When we click on the television, we want to be entertained. We want action, humor, or drama and sometimes all at once. We are a society that moves from one fad to the next and it shows in the television business; keeping a sitcom or drama on television for more than a pilot and a few episodes is akin to surviving Everest. Very few make it and the ones that do are constantly pressured into keeping their theme current in some way. There is one television show that has continued to acheive this like no other before it. Created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Southpark has explored more aspects of our lives than any other show currently on air. Here are 5 reasons why Southpark is the best comedy on televison today.
#1 Nearly every episode includes a current event or a parody of that event. A child who watches Southpark is more likely to be informed on current events than one who watches FOX News simply because Comedy Central allows the Southpark writers to show all sides of every story. If you've ever watched The O'Reilly Factor, you know FOX News is the most bias channel on televison. Southpark is pretty fair and balanced.
#2 No one is safe from ridicule. Tom Cruise battled to keep his reputation intact but fell victim to the reality that is social media: people can write and produce any opinion they please. Southpark has shown a lot of celebrities that taking a few punches and rolling with the jokes is the best way to go. They've bashed Oprah, Katie Couric, Tiger Woods, Diddy, and OJ. No one can rule a part of the world without seeing a Southpark bit about them. It's the standard.
#3 They have kept the humor fresh. In the beginning, the show revolved more around toilet humor. These days, the writers stick mostly to current events, such as the BP Oil spill and the last presidential election, in which they suggested that Obama and McCain had actually worked together in stealing a precious diamond, a la the Ocean's Eleven team.
#4 The character development has been incredible, even though no one has aged and that makes it difficult to show change. Cartman and Butters are two characters, for example, that have taken on complete spin-offs in their own right. Cartman has at least two episodes every season that only revolve around his exploits. And Butters even had his very own episode, entitled, you guessed it, Butter's Very Own Episode.
#5 Southpark shows us in every episode how incredibly gullible and ill-informed many of us are. It pushes inquiry into the norm and asks all of us to laugh about the serious stuff while thinking about all the options. If you watch Southpark and then follow it with The Daily Show, also on Comedy Central, you'll be well on your way to getting a full dose of current events. Just don't expect to hear the same morbid news. Get ready to laugh. A lot.