TVTV Recaps

SOUTH PARK “Informative Murder Porn” Episode Recap

After last week’s episode of South Park, I realized something was missing. I wanted more from the episode and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then Comedy Central ran the ads featuring the tagline “Randy is Back”. That’s when it struck me. Not only was my favorite show gone for almost a year. But one of my all time favorite characters on television was absent. These days, Randy episodes are the ones that I look forward to the most. It wasn’t all that long ago when Randy’s current form took shape in episodes like “Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes” and “Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow”. In fact, I feel he’s replaced Cartman as the plot-centric character that I most anticipate. Butters is in there too. But Randy brings a certain element of the show that I love that the kids can’t…the parents of South Park completely losing their minds.

 

After Cartman hilariously boos Wendy’s Syria report, some kid named Peter Mullin reports on “Informative Murder Porn”. The kids are horrified that their parents watch this stuff and may murder one another. Stan returns home and Randy makes his first appearance. Stan knocks on the door while his parents are audibly having sex. Randy’s response here is golden when he says, “it’s probably fuckin’ Stan”. That’s all it takes. Just Randy’s reactions are good enough for me…sometimes. But Randy is at his best when he becomes obsessed and takes things to another level. Here, it’s his need for informative murder porn so he can have sex with his wife. The set up is golden. We all know our parents watch this stuff.

 

I do love that Stan’s parents try to explain these shows as “documentaries” and “informative stuff” as though it isn’t trash. But the parents don’t just get away with that. As the tables are turned here, the kids are concerned about the media’s relationship with real world violence. The South Park guys know a thing or two about that old argument.

 

I didn’t think the Minecraft training sessions worked as well as they could have. The mysterious child Minecraft wunderkind who sells secrets was almost funny. But in the end it fell flat. As the episode wrapped up with Randy and Sharon in the Minecraft world, I was wisked away to a superior episode in “Make Love Not Warcraft” when the game took center stage and I wished this was the case here. When you think about superior episodes of South Park compared to this one, you realize the subtlety of their critiques, wrapped up in cool visuals and dick jokes. But here, the critiques of media violence, sexual violence, and the CBS-Time Warner debacle began to feel force-fed to me. Don’t get me wrong; this is the hardest I’ve laughed at a TV show in a very long while. Pretty much everything Randy said or did, including his real life Minecraft adventures at night, made me squeal with laughter. But I love finishing an episode of South Park and feeling like I’m rethinking my stances on certain topics, or reshaping the way I view pop culture. I never felt that with this episode. Which is fine, as long as I’m laughing, I’ll live.

 

To that point, however, I wish that we could have seen Randy and Mr. Stotch (and other parents) running around at night wreaking havoc. The point is made that while keeping their parents away from the influence of violent media, the parents turn to other forms of media, just to reenact what they see there. South Park tells us that it’s ridiculous to think that people would do these things and Cartman hammers that point down that only one kid’s dad killed his mom. But for a quality Randy episode, watching him turn one obsession into another, while leading the pack in a mad dash around town punching trees, would have made much more sense.

 

This episode is an improvement over last week’s, sure. There’s eight more episodes left in this truncated season and I’m always optimistic that they’ll get better. However, despite my criticisms, this was a very funny episode of South Park. Tell me what you think below in the comments section. Or follow me on Twitter and tell me how wrong I am:

 @MichaelO_Brien

 

Weekly Pairing:

 

For a contemplative whiff of the relationship between media and real world, cuddle up with a hefty helping of “Make Love Not Warcraft” (Season Ten, Episode Eight).

 

After-Thoughts:

 

–       I love when the dad who killed his wife is arrested. He’s naked and covered in blood, screaming about “the black guy” who stabbed his “nagging” wife. Then Sergeant Yates yells out that the kid shouldn’t be seeing this and they throw a blanket over him. Priceless.

–        Sexy Biscuits. Ha!

–       I love the recurring jokes here. “Boo Wendy” and “I wish Jaden Smith was my son” both work well and don’t overstay their welcome.

–       Al a carte cable would be nice if just to avoid that sort of nipple play.

–       Speaking of which, we recently got cable for the first time and a certain company…umm…unnamed here…is sorta like that.

–       Cartman deducing that the kid is lying because that’s exactly how he would lie is one of the funniest moments in recent South Park history.

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The Author

Michael O'Brien

Michael O'Brien

Michael graduated with a degree in Creative Writing with a minor in Film Studies from Western Kentucky University in 2009. He currently lives with his wife, two cats (and Netflix account) in NYC. He has published short stories on 400words.com and asouthernjournal.com. He has published poems in The Poetry Gymnasium by Dr. Tom Hunley and in The Roundtable.