"Informative Murder Porn" is the second episode in the seventeenth season of the American animated television series South Park. The 239th episode of the series overall, it premiered on Comedy Central in the United States on October 2, 2013. The episode revolves around the children of South Park trying to stop their parents from watching "murder porn", television programs containing softcore pornography that reenact true crime stories.
At South Park Elementary, student Peter Mullen gives a report on "murder porn", television shows that employ reenactments of murders provoked by spousal abuse and adultery, which the students' parents enjoy watching; Peter states exposure to such programs leads to parents murdering each other. At the Marsh residence, Stan Marsh discovers his parents, Randy and Sharon, are watching "murder porn". That evening, Eric Cartman calls Stan, telling him that student Aaron Hagen's father has murdered his mother.
The next day, at the Community Center, Kyle Broflovski holds a town meeting with the rest of the children of South Park, discussing the murder and its connection to "murder porn". Kyle informs the group that there is a phone application that can serve as a parental lock on certain programs and employs a password that only children would know. When Stan's parents discover the parental lock and are unable to answer the security question, "How do you tame a horse in Minecraft?" (referring to the video game), Randy calls the cable company and learns that Stan locked them out.
Randy and the other parents go to the cable company to ask that the block be lifted, but the agent they speak to rebuffs them. The parents subsequently learn that a child named Corey Lanskin can be hired to teach anyone how to play Minecraft.
The next day, Jimmy Valmer tells Stan and Kyle that some parents have broken their parental locks, and Butters has become grief-stricken because his father killed his mother in Minecraft, leading Kyle to realize that someone is teaching the game to their parents. At the community center, the children discuss how their parents are now not only continuing to watch murder porn, but are ruining their online experiences in Minecraft as well, blaming Kyle and his app.
The next day, the boys go to Corey's house, where they discover Corey teaching parents in the basement. They convince him about the negative effects Minecraft has had upon their parents and their use of it to keep their parents away from murder porn. Corey informs the boys that in order to protect their families, they will have to fight their cable company. At the cable company, the boys confront the company's representatives, who are unsympathetic until they learn about the prospective displeasure the parents would have at being unable to access murder porn. The representatives subsequently drop Investigative Discovery and other murder porn channels from their standard network lineup.
Angered that they have again lost their murder porn, Randy and Sharon resolve to play Minecraft, in which their avatars kill each other with great pleasure.
The idea of "murder porn" came from series co-creator Trey Parker and writer Bill Hader. Parker says that he and Hader knew the most about "murder porn" because they and their respective wives regularly watch it like the parents of South Park do in the episode. Parker felt that the programs comprising "murder porn" provide a lot of easy-to-spoof material, specifically citing the inaccurate depictions of the individuals involved in the crimes that "murder porn" reenacts. The channels in the episode that air the programs spoof Investigation Discovery, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and Skinemax.
Parker and fellow series co-creator Matt Stone chose Minecraft to be the secondary focus of the episode because they wanted something family friendly to contrast with the adult oriented programming that comprises "murder porn". They settled on Minecraft because the game was the first video game that Parker and Stone didn't understand so they felt that the parents could have a similar experience. Parker and Stone said they contacted Mojang, developer of Minecraft, before making the episode to ask permission to use the game in the episode. They happily agreed and also sent merchandise to the South Park production crew.
The joke of Cartman booing Wendy repeatedly throughout the episode is based on a popular YouTube video of somebody booing political candidate Ben Konop.
Andrew Wallenstein, writing for Variety, suggested that Discovery ID, the host of the "murder porn" programs in the episode, bears a striking resemblance to Investigation Discovery, which airs similar programming. Wallenstein also suggested that the logo of the Get Cable Company resembles the logo of Time Warner Cable.
IGN's Max Nicholson gave the episode a score of 7.8 out of 10, saying: "After last week's season premiere, South Park's 'Informative Murder Porn' was noticeably better, and depicted a simple but effective premise. The laughs weren't particularly gut-busting, but the jokes were nevertheless humorous and intelligent." Ryan McGee of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B+, saying: "Coming off a hit-and-miss season premiere, [...] 'Informative Murder Porn' keeps the satire local, social, and more consistently amusing in its second week."
