Wednesday, October 5, 2011

President Yanukovych in The Simpsons?

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
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.
MP and blogger Lesya Orobets (@LesyaOrobets)tweeted [uk]:
Хто б сказав, що сьогодні робочий день почнеться з перегляду мультика про Сімпсонів:(
Who could have predicted that the working day today would begin with watching The Simpsons :(
Twitter user Adam Radkowski (@Adamnet21) shared the link and wrote [uk]:
“Сімпсони” зняли серію про Україну. Ба! Знайомі обличчя!
The Simpsons have made an episode about Ukraine. Wow! Familiar faces!
Tweeter user @dark_vesta shared the link and asked [uk]:
Сімпсони і бандит Вітя і кого мені так нагадує цей Віктор?)))
The Simpsons and a criminal named Vitya and who does this Victor remind me of so much? )))
Dnipropetrovsk-based civic information website also shared the link on its Twitter account (@Dniprograd) and noted ironically [uk]:
ДНІПРОГРАД Янукович - всесвітньо популярний, про нього зняли “Сімпсони” #news #Dnepr
DNIPROGRAD Yanukovych is world-famous, [they] made a Simpsons [episode] about him #news #Dnepr
Ukraine-based Twitter user @idioteque_2017 also shared the link and wondered [uk]:
Напевно тепер Мета Грюнінга чекають трабли???))) #Сімпсони #Янукович
Perhaps now Matt Groening [the creator of the Simpsons - GV] should expect [troubles]?))) #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
at least someone is laughing at our misfortune… The Simpsons have made an episode about Ukraine
Twitter user Kashchuk Ilona (@ScoutGirl19) did not seem surprised, as she tweeted [uk]:
Сімпсони теж нашого ‘президента' висміяли -
The Simpsons have mocked our ‘president’, too -
So far, it is unclear whether the episode will be broadcast [uk] on the Ukrainian television.