This chapter examines four episodes of The Simpsons, paying particular interest to one, The Days of Wine and D’oh’ses to connect the notion of pastiche with a symbolic interactionist view of media representation. We use The Simpsons and episodes pertinent to alcoholism and alcoholic imbibing to show that pastiche, which does not deny the resolute qualities of a serious social issue, nevertheless provides ironic and fantastic imagery to merge the serious and even tragic with the comedic. We use the four episodes to depict alcoholism as a disease but also as focal point for humor, making the contrast between The Days of Wine and D’oh’ses and its classic alcoholism-film counterpart, The Days of Wine and Roses, central to the tragic-comedic connection. We further draw upon Denzin’s notions of the comedic drunk and the alcoholism alibi to discuss how pastiche both inspires attention to alcoholism as a serious medical disease and disease of the self and to alcoholism as pivotal to comedic character development and the emergence of pragmatic and creative selves.
Katovich, M.A. and Rosenthal Vaughan, S. (2016), "Alcoholism and
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