It was reported recently on BubbleBlabber that South Park was being taken off of Netflix instant stream. Being a causal fan of the show I was very disappointed hearing this news. I really wanted to get back into it and maybe rediscover why I liked it in the first place. Netflix is good for things like that. It helped start my love affair with King of the Hill and we all know how I feel about that show.
While South Park will still be available to watch for free elsewhere, I probably won’t go out of my way to seek it out. I’m not going to sit here and disparage Trey Parker and Matt Stone, far from it. To deny their genius would be folly. I stopped religiously watching the show back in 2001 when I found myself busy with college and a new show on Fox called Family Guy. I can’t tell you for certain why I stopped watching the show but I can tell you why I started.
Back in 1997 I was a newly minted 8th grade graduate ready to take the awkward plunge into high school. That last lazy summer of my childhood culminated that august when my friends and I were swimming in my friend’s backyard pool talking about the usual stuff, Marvel superheroes, how badass it was that we all got to see the Star Wars Trilogy in an actual movie theatre (that was a big deal for us back then, kids,) and of course, the Simpsons. I remember remarking to my best friend that there was a new show coming out called South Park that looked really funny. We all kinda just shrugged it off and went about talking about how cool we’re going to be when we get into high School (we weren’t), and how fun the next four years would be (jury is still out.)
A few weeks later my freshman year of high school was in full swing. South park would be airing soon and I was looking forward to it. One day, though, my anticipation strengthened when my dad came home with a little surprise for me and my brothers.
Remember zip disks? Yeah, me either, but we had a Zip drive on our old Macintosh and my dear old dad (rest in peace, pop,) bought home a zip disk from work and told us all to gather around the monitor because he had to show us something. Turns out it was the first ever footage of what would become the hit Comedy Central show. Jesus and Santa Claus duking it out over the real meaning of Christmas while Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and fatass Eric Cartman lamented about it. Of course the day is saved by figure skater Bryan Boytano and Santa and Jesus reconcile.
It was the god dam funniest thing I had seen to date.
I always knew my dad had a great sense of humor. He didn’t find Beavis and Butthead deplorable like so many other parents at the time (though he couldn’t stand The Simpsons, go figure,) and as he struggled to catch his breath from laughing so hard I knew we’d found another show to watch together.
If I recall correctly the show aired on Thursday night. So we’d all gather on the couch and laugh our behinds off at this ridiculous show set in Colorado. It was one of those little things that mean so much to a person who has lost someone important (the old man left us back in 2006). At the time you take something like this for granted but when they leave you and you have a chance to revisit it, the little things, like sitting with your dad and laughing at a show and having it be ok because he was the one who introduced you to it are more valuable than any material wealth.
We watched the first two seasons together and then I started watching by myself because the old man worked two jobs because he was something of a badass who understood what it meant to be a man and take care of his family. I never forgot those two seasons we watched together though, and I think if I ever got the chance to meet Trey Parker and Matt Stone, I’d probably give them both a big hug and thank them for creating a show that gave me fond memories of my dad.
The show is great and you should watch it, if for nothing else, watch it with someone you care about and laugh because time is short and there will be plenty of time for tears later on.
South Park, you’ve earned it.
Until we meet again,