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South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:54 am UTC
by idlehandsrome18
I couldn't find a topic about this so I decided to make one. So, which of the big three cartoon TV shows do you like best? I'm partial to South Park.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:27 am UTC
by bigstrat2003
No Futurama, on such a geeky site? Shame.

I have to go with South Park, out of the choices given. The early seasons are... bleah, but new stuff is generally great satire. Family Guy and Simpsons... I just never found them funny. At all.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:55 am UTC
by Jack Saladin
Going by their currently airing quality, and judging entirely based on The Funny... Family Guy. South Park has gotten too preachy - it always was, but now it seems particularly heavy handed, and moral patronizing combined with gross out humour is fairly boring. Maybe I've just gotten older.

And modern Simpsons is just shit. In its hey-day, The Simpsons would probably win, but now I don't even find it worth watching.

Family Guy is stupid and has no plot, but it makes me laugh.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:45 am UTC
by MikeBabaguh
I voted for The Simpsons, but I need to clarify some stuff first.

Simpsons was awesome up until about season 8, and season 10 was the absolute latest that it was any good.

South Park was good for the first few seasons; now they are pretty random. Family Guy was only ok, and only before they resurrected it.

All three shows today are more or less carbon copies of the other, with South Park being a little more adult in their content. Their producers need to learn that "random, off-the-wall, and pointless" is NOT a solid recipe for a cartoon.

The Simpsons used to tell stories. South Park used to be politically relevant. Family Guy was never anything but random-funny, but since that's all anyone does anymore, it isn't.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:04 am UTC
by charliepanayi
The Simpsons from Series 3-9 is miles ahead of anything else. Since then, increasingly average.

South Park is hit and miss, but when it hits it's very funny. The Scott Tenorman episode, Make Love Not Warcraft, Cartoon Wars - all examples of gold.

Family Guy has become increasingly irritating since it returned. Unfunny random gags and too much political soapboxing. You can say the same for South Park but that at least pokes fun at everyone and everything.

So the winner in the all-time stakes, The Simpsons. The winner in recent years...Futurama! Though the TV series more than the 'films'.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:27 am UTC
by idlehandsrome18
Yeah, Futurama totally wins, but its not airing new episodes anymore so it doesn't count. I think South Park is the least predictable of the shows, Family Guy doesn't surprise me like it used to.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:24 am UTC
by Mo0man
Futurama is airing movies now

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:40 am UTC
by ian
Futurama tv episodes > early simpsons > south park > futurama movies > new simpsons/family guy

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:19 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
MikeBabaguh wrote:All three shows today are more or less carbon copies of the other,
Carbon-copies of each other? Really?

I mean, it's like you're saying Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy, and Sex in the City are carbon copies of one another.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:55 pm UTC
by bigstrat2003
MikeBabaguh wrote:South Park used to be politically relevant.


Used to be? Let's look at the last season. They satirized the public's fascination with Britney, the Elliot Spitzer scandal, the Obama/McCain fanboyism displayed during the election, and the WGA strike. Sounds like they're still pretty relevant to me. There was never a time when the majority of the episodes were social commentary, so I don't think the amount of social commentary has really gone down.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:57 pm UTC
by Gunfingers
Let's not forget that South Park had a two part episode that was nothing more than a thinly veiled pretext to put Guinea Pigs in cute outfits. If that doesn't make it the best show ever i don't know what does.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:24 pm UTC
by bigstrat2003
No, the episode filled with terms like "breastiary", and landscapes where the entire thing was boobs... that makes it the best show ever. I'd never laughed so hard before.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:14 pm UTC
by Clumpy
Alright, the TV Guide writer in me is coming out:

It is difficult to name a show that, during its prime, crammed as much love, hilarity, genuine character development, quotability and satire into its beloved half hour than The Simpsons. The first season was endearingly ragged, but had a heart later seasons couldn't match, while the grandiose moments of the later seasons stand as some of the finest on television. How many dozens of characters did the show integrate into its world, with nary a dud? Some of the most talented voice actors of our day, snappiest writing and simply sublime moments make it my favorite show of all time. When I watch a newer episode I'm invariably disappointed, so I've stuck with the first eight or so seasons on DVD to avoid popping that bubble. When a show is as popular as The Simpsons, you don't really need to defend it, but I'm seriously in awe of that show.

