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'South Park' vs. Lucas and Spielberg: Too far?


Never mind "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report," the most welcome Comedy Central program this election season just might be "South Park."

The series has been on a roll for the past four/five seasons, and whether turning an alien invasion into an examination of immigration, or leprechauns into targets of terrorism, "South Park" has been presenting relatively reasoned examinations of cultural issues.

Until, perhaps, last night. "South Park" has missed out on skewering this summer's pop-culture events, and last night, the episode was on the attack. As dark and twisted as "The Dark Knight" was, "South Park" was just as aggressively over the top.

Returning with new episodes as part of its 12th season, "South Park" didn't level its aim at presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain (fingers are crossed for such an episode to be forthcoming). Instead, the series had Hollywood heavyweights George Lucas and Steven Spielberg directly in sights.

Oh, there was also a paranoid Cartman convinced that China's Olympic opening ceremony telegraphed an attack on the United States, but Cartman's mockery of Chinese stereotypes was almost an afterthought after Matt Stone and Trey Parker completely dismantled the worldwide hit "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

"We all saw it happen," says the handicapped Jimmy, discussing "The Crystal Skull" as if it's a personal tragedy. "Do you remember that scene with Indiana in the refrigerator? It didn't make any sense, Stan."

From there, an excited Stan sits down to watch the latest film in a dream sequence/nightmare, but soon has to warn Indiana Jones that Spielberg and Lucas are nearby. And then in a series of film parodies, Indy's pants come off.


The boys of "South Park" spend much of the episode struggling to come to grips with the raping of Indiana Jones. In its rave review of the episode, IGN wrote that "South Park" went "beyond offensive and into some sort of hyper-offensive stratosphere," all of it hilarious.

Indeed, each scene builds upon the other, with Spielberg and Lucas eventually becoming two rednecks in the woods who demand Indy "squeal like a pig" as the pair humiliates and degrades a cinematic icon. A Stormtrooper gets it even worse, prompting the "South Park" police to lock up the directors to prevent such travesties from happening again.

Not that anyone didn't see this coming. Parker and Stone tried to warn Spielberg and Lucas from even making a fourth "Indiana Jones" flick. Back in 2002, the series took the two to task for re-editing their films for the worse, hoping to prevent a ruining of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

But was continually -- and graphically -- having Spielberg and Lucas violently rape Indiana Jones too far? "He's gonna do it right there!" shouts a cartoon Spielberg in one scene, holding back Indy's hands over a pinball machine. Or was seeing a Stormtrooper completely defiled still easier to swallow than having to watch Shia LaBeouf swing like a monkey, or worse, inserting aliens into the film?

Show Tracker put a call in to Lucasfilm to try to get their thoughts (ha!), but in the meantime, do you side with "South Park," or those behind the "Crystal Skull" on this one? Coming a few days after The Times' Hero Complex wrote that "Indy 5" is still a possibility, it might be time to make your voice known. 

-- Todd Martens

Photos: http://www.southparkstudios.com/

Comments () | Archives (302)

Wow Tom Snyder, Ph.D. Nice comment you have there. Can you please explain why you feel you need to tell us you have a Ph. D.? If you even have one? Its not relevant.
But speaking of relevance, if you would actually open your mind and watch an episode of South Park, you would see that it is one of the most culturally relevant shows on TV right now.

What other show exposes, beats down, mocks and, in the end, brings light to the most important issues facing the world today?

South Park is the ONLY voice of reason is these uncomfortably politically correct times. The mainstream media should take lessons; perhaps then we would all get some 'news'.

rape is always funny anyways so i dont see what the big deal is with making jokes about it

Every episode of South Park has a warning at the beginning that states that the show should not be watched by anyone. Venture past that point at your own risk if you have the slightest bit of politically correct sensibilities. South Park and its writers are willing to provide material offensive to any and every group on an equal-opportunity basis.

