ABC Orders SciFi Pilot That Rips Off a South Park Episode

Credit: Comedy Central
Credit: Comedy Central

Tis the season for new TV shows, and ABC’s latest pilot pick-up is about refugees from the future as an allegory for the struggles in modern immigration. In other words, South Park did it.

The Crossing, announced this week, is about refugees from a war-torn country who seek asylum in an American town. Only, twist, they’re actually Americans from 25o years in the future, who’ve traveled back in time for opportunities. There may also be a conspiracy involved, because every show needs one now. It’s an interesting metaphor that plays on very relevant conversations (and fears) about American immigration in 2017.

But again, South Park did it.


Back in 2004, South Park released “Goobacks,” an episode about people from the future who travel back over 1,000 years looking for work. It’s a thinly veiled allegory for Mexican immigration, with South Park’s residents happy to hire the time immigrants to perform household tasks at cheap rates...until their own jobs are taken away. It’s also the episode that introduced the classic South Park catchphrase “They took our jobs!”

It’s great to see television embracing original scifi, even if it’s yet another show about time travel, but when the guys who admitted The Simpsons already covered everything have already tackled it, you know your premise is unoriginal. Of course, it’s just a pilot at this point, so there’s a chance it won’t get picked up to series.

[Entertainment Weekly]

Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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Edgar the Constricting Necktie

There really isn’t anything new under the sun anymore. That South Park episode is just a retelling of a classical drama written by Aristophanes written in around 410 B.C. Just like the The A-Team is an adaptation of an episode from Homer’s Odyssey III and Star Wars is nothing by Pirates of the Carribbean set in space which itself is derived from a Shakespearean sonnet. We keep rebooting and retelling the same old stories from time immemorial.