Family Guy doesn't require the same responsibility on the part of the viewer to watch; its gags are occasionally funny and its pop culture-oriented shock humor often wonderfully edgy, yet the show clearly takes more interest in a quick laugh than expanding upon its characters (i.e. giving the show any lasting meaning). I'll watch it occasionally, but the first couple of seasons of Robot Chicken offers the same guilty pleasure in smaller, more concentrated doses.

South Park is one of the most unique shows on television; though the show is ostensibly a comedy program (with some episodes that are among the funniest things I've ever seen), the creators put so much of themselves into the show that it does, occasionally, become preachy or dull. It's also a very slow-moving show compared to something like The Simpsons; the "jokes" are less apparent and often repeat too many times, while the characters' habits of saying exactly what they're thinking make the show's satire a little too apparent. Still, it's a very good-hearted show at its core, which is quite an achievement for something so ostentatiously crude.

Sorry for being an ass, everybody; I'm unable to write about something like this without using this obnoxious format.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:27 pm UTC
by no-genius
If there's no option for Futurma, then I vote for a vote of non-voting. Nuts to this.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:24 pm UTC
by Kazuke
All three of them suck, but Family Guy actually makes me laugh from time to time.

Futurama owns all.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:17 am UTC
by idlehandsrome18
God, we all know Futurama is the best, but it doesn't air episodes regularly, so it doesn't count. Stop whining already.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:49 am UTC
by bigstrat2003
Yes, but even with the comparative lack of new material, it still beats the three options presented. With its hand tied behind its back.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:45 am UTC
by idlehandsrome18
I hate you....

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:50 am UTC
by Clumpy
I think Futurama wasn't counted because the other three sort of fit the mold of animated family comedies. Futurama isn't really in the same mental category, though I think that most people who have watched it will admit that it's an awesome show and certainly better than these three shows' current offerings.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:06 am UTC
by sje46
The reason why Futurama isn't in the top three is because it isn't as influential as the other ones. The Simpsons pretty much started the concept of an animated adult sitcom. What was there before? The Flintstones? I'm sure their were a few cartoons that aimed above twelve years old, but none of them were very good or very notable. And South Park put an edge into the concept. The Simpsons were often a satire, but never a very serious one. South Park aims to challenge pretty much every issue in the news. IT is the most satirical of all three. And Family Guy is just randomness for randomness sake. Some touching moments, but these are sparse, and not very emotional. And what is Futurama? Futurama is an awesome show in the vein of Simpsons. That is, it contains a lot of the Simpsonsesque humor and atmosphere. That is, Futurama wasn't revolutionary.

The Simpsons remind me of my favorite band, The Beatles, in a few ways. They both revolutionized their worlds, and hey both are controversial. Half the people love them, and half the people think they are overrated, and many of those people just plain hate them and say they suck, mainly because they think they aren't funny or don't sound good. And they are also similar intheir quality over time. The Beatles started in 1960, and became famous quite fast, and ten years later they broke up at the height of their game. The Simpsons started in 1989, was hilarious, and then basically died around 1999. And it died because the writing wasn't as good anymore. Maybe I'm being harsh; it still has good moments, but it simply isn't as good anymore, not since Groening moved his writers over to Futurama.

But just look at the show in its heyday. The Clown College episode? Hilarious. So many of these episodes are laugh-out-loud funny, and what makes these episodes so enjoyable and hilarious is how involved we are with the characters. We feel like we know them pretty well, and it hits you on a more emotional level. The show is touching. I've cried during some episodes, and I've felt concern for the character in scary moments. Have I ever felt that way from watching South Park or Family Guy? No. It works the same way the Office does, although the Office is arguably more emotional. It becomes so much better after you understand the characters.

