South Park: PC Principal Review

South Park goes out with a pop rather than a bang

“This next contestant has a gorgeous little pickenese glock 17″

– Gun Show commentator

It’s the final episode of season 19 and South Park has a lot to wrap up and answer for. Unfortunately it doesn’t really get around to answering the majority of the questions satisfactorily for me.

First up the ad subplot has completely taken over the PC subplot that has driven pretty much the entire season until two episodes ago is all but gone, with a few nods here and there to tie the continuity together. So the ads are taking over and PC Principal, who’s absence last week is made up for here, is traveling to different towns around the world to gentrified districts and wiping out all the sentient ads. The gentrification story actually becomes a little more relevant again since the early episodes this season and ties in quite nicely with the sentient ad plot but it never really feels like it was a satisfying conclusion.

Nathan, who has taken over the school newspaper, is working for the ads to create news that is solely sponsored content. I didn’t really find this all that interesting or relevant, it felt like it was here just because they started this story and had to finish it. As funny a character as Classi was her presence was really only necessary to help Jimmy escape and give Nathan his comeuppance and then this entire plotline is wrapped up and ignored really quickly and I felt that it could probably have had its own episode. I felt this of most of the subplots in this episode actually one episode is just not long enough to deal with this many story threads. I did like Nathan’s explanation of how PC is gentrification for language, it’s a very smart point looking at how language is being tailored and the ugliness is essentially being hidden away in the same way that gentrification is about cleaning up un desirable areas of a town.

Nathan, Jimmy and Classi

Nathan, Jimmy and Classi

The funniest moments in this episode came from the whole town going out and buying guns. I did think initially that it was going to make a statement about gun control especially since when the boys decide to get guns it’s as simple as cutting them out on a basket ball pitch with guns in their hands and Cartman just matter of factly states “ok, we got guns”. If it had gone down the gun control route I think it would have been less funny, and add yet another point to an already over crowded episode so thankfully it just stayed a recurring gag. Cartman squaring off with his mum at gunpoint was one of my favourite moments. Not to mention the gun show/dog show finale was just fun and silly proving that when the show doesn’t take itself so seriously is where it often times shines.

Guns are good

Guns are good

Back to the plot though, I noticed that the news anchor characters were absent for this episode completely, which was odd since they were the ones who started of the whole ad “bladerunner” thread. The episodes epic climax, where finally all the characters are together, the boys, Principal Victoria, Mr Garrison, Randy and PC Principal, happens at the gun show. I was expecting some big revelation and clever message which just never came, I mean I was surprised when Principal Victoria discovered who got her fired but just randomly having Mr Mackey exploding and admitting to it came out of nowhere and served absolutely no purpose.

The most surprising thing for me this episode was the fact that I was certain the status quo would be restored but it isn’t. PC Principal is still the Principal, not sure what happened to Principal Victoria once again, Mr Garrison is still in the running for president. So I guess Matt and Trey have more things to say, but I was just hoping for an ending where the town is restored to normal ready to start a new adventure next year since I found that as this season went on I preferred the episode only plots, not that it cant have an overarching continuity but working weekly as the South Park team do it always feels as if they are not sure where they are going and the end had to be rushed just to end it.

Leslie and PC Principal during the final showdown

Leslie and PC Principal during the final showdown

As disappointing as I found this season as a whole I still found it very funny, with some excellent episodes (the yaoi one in particular). PC Principal is actually one of my favourite new towns folk for a long time and I hope they learn from this season and have an end in sight before the first episode goes into production.

Episodes: Series Ongoing (Episode 10 of Season 19, Episode 267 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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