Is there any smarter or funnier show on TV these days than South Park?

I defy anyone out there to think of one.

The Simpsons is still good for some yuks now and then, but it’s basically a shell of its former self, sputtering in its last gasps as it gradually slows down more and more and has to be taken out back and shot . Futurama, in the years that it was new, was a mite better than its contemporary SImpsons, but still if you were lucky you might squeeze a few big laughs out of it in the course of half an hour.

At one time The Family Guy was so funny that you could safely expect to have aching sides by the end of each episode, but after only 18 months or so, it either ran out of steam or was retooled, reworked and interfered with by Fox to death, and so just sorta deflated into something that was only occassionally entertaining .

But the folks from South Park, for a full six years now, are still at the top of their game as far as I’m concerned, managing to consistently surprise and delight with each new episode.

They’re in the process now of rounding out their sixth season (Comedy Central works on a different schedule than network TV, staggering blocs of new episodes throughout the year so as to compete with networks when they’re showing reruns), and the last two new episodes are perfect examples of the reasons the show is so damn good .

The episode two weeks ago savaged the sentimentality of much of our current media culture and our attitudes about the innocence of children, also poking fun at the bathos surrounding 9/11 while never seeming unduly disrespectful. And just two nights ago, a priceless intertwining of the Lord of the Rings and hardcore porn . Yeah, that’s right. LotR and porn. And what consistently makes it really funny rather than just sort of smart-alecky clever is the way the writers actually take their subjects seriously while still being absurd. You can tell that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are actually big fans of LotR, and so are able to make an episode where the One Ring is a hardcore porn tape that must be cast back into the video store from whence it came.

Hilarious stuff.

last update : 26-5-2018

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