|Pop Culture Gadabout|
Friday, March 11, 2005 |
( 3/11/2005 09:01:00 AM ) Bill S.
THE LESSONS OF PROFESSOR CHAOS – Like Tom the Dog, I found the season nine premiere of South Park more icky than comic – not the first time I've had that reaction to the show (another instance: the outing several years back where Kenny performed extreme Jackass/Fear Factor styled stunts), though with a series that trades in shock value, it probably says something about me as an audience member that I'm not turned off more often. When you work so hard at pushing the boundaries of good taste, it's inevitable that you’d occasionally lose the funny.
Knowing how quickly that they write and produce these things, I wonder if this particular ep – which revolved around Mister Garrison’s decision to have a sex change – wasn't Parker & Stone's attempt at one-upping The Simpsons' gay marriage show this season. Both episodes featured a character refusing to stay with a partner because that partner is "not" gay; both episodes had sexual identity (what makes a woman a woman and a man a man) as one of its core questions. Biggest difference: the Simpsons episode still had jokes in it. Several seasons back, the South Park gang made the difficulty of writing plots that didn't duplicate beloved Simpsons episodes a central gag in one of its Butters storylines. Clearly, this is still an issue. . .