I almost feel at this point that they have a writing system at South Park where there are 2 graphs. The first graph is how they have the weekly “What’s current in our landscape?” graph where they lampoon recent news stories. The other graph is the seasonal ark, of what needs to happen with the characters, despite what else might be happening in the episode. Sometimes it works, and works great, but other times, like this episode, it feels disjointed. Two separate plot lines might be a great idea individually, but they don’t come together as a cohesive whole. The two plot lines weirdly work against each other, which is a shame, because otherwise, this episode is really funny.
First, we see a story about the PC Principal, and his story of his possibly inappropriate feelings towards a coworker. The school gets a Vice Principle, by the name of Strong Woman. PC Principal sees this woman, as a strong, determined, and capable woman. It’s as if she was… a Strong Woman. He sees her dominating personality as an enduring feature, to the point where every time he thinks of her, “Hootie and the Blowfish” starts playing in his head, so loud that other people could softly hear it. It’s pretty funny, and could have turned into a good allegory on the sexually harassment scandals that’ve been prevalent in the past several months, but it sort of changes directions part way through. PC Principal tells Mr. Mackey his feelings, and Mr. Mackey feels as though this will turn into a shit storm if something isn’t done about it. So he calls up HR (Human Resources, and not Hootie Removal) to go through a conversation about what is, and is not sexual misconduct, lead by Miss. Conduct from HR.
This whole plot line is fine, and I love the relationship building they do between PC Principal and Strong Woman, as well as Mr. Mackey and Miss. Conduct, but it feels like it ends prematurely. This might continue next episode, but I don’t feel like it will, because there is a bit of finality. It just kind of ends to make way for the other plot, which is a shame, because I would have loved to have seen more from this plot line. Hopefully they’ll have more to say about these inter-work relationships soon, because what was here was interesting to me.
The other plot line, about Kyle’s “Growth” fires on all cylinders though. It starts with Terrence and Phillip, old and decrepit, going into Netflix offices so they could get back on the horse, and have a tv show again. The show is kind of pathetic, and seems to be a statement on how reunion shows seem like sad cash grabs, but it still has that Terrence and Phillip charm (results may vary by viewer).
The kids, however, binge it and eat it all up. All except Kyle, who doesn’t find it funny anymore. Through all the harassment, and punishment that he’s been through, he starts feeling bad for the people being farted on now. This in itself causes the kids to compare him to his mom, which makes Kyle feel even more farted on now.
Kyle’s tale of personal growth is an interesting one. He takes off his Terrence and Phillip shirt, and shaves his head, to physically change on the inside (cause really, his hat and jacket will never come off, except when needed). But we see this change, and mistake it for growth, but it’s not him growing. He just doesn’t want to get made fun of anymore, and he finds Terrence and Phillip to be the reason why the kids of South Park are so mean and unforgiving.
Kyle starts a group called “Millennial’s Against Canada” (or M.A.C.) to stop production of the show, and from there, it brilliantly becomes a stealth sequel to the movie, “South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut”. There’s even a great recreation of the scene where the Canadian calls a Broflovski a racist against Canadians.
Things escalate when the Canadians involve President Garrison to stop Kyle, and what he’s doing. Stan calls Kyle to make sure that he’s ok, and that he is, in fact, actually turning into his mom. The “Millennial’s Against Canada” logo looks exactly like the “Mothers Against Canada” logo from the movie, and eventually, while Kyle has the best of intentions, inadvertently causes another war against Canada.
Spoiler, but Toronto gets nuked, in the most artistic way possible… While “Hold My Hand” by Hootie and the Blowfish plays.
I’m very excited for the season finale next week. The last 5 minute of this episode was excellent, and while I wish the rest of the episode was as great, it’s still a solid episode. This show is so full of ideas, that it’s just a shame that they are always forced to do the 22 minutes an episode structure. But even a bad episode of South Park is better than a good episode of a lot shows.
Do you agree? Let me know in the comments. Thanks much!