South Park’s Influence on Television

Topics: South Park, The Spirit of Christmas, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Pages: 8 (3141 words) Published: May 28, 2008
South Park, the animated TV series aired on Comedy Central was created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker and is one of the many new shows that involve animation with high-level adult comedy that parodies current events going on across the United States and throughout the world. South Park is just one of many new shows that involve this sort of high end entertainment and they are taking the television ratings by storm. This show, along with others of its nature such as Family Guy, The Simpsons, and King of the Hill are all extremely controversial in nature and in regards to the situations portrayed on the television screen. These shows have become consistently more obnoxious, racial, and detrimental in content that it has caused major concern with viewers of all statures, whether it is a mother's concern with their 10-year-olds viewing habits or the concern in the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). In light of all the controversy and vulgar content, South Park continues to push the limits of what is acceptable for television viewing, continually going over the edge in many viewers' eyes. Like it or not South Park is extremely inventive in nature and on many levels has been more successful than anyone could have ever dreamed. In this paper we will explore the many different aspects, criticisms, and accomplishments this heavily controversial cable television cartoon has touched upon. South Park is an animated series that was created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker in the mid 90's featuring four boys who live in the Colorado town of South Park, which is often beset by frequent odd occurrences that prove mysteriously similar to current events going on in our world. The show grew out of a short film that Trey Parker and Matt Stone created called "Frosty" or also known as "The Spirit of Christmas". "Frosty", also known as "A Christmas Story," was shot on an old, rough and tumble 16mm Arriflex camera that was on an animation stand at the University of Colorado film department in Boulder (The Spirit of Christmas, August 16, 2006). The video was very primitive stuff in nature and the style of cinematography used to create the show is much more simplistic than traditional hand-drawn animation; but it is also very tedious and very labour intensive (The Spirit of Christmas, August 16,2006). The use of computers has made it more efficient because things don't have to be cut out and glued together by hand as was done for the pilot. Today the scripts for South Park episodes are written only days before a show actually airs, allowing the content of the show to stay up to date and topical (The Spirit of Christmas, August 16, 2006). The make-up of the show is very nuclear in nature, as there are four boys whose lives and random run-ins with society are elaborated on. The four main characters are Eric Cartman, who is the short, obnoxious, loud mouthed, fat kid whom the others constantly make fun of for being stupid and overweight. Then there is Stan Marsh, who is your normal run of the mill kid who has the sanest viewpoint of the entire bunch, when things go wrong Stan usually has the defining voice of reason. Stan often “summarizes the message or moral of the episode” (South Park, August 19, 2006). Next there is Kyle Broflovski who is the overtly smart one who also happens to be Jewish and lives a very stereotypical Jewish life in the way his parents, especially his mother, treat him. Kyle is always being made fun of for his intellectual skills and his religious affiliation, and is often depicted as “the most moral member of the four” (South Park, August 19, 2006). Last but not least there is Kenny McCormick, who rarely ever takes off his hooded jacket or speaks, and when he does, his voice is muffled. Kenny lives in your stereotypical poor family as he lives in a broken down shack of a house and has drunken and abusive parents that rarely care what happens. Kenny is extremely unlucky by nature and...

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