The End of South Park?

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I know, I know, we’re primarily a video games site. But we do review movies and TV series, and this bit of TV news personally hit me hard.

The residents of South Park have managed to defend their town from every kind of threat – aliens, cults, zombies, killer turkeys, Wal-Mart, immigrants from the future, Cthulhu, people from Jersey, and 200 pissed-off celebrities – but the latest episode posed a danger they may not be able to avoid: the cynicism of the show’s creators.

South Park usually ends with some kind of opinion or warped message, but in the latest episode, titled “You’re Getting Old”, that message may be that the creators have had enough.

In the episode, Stan is diagnosed with a severe case of cynicism, and begins to realise that everything, from ice cream sundaes to L.A. Noire, is crap. Meanwhile, his parents declare they are unhappy, and Sharon’s speech to Randy at the end holds a clear second meaning, regarding the fate of the show itself.

Sharon: “How much longer can we keep doing this? It’s like the same sh*t just happens over and over, then in a week it just all resets until it happens again. Every week it’s kind of the same story in a different way, but it just keeps getting more and more ridiculous.”

Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have been at it for 15 years, and their contract with Comedy Central requires seven more episodes, to be aired in September/October. After that, there is a chance they will renew for another season or two, but unfortunately, it seems they might not want to.

The episodes this season have poked fun at Apple, the royal wedding, EA Sports, and this generation’s music, but they haven’t been as sharp or focused as in previous years. The signs of fatigue have been there.

But if this is the final stretch, one thing we can be sure of is an epic series finale. These guys have shown a knack for fantastic narrative writing on a large scale, evident in the regular multi-part episodes of South Park (such as Imaginationland and the 200th episode Mohammed controversy), and the 1999 film based on the show. A final multi-part episode could see off the series in a spectacular fashion. In the past they have even expressed interest in doing another film.

It’s going to be a long few months until the show resumes, to find out the fate of one of the smartest, best-written comedies on television.

 

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  • Daniel

    You just posted exactly what crossed my mind during the latest episode. I’m glad others are on the same page.

    • Zowwerz

      same

  • Christine

    This is exactly the way I took it. I didn’t realise they were contracted for another 7 episodes, I was thinking this was going to be the last one!!!!

  • Luke Halliday

    The end of this episode made me feel really depressed, what with Stans parents breaking up, Stan losing all his friends and leaving South Park for a new home. It was quite depressing.

  • Cellophane Girl

    Well 15 years is an incredibly long time to be focusing so much energy on one project. Yes I know they do other things as well, but I can see where they would want to be done with SP. I’ve noticed there were a lot less episodes that I really just loved in the last few seasons. They aren’t bad, but you could tell the quality was starting to slip.
    I’d like to see them do something else. Plus it’s better to quit while you are ahead instead of becoming total stale and forced out.

  • I was so sad when I watched this. I just really got into South Park and now it might be ending?!

  • Marc

    I got the same message too. And after religiously watching for more than 10 years I think it’s safe to say this is likely to be the last season.

    It has also been the worst season in my opinion and maybe they felt that too.

    It was really sad! I love south park….everything else is so shittie

  • Patches

    South Park is like the Simpsons. It’s long past its due. The series has been stale for three or four seasons.

  • I would have to disagree there, Patches. Season 10-14 were probably the best ones! Particularly 13, every single episode there was gold! You had the Japanese whaling one, the Gay Fish, the Coon, and changing the meaning of the word “Fag” to Harley riders.

    They have been doing other things, they have a play on Broadway at the moment that was nominated for 14 Tony awards. I’ll follow them through whatever else they end up doing after South Park.

  • Chris

    This article is a joke. Not only are they contracted for 2 more seasons, but any avid South Park fan knows that seasons 7-10 were unarguably the best, everything done after has simply been a decent shadow of itself. The show has come to terms it’s getting old and repetitive and is clearly changing its format.

  • Tyler

    What an ill-informed article. Do some research.

  • Travis Bruno

    It was definitely a great way for them to end the mid-season finale but I know that they have to do at least another seven episodes in the later part of the year and that they are also under contract until 2013 with the series. So perhaps this could be a restructuring of the series or something to help change it up for when they start it again later this year.

  • Actually, Comedy Central and Matt & Trey are yet to sign a contract beyond this year. Many are misquoting a contract that was signed in 2007 that had them producing episodes “through 2011”. That only includes the 7 episodes left this year.

    The only official source I could find for two more seasons was Hollywood Reporter, but that is apparently also a misquote of the 2007 deal. The show’s future is still up in the air.

  • Chris

    The 2007 deal was worth $75 million. The Hollywood Reporter states the new deal is worth even more than that. Where is your source on the apparent misquote?

  • Ok, did a bit of sleuthing and emailed Comedy Central PR directly for an official response. And yes, they recently signed a new deal for 2 more years.

    http://www.capsulecomputers.com.au/2011/06/south-park-not-ending/

  • it’s called dvd/bluray people 😛

  • Zowwerz

    😮 no way

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