Thursday, April 12, 2012

South Park: Bullying is a Cycle

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This wasn't a bad episode of South Park, but I didn't like it nearly as much as others. Maybe that's because I just couldn't get beyond the fact that the bully causing everything was Butters' GRANDMOTHER. I mean, how unlikely is that? Was she seriously going to the school every day to find him and get his lunch money? And what was with everyone constantly locking themselves in the restroom with a victim? When I was in HS, the bathrooms didn't even have locks from the inside! Anyway... Stan taking charge wasn't all that interesting. No sidestory certainly didn't help. San Diego being a byproduct of KONY2012 completely dates the episode with a reference that a vast majority isn't going to understand in another year, if they even get it now. The saving grace of this episode was pointing out that everyone is bullied by someone in one way or another. Oh, and the joke about how the movie should be free to watch on the internet if it really needs to be seen by everyone.

South Park "Butterballs" (S16E05): The kids are at lunch and Cartman talks about how music videos have evolved to girls singing about vajayjays instead of relationships. [I guess.] This is a pretty moot point, except Cartman takes the initiative to dress as a girl and sing about a vajayjay in Stan's music video later. Butters has a black eye and no lunch because a bully took his money. He doesn't want to be a tattletale, "Anonymous Andy," or a "Cliche Conflict Resolution Kevin," so he thinks he'll just have to let it go. Stan tells him to take a stand, and to try talking to his visiting grandmother if he isn't comfortable speaking with the everyday adults he sees. [would a kid really feel more comfortable talking to someone he knows less well?] Butters takes the advice, but we find out that his grandmother is the one who has been bullying him. [what the..???]

At school, a specialist arrives to host an anti-bullying assembly, bullying the administration into letting him hold it. [loved Butters' "oh hamburgers!" haha] After taking some stories from bully victims, the specialist suggests that the school make an anti-bullying video, and bullies the kids into getting involved. [eye roll] After
photo courtesy: Comedy Central
some provocation, Stan steps up to be in charge, and things are going well until Butters decides he doesn't want to take part. Well, Butters' grandmother thinks that he told on her, so she's messing with him more and more, even stabbing him repeatedly during dinner. [wtf. this is out of control. dressing up as Chaos solved nothing, though.] It seems that a movie company wants to turn the video into a movie, but the specialist is upset at Stan for selling a video that wasn't his own idea. The specialist only has a short time to bully Stan before a studio exec starts bullying the specialist. And, from there, Jesus bullies the studio exec. [mega eye roll.] But it doesn't stop there. Butters and Stan are guests on Dr. Oz, where Dr. Oz bullies Butters until Butters stands up for himself... a little too much... and beats up Dr Oz. Well, that makes the studio exec yell at Stan (because he cast a bully as a victim) but gives Butters the confidence to confront his grandmother, telling her that she'll die being a bully. [harsh. but probably true.]

The episode winds down with everyone at school booing Stan because the video now makes them look like idiots. Plus, Dr. Oz is suing Stan and the school. To get away from it all, Stan flies to San Diego, gets naked, and dances. Apparently, that's the place to "jack." [I'll just continue sitting here, shaking my head...]
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