Before South Park took a mid-season hiatus a few months ago, things were looking pretty good for the show. After the previously mediocre season, the show was getting back to its roots and focusing more on the characters and the town itself without having to rely on heavy current popular culture references. Well, it seems that a relapse has occurred.
I, like so many others, was really excited that the season was coming back to finish, but I didn’t think they were going to put out something that was as bad as Wednesday’s episode. Taking the whole ordeal that has been going on with the replacement refs in the NFL, the creators stitched together a story that, while at least being consistent, really wasn’t all that funny. The episode starts with Randy finding out from the boys while watching football on TV that their school has cut out the more dangerous aspects of football from the game, and so he takes to the PTA meeting to set things right. Although in a fit of righteous sarcasm, as is Randy’s specialty, he makes things worse and ends up coaching the kids in a game that he made up on the spot – a game where they all have to wear foil hats and bras as part of their uniform. Randy of course takes the whole Sarcastaball thing even further, spreading it up to the NFL level where he becomes the head coach of the Denver Broncos. From the onset, the sarcasm really had no humor to it, and the whole thing just dragged on throughout the episode. Although, there were a few spot moments where the sarcasm of Randy, and even more so of others, was put to good use. Of note was the shot at C-Lo Green, in which one person said sarcastically how they are a “big fan of all his hit SONG”.
The intertwining story line with featuring Butters wasn’t that great either, save for the minute shock value of it all. South Park has gone into more disgusting and absolutely bat-shit crazy themes than drinking semen though, so failure to build upon precedence might have detracted from these moments as well.
I’d have to say that the saving grace of this episode was the inclusion of Jim Rome as the analyst for everything that was happening with Sarcastaball. The lampooning of his person was spot on and really added that punch of classic South Park hilarity that the episode needed. His constant use of the phrase “check that” was humorous, and his endorsement of Butter’s semen as a sports drink was a welcome inclusion despite that story line’s lackluster value.
I’m really hoping that next week’s episode will fare much better than “Sarcastaball” did. Hopefully next week will resume the show’s uphill climb of improvement.
4 out of 10