Wow. That’s all I can really say after just finishing South Park’s second episode since hiatus. I don’t mean wow as in “that was an unbelievable episode,” and I definitely don’t mean it as in “damn, that sucked!”. Really, my “wow” is a statement of confusion in regards to what I just witnessed. The show just seemed to make the biggest 180 that I have ever seen happen from one episode to the next. It was absurd to the highest degree, and utterly out there in every way. I don’t know what Matt Stone and Trey Parker were thinking when they came up with all of this, but they threw a bunch of different shit at the wall and it all stuck.
With the way the show has been going, and how this episode started, I was completely expecting Cartman’s realization of being fat as the main story point of the episode to fall flat. I was dead wrong on that one! Through Cartman’s attempts to convince the people of South Park that discrimination and and belittlement is being concentrated on the obese population, he makes it so the taxpayers must accommodate fat people who ride handicap scooters. Of course, Kyle and the rest of the boys are aggressively angered by the situation, especially so because people across the U.S. have become accepting of disgusting instances of manipulation, be it either in media or mindset, i.e. Cartman and the TV show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (and honestly, how do people like to watch that crap?). Kyle decides to do something about it, so he forms a deal with Token to collect embarrassing footage of Cartman in order to make a documentary. Little does Kyle know though, that the bar has sunk well below the point of supposed return, and Token plans to make a show to about Cartman to compete with the likes of Honey Boo Boo.
What was great about this main story line (in addition to the ridiculous nature of it) was that it was so concise, on point, and clear in its moral message. There wasn’t an abundance of repetitive jokes, if any at all, and it just kept escalating into something even funnier and funnier. From the truthful scenes of grotesquely obese people riding scooters in “Wall-Mart,” to Honey Boo Boo getting a pig heart and then Cartman challenging her to a fight at a banquet hosted by Michelle Obama, there wasn’t a moment where I was able to expect what was going to happen next. What really topped this episode off though was the introduction of James Cameron and his undersea expedition to raise the bar. Instead of going with the option of making him look like an absolute jerk and doing something that played on the darker side of his ego, South Park actually embraced the eccentricity of Cameron and made him out to be the wacky hero of the episode.
Combining all of the little quips and subtle jabs at various people and topics (I’m looking at you Randy Newman!) that were spread throughout with the sheer randomness of the episode, South Park gave us a sense that the show is nowhere near dead. It may not have been the perfect, focused, and absolutely humor-filled greatness that the show has presented to us in previous years, but it was a great return to form with a heaping dose of absurdity. Who knows, maybe James Cameron’s raising the bar a little will bring about something even better next week.
7.5 out of 10