One of my favorite shows for a long time has been South Park. As many know, this is a satirical comedy focused around 4 young students in South Park Colorado. What makes this show truly unique however is its ability to reflect (and ridicule) social issues. This is possible due to the fact that each south park episode is made in under a week. Trey Parker, and Matt Stone are the creators, and writers of the show. Along with their staff, they go through the entire storyboarding, and writing process the week before the episode airs. This makes their subject matter very relevant to current events.
For example in a recent episode entitled “Faith Hilling” south park tackles the Internet meme culture. They show how people are willing to do seemingly stupid things to go along with trends, and fads. In the show, the protagonists perform actions such as “Faith Hilling” where you pull your shirt away from your chest to resemble breasts, or “Taylor Swifting” where you drag your butt along the ground like a dog. These of course are parodies of real Internet memes such as planking, and owling (taking pictures while laying like a plank, or perching like an owl respectively).
Another recent episode addresses college basketball players and the franchises that make money around them while providing no compensation. They do this by having the protagonists create a “crack baby athletic association” and present it as parallel to college sports teams. They say they are providing a service to the crack babies (entertainment, companionship) in the same way colleges provide an education to their athletes, which excuses them from providing any compensation to the athletes. They go even further to propose that this treatment is comparable to slavery, which however ridiculous, maintains somewhat of a point. Overall, each of these episodes manages to have an intelligent political commentary, while still being laced with crude, often shocking humor that appeals too much of today’s youth.