Family Guy takes the opposite approach and just does random stuff, a lot of it to offend. That is pretty much all it is. Not that that is particularly a bad thing, but the jokes try to make the viewer uncomfortable, whether it's a racist joke or they drag a scene on forever (Seth loves this) or put in a segment of Conrad Twiggy (or whatever that guy's name is) or deliberately breaking the fourth wall in a very obvious way. It's a good show, in that it's funny. But it has been getting less and less funnier, and has paved the way for shows like Drawn Together, which we can go without. And Lil Bush.

South Park is hilarious too, though. But their opinions aren't always as formed as I'd like them to be, and yeah, preachy. It can do a good job of subversion, though, and it doesn't rely on all the pop culture references as much as modern Simpsons or Family Guy does. And it's meaner spirited, pessimistic, which is a turn-off. Everyone in the show is an idiot, but not in a harmless way like on The Simpsons, but in a "people suck and are stupid" way, which I just don't agree with, at least not to that extent. This has led to slop like Mencia and Chapelle. But it's a decent satire though. It can point out the flawed ways of thinking of people pretty well usually.

Sorry for the huge post.

tl;dr: Simpsons is the best.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:36 am UTC
by idlehandsrome18
sje46 wrote:The Simpsons remind me of my favorite band, The Beatles, in a few ways. They both revolutionized their worlds, and hey both are controversial. Half the people love them, and half the people think they are overrated, and many of those people just plain hate them and say they suck, mainly because they think they aren't funny or don't sound good.


I don't wanna be one of those bastards who nitpicks on one part of a damn good post, but I have yet to meet someone who truly hates the Beatles. Maybe I just hang out with the right crowd, but they are so universally loved I don't think half of the people in wherever think they are overrated. You still win 1000 props for them being your favorite band.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:02 am UTC
by sje46
idlehandsrome18 wrote:
sje46 wrote:The Simpsons remind me of my favorite band, The Beatles, in a few ways. They both revolutionized their worlds, and hey both are controversial. Half the people love them, and half the people think they are overrated, and many of those people just plain hate them and say they suck, mainly because they think they aren't funny or don't sound good.


I don't wanna be one of those bastards who nitpicks on one part of a damn good post, but I have yet to meet someone who truly hates the Beatles. Maybe I just hang out with the right crowd, but they are so universally loved I don't think half of the people in wherever think they are overrated. You still win 1000 props for them being your favorite band.

Thank you :)

Yeah, it depends on where you live and socioeconomic status and what your friends like. MY friends like the Beatles to some extent, and one of them was in a tribute band. But my family doesn't like them. BOth my sisters said they didn't like them ,even though they could barely name any songs by them, and my mother likes only three songs by them, she said, and said the rest is a joke, and my cousin just says "They suck. Now let me listen to Sex Pistols and Metallica". Usually the opinions are by people who just aren't into 60s music, or just know three songs by them.

I just know that they aren't very well-appreciated by a lot of people because of personal experience and Youtube comments. :roll:

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:14 am UTC
by Clumpy
I think anything that achieves near-universal popularity and critical acclaim is likely to be derided and overlooked by a certain subset of the population merely because of its popularity. It's easy to forget how revolutionary and unprecedented something was when it's already permeated the culture and most people take it for granted, particularly if/when it begins to slip in quality (The Simpsons and Metallica for that matter).

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:58 am UTC
by Mo0man

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:56 am UTC
by Mr. Lostman
Don't ever link to that site. Without a warning at least. The hours I'll never get back... These shows are crap and have no subtlety.

South Park became dead to me when they did that lame meme-ish ep. (Canada Strikes!)
"Sometimes happens in South Park, such as in one episode where a character explains to another character about how there is no global warming, climaxing with "What are you, a retard?""

Family Guy is a cheap, hollow laugh that should never have been revived for another run.
"Family Guy delivers its many, many messages with all the subtlety of a ten-pound sledgehammer. You could probably make a drinking game out of how many times the show makes a poorly veiled Take That against something (take two shots when they're making jabs at Republicans or women). This has unfortunately affected the show's quality, where one joke was pretty much the characters saying "Laura Bush killed a guy." over and over again. This reached a new low in a recent episode, in which Stewie steals a Nazi's uniform after traveling back in time, and a McCain-Palin campaign button is attached to the uniform."

