Poptculture


The Bad (Golden) Eggs by tweegnlb

What is it about cartoons that start with “S” ?

Two modest little shows: Simpson’s and South Park, who knew?

They both began as the bad guys of adult cartoon entertainment. They were the scapegoats for what was ‘wrong with television’ (if not our social moral fabric) in the 1990’s.  The Simpson’s glorified the bad behavior of a spiky headed 4th grader, and the hands off parenting style of his drunken buffoon of a father.  South Park was just 4 children with potty mouths, swearing for attention.

It was shameful and offensive, and we loved it!

sims

Both shows have earned respect in their own ways: The Simpson’s for its longevity and multilayer ed comedic genius, and the way they changed the face of television, breaking through the crap so other shows, like South Park, could even have a chance.

In the beginning, viewers saw South Park as a show that relied on shock value for laughs.  But eventually people caught on to what they really were: the no bullshit kings of popular culture and social commentary.

South Park must be respected for its unbiased position on truth.  Whether they’re commenting on homelessness, politics or religion, South Parks creators pull no punches – its a no holds barred mentality that has worked greatly to the shows advantage.

South Park has shown that they even hold themselves and their staff to this all or nothing mentality, in their choice to kill off longtime character Chef (aka Isaac Hayes) in a very unflattering manner, after Hayes publicly voiced his disappointment at the show for making fun of his beloved Scientology.  Matt Stone and Trey Parker responded by saying their is no line that cannot be crossed and that they could not continue the show if they gave in when people were upset by being singled out.

Recently, South Park was honored with the distinguished Peabody Award for their commitment to unbiased social commentary and the unbelievably current production of story lines and episodes (often produced 3 or 4 days after a topic hits news venues).  A very prestigious award not usually given to cartoon types.

No one can argue that these shows have a huge and ongoing effect on our popular culture and entertainment values.  i for one cannot go a single day without quoting a line that fits perfectly into a situation, or smiling when someone shows just how silly we can be.

The Simpsons was recently picked up for 3 more seasons on Fox, and the creators of South Park have said that as long as there are things to make fun of, they’ll keep making new episodes.

Enjoy them both while they last!

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