South Park: Wieners Out review

#WienersOut


One constant theme running through my previous reviews of South Park’s twentieth season is that the show seems a little unfocussed thus far; pulling plot threads from the unfolding presidential race, online trolls, reboots and nostalgia in general.

The show took a week off last week and the brief hiatus has perhaps been the best choice the show has made this season; with this time off and an extra week for writing the show became so much more focused and narrowed down on two storylines. First we have Gerald’s on going trolling habit and the on going war of the sexes at South Park elementary.

Butters leads the charge with South Parks answer to the #NotAllMen movement with the Wieners Out movement which sees the boys of South Park elementary walk the halls in a wholly inappropriate and equally hilarious march with their genitals on display; a march which sees butters call out calls to action such as “do not be afraid to think…with you wiener”. Kyle is of course opposed to Butter’s aggressive stance against the girls and wants everybody to just get along and not escalate any situation.

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PC Principal makes a brief appearance, I much prefer PC Principal this season as I found the joke to be running out of steam by the end of last season. Season twenty’s PC Principal reminds me a little of Chef actually, he counsels the children on whatever their problem might be in a given week and offers advice often pointing out a hypocrisy while doing so. This week the girls are offended by the Wieners out movement, as Butters and the boys decide disrupt a volleyball game during the national anthem. PC Principal describes the situation as a “PC Pretzel” in a speech where he talks about the bind he is in when it comes to freedom of speech and just plain good taste.

In the one dead end plot point this episode Kyle tries to get Cartman to help shut Butters up and pit him in his place. Unfortunately for Kyle, Cartman isn’t interested in causing trouble anymore. Losing all his access to social media and tech has had a profound effect on Cartman turning him into a disturbingly well-adjusted young boy, he no longer swears, he no longer bullies and on top of it all he has a girlfriend and he wants no part in Kyle’s scheme to get back at Butters. It’s out of place for Cartman and while I’m certain by the end of the season Cartman will be back to his usual self I can’t quite envision the moment that turns him back or whether he is perhaps playing the long con, which would be the ultimate Cartman prank.

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While the boys and girls are at war with one another Gerald is fighting his own battle, trying to leave his online persona “Skankhunt42” behind. Last episode had Gerald panic when somebody discovered who he was leaving, just a note with the ominous words “I Know Who You Are” scribbled on it. Gerald was forced to destroy all of his electronic devices and this week he is facing the consequences of being shut off from the message boards and comment sections he once ruled.

The troll hunt is underway this week as Denmark unleashes a way to track online trolls no matter where they are or how well they’ve hidden an evidence prompting Gerald to join forces with other trolls in South Park, including the “Make Love Not Warcraft” gamer.

Gerald’s situation goes from bad to worse to abysmal as he tries so hard to cover up his misdeeds. It turns out that a fellow troll has tracked him down and not someone out to expose him as he initially thought, so he went “Protocol Zero” for no reason. His time away from the Internet has had a startling effect on his personality and all the bile usually saved up for online comments is starting to leak out as he shouts at random passers by on the streets of South Park.

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The dangers of social media deprivation

Gerald eventually takes steps to help himself and decides to go to an addiction help group. Randy and some fellow member berry addicts make their one and only brief appearance in this episode and I’m sure as the season progresses this will come into play more.

To top it all off Shelia, Gerald’s wife, is starting to suspect Gerald and in his attempt to smooth things over he has to make up story after story to cover for his actions and behaviour, culminating in a spectacularly bad decision which sees Gerald and Sheila try a golden shower.

This is easily the funniest episode of the season and while it’s not as good as Tweek x Craig from last season it is a massive step in the right direction; so hopefully the show can keep up the pace and unfold the seasons plot line in a similar fashion.


– Dan P

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