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Five reasons why South Park is good for you
Five reasons why South Park is good for your emotional and intellectual development
Many people view South Park as a ‘bad show’. There’s a lot of cussing and adult content that scares people away. However, once you have watched an episode, and I mean really watched it, you will see there are actually things about South Park that might be good for your emotional and intellectual development. I have listed five of these reasons.
1. There is a message in every episode. That is, there is a message in every episode of the newest seasons. Somehow there are messages hidden in the storylines that are actually relevant for society. Take for instance the episode "Goobacks" from season eight. There is a definite message in this episode: take care of the earth for future generations. However, they still somehow find a way to ridicule it all in the end so it isn’t preachy. Instead, it just makes you think about yourself and society.
2. You can actually learn from this show. Of course you learn from the hidden messages in the episodes, but it’s more than that. Take for instance the episode "Margaritaville” from season thirteen. Never has a TV show made it more clear how the economic crisis has arisen.
3. The episodes pretty much always show you two sides to a story and ridicule them evenly. For such a little town, South Park is very diverse. There are Caucasians, African Americans, Jews, Christians, Mormons, hand puppets, homosexuals, lesbians, transsexuals, Christmas feces, rich people, poor people, talking towels, Santa Claus, Jesus, and so on and so forth. And there is not one category that isn’t ridiculed. In fact, it doesn’t stop there; they even ridicule the future and the past. One might say they do not respect anyone. I however prefer to say they respect everyone enough to ridicule them evenly. And if we’re no longer allowed to ridicule than how are we going to remain critical?
4. Kenny’s deaths*, although sporadically in the newer seasons, show us there is danger all around us. It teaches children not to cross the street without looking, it teaches grown-ups not to throw knives without looking, and overall it teaches everyone to think before you act. When you’re angry you might want to throw some plates around. But South Park teaches us that one of those plates may divert from its course and hit a child in the head. Which is something one might want to avoid.
*Kenny used to die every episode in the first few seasons. It became his trademark to die in the most absurd ways.
South Park Season Fourteen Intro
5. It teaches you about consequences. 'Pre-School' from season eight is an extreme example of this, but there are small things like this in every episode. A very simple example; every time Cartman calls Kyle a ‘stupid Jew’, Kyle replies with something along the lines of ‘shut up fat ass’. So the consequences of Cartman saying something offensive is something offensive being said back to Cartman. Furthermore, almost every episode has an event that makes things spiral out of control. It’s basic action-reaction.
South Park Parody; The Real South Park
So there you have it, five reasons why South Park is good for your development. Of course there are some parts that are a little less good for your development. The excessive cussing for instance. But once you learn to see through that upper layer, you will notice the deep structure and intriguing philosophic ideas the episodes have. And also: it’s just really, really funny!