Once again the cult series of Matt Groening becomes the protagonist of an alleged prophecy: did the cartoon foresee the spread of the Chinese Coronavirus in the episode “Marge in chains” of the fourth season? In fact, the similarities are not so obvious and the episode was already inspired by the BBC series The Survivors.
A book could now be written on the Simpsons ‘ prophecies . Matt Groening’s series was able to anticipate the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States and the web periodically brings up forecasts that from the cartoon would have miraculously come true. In some cases the coincidences with real facts are actually surprising, in others it is simple forcing, if not fake artfully orchestrated by fans. The latest catchphrase concerns the Coronavirus and represents a bit of a middle ground, a kind of half-prophecy.
Marge in chains and the influence of Osaka
With the spread of the dangerous virus born in China that is throwing the whole world in panic, there are those who remembered the episode 21 of the fourth season of The Simpsons, entitled ” Marge in chains” . Broadcast for the first time in 1993 (and the following year in Italy), it shows Marge imprisoned for stealing a bottle of bourbon by mistake, not before a deadly epidemic hit the city of Springfield (video below). The media call it ” Osaka flu “, which came from Asia when some expedition workers infected some juicers purchased en masse by the inhabitants of Springfield with a virus. Needless to say, the spread of the disease creates a real mass psychosis.
The Simpsons episode inspired by The Survivors
If the effects on the population in the episode of the animated series, although hyperbolic, can remember what is happening with the much feared Coronavirus, we specify that the similarities between the episode and the reality of 2020 are very few, starting from the methods of diffusion and from the fact that the “exporting” nation of the disease in The Simpsons is Japan and not China.
The similarities are actually quite generic and the episode could also be associated with other cases of epidemics already experienced in the past, not to mention another important detail: “Marge in chains” is inspired by the well-known BBC television series ” The survivors”of 1975 (which was also successful in Italy and was the subject of a remake in 2008), in which a terrible epidemic exterminates 99% of the world population. In that case, the disease was spread by a lethal virus escaped from a laboratory , located in China.
So, if we really have to go in search of prophecies about Coronavirus, British production would take precedence over the cult of Matt Groening. It is obviously to be hoped that that series did not really foresee the future of the humanity: on the other hand, it is only science fiction.