Simpsons always sucked, but more when Lisa shoots off her preachy mouth.
"Apparently, the only reason Lisa Simpson exists is to shove morals down our throats and then make everyone sorry for being mean to her. Yes Lisa, we get it already, you have the perfect world-view."[math][/math]

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:17 am UTC
by charliepanayi
Anyone who says The Simpsons was always rubbish is as wrong as wrong can be.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:22 am UTC
by idlehandsrome18
Mr. Lostman wrote:Don't ever link to that site. Without a warning at least. The hours I'll never get back... These shows are crap and have no subtlety.

I think its more likely you are missing the subtlety.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:23 am UTC
by Mr. Lostman
No, no, I'm quite positive it's rubbish.

@ idlehandsrome18:Basing this on? It's not just me who's noticed the lack of it.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:37 am UTC
by idlehandsrome18
Mr. Lostman wrote:@ idlehandsrome18:Basing this on? It's not just me who's noticed the lack of it.


You're crazy man, the Imaginationland episode of South Park was so detailed and intricate. I found myself pausing and checking the scenes for different characters I recognized. Then the scene where the terrorists bombed the place was done like a scene in Saving Private Ryan; the writers didn't tell you this of course, you had to figure it out and find humor in it. I love how South Park is able to bring these icons of society together in in very unexpected and absurd ways. It gives me the feeling that Terry Parker and Matt Stone just want to tear down everything you know about modern culture so that you don't get too sucked into it. The show is based entirely on pointing out the absurd subtleties in American culture and connecting them together.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:37 am UTC
by charliepanayi
As for the thing about Lisa Simpson just being someone who preaches a lot and is generally irritating, maybe after the series started to go downhill, but when the show was at its height this was never the case, episodes like Lisa the Vegetarian and Lisa's Wedding and the one where she and Homer sit in an isolation tank (I forget the name now) were good examples of balancing her view of things with respecting those around her. Like with characters in Family Guy, the Flanderisation of her character has become more pronounced as the show has gone on.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:48 am UTC
by sje46
Come on, in its heyday, The Simpsons were not rubbish.
Frank Grimes. The Prohibition Episode. The Mary Poppins episode! The Soul Mate episode. Globex. These were all from the same season. Maybe you never saw them, or maybe you were to young to appreciate them, but these were hilarious and touching episodes.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:41 pm UTC
by Clumpy
charliepanayi wrote:As for the thing about Lisa Simpson just being someone who preaches a lot and is generally irritating, maybe after the series started to go downhill, but when the show was at its height this was never the case, episodes like Lisa the Vegetarian and Lisa's Wedding and the one where she and Homer sit in an isolation tank (I forget the name now) were good examples of balancing her view of things with respecting those around her. Like with characters in Family Guy, the Flanderisation of her character has become more pronounced as the show has gone on.


Yeah, pretty much every Lisa episode involves her having to learn a lesson or accept her family for what they are rather than imposing her worldview on them. She's an idealist but the show makes clear that she's also naïve.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:55 pm UTC
by Brooklynxman
OP you are sadistic, making me chose between SP and simpsons.

But I chose The Simpsons. Its incredibly close though. I chose the Simpsons because me and my little brother can watch them together (Im 19, 20 this month, he is 10), where South Park I watch alone. I enjoy watching the show with my brother.

I personally don't like family guy very much (and as of this post most people seem to agree with me 17% family guy, where as South Park and Simpsons are neck and neck 39% and 43% respectively)

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:51 am UTC
by roc314
Clumpy wrote:
charliepanayi wrote:As for the thing about Lisa Simpson just being someone who preaches a lot and is generally irritating, maybe after the series started to go downhill, but when the show was at its height this was never the case, episodes like Lisa the Vegetarian and Lisa's Wedding and the one where she and Homer sit in an isolation tank (I forget the name now) were good examples of balancing her view of things with respecting those around her. Like with characters in Family Guy, the Flanderisation of her character has become more pronounced as the show has gone on.

