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One Reason Why This Is Still a Great Country (South Park 12th Season Semi-Premiere Edition)

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Yes, that's a Howard the Duck pinball machine.

Sure, things may be going down the crapper in any number of ways: The stock market is tanking faster than the Cubs in post-season play; George W. Bush is still president at least until January; McCain and Obama are very special bums each in their own way; and much, much more.

But as long as there's South Park, there's hope. Or at least incredibly bizarre laughs. Earlier this week, SP returned with new episodes as part of its 12th season. The opener this time included a truly mad plotline in which the most recent Indiana Jones movie was filled with scenes in which creators George Lucas and Steven Speilberg repeatedly rape Harrison Ford, causing post-traumatic stress disorder among South Park's denizens.

Is this "beyond offensive and into some sort of hyper-offensive stratosphere," as some critics have claimed? And that's not even taking into consideration the episode's other plot, which involves Eric Cartman's xenophobic reaction to the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.

Decide for yourself by watching the full episode online right now (go on, it's Friday and this isn't Putin's Russia).

And don't forget to read the 2006 reason interview with Matt Stone and Trey Parker. A snippet:

Matt Stone: I had Birkenstocks in high school. I was that guy. And I was sure that those people on the other side of the political spectrum were trying to control my life. And then I went to Boulder and got rid of my Birkenstocks immediately, because everyone else had them and I realized that these people over here want to control my life too. I guess that defines my political philosophy. If anybody's telling me what I should do, then you've got to really convince me that it's worth doing.

More here.

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  1. Strangely, the feminism blogs are pretty quiet on the episode. Either they are moving a little slow or don’t give a shit about guy-on-guy rape.

  2. I want to congratulate Matt and Trey for the absolute awesomeness of the shark they managed to clear!

    Jesus… did those guys stop smoking pot or something? I think it’s time for them to head back to the sticks and do some hard drugs. Maybe that will break their obsession with issues and the notion that they have to preach in every single episode.

    What ever happened to cows and aliens and TV’s Patrick Duffy?

  3. Are you sure that’s a Howard the Duck pinball machine, Nick?

    I’m just glad they stepped up to the plate and had something to say about Lucas and Spielberg nuking the fridge. It needed to be done.

  4. jasno – this might be a matter of opinion, but I thought the episodes got funnier when they went issues-based. The earlier ones, while appealing to me at the time (as a 12-13 year old) would not appeal to me now.

    The show has actually grown with those of us who’ve watched it since the beginning.

  5. Strangely, that was the first episode of SP I’ve ever seen that I didn’t think was that funny. It’s not that I was offended or anything; I liked the ideas, just didn’t think they were well executed. Of course, maybe I just wasn’t in a good mood, with my 401K disappearing and all.

  6. it was totally a howard the duck machine.

    brrrrrrrrilliant.

  7. “Either they are moving a little slow or don’t give a shit about guy-on-guy rape.”

    That would be the latter.

    Does anyone other than Parker and Stone really get that upset about Speilburg and Lucus? They really have become parodies of themselves. A few years ago there was a South Park episode where the two Star Trek geeks built a time machine to send the kids back to third grade. The problem was the geeks couldn’t finish the machine because they stopped talking to one another in a dispute over the number of episodes in the original Star Trek. It has really become a metaphor for the entire show with Stone and Parker as the geeks and a decent script being the time machine that they refuse to complete.

  8. Don’t get me wrong – I love some of the issues shows. The Schiavo parody was probably the most insightful piece of journalism during the whole affair. But then the issues started getting in the way of the plot. Man-bear-pig had a great message, but was one of the worst episodes ever.

    Are you saying you really didn’t find the Korn Halloween ep funny? The Fognl-Taco-that-crapped-ice-cream ep? Professor Kaos? The meteor shower party? Who is eric cartman’s father?

    You really think the new shows are funnier than that? Really?

  9. I liked the ideas, just didn’t think they were well executed

    I was unimpressed by the Cartman/PF Chang’s subplot, but I love it when they go after Spielberg and Lucas.

