As I’ve already mentioned with my post on Community, this week was about triumphant returns, the second of which was South Park! Obviously I’m super excited, so let’s get right to it.
The season premiere of South Park (which I was able to watch the next day, thanks to Trey and Matt’s dedication to southparkstudios.com) was, similar to this week’s Community, a return to the basic formula instead of something high-concept. Again, I love high-concept South Park. Some of the most interesting, weirdest episodes ever – “The Coon” episodes come to mind – have been crazy high-concept endeavors. But I love it when the boys are just the boys, and there was a lot of that during “Reverse Cowgirl.”
First of all, my mother has always hated South Park because of what she calls “toilet humor,” while I have tried to convince her for years that the animated series is much, much more than that. Unfortunately had she watched this episode, she would have been completely confirmed in all of her judgments over the years. The episode was literally all about toilets – man’s inability to put the seat down, Clyde’s mom dying because she fell in, and the man who invented the toilet coming back as a ghost to explain that humans have been sitting in the wrong direction on the toilet for years. (Duh! Why else would there be a little shelf for your comic books? Butters is truly a genius. When he pointed this out, prior to the reveal at the end, literally, my mind was blown.)
But, as usual, the writers have found a way to subvert what amounts to the silliest of ideas and turn it into a critical look at TSA security regulations. When Clyde’s mom dies, government regulations are installed to ensure that no American ever falls in the commode ever again, ordering safety belts and TSA – “toilet security administration” – guards to oversee everyone’s bathroom proceedings, leading the government to literally lend itself to wiping the ass of its citizens. There’s also a less funny bit about lawyers and our overly-litigious society, which was a good point but not told in an amusing fashion.
The episode ends with Clyde giving the finger up to heaven, because dammit he just wants to pee the way he was born to.
Anyway, the whole episode did everything a good South Park should do – it had over-the-top humor, social commentary, and kids being kids. I give this one a B+. (Should I start using a grading system? Let me know in the comments.)
What did you think about “Reverse Cowgirl”?