Goin' Down to South Park 10.17.07: Imaginationland
Posted by Jerome Cusson on 10.18.2007
It can't be any worse this week, can it?
Before we get to feedback, I’ll review this week’s show. I have high hopes if for no other reason than last week was just so awful that I can’t see the show being any worse. So let’s go on a magical trip to “Imaginationland.”
If last week’s episode was an abortion, then this was a healthy baby. A great episode aired tonight, and apparently is going to be a multi-parter. The commercial said next week would be the conclusion, but according to the fake credits, it’s going to be a trilogy. The official title is based off what happens in the beginning. Cartman and the gang are out on an apparently stupid chase for a leprechaun. Kyle once again thinks Cartman is lying and they’ve even made a bet on it. Kyle will suck Cartman’s balls if a leprechaun is there while Cartman will give Kyle 10 dollars if there isn’t. Then we see the title “Kyle Sucks Cartman’s Balls, The Trilogy.”
We jump to Kyle’s house where he is eating dinner with his parents. Cartman shows up to get his fellatio. Kyle won’t have any of it. The next day he is hanging out with his Stan, Butters, Kenny, and Jimmy until a mysterious man appears and takes them away. Butters (and me) think something funny is going to happen, like the boys will be raped or scarred. We even get a song. This isn’t one of the better ones as it’s the “Imagination Song.” It’s just the word imagination repeated over and over.
When they arrive in Imaginationland, it looks like an acid trip. Then I see some familiar characters. Super Mario, Mr. Clean, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, and even Mighty Mouse. This is the place where all those things us humans have thought of live. HOLY SHIT! This is where the Jedi and Gandalf and Frodo go off to. I knew they all hung out in the same place. Now the leprechaun has warned them of a terrorist attack, and almost on cue one happens. A talking dragon takes the boys away, but sadly Butters is left behind.
When we come back from commercial Stan and Kyle think the whole thing was a dream until Butters’ parents say their son didn’t come home the previous night.
Meanwhile, at the Pentagon an unnamed general announces the attack on Imaginationland. A video is shown and a Care Bear is shot in the head. Wow. Hope the kids didn’t see that one. That might mortify them, especially the part where Butters is reading a terrorist decree and a close-up of the care bear’s head is shown.
Cartman gets a court order for Kyle to suck his balls as Kyle wonders whether this is really the most important thing going on in the world right now. The government decides to bring Hollywood filmmakers in (but they don’t have imaginations) to help. M. Night Shymalan only talks about twists while Michael Bay only wants to use special effects. Although Mel Gibson is crazy, he suggests a background check on every creature in Imaginationland, and Butters doesn’t check out. So the government watches the tape again and Butters pleads for Stan and Kyle to save him.
Come back from commercial and Imaginationland is destroyed. The terrorists send Rockity-Rocket into a barrier that holds the good parts of the imagination land from the bad. A heartfelt speech from Butters works about as well as a New England Patriots’ opponent (this is me being topical, kids).
Cartman is waiting for Kyle to show up. Just as Kyle and Stan to indeed show up, the government takes them away. The last scene is Cartman hitch-hiking with a truck driver to go after Kyle. He wants his dry balls wettened dammit!
I get FEEDBACK!! Quite a bit too. Many people seemed to agree with my assertion of the episode, but there were a couple of very good points brought up the other side. Here's one from Tim.
I'm writing because you desired feedback to your recent review of South Park. First off, I will see I did like this particular episode, though I didn't find it as funny as some of their other episodes. It's on the lower end of their good episodes. I think the failure, if there is any, is how derivative of their own work Matt and Trey can be at times, notably on their attack of celebrity.
But it does take some guts to attack Bono. I'm a big U2 fan so at first I was a little taken by the jab at Mr. Zoo TV himself. However, his ego can be a little tiring. So what's a little jab at big Bono. The portrayal of crazy famous guy has been done before by Matt and Trey in the notorious (and sadly prophetic) episode Passion of the Jew, where Mel Gibson is seen nothing short of a loon with some kind of self satisfying agenda. They portray Bono similarly, so some of the show seems old hat.
What I liked about the show was the build up. True, it was a little predictable. What Matt and Trey do so well is take some trivial joke and allow it to build up to a punch line - that being that Bono is a big piece of crap. I feel you were a little critical of Matt and Trey's choice for a target. I think sometimes the idea of celebrities who almost appear as gods is what attracts Matt and Trey to these potential targets. Like I said: As a fan, I was at first questioning it. By the end of the episode, I understood where they were coming from-attacking Bono for his ego - which I can see.
You didn't really care for the Emmy Winning Series running gag, but really didn't elaborate. I think one of the joys of South Park is the self referential gags and the fact that they are able to poke fun at the absurdity of their own show. South Park is full of foul gags. One of their best episodes revolved around the boys' school choosing a mascot shaped shaped either like a douche or a turd. What makes it so amusing is that it's always for great comic effect. There's a reason they've won an emmy.
As for the worst Family Guy episode being better than this -they've done much worse (after all manatees do write for them)- and don't even get me started on American Dad.
Here's one person that agrees with me.
I agree with the review completely. The episode IMO was the worst South Park I have seen to date. The entire thing seemed phoned in. Sometimes I enjoy when they rip on celebs most of the time the celebs they rip on are full of themselves and deserve it. Now I'm no fan of U2 I like some of their tunes but for the most part not a fan. The choice to make fun of Bono bothered me a great deal. The man really does try to help people and he has a great amount of talent.
I mean he could be like other rock stars and do dope & do reunion tours til our eyes bleed from seeing them over exposed. But he uses his status and own money to bring problems in the world to the forefront and try to get something done about them. How does this make him a piece of crap? Tray & Matt have gotten overly preachy in the last couple of season and in fact I think they themselves are become full of it.
The Tourettes episode is proof of this again. I know Tray is Jewish by birth but considers himself agonistic. Matt is part Jewish. But the amount of hate speech that was directed in that episode makes me think they are self loathing. It also tells me they do it because they can get away with it by being Jewish in a way. If they weren't they would not touch it with a 10 foot pole.
I really think Tray & Matt need to take a step back and relize they are indeed the ones full of shit.
I think both guys raise a point and of all the e-mails I got, these were the best. Based on this week's effort, I think we all know what Trey and Matt were thinking about. I think it was this week's episode.
The 411: This was worlds better than last week. I'm very curious to see where they're going with this as I'm not quite sure what the message is. The positive is they've made me interested to see what's going to happen. There were also some funny jokes thrown in here too. I especially liked the Saving Private Ryan parody with Kyle putting his hat back on and staring at an armless Ronald McDonald. The one word song and the spoofing of filmmakers also worked too. I can't really give this any more than a "7" though cause a lot of this was set-up for next week where we find out what the hell is going on.