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Has South Park Finally Jumped The Shark?

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In the most recent episode of South Park, “The Snuke,” Eric Cartman suspects a new Muslim student is planning a terrorist attack. The real star of the episode, however, is Hillary Clinton, who has a bomb in her vagina. An agent’s head is eaten up and spit out after he tries to take a peek inside, but this scores nothing but orgasmic pleasure for Hillary. It’s as tasteless and offensive as television can get. South Park has always been tasteless and offensive, but also very intelligent. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case anymore.

In another recent episode, “Cartman Sucks,” Eric is caught trying to take a picture of himself putting his penis in Butters’ mouth. His friends tell him that it will reverse the gayness of the picture where Eric put Butters’ penis in his mouth while Butters was asleep. Butters, who is blindfolded during the episode, is unaware of the “gayness” of the activity. When Butters’ father catches this episode, Butters is sent to a camp to cure his gayness.

Am I, as well as other South Park viewers, really that hard up for entertainment? Or do we just enjoy watching a train wreck? The point of almost every South Park episode is to highlight the hypocrisy of society. But hasn’t South Park made this point over and over and over before?

I suppose I can create a cartoon where George Bush uses his penis to squirt out holy water. Then, I’ll make an episode where Oprah’s vagina carries on a conversation with her asshole. Oh wait, that’s already been done before on South Park!

Can’t anybody get the same ratings by appealing to the lowest denominator of humor and vulgarity? Does the fact that there are still a huge number of South Park addicts who watch every episode multiple times say something about a quality cartoon? Perhaps it did a year ago, but not anymore.

There is no doubt that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are two incredibly gifted, creative people. South Park has created some of the most hilarious and culturally relevant characters, jokes, and one-liners ever on television. Lately, however, there seems to be a very thin line between creativity and desperation. The ratings are obviously still coming in, but is that all that matters anymore?

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About Daryl D

  • Chris

    South Park gets better and better every season and the two episode you brought up have been the best so far this year. The show is funnier than it has ever been.

  • Bryan

    Ya I agree with #1. You have no sense of humor if you didnt find those two episodes mentioned hilarious. I’m guessing you are just a hilary humper and were offended by the portrayal of her cold dark vagina.

  • Jon Weiman

    While you say that South Park does not make a political/social point anymore, this is clearly not true. In the episode where Butters has to go to this camp , it is clearly highlighting the hypocrasy of Catholicism which sets forth un-attainable values of heterosexuality which some people cannot achieve , and thus ruins their lives in the process. In the case of this episode suicide. While some episodes are in fact satire , something that is perfectly okay , the creators of south park still challange American values, something that makes for create comedy and creates awareness about such issues that straight edge politicans could never be able to do.

  • daryl d

    I’m actually a South Park fan. A couple months ago, I wrote an excellent article about the show. I’m not even a fan of Hilary Clinton. Something just doesn’t seem right. It just seems that the show, lately, just exists for the pure satisfaction of shock value.

  • Um, did you plagiarize part of the first paragraph of this review, or did someone plagiarize it from you?

    The second sentence of a review by Jack Ryan reads “An agent’s head is eaten up and spit out after he tries to take a peek inside, but this results in nothing but orgasmic pleasure for Hillary.”

    Compare that to your third sentence: “An agent’s head is eaten up and spit out after he tries to take a peek inside, but this scores nothing but orgasmic pleasure for Hillary.”

    Coincidence? Hard to believe.

    Love South Park or hate it, plagiarism isn’t okay.

  • daryl d

    LOL! The last place I go to in order to write articles is the Post Chronical. I never even heard of the site until you brought it up here! Sorry if you don’t agree with my article, but accusing me of plagiarism doesn’t make your critique of me relevant.

  • I’m not accusing you–I pointed out that that person may have plagiarized you as well. I also posted the same question on the other article.

    I’m also a bit confused by your reference to my “critique of you.” I offered no comment on your article–honestly, I hardly care whether Suth Park has jumped the shark, and I have no desire to critique whether it has or not.

