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Has Television Gone Too Far? Essay

1648 words - 7 pages

South Park is an animated sitcom about four boys in elementary school and is known for being one of the crudest comedic shows on television. South Park has been running on television since 1997 and has been criticized for making fun of gender, class, religion, homosexuality, politics and more. South Park is a postmodernist show that shows representation of masculinity and femininity, postmodernism, and queer theory. South Park often makes episodes that coincide with on going events that are popular in the media. The question often comes up if South Park is too offensive or if they go too far with their animated sitcom? The reason why I think that this is an important topic is because a lot ...view middle of the document...

” Then the woman’s husband gets on the intercom and says, “Pull over you’re on the Nascar track, you’re acting irrationally.” This particular episode showed the representation of masculinity and femininity. The gender and sexuality difference between the male and female showed how woman on the show aren’t equal to men. The men are seen as strong and more capable of doing dangerous activities, whereas the woman are viewed as weaker individuals and must be safe and cautious. A lot of sitcoms poke fun at things like this every once and a while but this is something that South Park happens to do a lot. The men on the show were trying to convince the woman to get off the racetrack because it was dangerous and because she was a woman, but if she were a man or even a little boy their would be no issues. Most of the mothers of the young boys on the show are very passive when it comes to their husbands and children. These women are very easy to manipulate and take advantage of and essentially that’s what the young boys and husbands on the show do to the women.
Another episode of South Park that I watched is called “Here comes the neighborhood”. This episode is about the only black boy in their town named Token being rich. He is the richest out of all of the kids in his school and he feels alone so he convinces other rich black kids to move into his town. When more black wealthy families move into South Park they are referred to as “richers” Some of the white characters in this episode were quoting things such as, “Seems like South Park is being over run by those types… Rich people” and “They’re going to be sending their kids to our schools and mixing them with our pure non-rich kids.” Clearly there was a hidden underlying message and the creators were meaning that South Park would be ran by black people (not rich people) and that they would be mixing them with our pure non black kids (not rich kids). Although they never blatantly said it, it was something that was understood due to intertextuality. There were several puns like this in this particular episode that dealt with race and social class. Intertextuality gives rise to irony, which is another trait to postmodernism. Irony and imitation are frequently used together this episode mocks racial panic throughout the community. In addition to that, Tokens name itself is ironic. Because he is the “token black kid” on the sitcom so to speak and instead of the creators giving him a real name like all of the other characters, his name is just Token. South Park frequently embraces intertexuality throughout the entire show and it makes several references within the shows episodes of historical accounts and cultural icons. For example, in another Episode of South Park entitled “All About Mormons” a new kid named Gary (who is Mormon) moves into South Park with his family. This episode seems to denounce and belittle the Mormon faith. During the episode it talks about how the Mormon faith was started with John...

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