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Reviews TV

South park: A Masterclass in Comedy and Film making

In the year 1969, a bunch of British comedians, with the help of clever satire, silly humor, a deep meaning, irreverence paved the way for modern comedy. Now there have been many works of art, which have replicated this with perfection like, Rick and Morty, The Simpsons and even Deadpool to some extent. However, the tv show that we will talk about today, isn’t just any tv show. It’s number 33 on “Rolling Stones 100 TV Shows of all time. It’s currently going to have its 24th season on the air in September and still are fresh and relevant to this date. We are going to talk about a show set in a small town of Colorado, created by the geniuses, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, called South Park. 

A show so controversial, the banned episodes are worth the hype. Their worst episodes are probably better than any great episode by an average sitcom. Their humor hits the right Pythonesque marks and has even given a room for more comedies like it to emerge and think how life is. (I.e Rick and Morty). 

However, I feel like it’s not just a comedy, but one of the best masterclasses on film making. Regardless of being worth $500 million each, they still don’t get recognized at the same level as someone like Martin Scorsese, who is also a legend, but these guys also deserve the same status. Let’s analyze as to why these python heads deserve as much recognition as any legendary filmmaker 

Premise 

South Park

The premise is pretty simple. It’s a show which shows the crazy happenings in the world from the eyes of a bunch of 4th graders. It shows us how adults try to make sense in life when there exactly isn’t any meaning to it. It stays up to date with its political affairs and uses satire to a level so extreme it makes it silly yet so layered at the same time.  

Its crude, lude, blasphemous and very rude. But it hasn’t stopped the world or critics from calling it the greatest show of all time and showering it with love. The comedy is one of the smartest and should be used by filmmakers more often. Their ability to take on subjects people wouldn’t and talk about topics people are afraid to talk about is what drives the show. 

Southpark’s bold choices to show that animals can have homosexual tendencies, you can be both right and wrong to being PC in today’s times, you can be religious and be genuinely caring and can be an atheist and be an asshole. Usually, people would like to joke about something that is trending. These people would make a different version of the joke. 

Their premises mostly include famous people doing random shit which makes them look stupid even if they think that what they are doing is some kind of a genius (i.e Mel Gibson) 

They take simple stories and make complex characters and premises out of it and even till this date they have been doing it so well. 

Animation  

South Park characters

Southpark has a very distinct style of animation, unlike some lazy shows (ahem.. Paradise PD.. ahem). 

Southpark animation isn’t the world’s best or most aesthetic animation, or at least wasn’t initially. In the first episode, Trey Parker and Matt Stone did the whole episode with the help of stop motion animation. They had the option of doing a different type of animation which could be considered better by a lot but sticking to this animation made it more funny, hilarious, distinct and faster to deliver within 6 days. They usually have 6 days to deliver an episode, and unlike Family Guy or Simpsons, Southpark gets written & animated, and sent over to network – Comedy Central by Wednesday. The next working day, they start over again. Creating such a distinct animation and making almost exact look-alikes of celebrities with this animation is truly commendable. 

Characters and voice 

South Park Main Characters

People usually have talents of doing certain voices in shows. Trey Parker and Matt Stone almost voice all the characters. 

Other than having an amazing storyline, the characters in the show truly remain with you. The 4 young men Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny are a treat to watch. Every one of them has something exceptional that separates them from different children around them. Stan is a standard child, who some way or another needs to hurl at whatever point he sees somebody he likes.

Kyle is the main Jewish child around, Cartman is by all accounts dismally fat and Kenny is incredibly poor.

Other than these shallow qualities, they vary likewise in the sort of people they are.

  • Stan is this cool person that individuals love to spend time with.
  • Kyle is caring and cherishes his younger sibling Ike(even however Ike’s adopted).
  • Cartman is a racist, hippie detesting egomaniac, and Kenny who can be known as a deviant of sorts, as in a scene he should have passed on from autoerotic suffocation.

Aside from the significant characters, even the optional characters are given enough weightage in the show. Some of them, like Butters, had their own one of a kind episode. 

Other great characters include Randy Marsh, Stan’s father who is almost as irrational as Cartman, Mr. Mackey, a bobblehead who tries to be a smart counselor and of course Mr./Mrs. Garrison. 

Other celebrities like Tom Cruise, Kanye West and Mel Gibson, etc are all voiced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. 

Bill Hader, April  Stewart, and Eliza Schneider mostly do the other voices.

They aren’t imitators, they do have their own touch in every imitation, yet it feels real. 

Conclusion 

South Park Conclusion Review

More than a review, this is more of a love letter. This happens to be a thank you note.  Comedy has been a prevalent subject matter to talk about since the time of Aristotle. A lot of people use comedy to tell stories about the “and then” theory. These geniuses have taught a lot to filmmakers, like the “but” and “therefore” theory. This is me saying Thank you to South Park and its creators, for making me fall in love with film making and comedy. People should look at this show more and get inspired. Rick and Morty and other shows have achieved greatness, But somehow South Park will always hit the right notes and always selflessly make this show for themselves and still make a huge audience laugh.  

If you still don’t want to watch it you will have to respect their authoritah.” 

Categories
TV

Paradise PD Season One: Why Would You Rip-off Family Guy In The First Place?

There should be an award for everyone who went through this season.  

Paradise PD is an animated Netflix original created and written by Roger Black and Waco O’Guin, who are the Sajid-Farhad of the West, only way crasser. Now, I agree with the fact that comedy is subjective, but for something at least be seen subjectively, there needs to be content. The creators of this show had also created the awful Brickleberry, which was very much a rip off from seasons 6-10 of Family Guy. Paradise PD sadly ripped off the worst seasons (season 12 onwards) of an otherwise mediocre show and tried to sell it as funny. Now I have forever been a fan of Adult animation. In the 90’s Tv shows such as South Park, The Simpsons, Duckman, Ren, and Stimpy, Bevis and Butthead pushed the whole concept of adult cartoon genre. In the early 2000s, it was Futurama, King of the Hill and even to some extent, Family Guy (the earlier seasons). In the 2010s, we saw Rick and Morty and Bojack Horseman take a completely different turn on adult animation. If you noticed, all these shows had pushed the animation genre to different extents. Paradise PD is a lazy version of Family Guy, with a few talented actors. 

Story (or lack thereof) 

Remember when people used to be excited about Netflix Originals?  

Shows like these, make Riverdale look like The Breakfast Club and the jokes make Sajid Khan look like Mel Brooks. 

The plot is weird. A commissioner starts regretting his son’s existence after he accidentally shoots him on the balls while he is having intercourse with his wife. The son joins the same department to prove to his Father that he can make him proud. Meanwhile, there is a town that is supplying Argyle Meth to the entire town and it is up to the Paradise PD, to find the killer. 

Now, you might be asking how and why any of this is related? It’s not. Things just happen in this show for the sake of it. Unlike the South park strategy ( moving the story and narrative forward with but, therefore, so, that leads to) it takes the easier and lazy approach to go with narrative (using and then to move the story forward) which another reason why Family Guy isn’t considered funny anymore. 

The dialogues of the show are just used to crack jokes. They don’t move the plot forward. Regardless of whatever your view might be of comedy, no one will ever talk like this in the wildest situation possible. The dialogues sound like acid being spewed at each other. They are just crass jokes for the sake of it. Even when I am with my friends and in the most comfortable environment, I won’t talk like this. 

The whole plot is completely screwed and doesn’t connect in any way. Oh, and the easiest plot point they could use, make the black guy or the guy who is the most decent the villain in the end. 

 Characters 

 Now, we can never talk about stories without layered characters. However, that’s not the case over here. It’s a known fact that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but we still couldn’t follow, who they wanted to flatter. 

