Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011

South Park, 'You're Getting Old'

Of all the episodes of satirical animated comedy about children that include an image of a piece of poop pooping on another piece of poop, this one made me cry the most. For all its vitriol, really, South Park has always had a heart, but in its episode celebrating Stan's 10th birthday, it showed something else: wisdom. As Stan hits the big 1-0 — while his parents' marriage hits the rocks — he begins to, literally, see and hear the world as crap. It was a sharp, if gross, acknowledgement of a coming-of-age danger and a pitfall the show itself faces: the temptation of easy cynicism. With no easy wrap-up to Stan's depression and ending with an entirely unironic montage set to "Landslide," South Park showed that it too can grow up — if, thankfully, not by much.