Would it be fair to say that there are too many choices when deciding what to watch? Whatever itch you need to scratch there’s a television programme for it. Want a laugh? Sitcom. Want to learn? Documentary. Want to be entertained? Drama or thriller. Need something for the kids to watch? Cartoons. Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list but when something offends the senses you don’t need to watch it.
I first watched South Park in my teens. The show appealed to me because I was at odds with old social constructs and I couldn’t explain it. Anyone who has watched South Park knows how the creators treat conventional wisdom. If you haven’t seen it, an irreverent middle finger is shown to everything and everyone. Naturally I was drawn to this. As I got older however I have continued to enjoy the show. Partly because of the lack of respect for convention but also because the social parody is funny. Everyone no matter race, religion, sexuality or political ideology is safe. This even handed approach often provides contrasting perspective to societal debates. There have been issues where I took a position and South Park has made me think otherwise. Dare I say South Park helped me grow as a person?
South Park can be offensive so it won’t sit well with everyone. I am certainly not defending some of the shock value humour. In saying that however, I think South Park is much more than an offensive hit-piece show. Social media is much maligned for fostering a hate-filled atmosphere but it grants access to people and knowledge that wouldn’t otherwise be available. I suppose the point here is that you take what you want from a show. Personally, I’ve taken a lot from South Park.