by Amy K. Bredemeyer
Whenever South Park comes back from hiatus, I wonder what pop culture and historical references Matt Stone and Trey Parker will make. Sometimes I'm in love with what they do, and sometimes it just doesn't match my expectations. Of course, there are stand-alone episodes that don't rely on happenings around the world, but that's not really where they started the second half of this season. I did struggle to understand how some of the plotlines fit together in both "Sarcastaball" and "Raising the Bar," but they were both decent episodes. The former never need air again, in my opinion, but the latter had some hilarious moments. Plus, I found that the references made in the most recent episode really challenged the viewer to reflect upon just how low standards have become in some areas. Let's get better at that as a society, ok?
South Park "Sarcastaball" (S16E08): Randy and the guys watch a football game, and there's a lot of jokes about how players and former players act because of concussions. [I thought this was going to go in the direction of the new NCAAF rule over how a player whose helmet comes off during a play must sit out for the next play, but that wasn't the case.] Between that and the fact that the kids no longer have kickoffs at school, Randy becomes enraged and he makes fun of the intense safety precautions. But, the PTA takes him seriously, so he has to coach the new sport of sarcastaball, which has players kicking a balloon, hugging while wearing tinfoil hats and bras, and politely delivering the balloon to the endzone. [I struggled to believe that NOBODY was comprehending Randy's sarcasm.]
Soon enough, the kids don't want to play, except Butters, who embraces it and compliments everyone. [this made me laugh.] Before you know it, the sport takes off and Randy winds up the coach of the Denver Broncos. [why did CeeLo sing the anthem?] This leaves the kids without a coach, but Butters steps up as Team Captain and rallies everyone, thanks to his liquid "happy dream," which he bottles in test tubes after waking up in the morning. [haha to the replacement refs line!] Cartman is the first to partake in the "bottled goo," and he passes it on to the whole team after he finds himself feeling more compassionate. Before you know it, Butters' Creamy Goo is being marketed as a sports drink! [the "come/cum" joke made me smirk.] Randy decides that he doesn't want Stan playing sarcastaball anymore, but rather than pull him aside, he drives onto the field, runs over a kid, and says that being sarcastic is dangerous. [what the...?!?!?] Randy is the first one to realize what Butter's goo really is, and you can imagine what happens from there. [I will share, though, the "because Jesus is you friend?" line!]
South Park "Raising the Bar" (S16E09): The kids notice how many overweight people ride around Wall-Mart on scooters. Kyle tells Cartman that he'll be just like them if he doesn't change anything, but Cartman decides to go the opposite route, gaining a few pounds so his insurance company will cover a mobility scooter.
|photo courtesy: Comedy Central|
Elsewhere, James Cameron talks about how Clinton lowered the bar on bl0w jobs by letting random guys feel it's okay to get them in alleys. [odd Aliens reference, I thought.] Then, the director dives very deep and actually finds "the bar," raising it far enough that Michelle Obama wants to fight childhood obesity (by punching Cartman in the face and breaking his scooter). [yeah... that's how the episode closed. for real.]