After watching last night’s episode, the only thing that I wanted to do was climb to the top of the nearest mountain, and scream, “South Park is back!” Foregoing the standard thematic and narrative format that the show has been implementing for the past few seasons, South Park has finally returned to its roots. “Cartman Finds Love” didn’t try to parody a current topic, or satirize a recently popular television show or movie, but instead went back to what the show was really about during its heyday: the boys, the town, and their crazy ways. It was truly a breath of fresh air, and something that the South Park purists, such as myself, have been begging for for quite some time.
With a misleading title such as “Cartman Finds Love,” one would expect that the episode would be about, well, Cartman finding love. Contrary to what I’m sure many thought, this was not the case. At the start of the school day, Butters hurriedly brings attention to the other boys that a new girl has joined their grade, which spurs a competition to see who can date her first. Although, once the boys see her, and discover that she is Black, Cartman starts spewing off his mouth that she and Token have to hook up; it seems only “natural” to him. What ensue are continuous attempts by Cartman to set them up with each other, despite Charlotte, the girl, liking Kyle. When Cartman learns that she has a crush on him, he does everything in his power to convince her and the other girls in South Park that he and Kyle are a homosexual couple. Cartman succeeds at getting Token and Charlotte together after chain-locking them in the boy’s locker room, which is followed by one of Cartman’s most hilarious musical numbers in a long time. Things become shaky though between the two after her father tells her that she doesn’t only have to date black guys, offering the painstakingly funny line while having a turkey dinner, “Yeah, just try the White meat. I know it’s a little dry, but there’s a lot more of it.”
Cartman, throughout his whole matchmaking scheme, is followed by a miniature, figment-of-his-imagination cupid that offers hilarious little quips at various moments: from the chocolate heart-shaped poo charms of sunshine, to him talking back to Cartman as he lies half-dead in a shoebox, was all just as absurd as it was comedic. Adding to this was Cartman’s philosophy on matchmaking, which was essentially based on taking a dump. After Token and Charlotte break up, Cartman gains the motivation to get them back together from a laxative commercial, and then sets up a major announcement addressing the two, as well as his fake homosexual attraction to Kyle, at the Denver Nuggets game. Both Charlotte and Token agree to get back together, which is more than to the satisfaction of Cartman. Unfortunately for him though, the episode ends with his little cupid betraying him, and making a fat, ugly, halitosis-having girl fall in love with him.
In all truth this was a fantastic, classically themed episode of South Park. Even the little things made it back, such as Mr. Garrison ranting about a pop culture topic in class instead of actual educational information (this time it was Game of Thrones, which was inevitable). The only thing that was really missing was an appearance by Chef, who most likely would have given ridiculously inappropriate dating advice to Kyle and/or Token. Despite all of these fantastic aspects of the episode, it was not without its faults. There a few lapses of comedy during the middle, and it really felt slow and boring at these times. This was especially true during most of the playground and hallway scenes with the kids. Despite this though, “Cartman Finds Love” was probably one of the best episodes in a long, long time. It stayed true to the core of South Park, and that’s what people have really been wanting this whole time.
8.5 out of 10