Long time no see! This was a busy end of summer-beginning of autumn, but I am back to writing. Here's a post that I did for Global Voices two days ago.
The twenty-third season of the famous television cartoon series The Simpsons premiered in the United States on September 25, 2011. The first episode of the season immediately became popular with Ukrainian netizens, as it humorously portrayed Ukraine and a Kiev mafioso called Victor. The most intriguing part of the episode, however, were the similarities between the character Victor and the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, pointed out [uk] by many journalists and bloggers.
For instance, apart from the quashed criminal record of Yanukovych, media representatives pointed out The Simpsons character’s strong figure, his luxurious office in the center of Kiev and numerous guards. Other details of the episode discussed online included Victor’s treatment of his wife, who is sent “back to her room” (Ukraine’s First Lady is known for leading a rather reclusive lifestyle and spending most of her time away from Kiev) and Beyoncé's planned concert in Ukraine (the singer performed in Donetsk in 2009).
Mafioso Victor, a screenshot from The Simpsons episode set in Kiev
In Ukraine, the episode went viral and was shared by numerous Facebook, Twitter and LiveJournal users. Many found it quite funny, while others were upset by such grim portrayal of the country.
Напевно тепер Мета Грюнінга чекають трабли???))) http://bit.ly/rhvA2A #Сімпсони #Янукович
Perhaps now Matt Groening [the creator of the Simpsons - GV] should expect [troubles]?))) http://bit.ly/rhvA2A #Сімпсони #Янукович
Twitter user Ostap Malashnyak (@stefcjo) shared screenshots from the episode and wrote [uk]:
хоч комусь смішно з нашого горя… “Сімпсони” зняли серію про Україну http://myreport.com.ua/fotoreportazh_big/simpsony-znyaly-seriyu-pro-ukrajinu.html pic.twitter.com/GZrFBGoL
at least someone is laughing at our misfortune… The Simpsons have made an episode about Ukraine http://myreport.com.ua/fotoreportazh_big/simpsony-znyaly-seriyu-pro-ukrajinu.html pic.twitter.com/GZrFBGoL