Marge Simpson is just as iconic as many other flesh-and-blood television characters; with her towering mane of blue hair and kind disposition, she’s a TV mom most of us grew up with who doesn’t get a whole lot of recognition.
Mindy Kaling (“The Office”) says that needs to change, however, and credits Marge with helping her develop her sense of humor at a young age, as well as the knowledge that it’s okay to create a dynamic female character.
“Growing up, I remember my parents feeling a little wary of The Simpsons,” Kaling said. “This was in the late eighties and there was a wave of articles about TV shows that were bad for America. Then we all started watching it and loved it. Marge Simpson is the one who’s really funny. Her character looks so crazy, but then she’s supposed to be totally demure. I think [Simpsons creator] Matt Groening is a genius for giving her that hair.”
As the grounding force behind a rather chaotic family, Marge has always been the voice of reason, the lady with endless patience who loves her husband and children no matter what they do. She’s also, however, become much more faceted than a simple doting mom over the 23 years the show’s been on the air. Her unfulfilled dreams of being an artist/actress/professional bowler are a small part of what makes her so interesting…and so relatable.
“It used to be that you had to make female TV characters perfect so no one would be offended by your ‘portrayal’ of women,” Kaling says. “Even when I started out on The Office eight years ago, we could write our male characters funny and flawed, but not the women. And now, thankfully, it’s completely different.”
Image: Art Streiber