    But the fact is that the wording of the sentences in each article are almost identical, and that points to plagiarism on one end or the other.

  • it would appear that the post chronicle site is the plagarising element here. they have “writes blogcritics.org” after the scenetence in question, presumably since it was pointed out.

  • Thanks for pointing that out, DukeDeMondo. That “worties Blogcritics.org” was not there just a few hours ago.

    Daryl D, if I were you, I’d be pissed. Someone tried to rip off your stuff, and even now, they’re not mentioning you in their attribution.

    And incidentally, I only came across the similarity because I was googling reviews of the show to see how different outlets described it (i.e., whether they used euphemisms or were direct). But when I read both reviews, something had clearly been stolen from someone else.

  • sunshine

    okay im sorry to say i dont agree at all
    not one bit
    it was a parody of 24 i found it histarical i love south park and there are millions of people who love it as much, if not more, then i do!
    negative nancy i think its funny thier older stuff was funny too
    you dont like it
    and you think its a low blow or sumthing im pretty sure you have the power to turn off the tv!

  • J.J. Hunsecker

    “I wrote an excellent article about the show.”

    If you have to tell people the article was excellent, most likely it wasn’t.

  • Dynamo of Eternia

    South Park has done things much weirder than this. If the show ever ‘jumped the shark’, it certainly isn’t because of this Hilary Clinton episode.

    Did you ever see the one where Oprah’s genitals and anus are talking to each other and plotting against her? That was worse than this, IMO. Or that episode where Cartman ends up having the one kid’s parents killed, chopped up, and fed to the kid in some food that he eats at the end of the episode. That one was really dark and went to a much darker place than the show ever went prior to that.

    I am still a fan of the show, and they’ve had some really questionable moments. And ones that are far worse than this new Hilary Clinton episode.

    IF you are considering this as some huge moment to question the show over, then you must not have been watching the show very consistently over the years.

  • Get a real job

    Hey critic get a real job. click on daryl d’s name and go to his blog. he wrote a 1000 word article on britney spears. that voids any criticism he even attempts to make. again critic get a real job that contributes to society in some way.

  • daryl d

    Mr. Goat: thank you for pointing this out. I’m sorry I just glanced through your comments before and didn’t understand the full thing you were trying to say.

  • daryl d

    “A couple months ago, I wrote an excellent article about the show.'”

    I’m ashamed of myself for writing that. It sounds very egotistic. What I MEANT to say is that I wrote an article praising the show’s excellence. It’s still not a bad show and I’m still fan, but something just doesn’t seem right lately. I didn’t even mention the lice episode because it was completely stupid.

  • michelle Philp

    I’m pretty sure that you did your entire review based on the articales of others because, well you got the entire second episode mixed up and flat out wrong.
    Do you watch the show?

  • Tommy

    I’ve been watching the show since it began on my bday in 1997. I’ve seen EVERY episode numerous times and own them all. I think it keeps getting better and better! The Hillary episode was hilarious.

  • AnArch

    Why would it be ok to make fun of Saddam, for example, and posit him as the gay lover of Satan, but no jokes allowed about Hilary?

  • Jesse

    Funny how the show goes to far once it goes after the “untouchables” of the liberal elite. Grow a pair and just take it for what it is people, A CARTOON! And a hilarious one at that.

  • s8ist

    I have to agree with the OP. Recent South Park episodes haven’t been as funny because they don’t do what South Park is known for: express insightful social commentary. I’m not disappointed that the episode featured Hillary Clinton, and the OP doesn’t seem to have that complaint either. What I am disappointed about is the fact that they could have gone for a longer-lasting laugh. Other episodes created this very satisfactory moment when the show ended, as if a lightbulb goes off and you silently say to yourself “I’m glad SOMEONE gets it.” Recent episodes lack that affirming aftertaste.

  • South Park Expert

    Beyond incorrect, OP. Beyond. You’re just trying to score cheap Google News crawler points with your sensationalistic shark-jumping headline. South Park is no more or less offensive now than it was when it pitted Jesus against Santa 10 years ago. If anything, they’re just doing what they’ve always done: push the envelope. These guys are the satirical masters of our generation–and there will be no jumping of any sharks, now or ever. This isn’t 3’s Company.

