Friday, August 16, 2013

Fun Friday: Under the Dome vs. The Simpsons

With the first season of Under the Dome in full force, here is a look at how the series stacked up against a similar situation that occurred in The Simpsons Movie. Usually, it's South Park that makes jokes about The Simpsons doing every bit in the book, but that's not the only show to take a page from the long-running animated series. Many people have asked novelist Stephen King if his 2009 Under the Dome took anything from the 2007 feature film with Homer, Marge, and the rest of Springfield trapped in a dome, but there seem to be many more differences than similarities, at least when using the television show for comparison rather than the novel.  

First, a look at some basic rules for the Chester's Mill residents in Under the Dome:
CBS Communications Group
Continuing, here are some similarities:
  • When the Domes appear in both Springfield and Chester's Mill, things are cut in half.
  • In both, bullets bounce off the Dome and injure police officers.
  • In both cities, the Dome is sound-proof.
  • Love still blossoms in both, whether between Lisa and Colin or Joe and Norrie (or Julia and Barbie). 
  • Both towns have issues with water contamination, though in Springfield, there are mutant fish whereas in Chester's Mill, the fish just die.
Transitioning into the differences:
  • In both cities, supplies soon run low, and looting occurs as a result. But, it takes until Day 37 on The Simpsons Movie, whereas it occurs in less than a week on Under the Dome. Similarly, it is at this point that Springfield experiences intermittent power failures, compared to Chester's Mill immediately losing electricity upon the Dome appearing.
Distinct differences:
  • In Chester's Mill, the Dome appeared mysteriously. In Springfield, planes put it in place as a punishment from the President. In fact, the people of Springfield learn right away that the US Government and EPA did this to them because “Springfield has become the most polluted city in the history of the planet” and that does not need to spread to other communities.
  • In Chester's Mill, the Dome shocks you the first time you touch it. In Springfield there is no consequence. In fact, they write on it.
  • In Springfield, people could see the Dome. In Chester's Mill, they cannot.
  • In Springfield, there is no breeze, but wind can occur in Chester's Mill.
  • In Chester's Mill, there is no contact with the outside world, but in Springfield, televisions still work so the news can be seen.
  • By Day 93, the Springfield Dome cracks because of retaliation. Nothing anyone does can seem to fracture the Chester's Mill Dome.
  • After less than a week, the military launches a WMD at the Chester's Mill Dome and does not even scratch the surface. The people inside are not told officially and are only aware of the impending doom because Barbie gets a little classified information from a soldier. In The Simpsons Movie, the President unknowingly authorizes the blow-up of Springfield, and the citizens of Springfield know it is coming because they see an apologetic video from the EPA before a bomb is lowered into the Dome through a hole at the top. This actually allows Homer and Bart to save the day and destroy the Dome. 
After this season of Under the Dome ends, more comparisons might need to be made, as there are still so many unanswered questions about how the Chester's Mill Dome works. For instance, could there be a black hole/sinkhole function? Maggie (and later the rest of the Simpson family) is able to get out of the Dome through a sinkhole, and, although unlikely, technically this could still happen on Under the Dome. Be sure to check back in September to see whether more similarities arise, and keep watching Under the Dome on CBS, Mondays at 10pm ET/PT. 
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