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South Park – It’s a Jersey Thing

It is kind of weird that it took South Park this long to get to the love affair American television is having with all things New Jersey. In this episode, they satire at least three different shows focused on this small state and they generally do it pretty well. There are some weird bumps along the ride, but all in all it is a funny episode, but while there are hints of greatness it doesn’t really achieve the top tier of South Park.

It seems that some people from New Jersey have moved into South Park and they invite Marsh family over for dinner. The Jersey characters are way over the top, in a good way, and shows both the reason people watch shows about them, but at the same time how ridiculous it is that we do. I personally don’t watch these shows, but America has spoken and apparently we love making horrible people into pseudo-celebrities. In typical South Park fashion, this seemingly mundane situation causes an international panic as New Jersey is starting to devour most of the United States and is moving westward to eventually take the world. The show treats the people from Jersey almost as a plague… and it’s pretty funny. Snookie is one of the cast members in the show Jersey Shore and while she is the most popular, South Parks treats her the worst by far. Making her into a rat like humanoid that is only looking for “smoosh-smoosh”……you will understand when you see it.  

We learn some shocking news about the Broflovski family, which leads to Kyle slowly transforming into a New Jersey-ite. The transformation is hilarious as anybody remotely familiar with New Jersey, or Italians in general, can see the stereotypes. The episode is just full of these stereotypes and while it could have became old and stale they show intelligently switches viewpoints enough that the side stories alleviate the weakness of the primary gag.

With New Jersey starting a war on South Park, Randy is forced to look outward for help. Randy is probably my favorite character on the show and I love seeing him take a leadership position. He’s the smartest idiot running the others. He looks to Arnold for help in California but Randy, who is a geologist, has no knowledge of geography it would seem. I think this is the first time South Park has used Arnold, which is pretty odd don’t you think. He’s a pretty easy target and while it is a bit confusing why he called the governor of California it is funny.

 

                                                 

Then Randy looks to Osama Bin-Laden for help. Yeah, I am kind of confused too. We need to look to our enemies for support when the odds are this great. The show skirts around the question of is this tasteful. Now South Park has never cared about being socially accepted or tasteful I know, they had Steve Irwin with a sting ray in his chest literally days after the man had died. I have to say though, even this long, almost ten years later, it still strikes a chord to depict Bin Laden how they did in the episode. I felt kind of uneasy. I think that is their aim however. Here in America we have demonized the man almost to the point where he seizes to be a real person, but instead a depiction of evil, and the show is trying to say that it’s is not helping. At the very end of the episode Bin Laden is taken out and Randy cheers ‘We got him”, moments after Bin Laden saved South Park. Maybe Trey and Matt are trying to tell us something. While not a classic episode it was a good one and a big improvement from last week.    

Rating
8.0

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