  • brian

    if you desire social commentary…perhaps you should go to school and form your own instead of looking for answers in a cartoon ya twit. south park tells stories, if you don’t enjoy the stories, don’t watch. jesus.

  • Tom

    As others here have said, South Park has ALWAYS been irreverent/disrespectful/potentially offensive…which makes it often GREAT! I do prefer the episodes that don’t get too weird/bizarre for my tastes…and prefer the ones that have a little “heart” underneath it all…but to say that the show has changed directions is ridiculous.

  • eric

    Where the hell did some of you learn how make an argument?

    “If you don’t think it’s funny, you don’t get it”
    “if you don’t like it, you have no sense of humor.”
    “You don’t think it’s funny ’cause you’re a hilary humper”

    All aguments against the person.. South Park is just not funny anymore, it’s all gross-out and gore, predictable and unfunny.

  • dan

    “The point of almost every South Park episode is to highlight the hypocrisy of society. But hasn’t South Park made this point over and over and over before?”

    South Park has almost always reflected society, and political figures who are mere caricatures of themselves (such as Hilary Clinton) are unfortunately always present in society. Whether it’s making a specific point or just plain poking fun at a douche like Hilary Clinton, Trey and Matt are still delivering the goods, therefore to answer your question, “South Park” has NOT, I repeat, NOT jumped the shark. Furthermore, to say South Park has jumped the shark after one episode is not only harsh, but ludicrous as well.

  • daryl d

    Well, I still didn’t like the Hilary Clinton episode and it’s not because I actually care a lot of her. I thought the lice episode was really bad. But I will admit: I have viewed the “Cartman Sucks” episode a couple more times and really take back my words on that. It has been the only really good episode so far this year. I’m a South Park fan, so please all you fanboys: I am one of you! I just have extremely high expectations from Matt and Trey.

  • daryl d

    ok, just saw the recent South Park which was the most brilliant one yet. I loved how they lampooned Bill Donahue of the catholic league. they did it in a very disgusting and intelligent way. Perhaps South Park hasn’t jumped the shark.

  • Anakin Ryan

    dont know what your problem is i think so far the 5 episodes of season 11 have all been good, the lice one and the hillary clinton one were awesome especially for me as im a big 24 fan, it did’nt anger me to see the show i love mocked, i think if anything seeing something mocked on south park only serves to point out its cultural relevance. i think so far 3 of the episodes have been incredible good and the other 2 were just good, just compare it to a show like the simpsons and just how lame that is now.

  • Jackers

    I have to agree. I’ve loved 99% of episodes up to this last season. There’s even been a couple where I haven’t been able to watch though the entire 20 minutes because I just wasn’t laughing.

    I don’t know whether it’s just me growing up, or whether the writing team have had a hard time keeping the themes fresh (it is 11 seasons old, after all) but these recent episodes have left me cold. Whether the blatant 100% focus on nothing but shock value for humour is ironic or not, I think things will have to improve for the show to stay on much longer.

    It would be a massive shame if such a legendary and influential show were to slowly die out in such a distasteful manner.

  • Winston Churchill

    I thought season 10 was possibly their best ever, but season 11 has been really disappointing. The episodes just haven’t been very funny. Don’t know if the writers are out of ideas or what. I remember thinking fairly early on in the shows existence that it had kind of played itself out, but then it got really good again and it’s stayed that way up until this season.

  • tenest

    I’ve been a HUGE fan ever since the first episode. Even with Tivo, I have rarely missed an episode when it first airs… with the exception of this season. While each of the episodes this season have had some pretty funny moments, they all seem weak in comparison to past seasons.

    I’ve also noticed a stark increase in the amount of gore/violence that doesnt really add to the story. The scene where the guy is trying to commit suicide but somehow fails over and over and over again. Is that really necessary? The “shock” was achieved after the first failed attempt. Why all the extra gore?

