Friday, November 9, 2012

On The Air: South Park (1997)

I once coined the term, "animated colorforms", to describe my disdain for season 1 of Problem Child because of the poor quality of the animation. However, a couple of independent cartoonists took it to a whole new level.

South Park is one of Comedy Central's longest-running series, marking its 15th anniversary this year. It merits mention in the Archives because reruns air on weekdays on the network, though when it was in syndication the last 4 years, stations opted to air it in late night because of  the coarse language used in many episodes. Still, the biting satirical humor employed by creators and primary performers Trey Parker & Matt Stone has incurred the wrath of the Catholic League and other organizations over and over again over the course of the past 15 years.

With Parker & Stone, nothing is sacred, not even religion. They've depicted Jesus as a talk show host, for starters. However, even they realize that a joke loses its power when it's used too often, as was the case when one of the four core characters, Kenny, was killed in virtually every episode during the first 5 seasons, and after a vacation, returned at the end of season 6, and has been around ever since.

The other reason it's here is because of a Halloween episode from I believe 1999, with musical guest stars Korn in a episode that parodied not only The New Scooby-Doo Movies, but also gave the rockers a superhero gimmick that crossed Captain Planet (there are 5 guys in the band) and the Wonder Twins. With predictable results.

The90scartoons uploaded this brief sample clip that illustrates what I'm talking about.

What keeps South Park on the air is its timely, headline-ripping, topical humor. I believe I read that this week's episode was themed on the previous night's Presidential election. You may not agree with Parker & Stone's warped viewpoints, but somehow they just keep rolling along.

Rating: B-.


magicdog said...

I do give credit to South Park's creators for takikng aim at most everyone and not just Christians or those on the right side of the political spectrum. Everyone is deserving of some ridicule once in a while.

The Korn superhero scene was hilarious but the moment they locked arms, I knew it was straight out of the Super Globetrotters cartoon. Funny seeing them turn into useless piles of corn products! The New Scooby Movies aspect was also chuckle worthy.

hobbyfan said...

I didn't think of Super Globetrotters. I thought immediately of the Twins because of the internet criticism of Zan & Jayna as supposedly being "useless". I wish I could have found the complete episode, but you do what you can with what you get.

Remember, too, that the SG's ripped off the Impossibles' powers, with extras.......

magicdog said...

True about The Impossibles ripoff!

Meadowlark's character even kept the "F" on his costume, despite NOT being called "Fluidman"!

hobbyfan said...

That speaks to a lack of attention to detail. Then again, there was a lot of lazy writing on Super Globetrotters.......