Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Previously on Battlestar Galactica.": South Park, Season 11

Written very plainly as a middle story, the second chapter in the Imagination Land Trilogy did not disappoint. Perhaps it wasn't quite as good as Episode I, but the set-up is almost always a little more interesting than what follows. However, the writing with Episode II had the opportunity to have more fluidity through out, and the story was certainly less confusing.

The two main threads met up nicely, as the government is using Stan and Kyle to find a way into Imagination Land to stop the terrorists from attacking our imagination; Cartman treks to Washington to make sure that Kyle makes good on his agreement to suck Eric's balls if he could prove the existence of a leprechaun. The Imagination song that I mentioned last week comes heavily into play in how the U.S. military opens their portal to Imagination Land. This scores points for story continuity, and for obeying the rules of a trilogy: something from the previous episode thought to be insignificant WILL come back and prove to be otherwise.

Meanwhile, IN Imagination Land, the evil side has taken over. Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhes, The Tripods from War of the Worlds...and in two amazing South Park cameos: Manbearpig and The Woodland Critters! If you don't quite remember these joyful creatures, take a look here. Along with hundreds of other figments of the evil imagination, the surviving members of Imagination Land are caused to flee through the Gum Drop Forrest to the Castle Sunshine. After watching the mayor murdered (totally wicked chest burst by a Xenomorph from Alien)Butters must also escape, and heads for the castle with the Lollipop King and Snarf from ThunderCats.

Back in Washington, the portal has been opened, becoming a complete parody of Stargate. Kurt Russell is commissioned to lead the team of soldiers into the portal to fight the terrorists. Though they are all quickly raped by the Woodland Critters.

In the midst of all of this, Cartman, having finally found Kyle, savors the moment as he prepares for Kyle to suck his balls. A cape, a crown, and a camera are just a few of his chosen items brought in to enjoy this moment. However, a breach through the gate forces everyone into the main lobby of the Pentagon and Cartman suffers with dry balls again.

Manbearpig has come through the gate! As all the different scientists get murdered they, of course, first speculate as to just what portion of this creature is more man, bear, or pig.

Back in Imagination Land, after arriving at the Castle Sunshine, Butters is brought before the Council of Nine, which is, by far, the best idea of this trilogy so far. The Council of Nine runs Imagination Land, and consists of nine of the highest regarded characters from human imagination: Aslan, Zeus, Morpeheus, Wonder Woman, Luke Skywalker, Gandalf (at least I THINK that it is Gandalf,) The Tooth Fairy (though that COULD be the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz,) Popeye, and OF COURSE, Jesus. After some deliberation, the council comes to the agreement that Butters may just be the "key." Whatever that means. Butters is not pleased, as he really would rather go home and have waffles and nannas with his parents.

At the portal, Manbearpig is still attacking. They find a way to reverse the portal, but this accidentally pulls Stan in along with Manbearpig. Not before, however, Manbearpig deals a fatal blow to our beloved Jew, Kyle. Kyle is pronounced dead, but Cartman will have none of it! In ANOTHER brilliant homage (this time to The Abyss) Cartman furious and tearful is able to revive Kyle.

When Kyles comes to in a hospital room, Eric is there waiting with a camera and his signed contract.

End Episode II.

Not QUITE as good as The Empire Strikes Back, perhaps as good as The Two Towers. (hehe) I love how far gone they are into this entire concept. There really isn't any snobbery or asshole-ery to be found either. Again, the central conceit that when our imaginations get carried away in regards to terrorism, or really anything, it can lead to disaster is fairly simplified, but it seems to work as a thesis for now. The writing is just as good as they've ever displayed.

This is focused, funny and downright offensive. It's everything that makes South Park great.


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