South Park – absurdist humor or reflection of American culture? essay sample



For nearly a decade, South Park animated TV series continues to strike the audience with foul language, absurdist humor, and brutal jokes concerning each hot-button event in America and in the whole world. More than 20 seasons have been created since 1997 when the series first went on air. Even now South Park has quite a large viewership, and in 2013, the show was ranked as one of the Tenth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time according to TV Guide magazine.

At first sight, an animation depicting four schoolboys from Colorado and their adventures provides no danger. However, this cartoon is designed exceptionally for adults and not only due to the rude and sometimes disgusting manner of presentation. To apprehend South Park correctly, television audience must be aware of social and political realities taking place in America and worldwide. Wars, Olympic Games, religion, drug addiction, bureaucracy, and many other urgent topics are enlightened by means of farce and provocation in this show. Its writers pursued the aim to evoke viewers’ skepticism regarding problems which many of them treat lopsided.

Besides global issues, South Park touches upon ambiguous moral problems. Motives and actions of the main characters impersonate average American citizens and their traditional approaches to solving urgent issues. Thus, the show induces viewers to use their critical thinking to define whether the characters act right or wrong. Because of the eccentric and radical implementation, this idea may get lost to a certain part of the audience, but people who appreciate South Park find it perfectly clear. Viewers either love or hate this satirical cartoon, but no one remains indifferent.

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