The career of everyone’s favorite troubled pop star, Britney Spears, has been getting a much-needed shot in the arm thanks to animation this week. A couple of weeks ago, Spears debuted her new animated music video ‘Break the Ice,’ in which her anime-inspired spy persona picks up where her live-action ‘Toxic’ video took off. Fans of Aeon Flux and Ghost in the Shell were not too happy about Britney’s homage!
Then, on Wednesday, another animated version of Ms. Spears appeared on a controversial episode of South Park. The second episode of the new 12th season of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s toon found a press-hounded Britney trying to hide from the paparazzi at a ‘Komfort Inn’ near the boys’ Denver town. When Stan and Kyle sneak into her room to snap a photo of the star, the singer can’t deal with all the pressure anymore and blows 70% of her own head off. Disgusted by their own actions, the boys decide to take Spears to the North Pole where she won’t be bothered by the vile celebrity-obsessed masses anymore. The reaction to the episode has been quite mixed. Some found the episode quite uncomfortable to sit through, while others admired its courage for taking a stand against the public’s obsession with celebrities.
Stone and Parker are also featured in a great interview on The Onion’s A.V. Club (www.avclub.com/content/interview/trey_parker_matt_stone). Stone discusses how the show helps them vent their frustration with the world today: ‘We get to express our frustration through a little fat kid screaming at the top of his lungs. So it can be taken semi-seriously. We get to enjoy that same distance that the Jon Stewarts of the world get to too. They demand that they be taken seriously, and as soon as someone takes them seriously, they crack a joke.’
‘I love the fact that Trey and I have gotten awards for being topical and satirical, but at the end of the day, we are just making jokes,’ notes Stone. ‘If you ask me how to really solve the health-care crisis, I have fuckin’ no idea, and I don’t want to be a part of it. But I can make a little fat kid yell some emotional truth about it. That’s what we’ve figured out over the years. If you’re gonna make it a TV show, you would never do the actual politics of something, but you would do the emotions behind the politics. Who cares if it’s a right-or-wrong policy’here’s how it makes me feel. You’re not gonna get into a policy discussion with Cartman and Mr. Hankey and Jesus and shit!’
Parker also talks about the joys and agonies of making the toon for 12 seasons: ‘People always think that making the show is so much fun. Especially people that don’t know what it’s like to write, and stuff like that. It’s always been totally stressful, totally just wanting to kill yourself every day because you’re under so much stress, and feel like there’s no way you can pull it off, and all of that stuff. And then when it’s over, when the season’s done and you’re proud of what you did, then you totally enjoy it. And when you’re out on the golf course thinking, “Wow, that was a good season,” then you really enjoy it. But coming here to work in the morning, I fucking hate it, and I always have. [Laugh.] Any job is a job. If you have to be doing something, then you’re probably not enjoying it.
You can check out the controversial Britney episode online at www.southparkstudios.com.