Thursday, October 11, 2007

"It is never safe to fly during your turd trimester." South Park Season 11, Episode 2, "More Crap"

Oh, sweet Lord.

So, it figures that my very first foray into the TV spectrum of this blog would deal mostly in fecal matter and bestiality. You get what you wish for, kids. I say this is a valuable lesson. However, I bemoan this chain of events, you understand, not because I find any of it disgusting. I find it so funny, in fact, that I fear I will only succeed in shaming myself with my juvenile sense of humor while covering these particular shows and their respective seasons. Enough theatrics, though. On with the constipation and canine ass licking!

Comedy Central has quite the hour on its hands Wednesday nights. They have their usual Wednesday night staple, South Park at Ten. Now, though, the classic gross-out satire is paired up at 10:30 with indie comic darling Sarah Silverman and her Program. This match-up is pretty much a no-brainer and quite easily produces probably the "blue"-est hour on TV (maybe ever?) The results are sinfully enjoyable.

First up is South Park. I have always been a mild fan, but usually find Trey and Matt's targets a little too easy or the satires a bit too "on the nose," you can say. When examining South Park, though, you mostly have to look at it from the perspective accepting the fact that as simplistic as their metaphors may seem, or however easy their targets may one is ever really saying what South Park is saying; and if they are, it is no where near as clear or pointed or funny. You have to respect that. The mild issues I have with South Park are always in theme; the larger picture. However, joke for joke, there are few funnier shows on TV. This is a rare show that seems to get better and better with age. Trey Parker has deliberately let all of his characters naturally evolve and the comedic situations he presents always work so well because of the simple nuances presented by each character with their own hilarious foils. All animated shows on television have secondary characters, or a town that has interesting inhabitants. The Simpsons may have done this first and best. The town of South Park, though, is a very important character in the show. Ya know, it being the title and all. This is not the South Park KIDS, or the Eric Cartman Show. South Park is, for lack of a better term, a brilliant ensemble comedy.

I ramble, sorry. SO, Season 11, Episode 2 entitled "More Crap" features one of my very favorite ancillary characters: Randy Marsh (Stan's Dad.) He has been eating too much P.F. Chang's lately and is...a little backed up. Farly early on in the ep we get an excruciating and...uh..candid window into his bathroom habits, which is funnier than any of us would like to admit. The end result is what he believes to be the "biggest crap" that he has ever taken. Incidentally, the word crap is uttered AT LEAST 100 times in this ep, clearly on purpose...though I don't really feel like counting. Since this glorious stool must be admired by all, he SAVES it and eventually puts in on a rack like a trophy in the basement. After some egging on from him buddies (much to the chagrin of his wife) and a rejection by Guinness, he is referred to a European entity known as the European Fecal Standards and Measurements Office that deals in matters such as these. They have their own way of determining the veracity of such claims. Careful examination of the shit reveals it to be 8.5 Courics in size (yes, Courics) and, INDEED, the largest crap ever recorded. Here's where things get tricky!

The previous title holder is none to pleased to hear this news. The title holder being Bono (of course.) Bono is the best at everything, you see, and refuses to be number 2. The little intros used every time he makes an appearance with accompanying YEAH YEAHs are begrudgingly hilarious. When Randy is going to be presented with his award, Bono makes a surprise announcement that he, AGAIN, holds the record for largest crap, negating Randy's previous go at the title. Later, falling into a deep depression, Randy (with the continued support of his friends) reluctantly decides to try to beat Bono again. The only catch is that he has to take to crap in Europe, in front of European Fecal Standards and Measurements council this time.

While in Zurich, a little detective work by Stan reveals a shocking secret about the head of the Council and Bono himself. Bono doesn't HOLD the record for largest crap; he IS the record! Bono is a piece of shit! Get it?! The head of European Fecal Standards and Measurements crapped him out in 1960. He was so large that he kept him, nursed him, and eventually grew him into a walking, talking, singing, philanthropist, piece of shit.

This is really the crux of the episode: Bono is a piece of shit. That's kind of funny and all, but I can't help but to be left thinking that they have done this kind of stuff before, and done it much better. The setting of the episode is funny enough, and there are the usual hilarious visual gags (at a couple of key gross-out moments an Emmy flashes across the screen with "Emmy Award Winning Series") but, ultimately, it seems like a long way to travel simply to call Bono an asshole.

The flip side of the coin, however, shows Trey Parker being able to still write small. So often in the last several years South Park has been very guilty of many of the things that they call out others for. Simply to full of themselves and making everything about an issue. This is something that they are very aware of and allude to in many jokes in previous episodes. It is nice to have just a simple episode calling someone a dick without wrapping social issues into nice little packages at episode's end.

This wasn't a bad episode by any means, but it seemed a little lacking in purpose. Trey is a probably a little more mindful that they have tread these waters before than I am letting on, but however self aware the episode may be, it still just wasn't that great. Also, while it was nice, and is always nice to have Randy the center of an episode, I did miss others in the cast conspicuous by their absence; namely almost all of the main characters. Again, clearly a purposeful decision, but hurtful for the episode in the end.


Dan E. said...

Based on your comments, I assume you haven't seen The King of Kong, the major inspiration for the episode's plot structure. I didn't find it as funny as you did, but it is refreshing to see an episode focused on someone other than Cartman or Kyle.

Daniel said...

Ah! I did want to see that movie, and I know the plot. It kind of makes more sense in that light. lol

Anonymous said...

If you go here you can enter a poo contest lol!!

meged said...
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meged said...
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meged said...

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Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

Ahh, but therein was the genius. They didn't call Bono an asshole, they specifically said that he does all these great things for humanity but all the while "still seems to be a giant piece of crap". I don't know if this story was borne of his decision to move U2 into a country where Mr. Aid-to-Africa wouldn't have to pay as much income tax, but the 1-2 combo the two items represent just cements their central thesis. He really is a big crap.