Imaginationland, Director’s Cut Edition, Sunday Night at 10: The Debate Between Imaginary and Real

Like you, I’ve seen the commercials for the Imaginationland spectacular that’s coming up this Sunday night. What’s the difference between the three episodes aired week after week and one long sit-down? I have no idea, other than the time between commercials. Will there actually be never before seen footage? It’s entirely possible, but I wouldn’t know.

Do you know anything about it?

Last week the Imaginationland trilogy was nominated for an Emmy – South Park‘s eighth, god bless them – and perhaps this has something to do with that, though I’m unaware of the specifics in scheduling decisions. Since Matt and Trey aren’t big on pandering to the Emmy-Hollywood-Celebrity crowd, I’m pretty skeptical that the two are related, though I am sure that Comedy Central is interested in grabbing a third Emmy for its most popular, highest rated and most watched show (are all those the same thing?).

I, for one, absolutely love the Imaginationland trilogy. It’s brilliant. At first I wasn’t too keen, because towards the end of the first episode I didn’t see it wrapping up to a point, but upon realizing that it was more than a single episode – and then three episodes! – I became enthralled by the depth to which the entire trilogy was taken and the sensational points that arose out of it.

Imaginationland is about the existence of the make-believe – how real imaginary things are. This hour and a half of philosophical speculation interwoven seamlessly with a plot about Kyle finally having to lick Cartman’s particularly vinegary nuts – How do you like your sundays Kyle? With extra nuts? – is nothing short of genius.

From the perspective of The Zen of South Park, Imaginationland adds particular vibrancy because the understanding that imaginary things – like many of the religious figures we revere, and even, say, maybe, God – are real and can have far more importance and influence than tangible things has a dual effect. At once it provides us with historical fodder while simultaneously affirming the fact that historicity can be far less important than perception. For instance, haven’t people like Superman or Jesus, with their values of justice and the importance of fighting for truth been more influential and important than almost every other person? What about Luke Skywalker – imaginary – vs. Mark Hammell, tangible. Skywalker is more important (by far) and has had far more of an impact on the world. Can we really say that just because he’s imaginary he isn’t really real?

If you haven’t seen it or if you have, I highly recommend that you plunk down in front of your tv this Sunday night at ten and take a look at Imaginationland – and potentially an extended version, at that.

Have you seen it? What’s your favorite part? What do you think about this debate between imaginary and real?

For more going on in the world of South Park, check out my quick question about the South Park video game, HERE. Don’t forget, a review of Step-Brothers is coming later this afternoon (and hopefully X-Files sometime soon!).

Get a FREE Bonus Chapter from The Zen of South Park.

Read about other South Park episodes.

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