Paradise PD has taken some of the best voice actors they could. Tom Kenny ( known for giving small voice roles in shows like Rick and Morty and Rocko’s Modern life and also for playing SpongeBob SquarePants) and Sarah Chalke  (known for her role in How I Met Your Mother and for playing Beth Smith in Rick and Morty) are the most known voices in this show. However, even their Talent couldn’t save this shows lazy writing and dialogue delivery. 

Let’s start naming the characters, shall we? 

Chief Randall Crawford is like Carter Pewterscmidt, only more sexually frustrated and has a certain addiction to Testosterone Patches and Heroin. 

Gina Jabowski is like Glenn Quagmire, but she is a female and more violent and has a thing for Overweight men. 

Dusty Marlow is Like Peter Griffin, only less sexual and way more stupid. 

Bullet is like Brian Griffin, but way more of an addict. 

Kevin Crawford is like Chris Griffin. Period. 

Gerald Fitzgerald is like Cleveland Brown, but eviler. 

These character descriptions are lazy, but so is the show. Besides, these are all that the characters have to offer. 

Animation 

Paradise PD Review

When people used to experiment with animation back in the ’90s and early 2000’s they had solid reasons for it. South Park animation was to show the absurdity and initially, the creators didn’t have a lot of budgets. Simpsons used to make them more noticeable. But all the animations show a certain level of creativity and surrealism. This is a blatant copy that has no depth. I don’t even think this animation has any dimensions to it. It’s exactly like Brickleberry. 

Now, some could argue that they probably didn’t have the budget, but that’s hardly the case. South Park didn’t have any budget but today their animation has become iconic. King of the Hill used low budgeted animation but made it at least look like its two dimensional. 

Also, Paradise PD had the backing of Netflix. 

 Conclusion 

 Season 2 is going to come out on March 6th and is promising a Brickleberry Crossover (yay.) 

Now reading through a lot of comments, people have said that they watch this show whenever they get intoxicated and that’s why they find it funny. I completely get that people have an interest in this and it’s a completely different genre. Paradise PD was marketed as a show that just has offensive material.  But that doesn’t mean it’s well done.  Even such a form of art has its appreciation and even a few classic movies. But there will forever be a difference between The Big Lebowski and Pineapple Express. They are both good, people will always know which work of art is superior.  Being edgy doesn’t mean you are right.

I would like to end this with a very famous quote from Jason Alexander from the show Duckman. 

“Comedy should provoke! It should blast through prejudices, challenge preconceptions! Comedy should always leave you different than when it found you. Sure, humour can hurt, even alienate, but the risk is better than the alternative: a steady diet of innocuous, child-proof, flavourless mush! Demand to be challenged, to be offended, to be treated like thinking, reasoning adults. And raise your children to be the same. Don’t let a comedian, a network, a Congressional committee, or an evil genius take away your freedom to laugh at whatever you want.”

 

 Paradise PD, however, is not that. 

Categories
So Bad It's Good

Batman and Robin: An Organized Mess

A film where you take the biggest stars of the 90s, George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Uma Thurman, release it in summer and still create 2 hours and 5 mins worth of a disastrous opus. Yes, we’re talking about Batman and Robin – a summer film, which was a Franchise film lost to Hercules,  Men in Black and the granddaddy of them all – Face/Off (hallelujah!)

Batman and Robin is a movie about dressing up people in order to look cool and showing nipples on a bat suit to make it alluring, I hope, was set to be the DC’s most ambitious movie at that time. It sounds sort of unbelievable that a movie about companionship and the legacy of such a celebrated comic book hero would lose the moral high ground, the box office collection and the storytelling skill to a movie, in which Nicholas Cage is pretending to be John Travolta and vice versa. 

Regardless of what you have heard of Batman and Robin, there a lot of things to learn from the film. Believe it or not, some technical stuff in the movie is genuinely well done. There is another situation in which this movie helps. It helps you in understanding the humor of the absurd, something that TV shows like Rick and Morty do consciously. 

