10th Dec2009

Hey Star Trek! dijoo have yerself A TIME!?

by jerad.formby

South Park Is Indeed Fun For Star Trek Fans

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are the creators of a cartoon show on Comedy Central known as South Park. From its beginnings to its current run, the show meets with near equal parts of praise and criticism.

Critics declare the show to be too vulgar to be worth watching. This attack on the surface seems incredibly valid as it features four profane elementary school children who spend a lot of their time insulting each other with words on this side of Stand By Me. In addition, the show has violence, vomit, and crude sexual humor.

Lovers of the show celebrate its unique point of view. The show can even be read as ambitious because it challanges the way people think –even though it disquises itself as popular entertainment.

Sound Familiar?

South Park and Star Trek have a lot in common

South Park never hides its opinion or agenda from the viewer. It has a well-earned reputation for not endorsing a liberal point-of-view and not endorsing a conservative one either. Its creators intend for no party, cause, person, group, or really anybody to feel safe from their satirical eye.

Pop culture icons aplenty are in the creators’ crosshairs. They had rips in place for Kanye West before he became such an open target with his VMA performance. The South Park characters have parodied MTV’s Sweet Sixteen, the Jonas Brothers, and the Death of Micheal Jackson. When Trey Parker walked into the GAP and saw a standee of Paris Hilton, he couldn’t use his show to protest fast enough.

some might think nothing is safe from South Park

And fast they are. A finished episode of South Park can go from concept to broadcast in as little as four days. This was possibly made the most clear to the public at large when South Park had a response to Terri Schiavo case in 2005. Their stance didn’t side with either party, but chose instead to point out the sadness of turning a private matter into public spectacle.

The episode aired 12 hours before Shiavo died. The episode also marked South Park’s first Emmy win. Something its creators take in stride and have even made fun of in their own unique way.

South Park doesn’t pride itself on being topical. Their first goal is to make people laugh. There are times when being topical is the best way to get that laugh and in some instances give people time to think about an important and strangely human issue.

Sort of like another show we all support.

Using children as their main characters allows South Park to criticize the choices of adults and offer up more simplistic vantage points. Often the show will argue that we adults make our lives unnecessarily complicated at times.

Quite often the characters will sum up a moral that they’ve learned over the course of the adventure. Sometimes the moral is silly and other times the moral is truly thoughtful –the unpredictable nature of these morals is most welcome because South Park isn’t here to be pigeonholed.

The issues South Park tackles range from the election of 2000 (remember the recounts?) to the 9/11 Conspiracy to E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial 20th Anniversary Edition.

Even If It Ain't True It's A GREAT STORY for SOUTH PARK and LUCASFILM

From its inception, Trey Parker and Matt Stone have insisted on developing each episode themselves. It’s important to them that the show reflects their own point of view on the human condition. It could be argued that’s the consistency that many other modern cartoons lack.

So it’s easy to see that South Park is run by a couple of nerds. Hey Star Trek! will go one further and suggest that its creators are more than nerds. They’re Trekkies!

Star Trek freckles South Park in unique ways that suggest more love than given Star Wars or any other popular property. In their second season episode “Roger Ebert Needs to Lay Off The Fatty Foods”, South Park fans were treated to a plotline taken from Star Trek’s own “Dagger of the Mind.”

To the uninitiated South Park fan, the episode plays fine without the references to Captain Kirk’s own adventure on Tantalus V, but you can see that Trek fans get a secondary experience.

The Storyline Has A Lot In Common With the Star Trek Plot and even uses some dialog from the show

Other episodes do not introduce Trek to the same extent. References like the missing children database at the dairy (that computer says “working” while processing a request), the code to pull an episode of Family Guy at FOX (same as destroying the Enterprise), or Stan’s dad screaming “NO!” and smashing the china cabinet (as Picard smashed the display case in front of Lily in First Contact) are much more subtle.

At least one example is so subtle that it almost escapes the notice of even the most rabid Star Trek fan. In the episode “Hooked on Monkey Phonics”, the boy Kyle becomes smitten with a young girl named Rebecca. She is home-schooled and so seems very alien to Kyle.

When it comes to reasoning the differences between home school and public school, the scene we get is right out of Star Trek’s “The Gamesters of Triskelion.”

Trey Parker and Matt Stone Reference Star Trek In Shockingly Subtle Ways

This is a show that is sculpted by Star Trek fans. Star Trek is never made fun of or mocked. The Star Trek serves to support the comedy and isn’t on hand to be satirized like so many other topics (nerdy and otherwise).

Many a Star Trek fan wants his or her Trek to come with a message. Sometimes this is the yardstick by which they sort the good from the bad. Theses messages are obvious in some episodes. In others they might require more examination. And in still in others, there might be no message at all.

Trek at it’s best is said to be a commentary on our times and can be a humble reminder for how we behave and how we treat others.

The same can be said for South Park. It’s true that its crude concept might be a turn off, but if one chooses to dig a little deeper, many of the stories are actually rewarding. Despite some of their titles.

The Titles Can Be As Off Putting as The Language Contained In Each Story but then again

No matter how vile or offensive the show gets. No matter how hard it pushes your personal tastes and tolerances, it’s important to not lose the fact that at its core are people who genuinely love each other. The love of friends is represented. The love of family is represented.

family values on south park might be strange but love is always represented

Just like another show we all know.

South Park and Star Trek Just Keep Coming And We Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

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  • http://apizzagirl.blogspot.com PizzaGirl

    I realized this morning that even when there’s not a moral, South Park seems to ask, “What the f*** is wrong with people?” where Star Trek chooses to show what’s right with humanity, the potential that we have.

  • http://twitter.com/super_spock jerad.formby

    @apizzagirl

    Yeah, South Park isn’t demonstrating our amazing human potential –but it does suggest there ought to be something “better” in all of us. This “better quotient” will seem so obvious to the kids of South Park and to we viewers.

  • Steve

    South Park does what few other shows do; shows the inherent stupidity in taking an extreme position, whether it be on the right or left. As a fence-sitting moderate, I find that highly rewarding.

  • smxp

    “Star Trek chooses to show what’s right with humanity, the potential that we have.”

    That is one element I hope is not lost on future Trek movies. I am all for excitement, action movies, great effects, conflict (ala DS9) etc. What has always appealed to me is Trek consistently shows the potential for people. Trek fans have always been a different breed, friendlier, more accepting, welcoming, and open. That is what I enjoyed about the Trek conventions the most.

  • http://www.ledgrowlightlab.com Jayden Thomas

    southpark is great! the best cartoon that i have ever watched:.~

  • http://www.crosscountryrunningshoeslab.com Cross Country Running Shoes ·

    when you want sarcasm, then Southpark is perfect for you ::

  • http://movies.cheappayasyougo.info Delia Kuning

    best yet Here’s some thing to make you smile: Thought for the day? : The Killer Ducks are coming!