”

Module 2: Prototyping

Throughout the Prototyping stage of my Digital Artefact, I continued to produce regular content and began experimenting with content creation and curation, and the overall aesthetic and direction of my project. My Digital Artefact consists of the articles I write for Eject Music and an Instagram page (eject_ftremain) where I promote my work and create further discussion around new Hip-Hop music, news and issues.

Readings during the Prototyping and Making stage focused on the importance of content curation including Todd Clarke’s Complete Guide to Content Curation and Mel Wick’s Ultimate Guide to Content Curation. These tips were utilised for when I post stories about the latest Hip-Hop related news and during the tiebreakers in my voting bracket. The voting bracket I created sought to give my audience something more interactive than regular content and aided me in understanding their preferences and creating more discussion within my small community.

Using the paper prototyping to help guide the format and experience, the bracket ended successfully with high engagement and private discourse. For future brackets, I would be loved to see more public discourse, possibly by transitioning the story exclusive content to a post for the final round so the audience can comment publicly and interact with myself and other members of the audience.

Other new content I experimented with included a feature piece discussing posthumous works in Hip-Hop. Due to writing for a company, the roll out of content on the Wix part of my Digital Artefact is up to them, so the article is currently in the editing stage. However, with my Instagram, I am able to create promotional content for the article and might even have the next voting bracket be titled ‘Best Posthumous Album’. The aforementioned roll out of content from the Eject team came into play even more when trying to release weekly reviews but I iterated the posting schedule of my Digital Artefact to include more promotional posts. This was simple content to produce and helped gain the most from content that was more time-consuming. The Voting Bracket and News story highlights also allowed me to release content every couple of days, adhering to the ideas of BEBO and RERO.

News Story Highlight.

A key source I used in guiding my DA during this stage was The Maker Manifesto by Mark Hatch. The Maker Manifesto encouraged me to become more experimental with my work and be more supportive of others. I downloaded Photoshop to test out a possible future aesthetic for my Digital Artefact that will break my current one and change the way my audience interacts with my Instagram posts. In doing so, I was able to participate in Hatch’s key terms of Share, Learn, Tool Up, Play and Change.

To explore some of the remaining terms including Give and Support, I tried to actively engage with media similar to my own including theneedledrop and Off The Clef. Additionally, this process was helpful for giving me ideas for the future direction of my Digital Artefact, by including a podcast in my content. Currently I’m unsure of what kind of podcast to make as I could do a live voting bracket similar to One Song Only, or do an analytic album breakdown like Dissect.

Podcast Mindmap.

The most likely choice will be a topical/discussion based podcast like Everyday Struggle. Within BCM114, the Three’s A Crowd and Sonic Waves podcasts have been points of inspiration for this early ideating stage. On top of continuing to ideate this, I hope to stick to a strict posting schedule with regular content creation and curation that targets my established audience and hopefully, attracts more.

Instagram Analytics.

If you’d like to check out what I’ve produced throughout the Prototyping stage, or would like to stay posted on all the new content coming in the Making stage, you can find me at Eject Music or on Instagram

Frank Tremain.

Digital Artefact Beta: Eject Music

My Digital Artefact is the work I produce for Eject Music along with an Instagram account where I promote my pieces and create further conversation around Hip-Hop related topics.

Original Aim:

  • Make the Hip-Hip category the most popular on the Eject Music website.
  • Build journalism portfolio.
  • Connect readers to the writer with a space to engage in Hip-Hop related discourse.


  • 210 followers. Although my following hasn’t increased as significantly as the earlier stages, I am starting to see better engagement as I diversify my content.
  • Average of 30 Instagram likes and 16 website article likes.
  • Average 110 views per story.

My reviews allow for a constant feedback loop of my audiences preferences and revealed that some of my audience were not engaging with these reviews. This led to trying different types of content as I wanted to build my journalism portfolio with different styles and deliver a more interactive space for users.

The voting bracket that I conducted received the most engagement yet and showed how my audience likes to interact with content and what artists they like. The voting bracket helped create more of a conversation as I had a lot of people private messaging me and expressing their views through the votes but I would love to see more of a public discourse.

For my other types of content I’ve started adding “let me know what you thought” to encourage this.

Other feedback loops I receive come from my editor who mediates my content and guides my articles. While this is useful, and I learn from it as a professional, Instagram removes this type of gatekeeping and I’m able to more casually interact with users. I’m excited to continue working with my project by experimenting with regular content to better my engagement and deliver something of value to users.

Frank Tremain.