Seriously, this was genius. Southpark put out there what a lot of us have been feeling since Star Wars Episode 1. Lucas and Spielberg have ruined what was once something very special to many children due to their greed. The reason that Indy and Star Wars were such great movies is because they were so creative, they were movies that were made for the love of film. The scenes were definitely disturbing (albeit hilarious!) but I know a large number of people feel the same way the kids from Southpark did.

There is a 3rd choice.

No. I liked Crystal Skull, but South Park is also hilarious and they are entitled to their opinions and to use their medium to express them, however they want.

The cartoon rape scenes were nothing compared to what they did with the most recent Indy movie. A flying refrigerator, life-like animals, aliens, and on and on.

They deserved it.

OOOOOOOOOHHHHHH South Park went to far, WAH WAH WAHHHHHH; way to defend George Spielberg and Steven Lucas, MSM tool of the liberal agenda!

I loved this episode of South Park but I can see how some people may have found the rape scenes a little too graphic, especially if you haven't watched much South Park.

Also, I hope they do not come up with an episode dealing with the election or Palin. That is way to conventional for South Park and its been done so many times by SNL.

I could be mistaken, but I thought the episode was a take on Sleepers up until the actual rape scenes kicked in. "We all saw it. There was nothing we could do." or something like that.

"There's gambling going on at Rick's... I'm shocked!"

For all you having problems with the 'graphic rape scenes' they are just satires of scenes in classic and praised movies. They are not doing anything that wasn't already shown, with actual human nudity involved (gasp!)

I loled when i saw that episode, that was so funny.

Hollywood produces films with 12 year olds being raped and calls it art. But heaven forbid somebody take a shot at hollywood icons.

it's a cartoon

There is a button on your remote control that fixes any of the listed concerns.
Just a friendly reminder of your Right to Fee Speech.

W makes a great point above. matt and trey parodied classic cinematic rape scenes. squeal like a pig! even if you never saw deliverance you have heard that line a million other times in a million other places. the writer clearly did miss this and that's a critical error because invoking these movies in this southpark ep shows great acumen on the part of messers parker and stone.

It did not go too far, it was just funny.

the algore episode was one of the most profound shows ever to air on tv. I must admit I did not like the mel gibson episode. But it was written after he went on his anti semitic rant. Freakin amazing.

South Park has had some brilliantly clever shows, but this wasn't one of them. The point was made after one parodied rape scene. After that the episode had nothing more to say.

I saw it too!!! I went into the theater, and there was my childhood hero on stage - stripped of his role-model virtues and tortured by some twisted minds. The plot was ridiculous, the directing removed any bit of grit from Indy, and the concepts were so far removed from the mythical / archaeological tradition of our society that there was nothing! Nothing at all that made the movie a fourth Indiana Jones tie to the other three. Not only was my hero raped, but he was dangled out in front off me as a carrot to lure me in so I could get mugged for $10.50 plus incidentals and see a c-grade Saturday morning cartoon. I did feel like Indy's legacy was spat on, like when your favorite admired artist has an absolute breakdown, starts smoking crack, no longer cares that anything matters, and thinks you'll give them money for garbage just because they managed to produce something cool years ago. Let's face it - these two are not the same directors that won our hearts. Hollywood and their own egos have changed them forever. The rape may be a thoroughly exaggerated metaphor, but it's valid.

I lived in Los Angeles for 15 years, driving my anemic Honda through the Hollywood Hills. I have an intense love-hate relationship with LA and the film industry. Trey and Matt are heroes of mine. Because they see it as it is. This episode was deeply satirical. I loved it. Parker and Stone are the funniest guys on the planet. But "funny" doesn't do them justice. The show is brilliant satire. Yes, brilliant. And, I'm way outside of their target demographic. SOUTH PARK makes me laugh harder than anything in any medium. In this politically correct, hypocritical world, I find their brand of comedic anarchy refreshing.

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