A New Perspective on South Park

By: Sarah Boyce

Growing up, I never really had an interest in comedies like South Park, The Simpsons, or Family Guy. In fact, I never even saw a full episode of any of these. I always thought they were too offensive and thoughtless. On top of that, I did not think they did anything but break taboos and try to cause controversy. After reading Michael Tueth’s essay, however, I now know that my previous assumptions were wrong. I never knew the difference between satirical comedies and transgressive comedies, let alone did I know that South Park did anything like attacking stupidity, since that is what I believed they were actually producing. Tueth explained that South Park actually transitioned into a more satirical show that wanted this stupidity and dishonesty to stop. I was most surprised when I read that the show actually referenced important social issues like school shootings, political correctness, and police brutality. I never knew the shows confronted anything important at all. Although these shows might be saying somewhat obscene comments towards sensitive issues, they are also doing it to confront the problems, which is something I never expected. I think it is important for any type of show to show effort in stopping or confronting issues in our world. Whether it is discussing sex ed in schools or mentioning serious topics like depression,  South Park certainly does bring up important topics.

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3 Responses to A New Perspective on South Park

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with Sarah before this reading I didn’t think that South Park had the ability to be anything more than the jokes that they did to disgust people. I also didn’t know what a transgressive comedy was as well, but one thing I can say is that South Park has definitely evolved to where they are now satirical and they are making fun of political, cultural, and social happenings within society. So now people don’t find it as just this obscene show, but a show that shows they care about their beliefs and are giving a voice to others.
    -Kim Bowen

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I totally agree with both of your points! Before this week, I did not know the distinction between transgressive comedy and satire. With that being said, I think South Park has emerged more as a satire than transgressive comedy in its most recent seasons.
    -Bradley Sawyer

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