Global Music: Hip-Hop

During my senior year in High School, I completed a major project that investigated Hip-Hop as a medium of social commentary for minority groups. If you’d like a deeper look into the contents of today’s blog, I highly recommend taking the time to read that article. This blog will act almost as a sequel to it and examine some of the latest examples of Hip-Hop’s power for social change across countries.

Hip-Hop began in the boroughs of New York during the 1970’s, enabling the African-American community to respond to the systemic silencing by institutional powers (Deshazier, 2017). Over time, Hip-Hop has become global and allowed individuals of different ethnicities and genders to provide a social commentary of important issues within their own environment. Here are three examples from the U.S, U.K and Australia that either occurred after my major project or I didn’t get a chance to discuss.

The most recent demonstration of Hip-Hop as a social commentary within America can be seen in the release of Rapsody’s third studio album. Eve discusses themes of African-American culture, femininity within Hip-Hop and the impact of many African-American women throughout history. From face value, the album pays homage with the 16 long track list being named after important African-American female figures including Sojourner Truth, Nina Simone, Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama.

Though its unclear whether Eve will have the same influence in Hip-Hop like Kendrick Lamar’s politically driven To Pimp A Butterfly, Eve has already received positive praises and crowned by many as the album of the year. Hip-Hop provided Rapsody a medium to deliver a strong social and political commentary in the form of a full-length project. With the globalisation of the genre, artists around the world have been given a platform that has allowed them to utilise other forms of media to compliment their message.

One of U.K.’s biggest rap stars Stormzy, performed “Blinded By Your Grace” and “Big For Your Boots” at the 2018 Brits. His performance alone says a lot about Hip-Hop’s global dominance, its acknowledgement from larger institutions and position into the mainstream, but the content of his lyrics provide insight into how minority groups perceive Hip-Hop as medium to incite social change. Similar to how artists like Rapsody discusses issues within her cultural proximity, Stormzy rapped about the Grenfell Tower fire and the image of Hip-Hop portrayed in unreliable media sources such as the Daily Mail. While it is a cultural appropriation of sorts, the essence of Hip-Hop thrives in the U.K. scene and is able to create a powerful social commentary on a huge visual platform such as televised award shows that further support the artist’s political and social messages (Vella, 2016).

The mainstream initially resisted the Australian Hip-Hop scene and dubbed the sub-genre ‘skiphop’. However, in recent years the scene has become as diverse as ever and the mainstream is become more and more accepting. Once again, artists have adapted Hip-Hop into their own culture and begun using it to create their own social commentary on the issues involving them and their country history. A.B Original and their song “January 26” spoke about the debate of changing of the Australia Day date. This social commentary was able to create social change with Triple J announcing the official moving of the Hottest 100 from January 26th. Additionally, the city of Fremantle shifted their Australia Day celebrations to January 28 in the same week that A.B. Original’s album Reclaim Australia was released.

Hip-Hop has stemmed many sub-genres that emerge from a “very specific set of local circumstances … and to speak to, and for, marginalised fractions of society” (Adams, 2019). Though beginning in an American setting, artists localise the genre creating new sounds such as Grime, and Hip-Hop has now become a global commodity with the power to provide a social commentary capable of creating social change.

Frank Tremain.


Deshazier J, 2017, ‘Hip-Hop, Job, and the Black Struggle for Being‘, On Being Project, October 23, viewed on August 30, <>.

Ruth Adams (2019) “Home sweet home, that’s where I come from,
where I got my knowledge of the road and the flow from”: Grime music as an expression
of identity in postcolonial London., Popular Music and Society, 42:4, 438-455, DOI:

Vella, R. 2016, ‘Music industry faces digitization challenges, but all is not lost’, ABC News, November 28, viewing on August 30, <>.

Module 1: Ideating

Throughout the Ideating stage of my Digital Artefact, I brainstormed my ideas, observed my audience, refined my projects’ direction and began producing content. My Digital Artefact consists of the articles I write for Eject Music and an Instagram page (eject_ftremain) where I promote my work and create further discussion around new Hip-Hop music, news and issues.

The Thinking Stage of my Digital Artefact was guided by Dan Ward’s ‘Simplicity Cycle’. In The Region of the Simplistic, he outlines the importance of creating a foundation for the work to follow. This foundation was laid out by The 2Thousand, my previous Digital Artefact for BCM112, where I wrote Hip-Hop based articles including reviews, lists and feature pieces. From this, I was approached to work for Eject Music so I thought it would only be natural to utilise this as my new Digital Artefact. However, differently to The 2Thousand, I intended to challenge myself more and broaden the types of content that I produce, leading into the Complexity Slope. By having my Digital Artefact exist only as the work for the website, I felt as though my project would begin leaning too far into The Region of the Complicated because it can take days for my articles to be edited and published.

