South Park is an American animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. It was developed by Brian Graden for the Comedy Central television network. The twenty-third season of the American animated sitcom concluded on December 11, 2019.
South Park is an animated American television comedy series that revolves around the adventures of four boys living in the small town of South Park. The show is well-known for its pop culture parody, scatological humor, and satirical handling of current events.
South Park was and is infamous for its profanity and dark humor. It succeeds in satirizing a wide range of topics. It has consistently delivered the punchy political satire that has often characterized each season.
1. Quick Review
The series revolves around four boys named Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick. It depicts their exploits in and around a Colorado town. The show grew out of short film called The Spirit of Christmas.
South Park has been strongly political from its opening episode of its latest season. It condemned the ICE detention camps at the U.S. border and exposed a Jewish child, Kyle, to blatant anti-Semitism and racism.
2. Is it worth watching?
307 episodes of South Park have been broadcast since the show’s debut on August 13, 1997. It debuted with great success, consistently earning the highest ratings of the average cable program.
The satirical tone of South Park has always been one of its largest selling points to new audiences. However, more shows are emerging with the same satirical tone with a largely developed animation. South Park, therefore, may not seem so appealing to younger generations.
South Park has received numerous accolades. This includes five Primetime Emmy Awards and Peabody Awards. Its popularity resulted in a feature-length theatrical film, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut in June 1999. It garnered a nomination for an Academy Award.
Although subsequent ratings have varied, it remains one of Comedy Central’s highest-rated shows. In 2013, TV Guide ranked South Park the tenth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time.
The show follows the exploits of four boys named Stan, Kyle, Eric and Kenny (voiced by Parker and Stone) They live in the fictional small town of South Park. The town is also home to an array of frequent characters. Its various residents see the area as a quiet place to live.
South Park commonly makes use of a carnivalesque technique. It has numerous running gags, violence, sexual content, offhand pop-cultural references, and satirical portrayal of celebrities. Each episode opens with a tongue-in-cheek, all persons fictitious disclaimer.
While social satire had been used on the show occasionally, it became more prevalent as the series progressed. Parker and Stone also began writing plots as parables based on religion, politics, and numerous other topics.
The show retained some of its focus on the boys’ fondness of scatological humor. This provided the opportunity for the show to play around with both liberal and conservative sides of contentious issues.
II. Music & Visuals
Les Claypool is the creator of South Park’s iconic theme song. He is an American singer, songwriter, producer, and film score composer. Sound track and score composers of this show include Scott Nickoley, Adam Berry, and Jamie Dunlap.
The show’s style of animation is inspired by the paper cut-out cartoons made by Terry Gilliam for Monty Python. The pilot episode was produced using cutout animation. All episodes thereafter were produced with computer animation that emulated the cutout technique.
Construction paper and original stop motion cutout animation techniques were used in the pilot episode. Subsequent episodes have been produced by computer animation. This helped in providing a similar look to the originals.
A few episodes feature sections of live-action footage, while others have incorporated other styles of animation. Portions of the season eight premiere Good Times with Weapons are done in anime style. Similarly, season 10 episode Make Love, Not Warcraft is done partly in machinima.
3. Final Thoughts
The show instantly generated buzz among television viewers. By the time the eighth episode had aired, ratings and viewership had tripled. South Park became the most successful show in Comedy Central’s history.
South Park’s frequent depiction of taboo subjects, general scatological humor, disregard for conservative beliefs, negative depiction of liberal causes, and portrayal of religion for comedy have generated controversy over the course of its run.
However, it is these very things than made it such a hit. The tongue-in-cheek jabs at current political happenings and socioeconomic conditions have only worked to the show’s favor. It has also succeeded in setting precedent for more shows to follow in a similar tone.