California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

“South Park’s” deadline keeps content current

If you watch “South Park,” you already know that the creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, missed their deadline for the scheduled airing of a new episode on Wed., Oct. 16.

Shockingly, this was the first time this has happened with the show in the entire time it has been on the air, 17 seasons.

A three-hour power outage left the team without access to any of the necessary computers to complete the show on time.

The creative process for “South Park” is different from other shows in that the writing and animation process for each episode takes place in the six days leading up to the air date.

The creators keep the animation simple so they can complete each episode within their time frame and deal with the most current and controversial topics.

Is a six day creative process an extreme deadline for the show’s creators? Would it be better to give themselves a little wiggle room for events like a power outage?

“While the type of animation ‘South Park’ uses isn’t a hard process, it is painstakingly slow. For a 10-second frame, they probably have to take 240 pictures. That’s a lot of work in  six days, but it can be done,” said junior multimedia major Shane Holte.

But the creators argue that the whole point of the extreme deadline is so that they can cover topics that happened that week, not six months ago.

This is essential so that they can keep their fan base and keep the unique humor of the show going.

In a statement to Times Entertainment, Parker said, “It sucks to miss an air date, but after all these years of tempting fate by delivering the show last minute, I guess it was bound to happen.”

Others don’t necessarily agree.

“I don’t think it’s a smart decision, but it works for them. I think they could stay current in a slightly vague fashion while giving themselves a couple of weeks for each episode,” said senior Kyle Fishel.

That would entirely change the content of the show. Part of the enticement of watching “South Park” is wondering what topic they will cover that week and knowing it will be something that is not being covered anywhere else on television.

“That’s the reason I watch it,” said junior Taylor Bunker. “There’s no other show on right now that is willing to talk about current issues that actually matter and get the audience to laugh about it. Most shows center on some dramatic plotline that isn’t relevant to anyone’s lives and it gets old.”

The creators put a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves. They probably don’t sleep a lot while the show is on because they are working nonstop.

But, it means for a much more meaningful show. It creates episodes about issues that are controversial,that other shows won’t touch. This is refreshing in the one note television environment that we have right now. There is a reason it has been on for 17 seasons.

“It is a crazy work environment,” Holte said. “But, it gives such good results. I’d rather watch that, with all of its issues, than watch a reality show that doesn’t apply to my life at all.”


Sarah de la Garrigue
Staff Writer
Published Nov. 6, 2013

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