Friday, October 28, 2011

South Park: What Broadway Does for You...

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

As someone who is a lifelong fan of musical theatre, I was thrilled when I heard the title of the episode. The descriptions posted around the internet seemed amusing, and I looked forward to finding out what was in store. I must say that I was taken by surprise at what the episode was actually about. While it wasn't the worst one I've seen, it certainly wasn't one of the best. Anyway, read on and see what you think if you haven't already seen it...

South Park "Broadway Bro Down" (S15E11): Randy is talking casually with his coworkers, mentioning how Tebow beat the Dolphins and asking what others did over the weekend. [hahaha. oh South Park, always keeping things relevant!] One guy says that he went into Denver to see Wicked, which was on tour there. Soon, all of the guys are talking about how they get great sexual favors after taking their wives to see musicals.
photo courtesy: Comedy Central
So, Randy takes Sharon to see it, and he learns that there's subtext in the show that sways women into performing oral sex... and he ends up getting some before he is even back to the house. [well, you only have 22 minutes, you've got to make things happen fast! LoL.] Randy talks to some more guys in the community and finds out that apparently all of the musicals have the same effect on women. With this new knowledge, Randy decides to take Sharon to New York for a trip, leaving Stan and Shelly with a neighborhood family... of vegans. [Are the Marshes like BFFs with these people? I don't remember seeing them before... why not leave the kids with someone they know a little better?] They see a half-dozen shows and Stan seems to be more than pleased... even on the plane ride home.

Time goes on and we find out that Randy has taken Sharon to see Wicked 23 times... there's just not enough Broadway in South Park. [a) 23 is ridiculous... even for Wicked. b) duh. There's not going to be top-notch musical performances in the middle of nowhere.] So, he wants to start a local show, from the ground up. He begins to write it himself, but thankfully that's not the final version. He's being very direct with his sexual lyrics, rather than having them be more of a "subtext." [Splooge-Drenched Blowjob Queen just doesn't have a nice ring to it, you know?] Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwarz, and Elton John have lunch with Randy (at the local Hooters), telling him how upset they are that he's making the sexual coercing so obvious... he's going to ruin everything. But, Randy doesn't listen... not until some of the town guys come into a rehearsal and tell him that Sondheim wants to "bro down." Well, after some circling around in a parking lot, they put their differences aside and all of the guys decide to help Randy with his musical... starting by renaming it The Woman in White. [haha on the title. Though I must say that I was expecting more jokes about other musicals with those four legends on-screen.]

While all of this stuff with Randy is going on, Shelly slowly develops a relationship with the Vegan child, Larry. They're a weird family, always wearing life jackets. Well, when the Marsh kids stayed with them, Shelly confronts the parents about not allowing their son to make his own choices. [not surprising, but I did like how Stan called his dad and acted like he was leaving a message on an answering machine, not a voicemail.] Well, not too long afterward, he gives her a flower, thanking her for standing up for him, something that nobody has ever done before. He tries a SlimJim and then some Burger King, playing her a song and telling her that meat is great. He even takes off his life vest... and she invites him inside to play Settlers of Catan on Xbox. [whoa. Settlers is on Xbox? I'm gonna need to find a demo of that pronto.]

Now, the storylines merge. Randy comes home to tell Sharon about the musical gurus helping him out with his show. Sharon is very excited for him, and shares that she gave Shelly and Vegan a set of tickets to see Wicked. Well, Randy freaks out and tells her about the oral sex subtext, and they race to the theater. [I was a little surprised at Sharon's reaction.. I was expecting bigger, I guess?] He can't get Shelly to leave the theater, so he decides to ruin the show. [how did he even make it in that far?] In fact, he steals a costume from a nearby store and dresses as SpiderMan, claiming that it's time to put an end to Broadway once and for all. [hahahahaha!] He swings in, knocking out various characters and some audience members. He then busts a water main and hits the conductor. All of the chaos causes people to flee the theater, and everyone gets out except for Larry the Vegan... who drowned without his life preserver. [really? so unrealistic and not funny... but, I LOVE the ad for Book of Mormon at the end, haha.]

What other musicals were mentioned? Jersey Boys, South Pacific. Cats, Sister Act, Anything Goes, Memphis, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Lion King, Godspell, Mamma Mia! and Sunday in the Park with George.
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