South Park – “Ass Burgers”

South Park – “Ass Burgers

So South Park took an unexpected shift in tone during the last episode several months back. After a so-so episode where Stan began see and hearing everything as shit (a medical condition known as being a cynical asshole) he had alienated his friends. Furthermore Sharon and Randy realized their marriage couldn’t survive the weekly bombardment of wacky antics, and separated. The closing montage to Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide” almost made it seem as if these were long-term changes. Of course we know better. The status quo is a God on TV. So when we tuned in for the newest episode, we knew that someone it would set about to changing things back to normal. And it does. It even cops to it rather explicitly. Stand gets excited about the infinite possibilities of going in a new and different direction because his parents come by to tell him they’re getting back together, effectively shutting him down. Is this the genuine lament of Messrs. Parker and Stone? Or just a mockery of television conventions? Either was we get a lot of jokes along the way, including one extended one about the homophonic properties of “Asperger’s” and “ass burgers” (the latest of which gets taken disgustingly literal). In a classic South Park randomly-outrageous-but-bizarre-enough-not-be-genuinely-offensive twists Asperger’s disease turns out to be a cover for The Super-Secret Society of Cynics, who believe that people are stuck in a dystopian They Live/The Matrix illusion, while only THEY see the real world (shit). The solution? Jameson’s. (“Do you think is there was really a social development disorder they’d call it Asperger’s? That’s… that’s just mean.”) The issue of vaccinations causing developmental disorders (one of the most assinine claims out there that somehow is still a controversy) is addressed but the show doesn’t really come down on either side. Either the Jenny McCarthy supporters of this unsupported hypothesis or the more rational people who think it’s bullshit could look at this episode could look at this episode and think it agrees with them. It’s unusal South Park doesn’t express more of an opinion on one or both sides of an issue this controversial (especially when it gives them the opportunity to mock a self-reighteous “celebrity” like McCarthy). Either way, things next week will probably be more in the vein of the way things used to be. The “Landslide” montage is ironically repeated as everything goes back to the way it was. The difference is Stan has a bit of a Jameson’s habit.

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