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June 12, 2011

South Park is in a very strange spot right now, and the future looks bleak.

    I've taken South Park for granted. Over the past few years I've criticized it for becoming too over the top, called it trite, accused the story writing to just being recycled tabloid headlines, and dreamed of the glory days of the show. Then last wednesdays episode came on. It was good, in fact, the entire new season has been pretty good so far; a lot better than past seasons (there I go again). The show started off with all the characters being everything that they have become known for. Cartman was being selfish and his mom was encouraging it, Randy was acting like a child while Sharon tried to talk some sense into him, they attacked a bunch of pop culture images, and all is well. Then the show starts to take a turn when they stop talking about how pop culture is shitty and you realize that they are talking about cynicism in people. It was at this point I realized that I could relate to the story line. I'm a pretty fucking cynical person. I think a lot of things are shitty, I hold my opinion very highly, and I make it known. I saw a connection between me and Stan and realized that sometimes I just need to not shit on all the shit that I see in the world, because all that's going to do is make the world a really shitty place. And smelly. And then you realize, after the shoe goes a little further, that they aren't really just talking about people being cynical, they were talking about the show itself and how they feel about it. They see that it's kind of the same thing week in and week out but just a little more wacky. That's when I realized, or rather put the final nail in the realization coffin, that the show is going to end after the second half of the season later this year. At that point I got sad.


I've taken South Park for granted.


    I almost wanted to cry just sitting here thinking about it while the show rolled on for its final five minutes or so. I can still remember the night the show premiered back when I was in eighth grade. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen, granted I was only thirteen years old or so. But that first episode is still one of the funniest South Park episodes ever. I would even say that of my top ten favorite episodes ever, that over half of them would be from that first season. I remember recording that first episode when it came on. I watched it over and over and over again all week until the next episode aired. Then I would record it and watch them all again and again. It's very safe for me to say that my humor is a hell spawn of all the South Park and Late Night with Conan O'Brien I watched growing up. And now one of them is going away and the other is a sad shell of its former self. I won't say which is which though. Sure the show has been crappy at times, but even the worst episode of South Park is still better than the best episode of anything on TBS. I guess after a show becomes so great and breaks down so many boundaries that you start to expect that level at all times, and no one can do that. Not even Jesus could top coming back from the dead, that's why he left Earth after that. That's what South Park is doing. It came at a time when we didn't even know we needed it. It showed us the follies of our ways, taught us lessons to live our lives by, it went to the old wise men of comedy and said "You're doing it wrong".


And you know what, I've learned something today.


    There is no going back. We can't turn the clock back and make South Park what it once was. That's not how life works. It is a growing entity and every episode ads mass and momentum to it and there's no going back or shedding of excess fat. You've just got to make the best with what you have and hope that everyone stays happy. Trey Parker and Matt Stone will always be held by me as geniuses of their time. Unless of course they fuck it up somehow like doing a South Park broadway show. But I can see them doing no wrong.


    When 'You're Getting Old' ended and the credits rolled in silence, I realized what an amazing thing we have had in South Park. I truly realized the genius behind Matt and Trey. Just like McCartney and Lennon, Calvin & Hobbs, and Riggs and Murtaugh. They realized they're gettin' too old for this shit. They realize when it's time to end a great thing. Plus, with this episode, they did what they haven't really ever done before, sure maybe they've dabbled in it here and there, but this was different. They were serious. I mean really, really serious. It was amazing. I'm sad that South Park is going to be ending, but I know that Matt and Trey will do it justice. They will take the summer to think of the best way possible to send off their most illustrious creation to date. And all will be well.



***UPDATE*** 3/7/12


Whoops, guess I was wrong. My bad.