Yeah, pretty much every Lisa episode involves her having to learn a lesson or accept her family for what they are rather than imposing her worldview on them. She's an idealist but the show makes clear that she's also naïve.
Which doesn't make the show any less preachy, it just means that it is preaching different things. Instead of preaching something like "Idealism Q is good!", it's preaching something like "Idealism Q is bad, you should choose this more moderate position instead!"

I think it's moot anyways, as I don't see why preachy is bad (I would say it's nearly impossible not to be preachy and still have a show of any substance). Being wrong could ruin a show for me, but not being preachy.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:59 am UTC
by sje46
roc314 wrote:
Clumpy wrote:
charliepanayi wrote:As for the thing about Lisa Simpson just being someone who preaches a lot and is generally irritating, maybe after the series started to go downhill, but when the show was at its height this was never the case, episodes like Lisa the Vegetarian and Lisa's Wedding and the one where she and Homer sit in an isolation tank (I forget the name now) were good examples of balancing her view of things with respecting those around her. Like with characters in Family Guy, the Flanderisation of her character has become more pronounced as the show has gone on.

Yeah, pretty much every Lisa episode involves her having to learn a lesson or accept her family for what they are rather than imposing her worldview on them. She's an idealist but the show makes clear that she's also naïve.
Which doesn't make the show any less preachy, it just means that it is preaching different things. Instead of preaching something like "Idealism Q is good!", it's preaching something like "Idealism Q is bad, you should choose this more moderate position instead!"

I think it's moot anyways, as I don't see why preachy is bad (I would say it's nearly impossible not to be preachy and still have a show of any substance). Being wrong could ruin a show for me, but not being preachy.

Id on't think there is anything wrong with having a message, but not at the expense of entertainment, which is what people expect with a sitcom.
Either way, I don't think The Simpsons has a problem with preachiness.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:21 am UTC
by TheAmazingRando
I have enjoyed Family Guy in the past, but I hate what it (along with the '______ Movie' movies) has spawned: the idea that triggering the "hey! I recognize that from something else!" is satire. References are not satire. References are not jokes. Pop culture references, with no jokes thrown on top, are lazy writing that make your audience feel like they're part of something inclusive.

I have a friend who quotes Family Guy completely randomly, with no context, quotes parts that aren't even funny, that aren't even really jokes, and expects people to laugh at them. References. Are. Not. Jokes.

The Simpsons, when it was good, was great. The level of detail was stunning. I remember one episode, must be around season 7, a car runs over a mailbox and in the background you can see that it's left a hole in the ground spraying out letters, like a fire hydrant would spray out water. It isn't a prominent part of the scene at all, it would be easy to miss, but it's a subtle instance of surrealism that makes the whole show seem much more well thought-out, and invites you to look closer for more small things you may otherwise miss. Unfortunately, the show in its present state is utter dreck.

South Park, at least, is consistent, and doesn't seem to be getting any worse. It isn't always uproariously funny, but I can still enjoy watching it. I thought turning the presidential election into a heist movie was pretty clever. So, for now, South Park gets my vote.

mo0man wrote:See Seinfeld is Unfunny
I still love Seinfeld.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:10 pm UTC
by aireoth
Put them in this order recently:

1. South Park - Getting old, but all of them are, hopefully it will retire before going the way of simpsons. Still funny, outragous, and its social commentary keeps it just a little more intellegent then the rest, even if you don't agree with a word that comes out of its mouth.

2. Family Guy - Still funny but not as good as pre-cancelled Family Guy.

3. Simpson - Over, please. Mid-late 90's it was spectacular and special, it should have gone before its 10th season.

Honorable mentions because I like them : Venture Bros. and Harvey Birdman.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:26 pm UTC
by idlehandsrome18
aireoth wrote:Honorable mentions because I like them : Venture Bros. and Harvey Birdman.

Someone should start a thread for Adult Swim shows.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:53 am UTC
by SecondTalon
They, uh, have their own, individual threads, usually.

I mean, I don't know offhand if there is a Birdman thread, but I do know that there's a Venture Bros one.

Re: South Park vs Family Guy vs The Simpsons

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:11 am UTC
by Mr. Lostman
I find it odd no one's mentioned American Dad. It's at least watchable in comparison to F.G.