  10. Does anyone other than Parker and Stone really get that upset about Speilburg and Lucus?

    *raises hand*. I have had nothing but bad things to say about the retroactive “original” trilogy (Ep. I, II and III) from the beginning. I’ve almost gotten in multiple fistfights over it (usually when one of my drunken friends says “I thought III was OK”….NO IT IS NOT OK!).

  11. They don’t rape Harrison Ford, per se, they rape Indiana Jones. Indeed, Ford was complicit in the rape, although you never see him in the rape scenes.

  12. You really think the new shows are funnier than that? Really?

    You didn’t find the Go God Go two-parter to be fantastic? The Buck Rogers opening sequence in the second one alone was brilliant, and the rip on intolerant atheism was great (and I say this as an atheist).

  13. Could the Cartman/Butters line have been, in any way, a parody of Red Dawn? It would be a stretch, but it’s seems somewhat plausible.

  14. Epi,
    I didn’t much like the Go God Go episodes, but it was mostly the nasty affair between “Mrs.” Garrison and Richard Dawkins. “Let me see those luscious breasts again”. Those who saw it know why it makes me shudder.

  15. the affair between Xerxes and Mrs. Garrison was even worse.

  16. I like how the Nazi agent from Raiders is horrified by the “Pinball rape scene”.

  17. AO,
    What episode was that?

  18. I found the Indiana Jones rape thing to be a little bizarre, but I didn’t see the movie. Was it that bad?

  19. *raises hand*. I have had nothing but bad things to say about the retroactive “original” trilogy (Ep. I, II and III) from the beginning. I’ve almost gotten in multiple fistfights over it (usually when one of my drunken friends says “I thought III was OK”….NO IT IS NOT OK!).”

    They were not ok they were terrible and Lucas has lost his mind. But really, who cares? Parker and Stone are like Star Trek geeks on this stuff.

  20. Where the lesbo bar was bought out by the Persians. I think it was a take-off on 300, which I never saw.

    So why does every episode have to be a parody? Every time a new one comes out we get to play ‘guess the reference’, which is fun every so often I guess.

    Think of late-run Simpsons where every episode sucked and had a guest appearance. It ends up formulaic and boring.

    Will someone please slip Matt and Trey some LSD.

  21. I found the Indiana Jones rape thing to be a little bizarre, but I didn’t see the movie. Was it that bad?

    Worse.

  22. I like how the Nazi agent from Raiders is horrified by the “Pinball rape scene”.

    You recognized it as a take off of the rape scene from The Accused, right?

  23. JLM,
    Yes, it was really that bad.

    John,
    There’s a lot of us geeks out there.

  24. The new ones are still great. Cartoon Wars I & II not only showed how lame Family Guy is but they also called out Comedy Central for their double standard. (i.e. having jesus get shit on at the end but not showing Mohammed.)

    Plus I don’t think I’ve laughed any harder than when Butters made the youtube video.

  25. My main issue with this episode is continuity because, in the SP universe, Spielberg and Lucas are supposed to be dead.

  26. Is this “beyond offensive and into some sort of hyper-offensive stratosphere,” as some critics have claimed?

    You mean Indiana Jones IV?

  27. “Think of late-run Simpsons where every episode sucked and had a guest appearance. It ends up formulaic and boring.”

    I tried to watch the Simpsons for the first time in about five years or so the other day and it was just unwatchable. Terrible. I couldn’t believe that it had ever been funny.

  28. For those of you who love South Park, but do not watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you might want to give it a try. I’ve seen some people describing Always Sunny as a live action South Park, and while I do not particularly agree, I can see why they may make that connection.

    “It’s about the Night Man, like, you know, like filling me up, and I become him, I become the spirit of the Night Man.”

    “But it sounds like a song where a man breaks into your house and rapes you.”

  29. Epi, between H&R and TV, how do you ever find time for grooming or fucking?

  30. how do you ever find time for grooming or fucking?

    He does both at the same time.

