South Park: Truth and Advertising Review

There is a war coming…I think

“So um, South Park kinda sucks now, you wanna bail?”

– Randy Marsh

Following on from the realisation that ads are becoming sentient this weeks South Park moves away from the PC and gentrification plotlines that have driven the majority of this seasons arc and onto a global conspiracy story.

In an earlier episode I noticed that PC Principal was perhaps overused, or thrown in just to remind us he was there; instead of because it was relevant to the plot. I had the exact opposite feeling in this episode, because of his discovery in the last episode, you know the discovery that he is in fact a sentient ad, I f

elt that this weeks focus on the bladerunner-esque ads and their “emotions” PC Principal should have played a larger role but he was absent entirely as were his fellow PC Bros.

Garrison, Victoria and Jenner are on the case

Garrison, Victoria and Jenner are on the case

Mr Garrison, Principal Victoria and Caitlyn Jenner make their return to South Park to put their plan for taking down PC Principal into action but their story was left to the side lines, as they struggled to get to grips with the way the town has changed in their absence.

The thing to note from this episode is that it will not resolve any of the subplots but move them along towards a conclusion for next week. Randy is starting to realise that the gentrification of South Park was perhaps a bad move since he cannot afford to shop at whole foods all the time and has had to take out a second mortgage. He gets caught up in the investigation that Mr Garrison and co are running. Which makes for some really funny interactions between the four as they set out to take down the PC frat house.

Woah this is a safe space bro

Woah this is a safe space bro

Jimmy is still with the news anchors interrogating Leslie about what the ads really want. It’s this subplot that has the most development, Jimmy realises that Leslie isn’t the evil being that he has been lead to believe she is and breaks her out of the detention centre. In a nod to the film Ex Machina it turns out Leslie was indeed as evil and the news anchors had told Jimmy and used him to escape, because to the references it was perhaps a little too obvious that it was going to happen but was necessary for the plot to move on any further.

Meanwhile Kenny, Stan, Cartman, Kyle and Butters had their own investigation going on, see I told you there were a lot of things going on in this episode. The times the boys were on screen were easily the funniest I found this episode. Not knowing what has become of Jimmy and Leslie they dig into PC Principals past, only every time they get close to fining anything the ads get to them. It’s a clever sight gag watching the boys crowded round a computer screen talking intently about a global conspiracy then to suddenly cut to them trying on discount trainers or ice creams.

sp truth1

The boys start bickering when they realise that they are for some reason not investigation PC principal but enjoying ice creak and start to turn on one another. In particular Stan and Kyle accuse each other of sabotaging the investigation and distracting them. Turning on each other didn’t really go anywhere but the arguments Stan and Kyle had were very funny with Kyle at one point telling Stan “your such a Cartman” and Cartman pondering why nobody is blaming him.

To say the episode felt a little unfinished would be an understatement and I’m not all that clear on how the finale is going to wrap up all these plotlines in just 20 minutes. The more this season goes on the more I realise I prefer the stand alone episode structure of past seasons, not that this season hasn’t been as funny as South Park usually is because it has it just feels a little odd watching things unfold slowly with fewer payoffs and the South Park brand of social commentary isn’t as impactful when it’s not targeting multiple issues to satirise on a week by week basis.

Episodes: Series Ongoing (Episode 9 of Season 19, Episode 266 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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