Since its debut in 1989, The Simpsons has become a cultural icon. Immensely popular, the show reached almost instant cult status. Operating within the genre of situation comedy, it presents a satiric vision of the American family through the eyes of five animated, human-like Simpsons. In a time of rising divorce rates and a changing family structure, the Simpsons is part of a trend that showcases the new fractious, unstable, working class family. Although critics have heralded the show for its unique perspective on the American family, the Simpsons is actually a meld of both envelope-pushing sarcasm and ultimate conformity to television convention. The Simpsons shows that even while television is recognizing and reflecting evolutions in the American family, it is still attempting to fit the changes into a larger narrative, and to promote a myth of bottomline stability in the nuclear family.