South Park's New Jersey Attack: Genius or Garbage?

New Jersey-themed reality shows have been the target of ridicule since they first overflowed into our lives, so why did it take TV's best jesters—South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone—so long to smear them with tar and feathers? Last night's episode, "It Came From Jersey," finally let Parker and Stone rip Jersey Shore, Jerseylicious, and The Real Housewives of New Jersey a new one, but did the execution match the lofty expectations?

The gags were fast and furious (and repetitive), with the obvious jokes splattered all over the screen like hair gel. The new South Park residents from Jersey were predictably brash, trashy, and orange, and from a critical standpoint, we can say that the episode took "the easy way out" but was also "the only way to go."

The best gag involved South Park's take on Jersey Shore's Snooki, who they turned into a pickle-eating, daiquiri-slurping, lap-grinding, gremlin-rat-monster, Golem-like abomination whose choice of exit was crashing through the nearest closed window. Yes, I giggled every single time she did that (and fell over when she was raping Cartman). What can I say—I have a sophisticated sense of humor. But beyond that, the message was simply and effectively this: New Jersey caricatures are annoying and need to die.

There were allusions to zombies, John Carpenter's The Thing, and Teen Wolf, and the episode culminated with an unlikely ally for South Park residents. Osama Bin Laden and his boys from Al Qaeda were called in to help, and they used highjacked airliners to crash planes into the Jersey mob (unsurprisingly, lots of commenters on various Web sites had a problem with this).

South Park has done a great job lampooning pop culture in the past, and many are hailing this as one of the series' classics. But it could also be called one of the sloppier moments in South Park history, thanks to a patchy story that amounted to little more than 22 minutes of shouting "Jersey Sucks!"

What did you think of last night's South Park? Was it a shining moment or a lazy attack?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Horrible episode. I am from New Jersey and we are nothing like that. People from other states have dumb stereotypes about Jersey. What they don't is that all these reality shows about jersey are people from new york who live in central jersey. If you keep to North Jersey or South Jersey you won't even see these stupid people around. So if you think jersey is as bad as people say your just an idiot.
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I'm sick of Jersey Shore invading all the shows I watch (in the case of TNA) forced to watch. I'm glad South Park took a jab at those orange skined idiots. As many of my followers will tell you I am not a fan of Jersey Shore (shocker I know) but I did attempt to give it a chance and felt my own intelligence slip down a few points. Back to South Park. SP has a reputation of going after pop culture and pushing (more like ripping) the envelope open. We shouldn't be shocked by anything they do anymore but applaud them for sticking to what works for them. Happy veiwing and smush smush!
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Hilarious! I'm so impressed that after being on the air for 14 seasons, this show continues to make me laugh to the point of tears. Kudos to Matt and Trey, still so solid after all these years. Keep it coming!...Sheila a Jersey native...rofl...so perfect.
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This episode was hilarious. Having Kyle's mom be a jersey native was great. I burst out loud laughing when I saw the fleet of 747's flying through the air. Over the top and exactly why I love SP.
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what is the facination with jersey? Its a hell hole!
SP rocks!
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It was hilarious. Every single part of it.
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Not their best, but still more than great !!!
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Not the best, but still awesome.
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I loved the Jersey Shore South Park episode! South Park is one of my favorite shows and Jersey Shore deserves to be bashed. Considering it was the highest rated Thursday night show. New Jersey is getting very overrated these days. All the more power to South Park!
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My good... poor Snooki!... soo.. she was ugly, trashy and want sex? (just like matttrey isn't it?).. that was all they have to say about the whole JS show-cast?... dude.. that was just.. mean... it sure could be better!.. till now the paris hilton's episode remain on top!.
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I liked it, but it's a jersey thing. He he.
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I'm not even half way through...Genius!!
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It had me laughing pretty hard, thumbs up!
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This was one of the best episodes they've ever made. If you really think the point of the episode was to say "Jersey Sucks", you missed it completely.
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Great episode... and a not-so-subtle lesson, I think, about Trey and Matt believe constitutes the greatest threat to America. Hint -- it ain't al-Qaeda.
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o mg ..the had jersey shore right on point..freaking trash garbage show!!! it was soo funny cuz the snooki description fits perfect ugly trash!!! funny to the ballz filthier than dubstep ...well not really but still filthy!
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I didn't watch it but would assume that it was garbage. I quit watching SP several seasons ago when it seemed like all they could do was be disgusting.
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omg i was DYING when i watched this!! It was hilarious!!!
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it was hilarious! , the Al Qaeda part was okay to an extent
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Jersey Shore is Gaaaabage! I can't believe people watch that crap.
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You mean Osama. Freudian slip?...hmmm. Sorry I couldn't resist.
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I loved that they finally made fun of Jersey Shore because anyone who watches that show is just a moron. I thought the Snooki parts were pretty classic, but knew the plane thing was in bad taste and would turn a lot of heads. I'm glad they blew out Obama's brains for the ending too lol.
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I think it (lampooning Jersey Shore)is (A) Necessary that it be done at every possible chance (B) Not effective enough even at its harshest.