We usually think that Batman vs Superman was started by a comic excerpt. The hype started exactly in 1997 when Batman very easily referenced Superman’s working manners without any studios putting in any cases. 

Honestly, if we can look at this movie as an homage to the 60’s Batman, starring Adam West, this movie can be considered smart. However, Unlike Thor Ragnarök or Kung Fury, this doesn’t even do that. 

So, what makes this movie good in a few aspects. Let’s start with the good parts of this film (yes, there are a few) 

The screenwriter of this film is Akiva Goldsman. Now, that does sound like a relatively common name, doesn’t it? He was a writer for (going from worst to best excluding Batman and Robin) Batman Forever, I, Robot,  I am Legend and the Academy award-winning, Ron Howard directed A Beautiful Mind. 

Some of the dialogues are genuinely very clever, but it suffers from the Riverdale Syndrome. Let me explain, Riverdale has snappy dialogue, but the setting is always wrong. For example,  Jughead making a Silence of the Lambs reference makes sense, as he is a film buff but if Veronica makes reference from movies in any genre from any era, it has no development. 

Similarly, Batman is developed to be a complex character who doesn’t sleep and spends most of his time delivering justice to the city of Gotham, never has it ever been mentioned that his inspirations are Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer. 

Cinematographer, Stephen Goldblatt follows all the rules that need to be followed to make an aesthetic movie and perfectly aligned movie. The movie has a very aesthetic sense of framing and not even once do we feel like the camera handling hasn’t been done by a professional. Yet, because of the acting and the overall Mise-en-scene (no fault of the production designer), the film looks campy and not convincing. 

Image result for Bat nipples

They even hired the most bankable editor in Hollywood for superhero films, Dennis Virkler. Fun fact about this film. It’s the first film to win A Golden Raspberry Award and a Grammy award (which was also a Razzie nomination) 

This film is great if we pay homage to Adam West. The film is great if it wanted people to make spin-offs, funny jabs or even funnier more realistically hilarious movies. However, it was great for the character development of the caped crusader, who feels like an opening act to Sunil Pal. 

Like how Roger Ebert said, it went for the “toy-ic approach”. However, I disagree. I feel like I wouldn’t let any 3-year olds be around such toys and ruin his/her imagination forever. I want kids to like Batman, our generation was lucky to have both Nolan and Schumacher within a span of around 8 years. 

Staying in the technical realm, the best thing about Batman and Robin is its production design. Granted that it’s campy and over the top, but Barbara Ling stayed true to the vision of the film which was either made by the producers or the director. Either she was able to get the vision properly or the ecstasy trip that she had lasted a bit longer than she expected (if that is the case, please find me her number) but either way it worked. 

Now we pull out the big guns. 

A lot of the material has been taken from the animated series, or at least they tried, but they forgot to take the most important things from the animated series, the brilliant art, the compelling characters, and a genuinely good batman story. Also, Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Tara Strong. But I guess I can’t blame them for that. 

Let’s start with the highest-paid actor of Batman and Robin. Not Batman, not Robin, not even the best Part about Pulp fiction and Kill Bill, but Ice Terminator. 

Ice Terminator/ Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze in Batman and Robin
Ice Terminator/ Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze

Ice terminator is the world’s most complex character ever written. More complex than John Nash from a beautiful mind. In A Beautiful Mind, John Nash copes with his sadness with the help of Mathematics. In Batman and Robin, the Ice Terminator uses ice puns to not melt his icy heart. After his wife is suffering from some Irish Syndrome, (which I feel like only happens after drinking their beer) our Ice Man starts curing her and suddenly meets with an accidentHowever, unlike the terminator, he falls in cold lava and lo and behold the Ice Terminator. (Is this much Ice okay for the recognition, Google?) 

