Movie Stars and Gossip
South Park has a great tradition of being written and produced within a six day time frame. It’s a very large undertaking for such a big show yet it allows the freedom to pick up on what’s happening in popular culture as they write each episode. This up-to-the-minute satire is what keeps the show feeling fresh in a time when other big animated shows just cruise along.
Some people don’t see any reason why Matt Stone and Trey Parker should do it this way and summarily felt vindicated when the recent episode Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers missed its air date due to a power cut. I disagree with this school of thought as I believe that some of the team’s best work comes from being up against strict deadlines. South Park has always cast a judgmental eye of pop culture meaning no-one is safe from mockery, not even themselves.
With this in mind, and this is by no means a definitive list, I’m going to take you through my favourite pop culture gags over the past seventeen seasons to celebrate the humour and satire.
Episode: Taming Strange
This recent episode polarized viewers in the sort of love/hate divide seen more and more with newer episodes of the show. As this is an opinion piece, I have to say that I found it very funny and people who claim to love classic South Park were given everything to enjoy.
The most recent shocking pop sensation is clearly Miley Cyrus who will seemingly do anything to get a camera pointed in her direction. The most shocking aspect of her fame is the wholesome image of Hannah Montana that she left behind to pursue the noble goal of wearing as little as possible. In true South Park fashion we were treated to a very over the top parody of this as Foofa from Yo Gabba Gabba! was forced to question her position as a children’s entertainer. While this was the side story there was a lot of fun to be had, and they even fitted in a quick shot of Foofa riding the wrecking ball from Cyrus’ infamous video.
While there was plenty of room for the writers to be preachy about the sexualisation of music, they wisely decided against it and in the end it was Foofa’s choice to perform at the VMAs. They saved this attitude for their allegory of the Obamacare health overhaul which brought together Mr. Mackey and thankfully, the recently neglected Canadians in the form of the Health Minister (well done buddies). Watching the school fall apart with everyone’s favourite counselor in denial was a lot of fun, especially with the musical choices employed.
Now that the figures have come out showing that only six people were able to successfully sign up to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) on the first day of operation, maybe their parodied version wasn’t far off the mark.
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