People just aren't getting it (given that millions still watch that dogsh*t show.) People like to laugh and point at those morons thinking its amusing to watch them, when those "morons" are making millions of oblivious America. I may sound worked up (mostly b/c all my friends have started acting like these overly tanned CHUD's) but I think it's important that people be punished in some way for mentioning the Jersey Shore in a way that isn't complete mockery and disdain.
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What is that thing? "It's the SNOOKI!!!", Whay is it famous???
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Have never watched Jersey Shore or any such reality TV shows but I found this very funny.

It's raping me... IT'S RAPING MEE!!!

And sure the planes bit at the end may have offended or shocked some but get over it. It's a cartoon.. and more than that it's South Park.
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...a patchy story that amounted to little more than 22 minutes of shouting "Jersey Sucks!

You're right. It is beneath them to state the obvious.
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omg there are so crazy What a bunch of great minds they have
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I thought the episode was horrible, only thing that had me slightly laughing, was the two first Al Qaeda moments. It could be that I just don't "get" the Jersey thing, seeing as I've never seen any reality show from there, but I still know small bits about each of the shows, and Matt and Trey could have done the episode way better. Season 14 as a whole has made me consider just not watching South Park anymore, seeing as either the dynamic has taken a turn I dislike, or I've just grown out of this kind of humor and just like old episodes for nostalgia's sake.
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awesome!!! sometimes the easy way out is the best! for me the only way to treat this freak trend is to attack it head on, like what they say in the episode you can't reason with it. btw "it's a jersey thing" may be best excuse ever?
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awesome episode, absolutely brilliant, loved the jersey shore jokes
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bluejayfusion, below, makes a fair point...these guys are actually from New York....that should have been exposed by South Park.
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I'm getting a little Verklempt as I write this. Tim you almost always "almost" get me with your articles. I want to like them. But you always input some odd quasi-sociological assessment that is almost always off point and tone deaf. This time it was:

"the message was simply and effectively this: New Jersey caricatures are annoying and need to die."

I don't think the message was about "caricatures"; it's about actual people who behave a certain way. I guess this twist of message helps you feel less prejudice or something, I dunno. But it's a weird thing for you to say, and a weird way to say it.

As for the episode, it was equal parts tacky and equal parts hilarious, especially the al Quaeda part. (spoiler coming) They saved themselves from criticism, i think, by shooting Bin Laden at the end.
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This is South Park we're talking about here...not every episode is going to be thought-provoking. Did it take the easy way out? Yes, but so did last week's episode, and it was terrible.
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personally I thought it was extremely symbolic and smart. They had to use garbage humor and stupidity because that is what the NJ reality shows portray their people as. I thought it was clever. If they would have done a social commentary like usual, it would have been lost on this topic. The NJ reality shows are dumb and deserved to be portrayed in South Park as such.
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My favorite part was when they were revealing Snooki. "WHY IS IT FAMOUS?" Good question, random South Park-er. Good question.
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Frickin hilarious
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It was brilliant, and this is only the third episode of South Park I've ever watched. I'm more of a Family Guy....guy, but I loved this episode.
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"Snookie want smoosh smoosh." Brilliant!
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For the millionth time, ONLY ONE PERSON from that show is from New Jersey- nearly all of the cast of Jersey Shore are from New York. Nearly no one in my state acts like this... bloody unbelievable.
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Possibly one of the top 10 south park episodes of all time.
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it was brilliant !!!!
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The episode was hilarious!
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The episode was funny, but not laugh out loud funny.

Besides, it was kick in the nuts funny.

Still good, but well below SP's best.
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I just don't understand why so many people who ridicule New Jersey in the media. I was born in New Jersey, but I'm nothing like those retards from Jersey Shore.
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We got him.
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It was great! I haven't laughed that hard during SP in awhile. I haven't watched Jersey Shore and I never will.
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Well I think that I'll Trey Parker and Matt Stone a thank you letter, I dont watch Jersey Shore (thank God) but still they had it coming!
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I thought it was amazing! Great! One of my favorites, honestly!
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I thought the South Park episode was decent, though on the lower end of humor relative to the other South Park episodes the past few seasons. I'd agree on the lack of depth and cleverness this episode, and also the topic has been overdone by now. Personally I much preferred the take of the Jersey topic when it was done on the show Bones recently (the guido tribe, lol).

But overall, South Park was still entertaining, so I can't critic the level of entertainment too much.
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I do agree that this episode lacked the smart, tight underlying message and commentary on society that South Park is (used to be?) so good at--but this was still extremely hilarious. Smoosh smoosh!
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