    There also seems to be less story lines on the gang, and more on auxiliary characters. Thats ok for an episode or two, but what ever happened to the adventures of stan, kyle, kenny and cartmen?

  • Bonnie

    I’ve watched it since the beginning, and I’ve also noticed I’m more just tolerating all the gratuitous gore and poo because the non grossout stuff is still so good. I really think how we see South Park is 50% South Park and 50% our own perceptions, and maybe it’s bothering us because we’re getting older, or because it’s not a shock anymore. When I first saw the first Mr. Hankey episode in 1997 (or whatever) I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever seen, poo smears and all. But when Cartman shat into that bowl in the World of Warcraft episode, it just grossed me out. What changed; South Park, the world, or me? But overall, I still think the show is great.

  • daryl d

    After I wrote this article, the Easter episode aired with a parody of William Donahue from the Catholic League. That episode was hilarious. I still think the show is great but I hope they know when to end it. I don’t want the show to become a parody of itself like The Simpsons.

  • Lisa

    I used to be wild for South Park, so much so that I was part of a group of colleagues who would bribe the (initially) sole colleague who could receive the broadcast, plying her with homemade cupcakes and so forth just to be the first to be loaned the videotape of that week’s ep. I remained a megafan for several years.

    Then it all started to become about grossing people out, the same kind of vulgar joke done over and over. Worse, the societal humor became uninformed. It completely jumped the shark for me with the Virgin Mary statue ep (note: I am not and never have been Catholic), which was hostile nastiness without funniness, and was also the “AA” episode that showed clearly that the SP creators have never even been near a 12-Step meeting or the literature from one. It saddens and angers me to think of the people who need help who may not get it because they bought into a completely fictitious portrayal.

  • aido101

    i agree with the critic. i am such a large fan of southpark. i am one of those people he speaks of who watches every episode countless times. but, lately, the show has been letting me down. where the show appears to be stupid….it’s actually a really intelligent show. but, same can’t be said for the past few series. they seem to be relying more on…”shock” jokes then anything else….they just ramble on any random story, and then say the word “dick” and insult some random celebrity. i really hope they go back to the original form of writing, wich, was smart, and at the same time stupid. and now, it’s just getting stupid. wich is really sad, because it truely is my favorite show on telly.

  • aido101

    i agree with the critic. i am such a large fan of southpark. i am one of those people he speaks of who watches every episode countless times. but, lately, the show has been letting me down. where the show appears to be stupid….it’s actually a really intelligent show. but, same can’t be said for the past few series. they seem to be relying more on…”shock” jokes then anything else….they just ramble on any random story, and then say the word “dick” and insult some random celebrity. i really hope they go back to the original form of writing, wich, was smart, and at the same time stupid. and now, it’s just getting stupid. wich is really sad, because it truely is my favorite show on telly.

  • Lol

    Absolute crock. No one cares if YOU think it jumped the boat. True South Park fans will continue to watch it and your pathetic worthless opinion isn’t going to change anyone’s mind.

  • Greg

    I agree with you, the show has jumped the shark, in my opinion, when they killed off chef. I don’t feel the show has had that intelligent spark to it anymore, it’s just been pointless, idiotic, well… crap. It hasn’t even been funny anymore in my opinion.

  • Greg

    As a side note, yes South Park is still doing what it’s always done, but, and maybe it’s just me growing up, but they’re doing it in a more tasteless fashion than ever. Obviously the technology has gotten better, but that doesn’t mean the show has to become more gory. I mean people always died on the show, but they way they’re doing it now is very very graphic, to the point where it’s really just not funny. You can really start to see it in “You Got F’d in the A”. Don’t get me wrong that’s actually one of my favorite episodes, but the way the people died at the dance contest was overly and unnecessarily graphic.

