South Park

Much to my wife’s chagrin, all 14 seasons of South Park are currently available on instant Netflix.

SOUTH PARK (1997-2009) – Rated TV-MA

Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s crass animated series started as a potty-mouthed response to sitcoms that portrayed children as angelic figures, but later evolved into one of television’s most effective satires. Joyfully skewering cultural trends, celebrities and political figures of all types, the show sees the world through the eyes of four children: Shy but wise Stan, neurotic Jew Kyle, laughably bigoted Cartman and mumbling Kenny.

“Are you positive?” – “I’m HIV positive!”

South Park tells you right up front that it is offensive and they are not kidding. This show is VERY offensive and my wife is a delicate flower. Needless to say while she is home, South Park is not served at court.

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to catch up on this show with my daughter (she is a huge fan). We watched seasons 12-14 because she had not seen them. After watching those with her, I’ve gone back and watched seasons 1-6. I still have seasons 7-11 to watch. The funny thing is that while much of the humor is crass and juvenile (and not actually all that funny), a lot of it is subversive and hysterical.

If you can be offended this show will offend you. There are jokes about excrement, rape, homosexuality, crippled children, fat children, bodily functions, racism, sexism – the list goes on and on. While I appreciate the desire to push boundaries, it is apparent from the development of the series over the first six seasons that Stone and Parker decided that they effectively had no limits. This just leads to an unbelievable repetition of sex and poop jokes.

If you enjoy potty humor then certainly this is the show for you. I don’t really but I do enjoy a lot of the skewering of various extreme segments of society. Most of the celebrity sendups are cheap shots that are not particularly funny but the John Edwards episode was hysterical.

I find it hard to recommend this series. They will have a hysterical episode followed by several ones that are just “meh”. Stone and Parker offer a lot of insight into our cultural mores but you have to wade through quite a bit of crap to get to it.

The only South Park thing missing from instant Netflix is the South Park movie (which is quite hysterical and spends much of its running time poking fun at the MPAA).