South Park: Sponsored Content Review

This review is sponsored by…

“Rise and shine guys, If you scored last night I need your consent forms.”

– PC Principal

Much like the first episode of this season, PC Principal takes centre stage in this week’s episode. Just like the debut episode PC Principal is on the warpath and the students are the targets of his politically correct rampage. Unlike the first episode where Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman all failed to stand up to him, PC Principal has finally met his match. Of course his match would be Jimmy, with his calm collected manner and his belief in free speech and the freedom of the press, he is the only student at South Park elementary capable of going toe to toe with PC Principal and his blunt tolerance. Jimmy is the editor of the school newspaper and refuses to let PC Principal approve ant news stories for fear of watering down news and compromising his integrity.

The news article in question

The news article in question

After getting the school paper banned from being distributed around the school Jimmy decides to deliver it to peoples houses around town. It’s a very pro printed press plot line and watching the grown ups re-discovering “real news” free from all the ads and sponsored content. Butters’ dad, Stephen, talks at length about the recurring nightmare of just simply trying to read the news but being distracted and torn away by ads and links to the ten worst celebrity plastic surgery jobs ever, it’s a rant that I think everyone can relate to and it’s so spot on with how we consume or attempt to consume the news in the internet age.

The exchanges between the two in the student principal meetings are where this episode is at it’s funniest and most honest, at one point Jimmy points out that people like PC Principal are often times only overly protective and socially just about touchy subjects such as disabilities because they feel uncomfortable talking about or to people with disabilities, so its easier to just make a lot noise to let people know how supportive and understanding you are. It’s very satisfying to see PC Principal get stumped by Jimmy’s arguments and stumble over his words for a change. Also getting another PC Bro to tag in when his argument starts to go south made me laugh more than is should have.

Two adversaries facing off with one another

Two adversaries facing off with each other

Jimmy also gets revenge on the entire PC fraternity by publishing news stories about them. It’s funny watching as the tables get turned and suddenly the PC bros are the ones being victimised and their is nobody their to defend their cause.

Where I thought the episode started to get off track was the sponsored content b story, not that this plot was dull or anything like that it’s more a problem that it was just as interesting a story as the main story, so it started to steal focus a little. It could easily have held an episode in and of itself. More than a few times this season I have found that the a story is so strong and the b story is again strong but takes away from the main crux of the episode at times.

The only saving grace in this instance is that it seems as if this sponsored content story is going to continue through to the last two episodes and build a bigger trilogy-encompassing story. As I predicted last week in this episode behind all the Jimmy/PC Principal moments, other characters, namely Officer Barbrady (or just Barbrady since he is no longer a police officer) Mr Garrison makes a return finally after being absent from the majority of the season and Principal Victoria who makes her season debut, are preparing them selves for a war; a war to take back the town of South Park and restore it to it’s former, un-pc, glory. I still hope that Matt and Trey bring other characters out of retirement to fight the good fight along side them, I for one would love to see the return of Dr. Mephisto and Kevin.

The beginning of the end of this season I suppose started right at the end of the last episode with Barbrady being shown a picture of Leslie, the innocent school girl who somehow posed a threat to South Park’s way of life.

Jimmy is poached for the cause as well, because of his unique ability to differentiate between the news and ads. In tribute to blade runner and terminator Jimmy is able to work out that Leslie is not a girl but is actually an Ad (this is as strange as south park has gotten in a long while) that has become self aware. We also learn the PC Principal is also and Ad, perhaps this is why he wants t make the town more picturesque and inviting, maybe PC doesn’t stand for Politically correct after al but instead stand for Paid Content.

A photo of PC Principal and Leslie form earlier in the season

A photo of PC Principal and Leslie form earlier in the season

The truth behind the image is certainly strange

The truth behind the image is certainly strange

It’s not the epic story kick off that I was expecting but I guess we will just have to wait to see if the next two episodes manage to pull it off. As well as see whatever point Matt and Trey are trying to make with this.


Episodes: Series Ongoing (Episode 8 of Season 19, Episode 265 Overall)

Genre: Animation / Sitcom

Original Channel: Comedy Central

So what do you think? Have a think and let us know in the comments section below.

– Dan P



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