  • Steve

    After seeing the “Biggest Turd” episode, I have to concur that it has jumped the shark. There were two jokes on that one–Bono is a turd, and you weight turd in “Courics.” That seems to be all they can do lately. They make fun of a celebrity and toss in a reference to turds. What was there on that episode that made anyone laugh? The same tired old parody of film cliches in the barroom scene? That was funny two seasons ago, but it’s worn out. As one South Park supporter pointed out, it’s become a question of whether you’re a “fan” in which case you support the show even when it sucks. I guess I’m not a fan anymore, because I haven’t gotten a good laugh out of South Park in months. Well, the Mormons episode was funny. . .

  • jason

    thank you for saying something that needed to be said. just like the simpsons started to fade away around 2000, south park seems to follow suit.

    the problem with the phase “jump the shark” is that it implies that there is nothing good left in the show. i think the show jumped when mr. garrison decided to become mrs. garrison. yet, afterwards there were some good ones like best friends forever.

    still, you pretty much sum it up with “South Park has always been tasteless and offensive, but also very intelligent. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.”

    the offensive humor used to be clever, but now it became a game of how often you can use the word rape in an episode. still, i’ll pretty much watch south park until the end.

  • Tolga

    I am completely with you on this one! They stopped using their intelligence and just throw the jokes right on to your face. And I hate the fact that the boys grew up. I especially loved Cartman when he was so immature but was still an asshole. Now he’s just like a complete loser. I think South Park stopped being funny after season 8.

  • Shawn

    Could not agree any more. I actually found this article by googling “south park not funny anymore”.

    I used to be one of the biggest south park fans. I have seen every single episode, many of them multiple times. However, after the second half of season 10, South Park just completely lost its charm.

    Every episode of South Park from season 11 onwards feels like it was written by someone other than Matt and Trey. The humor is insipid, the stories are shallow, theres so much forced shock value.

    I still watch every episode hoping this was a temporary phase. There are still a couple of mildly funny moments in each episode, but nothing even CLOSE to the genius of the older episodes. Yet, it boggles my mind how SP fans still celebrate each episode on various online forums. I’m glad to see that there are other fans like me who find that something really has changed about SP. I truly hope SP will regain its lost glory.

  • Lisa

    I also found this by googling “South Park not funny anymore”, I just read they are going to devote an entire episode to Britney Spears tomorrow which I can already tell is going to be a complete disaster (isn’t that what Perez Hiltion is for?)I have been a viewer of SP since the very beginning and can’t help but wonder what the hell has happened here (I’m the same age age as Trey Parker so I don’t believe it’s a ‘maturity’ thing). I will keep watching though in hopes this is just a temporary lapse of genius-unless of course this Britney episode pushes me over the top.

    And don’t even bother going to the South Park fan site, I checked it out too and was amazed by how lame those people are.

  • Lisa

    I was right, the Britney episode was a complete disaster. Why on earth are they defending celebrities now? The message here was ‘leave poor Britney alone or she’s going to kill herself’. No such luck!

    RIP South Park. You guys not only killed Kenny, you killed funny too.

  • Alex

    If you say anything bad about the newer episodes, then you have no sense of humor or you’re just not smart enough to “get” it. Kind of like The Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s sad really, how the South Park audience has succumb to fanboyism.

  • THANK YOU!!!

    Finally, someone agrees that the show is not what it used to be. Stop attacking the author and accusing him of being a “Hillary Humper” because that was not the point of his article, he was not defending Hillary, he was saying that the show is stretching too far (jumping the shark) to get a laugh. Yes they are getting the laughs, but its just not really funny, someone please step up and try to defend the Cartman gets frozen bullshit episodes that nearly ruined the show for me. They are either trying too hard or not trying at all. Thanks for reading if anyone did.

  • Tom

    I agree with Alex. I have been watching South Park for years and I think the opposite of many people on here. The show has gotten infinitely funnier and more intelligent, without a doubt. Around season 10 and definitely season 11, the issues the show satirizes are profound and the effect of the show makes for hilarious television.
    Perhaps if you think South Park has lost it’s humor.. and definitely if you think it has lost it’s intelligence… the newer episodes are over your heads?

  • neptune

    sp has,nt jumped the shark just look at breast cancer show ever.

  • Anonymous

    “Perhaps if you think South Park has lost it’s humor.. and definitely if you think it has lost it’s intelligence… the newer episodes are over your heads?”

