Episode 1507: You’re Getting Old

I know it’s been WAY too long since I’ve updated this blog (shame on me) and I know this is a little bit out of order but this post may be one of the most important that I ever do on here so it needs to be published now.

Last night was the midseason finale of South Park. South Park has been on the air for 15 seasons now, and it’s safe to say that Season 15 has been extremely inferior compared with the rest. The writers just haven’t had very many original ideas, the humor has been slacking, and the satire just isn’t clicking as it was in the past.

As a HUGE fan of the show, I’ve always thought of South Park as infallible. Family Guy is hit or miss and The Office is very inconsistent (and replacing Steve Carell is next to impossible). South Park has been my go-to show for years because of the humor, the satire and how nearly every opinion Matt Stone and Tre Parker convey in their episodes about celebrities, events and society in general usually matches up with my own.

Season 15 has been incredibly disappointing. Sitting in silence watching an episode of South Park and realizing I haven’t laughed in about 10 minutes is a new and unpleasant experience that I’ve had to live with for the past few episodes. Fans all over have been disappointed and uninterested lately, a fact that the writers are clearly aware of after last night’s episode.

In short, last night’s episode rattled the foundations of the show. I have never felt like I was going to cry after an episode of South Park until last night. What started off as a slightly uninteresting episode soon developed into a direct statement from the writers to the fans. A seemingly unnecessary and repetitive toilet humor metaphor of seeing and hearing shit everywhere soon served as an extremely important device for conveying the creators’ thoughts on their own series. The shocking events and dialogue between Sharon and Randy along with the sentimental closing song left me sitting in silence for a good ten minutes after the credits.

All the happy memories of these smiling faces may haunt me if South Park is over

Why? Because even if you exclude Randy and Sharon getting a divorce, Stan not being able to find any enjoyment in life and the hint of Cartman and Kyle actually becoming friends, the central metaphor throughout the show of everything turning to shit was a direct message to fans that the writers know they’ve been off their game and that the reason they have been off their game is because making this show might not make them happy anymore. Those three examples mentioned above are outright signs that things are not right in the world of South Park, which would normally not be a problem; the writers have redefined the boundaries of their show many times. But what truly made these events disturbing was the dialogue between Randy and Sharon near the end. It echoed the sentiment that South Park has been off its game, but it also outright revealed that the writers just aren’t happy with doing the same old shit anymore. Randy and Sharon both expressed that it might be time to move on to new things because they are different people, a feeling that I’m afraid is exactly how Stone and Parker feel about their show.

South Park still has at least seven episodes left. What would be great is if this whole dramatic setup were just another joke by the writers, who would return for the second half of Season 15 refreshed and ready to go to work again. But somehow, after such a somber finish last night and after the success the writers have had with their hit Broadway musical, The Book Of Mormon, I seriously doubt it. All signs point to the series finally winding down as the writers look to move on with their lives. As much as I hate to say it, and as impossible as it once seemed for this perfectly satirical powerhouse to fall…we could be seeing the end of South Park.

Please, South Park. Don't be done.

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About Gerald Bourguet

Gerald Bourguet is an aspiring sports writer with a special love for basketball. In his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Gerald won a high school state basketball championship and had dreams of playing in the NBA...until he stopped growing and decided to write about basketball instead. Gerald is a recent graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. As a member of Barrett, the Honors College, he earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in journalism in just four years. Gerald currently covers the Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls for HoopsHabit, writes daily fantasy basketball posts for ReUPsports and runs his own NBA blog and music website. Gerald's favorite sports teams are the Pittsburgh Steelers and Phoenix Suns. He eagerly awaits the day the Suns hoist a championship banner, sometime in 2055.
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3 Responses to Episode 1507: You’re Getting Old

  1. matthew says:

    Spot on, I am gutted too – Been a loyal South Park fan since the first episodes. RIP South Park by the looks of it, still at least we have so much to revisit!

    The cynical parody, satire, social commentary and wit disguised as puerile humour will be very much missed.

  2. Southparkism says:

    Yeah I had the same impression too. Southpark will soon be a good memory.
    I think the major issue is that its creators abandonned “real” satire to only target subjects of secondary importance. The episode about Jersey people, for instance, was funny, but it does not go really deep in social criticism. The human centipad wasn’t really funny, because it was a good occasion to take a stand against Apple’s marketing, yet the conclusion was very mitigated.
    The success of Southpark used to be its extremism (remember Paris Hilton or Cartman’s “wir mussen die Juden aussrotten” ?) but with the introduction in the last few years of what I’d call “political correctness” (in a Southpark way, of course), the show has definitely lost some attractivity.
    It’s still not as bad as the Simpsons, and maybe it’s good they stop if they don’t have the guts to be really hard on the subjects they treat. But it will be dearly missed, as being the last show I could watch.

  3. UPDATE: When Matt and Tre appeared on The Daily Show they discussed this controversial episode and the future of South Park. The creators affirmed their dedication to South Park, that they are still under contract, and that South Park is still their main thing. Hopefully by the time the second half of the season hits, things with The Book of Mormon will have slowed down so they can fully concentrate on their moneymaker.

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