Initially was not sure as to whether ‘South Park’ would be my cup of tea at all, despite being a huge fan of animation for all my life (and still very much am). But there have been many instances of films and shows that gave me conflicted feelings before watching, but turned out far better than expected and actually being very good or more.
Such is the case with ‘South Park’. As of now, it is one of the highest rated shows on IMDb and was a huge ratings success when first aired, and no wonder. At its best, it’s absolutely brilliant and one of the best south park episodes there is to me. Thought that would never be said about a show known for dividing people with its controversial and “offensive” content, was not sure whether I would like it let alone love it and it ended up a favourite. Is it as good as it was? No, it’s not as witty, daring or inventive now, but is still very funny and intelligent. That is only being said though because the earlier seasons are so good.
To me, ‘South Park’ is much better than other popular shows like ‘The Simpsons’ (originally fantastic, now has declined rapidly) and ‘Family Guy’ and Seth Macfarlane’s other shows, which never did anything for me.
Can actually see though why some dislike it. A lot of the content is very controversial and not for the easily offended. The show is crude, extremely rude (possibly the rudest animated show ever), naughty, at times juvenile and less than subtle in its treatment of taboo subjects. At the same time, ‘South Park’ is hilarious, smart, witty and daring but also clever, sharp, irreverent and intelligent. The satirical humour is subversive and there are not many animated shows this daring, completely contradicting the tired and incredibly annoying cliché spouted constantly that animation is only for children (often by parents defending a panned family film).
Often one is shocked at how much ‘South Park’ gets away with, everything. Every subject and every everyday issues is covered and satirised it seems, nothing escapes the writers. While subtlety completely goes out the window, so much of what ‘South Park’ says has a huge amount of truth and relevance (both when it first aired and still very much so now). Like good satire should it does it in a daring and perhaps divisive fashion, not holding back and taking no prisoners. This should sound like a recipe for south park cast, but actually to me it was why the show is so loved and admired.
There’s more to ‘South Park’ than just the humour. The stories are very inventive, smartly constructed, cohesive, honest and relevant. The characters are some of the most memorable and iconic in recent animation, especially Cartman. Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s voice work is a practical tour-De-force for both, both bringing so much individuality and personality to these characters and their writing.
Not everybody seems to like the animation, personally liked the quirkiness of it myself and there are not many shows with visuals like ‘South Park’s’. The music is energetic and catchy.