Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's Like a Sasquatch, Only More Elusive, More Ferocious, and a Little More Greedy

OK, so I had this idea, to do a more weekly type deal and I decided on reviewing South Park. The new season has started and the fourth episode aired last night, with only three more left before the summer break.

Before I go any further:


Yes, I will be giving away all the details, so if you don't want to know because, for some asinine reason, you haven't watched it yet, stop reading and come back when you have.

Before I get into my review I just want to explain how you are supposed to watch South Park. Lately people have been getting this notion that South Park is some huge political or social statement every week. It's not. Not even a little. Sure, they may take ideas from what's going on and make it a part of their show, but it doesn't mean they are making a statement about that issue. Not at all. They're just making fun of it. Simple as that. So don't watch South Park as if it's some top news show bringing you all the latest insight on humanity. It's just a show about foul mouthed 4th graders who get into all kinds of trouble.

Now, with that said, on with review.

"Jewpacabra" is the 4th episode of South Park's 16th season. This season has been a blast so far producing some of the funniest episodes I've seen in a long time. Who can forget "Reverse Cowgirl?" This episode taught us that we have all been sitting on the toilet wrong. You're supposed to face the tank so you have a nice little shelf for your magazines. Then there was "Cash for Gold," that showed us the complex and idiotic loop of the gold selling and smelting business. Remember, "Whoever made the rhyme, did the crime." Then last week we were introduced to "Faith Hilling," this episode reminded us all that there are only three acceptable memes when posing for a photo: peace sign, bunny ears, and fake wiener.

This week's episode came just in time for Easter, which is this Sunday. It follows the exploits of Cartman as he tries to convince everyone that a beast called the Jewpacabra is real and is coming to suck the blood from all of the kids in town, on Easter Sunday, during the town's big Easter egg hunt. It starts with Cartman going to Kyle's house and getting a lesson in Passover from Kyle's mom. Of course Kyle is suspicious of Cartman from the get go because Kyle knows Cartman always has an ulterior motive, for everything he does.

Cartman is then charged (by himself) to find evidence that Jewpacabra is real. He enlists Butters' help to do so and they go into the woods to try and capture the creature on video. At this point they transform South Park into an episode of  Animal Planet's "Finding Bigfoot," which, as usual, is done with great accuracy. In order to find it they have to imitate the Jewpacabra's call. "No Christ! No Christ!" Butters eventually helps (he's terrified to death the whole time) by shouting, "I don't think Christ has any basis in reality!"

Cartman, after obtaining the footage he wants, takes it to the B.F.R.O. (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization). This of course takes place after Cartman absconds to Nassau so he can ride a water slide at the Atlantis Resort and Casino. You know, the one that goes through a shark tank. Yeah, it's real.

So they get to the BFRO and inside are the folks from the show, albeit a highly exaggerated version of them. Which of course is hilarious because they portray these people as if they are just the dumbest people to walk the Earth. It would be prudent to mention that Kyle has a recurring line that goes, "To believe any of this you have to be either a liar or stupid." The fine folks in the BFRO are then ready to believe Cartman when he tells them it's a Jewpacabra. They then convince Cartman that it is real footage of the beast and that it will now be targeting him because of the footage.

Eventually, Cartman is used as bait to lure the Jewpacabra out and make everyone else safe. The BFRO folks track him down and identify him as a three foot tall bunny man. "Bobo" shoots Cartman with a tranquilizer gun and they all celebrate and try to go get their adventure on Animal Planet, bringing the gun as evidence of the existence of the bunny man.

While under the effects of the tranquilizer, Cartman has a dream where he is a little Egyptian boy during the days of the Biblical plagues. Kyle is there too, as Jew, naturally. Cartman can't understand why God would do all these horrible things to people and Kyle tells him that's how God works. Cartman responds, "You're wrong Kyle, God is not a dick!" Best line of the episode.

After waking up, safe in his bed, after a little help from a compassionate Kyle, he goes running into the middle of the Easter egg hunt as it's in full swing. He announces to everyone that they must accept Jehovah as their God and deny Christ.

So, after hating Jews all his life and even once or twice trying to eradicate them, Cartman has accepted Judaism as the one true religion. Now, it will be interesting to see if this lasts, or, if this is a ploy towards something bigger. You never know when it comes to Eric Cartman. You just never know.

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, just as I've enjoyed the previous ones this season. Season 16 is definitely off to a good start, this episode is just another strong one. Although, I will say the cast of main characters was quite small. It was mainly just Cartman, Butters, and Kyle. Stan didn't even have a line in this one. He was even only seen briefly when everyone was in line to sign of for the egg hunt.

Also, the parents weren't really involved either. I typically enjoy the episodes where the parents are more involved, especially Randy. Not saying that every episode should involve the grown-up, I'm just saying I like it when they're there. They tend to add that complete rube aspect to the story, a device to just completely ruin everything. Which usually works out pretty good.

The thing I think Trey and Matt and their crew do best is bring light to things we don't give much thought to. Like their one episode that uncovered the truth about Easter. Everyone always wonders how Easter came to be associated with egg laying rabbits and South Park explained it very well. "Jewpacabra" is no different, as far as when it comes to the Passover holiday.

I think one thing that a lot of critics do wrong when they watch South Park, is they take it too seriously. They sit down and watch the show and expect a huge social statement to be made. That's not what this show is about. It's gotta be watched with an open mind and a very open sense of humor. The only envelope these guys push is what they can get away with on cable TV, comedy wise. They've done a great job for 16.25 seasons and I can't wait to see what happens in the forthcoming episodes. It is 2012 after all.