I loved being a Journalism major.  Loved it.  Especially on Thursdays - Must See TV night on NBC.  Because, in order to do well in my writing classes, I had to watch from the second Friends started til the last credit for ER rolled and they cut to 11Alive 11PM news.

Now, back then, there was really one prime-time animated series - The Simpsons.  And it was in its heyday, so it was appointment television for lots of us as well.

In fact, it wasn't until the fall after I graduated that South Park hit the air.  And let me tell you, it was different.

But it too was required viewing for me and my peers.  I remember vividly going to Athens one weekend to see my boyfriend at the time.  We went to KFC, got a bucket of chicken, and brought it home to watch a South Park he had recorded on his VCR - no HDTV, no DVR back them -and it was the one where Eric Cartman yells at the cat for begging for pot pie.

I don't even really like pot pie, Kitty.

And something primal inside me snapped.  I had been struggling with my weight, and on the weekends, free from the critical eyes of Mom and Dad, I would binge with the boyfriend (who they hated) on all kinds of crap.  And sitting there with the chicken, I began to sob, because I didn't want to be like Eric Cartman.

And I vowed to do something to change, but it would be another year before the boyfriend dumped me, and then another few years before I would join Weight Watchers for the first time.

So, it's been a long struggle as far as body image issues go.  Fifteen seasons long.

And in that time, we've come a long way, baby.

I met a guy who my parents love, and we've been married six years, together for 10.  My dog and I have watched 12 seasons of South Park together, and I've been employed with more companies than I care to admit.

Tonight, Matt and I watched last night's show on our huge HDTV by way of DVR.

And in the years I've been watching the show, I've been titillated, annoyed, enthralled and disgusted.  I've laughed, and of course, once burst into tears.

But tonight, I experienced something poignant.  The series protagonist, Stan, turns 10 and starts to realize that movies, music, food he used to love are all shit.

The doctor diagnoses him as being a "cynical asshole".  He ends up at the movies with his friends and every preview looks to him like singing, dancing, acting feces.  It's gross, but spot on.  The B plot has Stan's parents growing apart because their lives together have grown "shitty".

Mirror in the sky, what is love?

What follows is a montage of Randy and Sharon packing it up, moving on and parting company interspersed with Stan being surrounded by shit.  Flowers made of shit, friends made of shit...everything is shitty.  And the song is Stevie Nicks performing Landslide.  The final shot is Stan, lying in bed, looking up at the ceiling and...cut to black.

And it was...poignant.

Bravo, South Park. 

Well done.

Let's see what the future of the show brings.