Creating the Instagram page sought to fix this delay in content by using the platforms features such as stories to curate content that interacts with and gains a deeper understanding of my audience. Though The Thinking Stage was a crucial part of my Digital Artefact, I kept in mind an important quote from Dan Ward that, “the journey of design involves both learning and unlearning.” Therefore I didn’t spend long here as I felt confident in my Digital Artefact’s previous success and knew that I could always adjust my project whenever.

Similar to The Thinking Stage, my previous Digital Artefact was useful throughout The Observing Stage. I found that I was receiving more interactions on the website than last semester, possibly because I am contributing to a more professional platform as opposed to a personal blog. My audience is fairly balanced in gender, but primarily age between 18-24. I think most of my audience are avid Hip-Hop fans but there is a portion that are following me in support of myself or Eject.

Another thing I observed was that my audience prefers to interact with stories as opposed to posts so this led to creating story highlights of categories including New, Reviews, News and Features. In the Institute of Design at Stanford’s ‘Process Guide’, they talk about creating experiences for audiences. The Instagram stories allow users to react to content which increases engagement, informs my audience, provide analytics to my audiences music preferences and allows me to utilise Kevin Kelly’s Immediacy aspect of his ‘8 Generatives’.

Since converting The 2Thousand Instagram to the Eject account, I have gained 58 more followers. On average, I receive 30 likes on my Instagram posts, 18 likes on the website articles and 124 impressions per Instagram story. The Hip-Hop category on Eject has become the most interacted with part of the website which something I hope to uphold.

Heading into the Prototype stage, I’m looking to experiment as much as possible by increasing my weekly uploads and continuing to try new content such as my recent interview article that included exclusive content to my audience. I’m also working on a feature piece about the Australian Hip-Hop scene which I believe will be popular as my audience is mainly Australian and I’m hoping to get exclusive interviews. I can further increase my weekly uploads by posting about all the new albums of the week and let my audience decided what to review or creating voting brackets for topics like ‘Best Album of 2019’ as this is a popular trend in Hip-Hop Instagram accounts. 

If you’d like to check out what I’ve produced throughout the Ideating stage, or would like to stay posted on all the new content coming in the Prototype stage, you can find me on Eject Music or on Instagram

Frank Tremain.

Global Movies: Oldboy

Between 2005-2017, an average of 53% of the top 100 US-grossing movies were adaptions. During the mid-2000’s, almost one in six top-grossing movies were re-imaginings (Follows, 2018). One of the biggest during this time was Spike Lee’s remake (2013) of Park Chan-wook’s classic, Oldboy (2003).

Oldboy is a South Korean neo-noir action thriller film based on the Japanese manga of the same name. The plot follows Oh Dae-su as he is imprisoned in a hotel room styled cell for 15 years without knowing his captor or their motives. When released, he’s invited to track down his captor and embark on a rampage of revenge and violence (IMDb, 2003).

The original film is regarded as a cult classic, with 8.4/10 ratings on IMDb and 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. While the artistic quality and uniqueness of the film can be attributed to its international success, the the emergence of movie piracy and broadband access at the time also played an important role. Discussion forums during 2003 were littered with recommendations to the film, along with other well-received Asian films such as Battle Royale, Akira and Princess Mononoke (Reddit, 2018).

The global success of Oldboy led its cultural hybridisation in Hollywood with the American director Spike Lee’s remake of the same name in 2013. At times the remake was incredibly faithful to the original, but when Spike Lee decides to include his own creative decisions, it either ignores the complete nature of the film or only serves to be more palatable to American audiences (Peterson, 2014). The remake turned the original story into another American action film with overused themes of hyper-masculinity and “save the girl” plot devices (Jung, 2010).

To focus on one particular scene, we can look at the iconic fight scene. In the original, the fight scene is a near perfectly crafted single shot scene that sees Dae-su outnumbered, fighting his way through a corridor. Dae-su’s male vulnerability is highlighted from their alienated situations (Jung, 2010). There are points where he is knocked down and out of breath, and as an audience you can feel the claustrophobia as he hangs onto to his anger and stubbornness to allow him to continue. Differently, the remake sees the American counterpart take on similar foes with almost absolute ease. He never seems outnumbered and is essentially invincible until he is stabbed in the back (AlternatingLine, 2014). The shot is not a one take and Spike Lee’s adaption misses the meaning of the original scene and in a way, culturally appropriates the scene. American audiences are used to seeing the protagonist be a Terminator like figure, and winning every fight, but what made the original Oldboy so appealing to me, is that a lot of the time it barely even felt like he was winning.

Action movie tropes within American films played a detrimental role in the cultural hybridisation of Oldboy. Though even the original was adapted from a Japanese manga, the nature of the story and characters remained, whereas, Spike Lee’s remake is stylistically indecisive and overly Americanised.

Frank Tremain.


AlternatingLine 2014, The Remaker: Oldboy (2003) vs. Oldboy (2013), online video, 24 March, AlternatingLine, viewed on 20 August 2019, <>.

Follows, S 2018, ‘The prevalence of sequels, remakes and original movies’, Stephen Follows, 30 April, viewed on 19 August 2019, <>.

IMDb 2003, ‘Oldboy’, viewed on 20 August 2019, <>.

Jung, S. 2010, Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption, e-book, accessed 20 August 2019, <>.

Peterson, J 2014, ‘OLDBOY Is A Case Study in How Not to Do a Remake’, Film Inquiry, 24 March, viewed on 20 August 2019, <>.

Reddit 2018, ‘Why is Oldboy the most widely acclaimed and popular Korean film?’, viewed on 20 August 2019, <>.

Global Television: The Simpsons

Does the Simpsons have a purpose? According to the executive producer George Mayer, its purpose is “to get people to re-examine their world, and specifically the authority figures in their world.”

Beginning in 1987 as a series of short animations before airing on FOX as a full animated series in 1989, Matt Groening’s The Simpsons has become one of the worlds most dysfunctional and beloved television families. Despite the many jokes and references to American pop culture that flew well over my head, I still watched the now 30-year-old show every weekday at 6:00PM on Channel 10. The Simpsons is the longest-running scripted show in TV history, but what can be attributed for the global success (and now failure) of this cultural phenomenon?

The Simpsons was one of the first animated families to target the an older demographic and counter the traditional concept of functional sitcom families. The Simpsons are almost over the top dysfunctional, something that I think everyone can find comfort in and relate to. Perhaps not to the extent of having an evil twin brother living upstairs, but I know I can see glimmers of Homer’s goofy and out of touch personality in my own father.

Outside of the Simpson family, the show has a rich ensemble of support characters in Springfield. Though it may not be politically correct in some cases, The Simpsons had extreme stereotypical characters that global audiences could all recognise others or even themselves in. The over-friendly Ned Flanders, the overweight, pretentious Comic Book Guy or the representation of Indian culture through Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. The Simpsons grew to become a huge part of popular culture and influenced global relationships and politics, and with that came a great deal of global responsibility. Though it would be untrue to say these stereotypes didn’t help the success of the show, in the era of political correctness, it’s a large factor to the shows failure in the 2010’s.

The downfall of The Simpsons from magic to mediocrity is largely agreed to have begun in Season 9 where episodes like “The Principal and the Pauper” gives the back story of Armin Tamzarian who served in the army and met Seymour Skinner before resuming his identity after it was presumed he had died in the war. The episode paid no respect to the audience’s investment into the characters and their backstory, and seemed to be a clear indication of the show running out of original ideas and stories to tell.

While the episode is considered non-cannon, the bad taste it left in fans mouths remain along with the 21 other seasons to come after it. Backstories were reworked, jokes and plots were retold, and the show became lazy and continued to fall into unpopularity.

From what I like to remember from The Simpsons (Seasons 1-9), its relatability, satirical humour and social and cultural commentary allowed it to reach and resonate with a global audience. However, too much of a good thing slowly held truth with the show attempting to appeal to a newer audience by still hanging on to old stories and characters. Nevertheless, The Simpsons was one of the best television shows in the 20th century.

Frank Tremain.


Basile, N 2019, ‘How and When Did The Simpsons Begin’, liveaboutdotcom, 23 May, viewed 9 August 2019, <>.

Cartoon Curiosities 2016, ‘The Globalization of The Simpsons: A Study of Satire in International Media’, A Medium Corporation, viewed 8 August 2019, <>.

Entertain The Elk 2017, The Day The Simpsons Died, online video, 9 February, Entertain The Elk, viewed on 11 August 2019, <>.

Super Eyepatch Wolf 2017, The Fall of The Simpsons: How it Happened, online video, 12 August, Super Eyepatch Wolf, viewed on 11 August 2019, <>.

Sweatpants, C 2013, ‘The Simpsons In Australia: A Fan Remembers (& Rambles)’, Dead Homer Society, 25 July, viewed on 8 August 2019, <>.

The One True Geekology 2017, ‘The Day The Simpsons Died’, Geeks, viewed on 9 August 2019, <>.

Tribe Social Magazine 2016, ‘The Simpsons: 28 years of everlasting success’, viewed on 8 August 2019, <>.