The Future of South Park: Show’s Creators Like Causing Anxiety



After 15 years, characters like Wendy, Kenny, Cartman, Kyle and Stan are familiar faces whose crazy antics have always entertained audiences.


After 15 years, characters like Wendy, Kenny, Cartman, Kyle and Stan are familiar faces whose crazy antics have always entertained audiences. (MCT)

The newest episode of “South Park” recently aired this fall after a summer-long hiatus and everybody who follows “South Park” (especially me) was really looking forward to it. Sadly, after last season’s finale, “You’re Getting Old” aired on June 8,  fans were left stunned.

In this episode of “South Park,” the writers hinted at one of their most iconic and important characters, Stan Marsh, was going to leave the show. Stan is known for being the “normal one” out of the four main characters and most fans find it easier to relate to him. The show would not be the same without the balance his character maintains for the show.

This leads to questions about how much longer the series would be airing despite its successful 15 year history. As for me, I just remember the shock when the show ended without a resolution. It seemed as if creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are quickly tying up loose ends so that they could cancel the show.

But during an interview with their co-worker on Comedy Central in June, Jon Stewart, the pair were questioned about the new turn their show was taking. Parker said, “We love South Park. It’s still our thing.” When Stewart mentioned their latest episode, they said, “When we did that last episode, we obviously did it by the seat of our pants and obviously we had a lot of themes of things we were feeling in it.” The anticipation and fear that my friends and I had at this moment was palpable and the suspense was only drawn out when they continued, “…we came back and people were like ‘Are you okay? Is the show coming back?’”

And the reply of the creators? “Yeah, we had a really good time doing that! It was fun!” The bastards even admitted that they didn’t really know what they were going to do next, but they would figure that out when they had to make the next episode which would air in October. This was such a typical carefree Parker and Stone answer that it was both a relief and an annoyance to hear.

Didn’t those assholes know how attached a fan (like myself) could be to the show? The subtext during that episode had felt so obvious—surely, the end is near. I was certain that everything I knew and loved about “South Park” would be coming to an end; it’s my greatest fear. Even now, hearing them deny these questions, I get the distinct feeling that they’re just messing with me.

However, despite all of their supposed faults (crudeness, shamelessness, etc.), I can’t deny that South Park has been a thrill since I began following the show. It’s clever, insightful and it has witty social criticisms on American culture.

Celebrities, politicians, religious figures, dictators and the like are not spared and they’ve caused several controversies about where the line should be drawn as far as “appropriate” is concerned simply because they can. The Mohammed controversy (when they decided it would be fun to offend Muslims by showing an image of Mohammed on television, thereby breaking their religious law) is one of my favorites, and to this day, those episodes are still banned.

Now, the real question I’ve been thinking since all these new anxieties have popped up is, “Are Stone and Parker hitting their peak?” Well, if they are, it’ll be a while until they’re completely washed-out has-beens. They’ve created a musical, “The Book of Mormon,” that is beyond successful, they released their “Making of South Park” documentary on Oct. 9 and of course, they have their prolific cartoon series which started before I even began the first grade.

Everything is going well…for now. Certainly, though I love the show beyond what I can possibly describe in this article, it cannot go on forever and I’m not sure if I’d even want it to. Stories, movies or shows that don’t end when they should have are unbearable to see, like witnessing an oncoming train wreck

Even though “South Park” is obligated to continue by contract until 2013, I trust that if they wanted to change the entire show then they would just do it and not give Comedy Central enough time to respond. And if the show is going down the toilet, they have shown a hidden passion for Broadway (I’ve been trying to go see “The Book of Mormon” for months now). But whatever Stone and Parker decide to do, I know it will make waves. They’re sure to piss off somebody, and that’s my kind of entertainment.