The series debut, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire,” could have stood alone as a one-off episode. The Simpson’s pilot told the story of a father striving for a positive male identity by maintaining an idyllic home life that mirrored the classic television sitcoms he was raised on. Homer Simpson found this hallmark impossible- real life could never replicate television, and this inevitable failure lead to a lack of respect and appreciation from his family. His normal, boring, every day struggle to keep food on the table was rendered meaningless.
The reality of emasculation and disposability was heavy for men at the tail-end of the last decade at all concerned with family values. The new role of father was to be something of a bumbling and dutiful employee of his family; open to their intense criticism at his slightest misstep.
Although The Simpsons first-season writers, nerdy Hollywood outsiders, were acutely aware of the changing value of Fatherhood, they happily accepted the modern definition of marriage as relying entirely on the fickle whims of female happiness. While Homer deserved more than his family had to offer in exchange for his struggle with modern Fatherhood, he rightfully was a slave and workhorse for his wife.