South Park FAQ by Dave Thompson

There are few modern animated television shows that could survive over a decade and a half and remain as20792007 funny… or as stupid… or as sick… or as depraved… today as when they started. Even fewer can claim to cater to “mature” audiences, while their critics complain that everything about the show is immature. And fewer still where, for the first decade or so, one of the main characters was killed off every week. Then returned, no worse for wear, seven days later. That, however, is the world of South Park, and this is a book about that world. A journey through the lives, times, and catastrophes that have established the tiny mountain town of South Park, Colorado, as America’s favorite dysfunctional community. A voyage into a universe where Barbra Streisand is reborn as a Japanese monster movie; where Kentucky Fried Chicken is a registered drug; where Canada is forever on a footing for war; and where we discover that even feces love Christmas. From Zebulon Pike to Chef, from Brian Boitano to Mel Gibson, from “Super Best Friends” to South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, it’s all covered in South Park FAQ . Featuring A-Z coverage of the all the characters readers have come to know and the stories behind the episodes, it also includes an episode guide and an appendix of all of the songs featured in South Park. Nothing is sacred and nobody is safe. Even physical and emotional disabilities are just another banana skin for someone to slip on, and the term “politically correct” has been translated into “oh good, you’re getting annoyed.” It is a place where … you get the picture. This is not Bambi ! –

From personal experience, I’ve found people either love South Park or hate it.  I happen to be one of the people who enjoy it, something  my teenage sons’ friends find both pretty cool and little scary.  They’re even more shocked that my favorite character is Cartman.  Yes, South Park has offended just about everyone in some way, shape, or form, but it offends equally and without prejudice.

That being said, when I saw this book on NetGalley, I thought it would give me some laughs and a kind of ‘behind the scenes’ look at some of the episodes – and it did in some places.  I was reminded of some episodes I’d forgotten, learned what happened to Chef, read about all the creative ways Kenny was killed, and how South Park was created – an interesting story.  However, although it was obvious the author had done extensive research and really knew his topic, there seemed to be an abundance of information that went beyond the book description – things I skimmed through that felt more like information overload.

Someone who is a true, die-hard fan of South Park and interested in a more broad perspective of this show and the impact it has made on society would likely devour this book.  Although a fan of South Park, I watch it purely for entertainment and was looking for more of a light-hearted read.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.

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