I know I’m way WAY behind on my cartoon viewing. Like, holy carp am I way behind. But then, I don’t really watch too much TV to begin with so I’ve had to pick and choose what I watch. normally I’ll see an episode if someone says “Hey, you need to check this one out” and that’s about all I’ll see.
That said, I never started watching South Park or the Simpsons.
I did watch the Simpsons when it was a short on the Tracey Ulman show way back when, but that was about it. I’d catch an episode here and there. Saw the movie. That was about it. Really didn’t feel like my kind of show with laugh out loud moments. I got the humor, but it was never my kind of show.
South Park, on the other hand, is horrible irreverent and crude with its humor and seemed geared more toward my sense of humor. But again, I didn’t watch it with any regularity even though it seemed something I would enjoy more.
That said, I am now subscribed to Disney + and HBO Max. I have all the episodes. I decided that now was the time to give both of these a real chance. With no commercials, in one hour I can watch 3 episodes. So in the past few weeks, I’ve gotten through season 1 of each series.
Let’s start with one thing, the Simpsons have been on the air for 31 years whereas South Park has been on the air for 24. The Simpsons would have really hit their stride by the time South Park came on the air. Also, Simpsons is on network television and subject to more rules that South Park would have been hit with.
That said, I find the first season of the Simpsons, though interesting, rather dull. I’m sorry to all the die hard fans. Honestly, I was able to put on an episode and listen to most of the episode without watching what was happening on the screen. Sure, during the opening credits, you need to see what Bart is writing on the blackboard and what happens when they all hop on the couch, but there are long moments where you don’t really need to be paying much attention to what’s happening.
South Park, on the other hand, is a show that demands your full, undivided attention from start to end. I found myself laughing out loud several times and going “Oh no they didn’t!” at least once per episode. I realize that the Simpsons had a lot of influence on South Park. You can easily spot things that are almost a direct rip off of the Simpsons. Like the kids watching a TV show that the parents don’t understand and don’t approve of. Sure. I see that. Easy enough.
I think what makes South Park stand out more for me that the Simpsons is it’s a collection of kids doing and saying things that kids would say not really knowing why any of it was wrong.
Again, I get the humor of the Simpsons. As far as the first season is concerned, it’s really like Garfield (the comic strip) for me. It’s funny enough without being too funny. I know there are some episodes that will come later that I may get to, we’ll see, but overall, I think I’ll be mainlining South Park first and watch the Simpsons when I need to fill time.
What do you think? Did you watch both? Neither? Like one over the other? I’d love to hear your thoughts.