TV Review – South Park Season 15 (so far)


Click Here for the Full Season Review

 

Now that we are at the mid way point for Season 15 of South Park it is time to look back at the first half of a season that could be viewed as a major crossroads for the series. Is this a down season or all we all just “getting old”?

Season 15 has not been the strongest season of the series and Matt and Trey basically come out and say so in episode 7 “You’re Getting Old” (more on that later). While South Park has ran into tough patches in the past it can be said that this enitre season constitutes the single largest contigious weak point in the series history, I would not agree with it but there are alot of mainstream reviewers and fans that seem to hold this belief. This is infact sort of a wierd time for Matt and Trey, they have one of the great broadway plays of the new century in “The Book of Mormon”, which has an industry leading 14 tony nominations to go with a slew of other awards, and lets just face it they aren’t the outsiders making vulgar cartoons about Jesus, Santa and a band of 3rd graders anymore. This season can be explained as theme grappleing with this issue of identity.

Let’s take a look episode by episode:

Humancentipad : This was a wierd joke running joke about TOS and end-user agreements, which turned into an apple joke, which turned into a really bad poop joke, definitly not their strongest but it did provide some good slapstick. (score 5/10)

Funnybot: I am not sure what I felt about this episode. It made fun of the Comedy Awards, then comedy as a whole, but the whole thing really just didn’t seem funny to me. (score 3/10)

Royal Pudding: I know I am out of line with alot of opinions on this one, but I loved this episode. Ike going on a mission from the Canadian government to save the princess of Canada, making fun of the Royal Wedding, a ton of fan service for old school south park fans. It was a real high point of the season for me. (score 8/10)

T.M.I. : This was another real high point for me. I this was SP getting back to what they do best a hilarious and hard hitting meta joke about ______. That was executed well, that lets some 0f the strongest characters in the series take it over (Randy and Cartman). It was at this point that I thought that some reviewers out there were just being haters. (score 8/10)

Crack Baby Athletic Association: This was an episode that failed to hit it’s potential. It had a nice ripe target in the NCAA. It had some really good in jokes for series vets. It had some good one liners. I even had a hot tub full of KFC Gravy. The actual satire was shallow and weak though, this could have been one of those times when South Park absolutly skewers a topic over the course of a trilogy and they just took the low hanging fruit of comparing the NCAA to slave owners. It was still a funny episode with a classic scene with Cartman masqarading as a Antebellum Slave owner to the AD at the University of Colorado. (Score 6/10)

City Sushi: This was an interesting episode in that: 1. It was a butters episode. 2. It did explain/alter some cannon storyline to South Park (which there is not alot of). 3. It dealt with (sorta) racism regarding asians in America. Some great sequences with Butters and his therapist, but the Japanese/Chinese jokes ran a little thin, with the grand exception of the City Wok guy putting the Japanese guy on blast for the Rape of Nanking, but that might just be my History degree talking :). (Score 6/10)

You are Getting Old: This was a wierd episode for longtime fans of the series in that it feels like the writing staff is speaking directly to its fans and critics unlike any show before it. For a solid 15 minutes this episode is one big poop joke. It feels like the show is hitting an all-time low. It does have a metajoke about musical differences between generations but it quickly gets brushed aside.  The episode really distinguishes itself in the final act as Stan is “diagnosed” with cynicism. The poop jokes continue as Stan simply sees the world as S@#^ because he is getting old and the rift between him ans his friends grows. All of this comes to ahead with a great sequence between Randy and Shiela. These two characters become the voice of the writing staff as they lament how times have changed, or how they have changed, or how the viewer has changed or all of the above. When Randy and Shiela (Roll over for epic spoiler decide to separate and all hell breaks loose) it almost felt like South Park was saying goodbye forever. It was a wierd expierence for me as a long time viewer to see if there was a press release announcing the end of the series, as of publishing nothing yet.  (Score 8/10)

If this is the end of the series I have to admit that as lame as that is, this is the right way for Matt and Trey to do it. It feels sincere in it’s lament, unwilling to linger on with it’s best days behind it ala the simpsons. I am unsure if this is the end, they do have a contract for 7 more episodes, but I am hopeful that this bad patch will end on the second half of the season.

Overall the season has been sub-par, but I am not of the belief that it has been a total waste. It may be just as the last episode suggests. We might be outgrowing South Park (gulp) or Matt and Trey are simply outgrowing the style of satirical toliet humor that South Park has built and empire on. Maybe we are all like Stan, just too cynical in our analysis of South Park to just accept the humor for what it is anymore. Either way heres to hoping Part 2 of the season does a little better. I just wish they had one more week to take aim at Congressman Weiner’s story.

 OVERALL SCORE 6/10

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Comments

  1. Not to mention they completely screwed the “poutine” (french fries with gravy) joke. It simply can’t be poutine without cheese curds. A simple Google search would have showed them.

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