Markus Persson, creator of Minecraft, posted on Twitter, "Just saw the South Park episode with Minecraft in it, and I liked it a lot!" Persson said that he was asked for permission to include Minecraft in the episode and was sent out a rough outline of the episode. Persson told them "they could do whatever they want".
- ^Wallenstein, Andrew (2013-10-04). "'South Park' Skewers Cable Companies, 'Murder Porn' TV". Variety. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- ^Nicholson, Max (October 3, 2013). "Informative Murder Porn Review – Minecraft For Dummies". IGN. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
- ^McGee, Ryan (October 2, 2013). "South Park: "Informative Murder Porn"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
- ^Persson, Markus (October 3, 2013). "@notch". Twitter. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
- ^Persson, Markus (October 3, 2013). "@notch". Twitter. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
South Park viewers were sent scrambling to unplug their Alexa and Google Home devices last night, after the show’s 21st season premiere had their smart assistants setting alarms, creating shopping lists, and spewing obscenities.
During an episode which saw the characters shouting commands at the cartoon versions of the devices, viewers flocked to Twitter to reveal that their own smart speakers had been triggered, too.
Social media has erupted with the hilarious stories of Amazon Alexa and Google Home owners whose assistants were set off by the episode, with many even claiming they’d been left with a shopping list that included ‘hairy balls.’
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South Park viewers were sent scrambling to unplug their Alexa and Google Home devices last night, after the show’s 21st season premiere had their smart assistants setting alarms, creating shopping lists, and spewing obscenities
Google Home is continually listening for commands.
Google says nothing gets passed back to them until the speakers hear the keywords 'Hey Google' or 'OK, Google'.
A light comes on to remind you that it's listening.
The microphone can be temporarily turned off.
Countless viewers expressed their amusement – and frustration – on Twitter last night as the show repeatedly triggered their smart speakers and Android devices.
‘Who else’s Alexa’s keep going off every time Cartman says something on the Alexa during this South Park episode,’ one user tweeted, along with a laughing-to-tears emoji.
‘This @SouthPark episode has set my @amazon Alexa off about 15 times so far. Had to unplug it,’ another wrote.
While it’s not yet known if the second-hand activation of viewers’ home devices was intentional, many suspect it was, the Hollywood Reporter notes.
‘@SouthPark nailed it tonight,’ one Twitter user wrote.
‘In other news I have an erroneous alarm set for 7am and a set of hairy balls on my shopping list. #alexa’
Viewers flocked to Twitter to reveal that their own smart speakers had been triggered, too. And, many were shocked by their 'potty mouths'
Last night’s hilarious incident isn’t the first time viewers at home have seen their smart speakers set off by something on TV.
This past spring, Google Home owners were shocked as a Burger King commercial caused their devices to reel off facts about the Whopper, after it asked: ‘OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?’
The stunt even activated the smart assistants built into Android cell phones.
Both the Google Home speakers and those cell phones that have the Google app's voice-activated function active are constantly listening for the phrase 'OK Google'.
That's a signal for the machine to treat whatever is said next as either a command - the speaker can be used to dim a home's lights, for example - or a search query.
Social media has erupted with the hilarious stories of Amazon Alexa and Google Home owners whose assistants were set off by the episode
Countless viewers expressed their amusement – and frustration – on Twitter last night
While it’s not yet known if the second-hand activation of viewers’ home devices was intentional, many suspect it was
The show repeatedly triggered their smart speakers and even Android devices, frustrated viewers revealed
Last night’s hilarious incident isn’t the first time viewers at home have seen their smart speakers set off by something on TV. This past spring, a Burger King commercial designed to activate Google Home had a similar - albeit less explicit - effect
While many viewers appear to find the stunt amusing, others said they were forced to unplug the devices
Both the Google Home speakers and those cell phones that have the Google app's voice-activated function active are constantly listening for the phrase 'OK Google'
The stunt led to hilarious results, with many even claiming they’d been left with a shopping list that included ‘hairy balls’
Voice-activated assistants have also raised concerns in recent months that they could be taken over and remotely controlled by hackers using inaudible commands.
A study by researchers at Zhejiang University in China found this can be done using a technique that translates voice commands into ultrasonic frequencies that are too high for the human ear to recognise.
The technique, named DolphinAttack, could be used to download a virus, send fake messages and even add fake events to a calendar.
It could also give hackers access to outgoing video or phone calls, allowing them to spy on their victims.
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