Wednesday, April 05, 2006

South Park vs. Family Guy

Today I want to talk about South Park. This is a cartoon series that has been on tv for about 9 years. It airs new episodes every Wednesday on Comedy Central. The reason I want to talk about the show is because tonite's episode pits Family Guy against South Park. I used to be in Family Guy's corner, but now if I had to choose one show to watch, its South Park....lets take a look at why.
(:l-r: funny, not funny, funny, kinda funny, not funny, funny)

First of all, South Park isn't really animated every week. By that I mean the show is made on a computer, so there is no need to redraw all the scenes and characters like in a normal cartoon. This allows South Park to stay very up to date as far as what is going on in the world. I think I read that they can make a show in two weeks, meaning if Michael Jackson gets arrested today, you can learn about it on South Park by the end of the month. Also, the show continues to evolve. Yes, it still has its share of fart jokes, but it has expanded beyond that. For every Jew joke there is one about current political situations or issues that the country is dealing with. For example, last weeks episode was about Hybrid cars, and how everyone who owns one acts all high and mighty. One of the kids wanted South Park to have the most Hybrid cars, and once it did the town was more polluted than before due to Smug...not smog, Smug. You get the idea.

Family Guy, on the other hand, continues to stand pat with the same jokes in the same format by the same characters every week. The show has always been an random collection of flashbacks and scenes loosed based what seems to be a plot. The Family Guy made its name on random events happening or pop culture characters interacting with the Griffin family. As far back as the first episode when Kool-Aid burst through the courtroom wall, the Family Guy has provided situations for its characters to make us die laughing. Unfortunately all good things must come to and end.

Since the show came back on the air I have been laughing less and less. The funniest part of the whole season was when Brian owed Stewie $50, with Stewie playing the part of the remorseful hitman. He tells Brian, "I don't know why you make me do this to you man..." while he beats him silly. That is classic material. It used to be that there were at least 2 or 3 rememberable scenes per show. Now, I can't even remember what happened last week. Quadmire is tired, Cleveland is just sort of there, and the cripple guy is only funny when he acts too proud about being handicapped. Chris is worthless, and Meg is only funny because she is named as the source of every problem the family encounters. (By the way, that is the best part of the new season overall...the way Meg is just shit on.) That leaves Brian, Peter, and Stewie as the only funny ones. Lois is funny somtimes, and I think its funny that Adam West is the Mayor. Besides that, the show leaves much to be desired.

South Park's cast of characters is more funny to me. The main four kids consist of Kyle and Stan, Cartman and Kenny. Kenny dies all the time, and Kyle of Stan are best friends. I believe its Stan (I always mix him and Kyle up) that is Jewish, and Cartman gets in at least 3 good Jewish jokes per episode. My favorite is a showdown between Cartman and Stan where Stan is accused of having a "...bag of Jew gold around his neck. Everyone knows all Jews carry a bag of Jew gold on their necks." Stan denies it, then finally admits to it and gives Cartman the bag. Cartman then says, "Everyone also knows that Jews carry a fake bag around their neck. Give me the real Jew gold." In the end Stan does have a fake bag of Jew gold and a real one, which Cartman gets.

The show also skewers many people and organizations from the public eye, along with their respective scandals. The Family Guy does too, but only in 10 seconds flashbacks that leave you wanting more...and not in a good way. South Park, on the other hand, dedicates entire episodes to topics, giving them 30 minutes to make their joke and devour the subject at hand. If you ever see any of the following episodes on tv...WATCH:
-The episode about Scientology and Tom Cruise. After being rejected by the heads of scientology, Tom Cruise locks himself in a closet. Then, the rest of the episode is spent trying to get Tom Cruise to come out of the closet. Police with megaphones and chanting crowds cannot get him to come out. Neither can Nicole Kidman or R. Kelly, who comes down and sings a Tom Cruise version of "Trapped in the Closet."
-Hurricane Katrina episode is the Jew Gold episode. Also shows U.S. evacuation helicoptors hovering over people who are standing on top of their homes, but nobody gets picked up.
-South Park gets a new Walmart, forcing all other business to close. Everyone gets addicted to shopping there, going to buy things they don't need. This episode is great because it describes Walmarts effects on people perfectly.

-Russel Crowe Fights Around the World: Just what it sounds like...Russell Crowe and his tugboat "Tugger"(say it in an Australian accent) go around the world trying to fight different ethnicities to see what they are made of.

-An episode where the kids try to lose their baseball games intentionally so they don't make the all-stars, thus forcing them to play more games. Kyle's dad goes to the games just to fight the loudest dad on the opposing side. He starts the fight by taking of his shirt(hes hammered) and saying, "Come on. What do you want to do? Come on.."

The side characters dominate anything on the Family Guy as well. There is Token, the only black kid in town. Timmy and Jimmy are mentally handicapped characters; Timmy is in a wheelchair and says little else besides his own name. Jimmy has crutches and does stand-up comedy...which everyone dies laughing at (Side note: There is an episode involving these two called Cripple Fight.) Chef is gone now, but the parents of all the kids are funny and the teacher had a sex change operation.

In the final analysis, Family Guy just can't measure up. It has fallen off drastically since its heyday run in its first 3 seasons. South Park has gotten better as time went on. I never watched that show when it was first on; in fact I hated it. But it was on before Chappelle's Show, and I starting watching and realized it was really funny. I think a lot of you out there have written off South Park, but you should give it another chance. Its a good change of pace from the totally random, hit-or-miss moments the Family Guy provides. According to me, South Park beats Family Guy with a T.K.O. in the 4th Round, and the show is lucky it made it that long. Maybe the Family Guy will get a rematch, but its gonna have to be earned. Otherwise the belt is staying with the boys from South Park.

Watch South Park tonite at 10pm and find out. The episode is named "Cartoon Wars" so I'm assuming it will be good.


Anonymous jmarzlak said...

Kyle is the jewish one, I think, so you did get them mixed up. The wirters for Family guy look at everyday situations differently and execute the joke in perfect detail. I see your point but not everyone wants a half an hour joke. They both are good shows, but Family Guy takes the cake in my opinion. IMHO.

1:34 PM  

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