South Park S26E01 UNCENSORED 720p WEB-DL x265
Both cartoons and sci-fi have long been the only place where thought-provoking social commentary can take place, unmolested by censorship, and both are all too frequently dismissed because of their least important characteristics. South Park is an intelligent, humorous and thought-provoking show that is often ignored or decried by people who judge it only by the very things it deliberately throws in their face, such as profanity, simple animation, and graphic violence, because the creators know that people like this are easily offended by these things, and will always miss the point. The simplicity of the animation, for example, has been criticised by people who miss the point that it's deliberately meant to be simple, in the face of those high-budget major studio cartoons that are more concerned with using cgi and selling toys than having anything to say. Nope, this isn't a show for those who don't appreciate irony. The episodes tackle a wide range of issues, from 9/11 to violence on television to celebrity obsession to religion, through the use of comedy, which is usually the best way to handle such matters. The main characters are four children who are basically mouthpieces for their creator's opinions, expressing views that would sound arrogant coming from adults. Stan represents the liberal viewpoint, as does his friend Kyle, who as a practising Jew, allows opportunity for religious comment. Is the show anti-religious? No, but fundamentalists like to think it is. It has the essential message of 'believe what you like, but leave me alone'. And of course there's Eric Cartman, the ignorant foul-mouthed selfish redneck, and funny as hell. Sometimes I think he's there to remind us not to take anyone like him seriously. That and to provide a lot of the show's humour. Easily my favourite character. Other characters on the show usually represent majority/opposing views as the plot requires. Like any long-running show, some episodes are better than others, not all have something to say, and not all are funny. But creators Stone and Parker 'retool' the show periodically with new characters, and try to keep up with current events, and I enjoyed the latest series (8th) for these very reasons. I've watched since the beginning, but they're making an effort not to let South Park go stale. No doubt South Park will continue to be derided by those who think the most important social problem today is swearing, yet have probably never sat down to watch an episode. And beside them will be the offended parent brigade who still haven't learned that not all cartoons are for children. But the rest of us will still be here to enjoy it, hopefully exchanging righteous indignation for a few laughs and maybe a thought or two about the world we live in. If you've never seen South Park, don't listen to the hype. Watch it and decide for yourself. Hopefully you'll be glad you did.
- Trey Parker
- Matt Stone
- Isaac Hayes