I’ve been watching SP since it came on a few years ago, and really enjoy the political aspect of the show. However… did you see it last night? There was literally almost no jokes… at all. It was really weird. It played like a Lifetime movie. Seriously. It wasn’t that I didn’t get the innuendo (sp?), there wasn’t any. At all. It was almost entirely a drama.
No, it was a satire of a drama, to wit, the Very Special Episode one sees on sitcoms when they tackle an Important Issue and drive it into the ground with maudlin dialogue and tearjerking sentiment. The first clue was the laugh track at the abortion clinic being turned off.
C’mom, didn’t you get it that the boys were worried that KENNY was going to die? He dies in every episode! How about when Cartman led Congress into singing an 80’s pop song? How about Cartman and Butters trying to sell the aborted fetuses (You’re, uh, breaking my balls")? The show WAS hilarious, just with a more subtle form of comedy than you’re used to.
South Park has really been going downhill fast. I usually could depend on Matt and Trey for three or four good laughs an episode, now I am lucky to get one mild chuckle. Plus I don’t remember a good Cartman quote since “Respect My Authori-tie!”
South Park is all about commentary. The episode where Janet Reno dresses as the Easter bunny to deport Romanian children is hilarious! The movie was all about how fucked up the movie industry is. The whole reason that South Park came about was a result of the “Jesus vs. Santa Claus” debate.
Frankly last night’s episode was crap, mainly because I couldn’t understand why Kenny’s friends actually cared about him. Usually they don’t give a fuck that he dies in every episode, only saying “You Bastard!” and moving on to the next activity.
The main reason though that the episode sucked was because it wasn’t subtle. Usually Matt and Trey are not so direct as to have a character speak (or sing) in front of Congress. Usually they try to handle everything within the boarders of South Park. Perhaps like their failed series “That’s My Bush”, Matt and Trey are trying to bring the topic of American politics closer to South Park.
I got the premise, and appreciated that it was supposed to be a satire of other shows’ attempts to address important issues. Rainbow put his finger right on it: it wasn’t subtle at all. The few jokes in the episode (there were only a couple) were obvious, with no interesting twists. Cartman said he was going to grow a Shakey’s Pizza out of the stem cells, and he did. I mean, I don’t think there was a fart in the entire episode.
I did catch the irony of the fact that it was Kenny dying from the disease, but it was not even worthy of a smirk.
“Worst episode ever.”
I agree with gobear that the whole episode was a satire of the “After School Special” type dramas. I actually chuckled to myself at the premise, as well as “Heat of the Moment” being the song to rally the Congress.
I think that I would’ve thought more of the episode if it was just a drama, without any attempts at humor. SP gained popularity because it was unexpected and different. I really don’t think the episode was done tongue in cheek at all. I honestly think they wanted to write a drama about stem cell research, but backed out at the last moment and threw in some predictable (predictable for all TV shows, much less SP) jokes.
Yeah, I was wondering about this. I am an occasional south park viewer and I noticed some politics involved. In the Sexual harrassment panda episode, Kyle’s Dad says that Democrats make the sexual harrassment laws that tell us what we can and can’t say in the work place and what we can and can’t do in the workplace. Kyle asked if this was Facism and his dad said, No because we don’t call it Facism. And also in the Jimmy/scouts episode, when Big gay Al turned down his offer for the scouts. Both of these were pretty right wing, and I can see the left and right wings rejecting the show. So, are the creators right wingers? I find that hard to believe, anyway, plz inform me.
The absolute BEST South Park political commentary was the episode right after the elections with the election for kindergarten class president when the girl FLORA couldn’t make up her mind and Rosie O’Donnell got involved. Pure hilarity, and it was shown only a few days after the election, too, so that made it even funnier.
I think the creators come down pretty well in the center of the political debate. However, at the risk of being flamed, I believe most far-right wing issues lend themselves better to satire.I mean, what does the far left have to make fun of? Ecoterrorists and welfare. When you go to the extreme left, you start falling out of the Democratic party, and get more into other, less mainstream party affiliations. When you go to the far right, most of these folks are still Republicans. Anyway, that’s my opinion.
Plus, it seems that far-right views get more press (positive and negative) than the far-left, making them better, more timely targets for political satire.
I have to agree that last night’s episode was totally weak. It took me a while to figure out what the story was about. The best part was the showing of the first Mr. Hanky Christmas episode right after the new one - truly one of the funniest South Parks ever. What a contrast to the new episode - the old Xmas one was simple, creative and DAMN funny.
I worry that SP may fall into the “Married…With Children” syndrome. I used to love MWC. Then in the last couple seasons, it got so… weird is the only word… that I couldn’t even follow the plot, and stopped watching the show altogether.
Matt and Trey have identified themselves as having Republican-leanings, though they may not be registered Republicans. This came up before That’s My Bush was first aired.
I think you’re completely wrong thinking that the episode wasn’t tongue-in-cheek. I agree with gobear that the episode was hilarious. Matt and Trey kept up the whole “Very Special Episode” facade with Stan and Kyle till the very end, which is what made it so funny. The “Heat of the Moment” moment was perfect.
First, I agree with Neurotik, that the election episode was great. The timing was even better.
Secondly, I did get the drama bit, but it just didn’t feel quite right. There were some laughs, but the entire drama feel was wayyyy too serious for the kids.
Perhaps if we weren’t already hooked on all of the kids’ different personalities, it would have been easier to swallow. But spending 4 years creating ‘x’ behavior, and then throwing it all away for “one special episode” didn’t quite work the way it was intended, IMO.
Overall, I didn’t really like it. I also agree with JuanitaTech, that the bin Laden episode wasn’t all that funny either.
C’mon Jeff… hilarious? Really? I’ve seen hilarious SP episodes, and this wasn’t one of 'em. The song was amusing. Not really funny to me, though. The “Very Special Issue” pretense was kept up THROUGH the end. It’s only really satire if they are using comedy to try to make a statement about a situation. There were very few jokes in the episode, so I see it as more of a drama.
I do see the bigger picture of SP trying to emulate serious TV shows, but if that’s the main joke in the entire episode, then I stand by my assertation…