South Park has a brilliant history of capitalizing on the news of the day for its story lines, which is why the show’s fans will be eagerly flipping on their TVs tonight to see if Trey Parker and Matt Stone will address the death of Osama bin Laden on this week’s episode.
Well, at least some of those fans. Me? I’ll be “tuning in” tomorrow on my computer, watching the episode via South Park‘s official website. For one thing, Wednesday nights just have too much other television for me to take in (thanks, American Idol, for those continued 90 minute marathons). For another, my fiancé loathes South Park so much, he kinda doesn’t even really like it living inside our DVR. (A recent South Park promo featuring a clip from last week’s “HumancentiPad” elicited this response from him: “Not. Happy.”)
But mostly, I just enjoy watching South Park on my computer more than on my TV. I’m not entirely sure why; maybe it’s because the show’s sharp, topical, NSFW humor was built for cyber-consumption. (Heck, the famous short that gave birth to South Park, “The Spirit of Christmas,” became one of the Internet’s very first viral video hits, passed along college campus inboxes back in the days of Netscape browsers and dial-up modems.) Come to think of it, I watch a lot of Comedy Central programming pretty much exclusively online, so much so that when I actually tuned in on Monday night to watch Jon Stewart’s bin Laden reaction on The Daily Show, I was startled by how big he looked on my flat-screen TV in contrast to the 500-pixel width window I usually see him in.
With the recent news that television ownership is down for the first time in 20 years, there must be many, many others like me turning more to computer screens than TV screens for their favorite shows. So tell me PopWatchers, what TV do you watch more online than on, you know, TV? Like, say, this clip from tonight’s new episode of South Park, which indicates that perhaps Osama bin Laden will not play a significant role: