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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)

Even my husband who is an VERY AVID South Park fan thought this one went too far.
In our opinion, since last season, they have jumped the shark. It's over for South park.

Parker and Stone like to practice something called "Freedom of Speech", something that in today's day and age, really isn't allowed anymore on television. That is why I love the show, they aren't afraid to say what they think. And to be frank, if you people don't like it, then don't watch the show, simple as that!

Simmer down there kids. The beauty of South Park has always been their willingness to take on anyone or anything. They are equal opportunity insulters, which is why they attrack fans of all kinds.

Firstly, let's get this straight. They were raping Indiana Jones (the character), not Harrison Ford (the actor and actual person). Big big difference. If you can't see the difference, then that is the real problem here. Get off of your high horses and smile a little.

It was hilarious even if a little over the top. If you think about the damage they could have inflicted on our economy, the presidential race, and everything else that is going on in the world, I liked how they went in a completely different direction. If you don't like it...don't watch it. Simple really.

South Park has always been satire based on putting the powerful in situations they normally could not be placed in live action-the beauty of animation. Let's not make out that the creators have a moral responsibility EVERY WEEK to do a "BIG" issue- Raiders of the Lost Ark was a big issue to them, and they felt-ahem-strongly about it, apparently. The homage was deliverance and the accused was well placed; yes it made me squeamish as well, but their whole point was to communicate what they felt was being done to a great piece of art, a great character, and a an american icon, for simply the sake of wringing the last dollar out. The episode was well written and I don't thin it is such a bad thing to criticize the people in the whitest ivory towers of all. As the article stated, or some article stated, they were well warned with the 2002 episode not to do it again, weren't they? These guys have a powerful voice in our culture after more than a decade of success, believe it or not, and if they have a pet issue, they can spend a little of their artistic capital to put it out. Successful actors in hollywood do it all the time in relation to politics.

Offensive? It's a cartoon. The graphic nature is in itself, funny because of the medium. Seeing paper cutouts doing that is hysterical. Remember the "graphic" sex scene in the brilliant "Team America"? The very fact that it was puppets was the joke.

When I read the link on Drudge I thought the outcry was going to be about the getup Butters and Cartman had on. I was in tears laughing.

I fully agree with Norman Lear who said in an interview that South Park was the funniest show on t.v.

About the election, be careful what you wish for. I hear snide comments about "Palin" and company but South Park is the most politically conservative show on television. Remember the Starbucks episode? (Big Corporations are good!), the rain forest? Hippies? the unspeakably brilliant global warming episode? I think their take on the election might be a bit different than expected.

Hey Walt: Jimmy and Timmy are both handicapped.

It was one of the best South Park episodes I've ever seen. Spielberg and Lucas are raping anything they get their hands on.

Hey, this is good stuff. I think that the people who are offended are the REAL hateful ones.

Remember when Elvis was to risque?! Remember when Jim Morrison saying "higher" on tv was too risque?! This is not glorifying rape, it is satire. South Park is one of the only shows that has the guts to really deliver a satire that stings!

I do admit, this was not my favorite episode, but I did think it was funny! Please...no more Indiana Jones movies!! They'll just be ruined even more!!

LOL yet according to the main stream media..It would of been fine if they had substituted the republican candidates...right??? (wink wink)

Funniest. Episode. Ever.

Go Too Far??
I didn't see the crystal skull so, didn't catch the allegory. As far as the content of the episode, it is clearly satire as it is rediculous that the two filmmakers would want to sodomize Indiana Jones.

That´s very funny, but I do not understand why so many people are funs of South Park, but anyway thanks for the article!

Having to just watch "the accused" in a women in legal studies class made this episode even more hillarious! it is an EXACT spoof of the film....So funny. South Park = the best show on TV...has been now for many many years. Good to see that they are STILL making quality work, unlike speilberg and lucas (money whores$$$$$$$)

did you see Indy 4?
i think they guys went easy on them. it was a joke of a movie.
really, it was a bad spoof of the first films.

Think of...Aristocrats!!

South Park has been offending people since it was first created. The show obviously uses shock value and exaggerations to drive its point. Stone and Parker have, on many occassions, described how everyone has the chance of being made fun of...even crudely. This may bother people, but at least it keeps the playing field open.

The minute you think that South Park is on your side in terms of issues and values...Wham!...you've just been dealt a blow that pokes fun at you and what you believe in. This is the job of a great comedian... But, at least you're left with a smile on your face...or maybe even feeling guilty for laughing.

Is rape funny??? No! But, is it not a comedian's job to take what is not considered funny and somehow find a way of making it funny, so that we can all have a good chuckle?

I believe the joke, "The Aristocrats", sums my point up since the joke is meant to tackle social taboos concerning incest, zoophilia, pedophilia, murder, etc. which are considered appaulling, yet when presented as a joke, people can't help put to laugh hysterically. If you haven't watched the movie, "The Aristocrats", then I suggest you take some time to watch it since the comedians do a much better job of explaining why such a disgusting joke could be so damn funny! :)

Lucas & Spielberg got owned by a cartoon, ironic. Cut yer losses & be a man. Trey Parker & Matt Stone will not apologize for this, and that's why they don't need instructions to know how to rock.

Southpark mocks Christianity, Islam, & practically every other world religion...yet suddenly they've gone "over the top" by mocking Lucas & Spielberg?

Your reality check just bounced.

It was funny. It's satire, boundry pushing? Yes in bad taste? Sure. But again being in bad taste is not a sin. The show is aired at 10:00PM on a school night. The made a valid point very creatively. I laughed out loud several times.

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