October 20, 2016
        "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race                "The Jungle Book," "Zootopia" and Craft Artists to be Honored at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Ben Affleck's "Live By Night" officially is a 2016 contender        

“South Park” pokes fun at the Penn State scandal

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: How do Matt Stone and Trey Parker manage it in record time?

The sheer joy of “South Park” is it’s uncanny ability to instantly weigh in on a controversial subject, yet still retain its razor-sharp wit. Granted, not every arrow lands dead center in the bullseye. And sometimes the targets are obviously large. But when “South Park” is clicking on all cylinders, it delivers jaw-droppingly clever satire that’s hard to come by on modern television.

Last night, the animated series’ season finale went after the Penn State scandal and, by their standards, pulled their punches. Instead of having one of the South Park kids victimized (as you might have guessed), they introduced a character with stand-up-comedy aspirations who makes Penn State zingers in an effort to get abused kids to laugh.

“I’m going to get you to smile!” he tries. “A Penn State administrator walks into a bar … Where’s that smile? How about this one? Joe Paterno doesn’t walk into a police station… C’mon, that’s a good one!”

You can see the clip here.

What do you think? Too far? Not far enough? I half-expected something a little more incisive from Parker and Stone. Maybe, like the rest of us, they’re just too disgusted by the news to laugh.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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