South Park S26, Ep 3 Review
Remember the Kennedys back in the 1960s and how everyone seemed to love them? They were this picturesque family of wealthy Americans that dedicated themselves to making other people’s lives better. And then JFK got shot, and then Robert Kennedy also got shot. So then people came up with conspiracy theories about powerful individuals who had Kennedy killed to push their own agendas. Now, what if we had that in South Park…but with Japanese toilets?
Matt Stone and Trey Parker really love Japanese products, don’t they?
The Glory of Japanese Toilets
When Sharon gets fed up with their beat-up old toilet in the guest bathroom, she forces Randy to buy a new one. Being Randy, he gets sucked into buying the fanciest toilet at Home Depot: a Japanese toilet with seatwarmers and sprinklers that clean and air-dry your privates. Then, since he’s Randy, he starts passive-aggressively bragging about it to everyone in South Park, getting them to try his Japanese toilet.
As someone who’s held an interest in Japanese culture for many years, I’m well aware of how high-tech Japanese Toilets are. They do get as fancy as South Park claims, with some not even having to use toilet paper. However, Randy starts acting like having one makes his family the Kennedys of South Park, much to Stan’s chagrin. Once again, Randy’s actions make life for Stan difficult, with kids at school mocking him and calling him “Richie Rich.”
If the episode stuck with this formula, it would’ve worn itself out before long. It’s during the second half that things get strange.
70% of the World Doesn’t Use Toilet Paper? No, Really
As Randy continues to espouse his beliefs about the glory of Japanese toilets, the comparisons to JFK come full circle when an unknown assailant shoots him in public. From there, the episode’s final act goes into full conspiracy theory mode.
As Stan found out (and I looked up), most of the world doesn’t use toilet paper, and the US is the biggest user of the remaining 30%. As a result, the TP industry’s big money with lots to lose thanks to paperless toilets. Once Stan connects the dots, he humorously adopts Randy’s mindset and tries to speak out against big TP.
Had they done this earlier in the episode rather than repeating the running gag of how great a Japanese toilet is, this might have made for a better episode. Instead, Randy does a complete 180 and turns on Japanese toilets because he doesn’t want to die. So, nothing changes or matters in the end, and Randy stops comparing his family to the Kennedys.
It’s for the best. The Kennedys have had a lot of problems over the years.
Were they Doing This for the Toilets or just to Mock Big TP?
I’m not really sure who the show wanted to target with this episode. Did it just want to talk about how cool it thinks Japanese toilets are? Did they think seeing Randy try to be JFK would be funny? Or was this a jab at toilet paper companies and how much money they make for something that might not even be that good? Maybe it could’ve been all three.
Compared to the previous episode from two weeks ago, though, I don’t think “Japanese Toilets” was as great as it could’ve been. Had the execution been better, then it would’ve worked out. The one good thing about all this is the fact until now, Randy Marsh didn’t pull focus during this season. The less Randy at times, the better!