I was rather surprised by the season opener for ‘South Park’, entitled ‘The Ring’. I was expecting the Jonas Brothers to get ripped to shreds and ultimately have something really horrible happen to them, but all they got was a kick in the mouth from Mickey Mouse.
Surprisingly, they were actually portrayed as the good guys; they were just a wholesome trio of brothers who didn’t want to be sex symbols or purity ring peddlers; they just wanted to play their music. ‘South Park’ really didn’t personally attack them at all, other than by making their music less-than-great and citing an excessive use of the word “Bay-baaay.” Instead, the show set its sights on something else: Disney.
It was great that ‘South Park’ called Disney out for somewhat trying to sell sex to young girls, but an over-inflated rampaging Mickey just wasn’t all that shocking, but some people might be a little upset that the tween purity rings trend was so thoroughly attacked; kids in the show who wore purity rings were transformed into boring, almost-lifeless married couples who enjoyed watching ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (now the attack on this show, I really enjoyed) who were brought out of the trance when the rings were removed. I really did enjoy naïve Butters’ reaction to the explanation for what purity rings are, too (the explanation being that they make it so you won’t have sex or do anything naughty); he stated, “I thought that was a wedding ring.”
‘South Park’ did try to stir up a little bit of controversy to let viewers know it hasn’t gone soft on them by having Kenny die from syphilis and thoroughly thrashing women, but the Jonas Brothers survived with their innocence intact. Perhaps Matt and Trey are closet Jo Bro fans.
But while ‘South Park’ didn’t stir up too much trouble, another animated series definitely did. The Parents Television Council (PTC) filed an indecency complaint with the FCC over a recent episode of ‘Family Guy’, stating that a gay orgy, bestiality, and replacing milk with horse sperm was going just a little too far. This isn’t really big news, however, because the conservative Christian group files many complaints against many shows; I’m just surprised they didn’t cite the show’s suggestion that the gay gene is real as another reason to slap it on the wrist (maybe we’re making progress!) ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane has dismissed the group in the past, saying that they spend all their time hating people (among some more graphic things), and that he’s an atheist anyway, so what would he know about good Christian values?
I do like a little controversy in my cartoons, and I appreciate things like ‘Family Guy’ letting Americans know that the gay gene is real and ‘American Dad’ comparing trans fat to marijuana (basically, if pot is illegal, trans fat, which is way worse for us and is contributing to obesity and a number of diseases that are killing people, should be illegal, too). But there’s something in these adult cartoons that I’m really starting to miss: the laughs.