    Perhaps you enormous faggots should get your grammar correct before babbling on about intelligence? It’s “its”. Get it right, dumbass.

    P.S. South Park can go choke on a bucket of cocks; it is not, nor ever was, funny in the slightest.

  • Nick

    OK. here it is, here it is everyone who commented…
    ALL shows have there flaws. EVERYTHING on the planet does. South park over all is still great. i think that up until season 11 every episode was awesome and had every ingrediant a SP fan would want. Now, in season 12 you have to pick the good ones. i think this is largely based on the fact the trey & matt still run the show by themselves–which is awesome, i respect that, but it is amazing they can still squeeze out ideas. even though that ones like “britney’s new look” and “major boobage” aren’t spectacular, they’re still ideas.

  • Lady

    I have to agree with this. I used to love South Park from like the first season, and then it started to get really corny and repetitive. They used the same jokes or even the corniest jokes like the Britney Spears “new look” where her head was shot off, the episode where fighting against the “Persians” like from 300, and the one with Oprah and her vagina and anus, etc. I stopped watching South Park after that “300” episode, I seriously thought the show got really stupid after.

    I didn’t laugh at a single episode at the time for the last years I’ve watched it. It amazes me because I loved South Park. I don’t regret not watching it anymore and I know it doesn’t matter to anyone. I really think Family Guy is funny and so is The Simpsons..South Park really.. isn’t my taste anymore and I’m easily amused by funny shows.

  • Kevin Gustafson

    I don’t care if they do variations of old jokes. It’s funny. I never really got into Family Guy. The Simptsons looks funny when I switch to it. But I lost my real interest in it years, er, decades ago. South Park has been pretty consistent to me. They’ve gotten past being weird and offensive to attacking the left AND the right on pop culture and politics which is refreshing. As far as jumping the shark that’s not big news since it only has a few years left before Matt and Trey want to stop making new episodes.

  • kim lee

    Let me tell you something pal.

    South Park is greatest show on television history. It gets better every year. Do you see all the South Park merchandise out there. South Park has matriculated into oue entire society and it greatness will be timeless. College courses will devoted to this show.

    Your article was a disgrace in competent journalism. Its author sounding like a *********** whale licking *******bottom************* Michael Jackson!

    Never write!

  • Christian

    What the hell happened to South Park!? It used to be funny.. I haven’t seen anything in while from this show that seriously made me laugh, or even entertained me for that matter… The Simpsons, Family Guy, and now South Park.. WTF? I guess after awhile you just run out of funny clever things to do in an animated series before it loses it’s creative or funny edge… South Park just seems desperate now. I hate to say it, but I find myself laughing more watching lame reality TV shows that currently air versus the new material that’s on South Park now a days. And no it’s not me changing my opinion on what’s funny, or loosing my sense of humor. -It’s because this show JUST ISN’T FUNNY ANYMORE.

    Oh and to all those who think it’s the same show it was 10 plus years ago, go ahead and do this.. watch season 1-3 then immediately afterward watch 11-13 and tell me there isn’t a difference in the comic genius behind the show. There has obviously been a major negative change to this show. (Somewhere between seasons 8-10 it started to go down hill in my opinion, now its in the gutter.)

    I don’t know, This show needs SOMETHING. It’s just lacking so many things now. They’re loosing more and more fans after each episode they push out there. It’s almost like they just don’t care to try anymore. It’s sad. The last 2 seasons have had the lowest ratings thus far in the shows history not to mention tons and tons of negative reviews from their fans. For god sakes the show hasn’t won any major awards since 2005! it’s almost 2010… wow.

    Is it just me, or is the Office on NBC like the only edgy FUNNY comedy show left on TV?!

  • jack johnson

    South Park fucking sucks now, their story lines used to be creative and funny, now all they do is just pick out something from the news and make some obvious bullshit ‘parody’ of it and make a few references to some tv show, that just shows they’ve run out of ideas, every episode is predictable now and all the jokes are too obvious. The story lines just suck now