Now people can say whatever they want to about the film, but I feel like George Clooney is the perfect Casting for Bruce Wayne. However, I feel like the Producers felt like he wasn’t even fit to play Batman. Let me elaborate, the most Iconic dialogue of the caped crusader is his introduction. He uses it with great levels of intimidation. It’s probably as Iconic as James Bond’s introduction and the, “We are gonna need a bigger boat” line. But the moment we hear Clooney say, “I am Batman”, we have Arnold in the frame who I guess after reading the previous Rant you would know, is not the fucking Batman. I just feel like the producers wanted to Jizz off to Arnold, so they put him in all the iconic shots where, you know, he wasn’t even supposed to be. They were so obsessed with him that back then if I pitched the idea of the movie “Locke” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be writing this review on an Acer laptop, but would rather be in a mansion and living the Shah Rukh Khan life in Om Shaanti Om, or his life in general. 

And don’t get me wrong. I am one of the biggest Arnold fans out there. It’s just a tad bit disappointing that after doing several classics he ended up doing this and ever since this film he has hardly done any concepts that he became famous for. 

Also, they used George Clooney very poorly. From his, “I am Batman” to “I trust you, Alfred” all looked like a courtesy lick. 

Image result for batman and robin

Remember the complex character Bane from The Dark knight rises? Remember how he meant something? Remember how for a short period of time we rooted for him? Remember how broke the soul of Batman? Well fuck that, cos this a dumbed-down version of Bane which could’ve easily Given George Lucas the idea of Jar Jar Binks or Ang Lee the idea of Hulk, or Imtiaz Ali the Idea of Love Aaj Kal 2( yes I am going to use the number 2, its not anything like the first) .

Bane in Batman and Robin
Bane in Batman and Robin

Chris O’ Donnel plays a try-hard annoying version of Matt Damon from Talented Mr. Ripley. I am shocked that the Ice terminator’s wife didn’t catch this Irish Syndrome. Moving on. 

Uma Thurman has the weirdest graph possible with her filmography. She went from Pulp fiction to Batman and Robin to The Avengers (the other one) to Kill bill. I kid you not, it forms “u” in terms of a graph. She was by far the best part of this film. Unlike the rest of the characters, her puns come after a kill or an action. She gives a very Total Recall vibe, while Schwarzenegger after killing says the iconic, “Consider that a divorce” unlike in this film, where he cracks the ice puns like, “What killed the dinosaurs? The Ice age.” in between a fucking fight. 

Poison Ivy in Batman and Robin
Poison Ivy in Batman and Robin

The most confused character in the entire film has to be Alicia Silverstone who plays, Batgirl/Alfreds niece/Nightrider/Bruce Wayne hater/Bruce Wayne lover/Equal rights activist/ men hater… wait, what? Oh yeah, I remember. Towards the end of the film, she starts dissing all the men she has ever experienced except for her Uncle Alfred. I guess the producers had just gotten to know about the Bechdel-Wallace test exactly when 90% of the film was done and they realized they could pander to a larger audience. 

Before reaching the conclusion, I would like to point out the reason or the scene where I stopped taking the movie seriously. When the Ice Terminator can’t get a very important Gem, a very valuable gem from the hands of Batman and Robin, he calls out his Arctic Monkeys (yes literally) and they come with their Hockey sticks and within 2 mins this Gem becomes a hockey puck, and every actor on set starts Acting like they are auditioning for Chak De! India. And in a few scenes, I could actually suggest the filmmakers see how smooth the hockey scenes go. Just like Chak De.  A Superhero film. Like Chak de. Yeah, it’s understandable why  George Clooney still apologizes for Batman and Robin.

Image result for chak de india

In conclusion, I would like to say that Daffy Duck and Wile E. Coyote had more evil plans as compared to the aforementioned Antagonists. At least in Looney Tunes, the end goal is to either kill the bunny or kill the roadrunner. Whereas, here the main goal is to bring equilibrium and care about the environment. So, the next time you watch this movie (which you will, I know it), ask yourself this one question, Are they the bad guys or is Batman the bad guy? Or are you?