Thursday, November 17, 2011

South Park - Season 15

I'm at a crossroads with South Park, as I am with a number of other shows. It used to be I could just pick a show I'm interested in and watch every single episode, but now that I'm working full time it's harder to justify that. There has to be something more to keep me watching, or else I might have to stop watching a show before it actually ends its run on television. I've already done it a few times, and I'm sure I'll do it again. It doesn't take a lot for a show to stay in my rotation - all it has to do is be consistently very entertaining, or compel me to stay interested in its plot or characters. South Park does very little in the way of ongoing character development or story elements, so it has to rely on the former, and I'm not sure South Park does that. With the news that the show will continue to keep running through at least 2016, should I keep watching, or should I stop while I'm ahead and be glad to have gotten 15 mostly enjoyable years out of it?

The problem with the show now is that in its heyday, South Park was special because it was shocking and original. Both of which are hard to maintain after being on the air for over a decade. It's not that the show is afraid to tackle delicate current events, now - it was pretty much expected for them to react to the Penn State scandal, and they did so last night with a character who constantly cracked inappropriate jokes about it. It's just we're so used to their lampooning of pop culture what's in the news that it's not really fresh anymore. It eventually falls to our affection for the characters to keep us watching, and they're still an entertaining group, and there were actually a few episodes that teased at doing something different with them, like the cliffhanger where Stan's parents separate (again) or the one where Cartman has to move on from his doll collection. But while I enjoyed most of this season's episodes, I'm not sure if I still care enough to keep watching, especially when I know there definitely isn't any sort of end goal in sight. It's not like it's a terrible sacrifice to give up a half hour on fourteen Wednesday nights every year though, so I guess we'll see how I feel later on.

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