  31. how do you ever find time for grooming

    “Yeah well you never seen me once wash my testicles either, but that doesn’t mean I don’t do it every Friday.”

    or fucking

    I do them at the same time.

    “And then we’ll do it doggy style so we can both watch X-Files”

  32. Damn you NutraSweet!

  33. You didn’t find the Go God Go two-parter to be fantastic? The Buck Rogers opening sequence in the second one alone was brilliant, and the rip on intolerant atheism was great (and I say this as an atheist).

    I didn’t find it funny at all. The problem is that Parker and Stone aren’t half as clever as they think they are. They can be really funny when they riff off pop culture, but when they try to have a message, they’re just not skilled enough to carry it off. They’re a couple of guys who complain about how annoying preachy people are out of one side of their mouth and then spout agitprop that’s every bit as bad as anything else out there from the other. And, adding insult to injury, they’re really obnoxious about it.

  34. Damn, I forgot the season started this week. Yay for Tivo!

  35. I have had nothing but bad things to say about the retroactive “original” trilogy (Ep. I, II and III) from the beginning. I’ve almost gotten in multiple fistfights over it (usually when one of my drunken friends says “I thought III was OK”….NO IT IS NOT OK!).

    Anybody who gets into near-fights over Star Wars movies is in serious need of some decompression.

  36. I thought the Indiana raping was hilarious.

    Worst SP episode – the season finale pee-wee hockey episode. WTF??

  37. but when they try to have a message, they’re just not skilled enough to carry it off

    Shem, if you bend over, NutraSweet would be glad to yank that stick out of your ass for you.

    Just kidding. I disagree with you, but South Park’s messages aren’t for everyone.

  38. You tell someone you have stickectomy experience and they try to pass off all the shitty jobs to you.

  39. I don’t trust SugarFree anywhere near my ass. He’d enjoy it way too much. Like going to a sadistic dentist. Just bad policy.

  40. I don’t trust SugarFree anywhere near my ass

    Good policy.

  41. SugarFree, I have a prolapse that I’d like you to take a look at.

  42. Dagnabit! See what you’ve done?

    FYI: I only work on the lady browneye.

  43. But I call her Rochelle…

  44. Get a room.

  45. Oh, excuse me. Sorry.

    [turns away quickly and leaves]

  46. in the SP universe, Spielberg and Lucas are supposed to be dead.

    SMMM MMM A YM FK!

  47. I just thought the episode was a one-note (ok, two-note with the ridiculous Cartman storyline) snorefest. I do agree that the pee-wee hockey episode might be the worst ever. This last episode joins that one as once I’ll erase from the DVR instead of watching again.

  48. I tried to watch the Simpsons for the first time in about five years or so the other day and it was just unwatchable.

    Amen. But actually the last season or two were somewhat better than the previous five or six–that’s how bad it got.

    But I still find South Park great, if not the “must watch” TV of a few years ago. (E.g. I forgot there was a new episode the other day.)

  49. I think that when they stick with pop culture or just pure absurdity, they rarely miss. Their issues episodes, OTOH, are very hit and miss.

    I thought the Scientology episode was wonderful, as was the contested kindergarten election where Rosie O’Donnell tried to intervene, and the tolerance camp episode.

    I thought the Hillary Clinton episode was bad, and the Oprah Winfrey lady parts episode was horrible and mystifying. And not just because I’m a chick.

    best episode ever, hands down, is Chicken Lover, mostly because of Cartman’s line readings. “poor people tend to live in clusters” and “yeah, sometimes upholding the law is messy. but you get by….one day at a time.”

  50. I just watched the latest episode, and I thought it was pretty good. Not one of the best, but still had that “I can’t believe they did it” feel that the best episodes have. Not that anybody asked, but my favorite episode is Scott Tenorman Must Die and least favorite is the Korn Halloween one.

  51. Not that anybody asked, but my favorite episode is Scott Tenorman Must Die and least favorite is the Korn Halloween one.

    Love them both, although I do believe the Scott Tenorman episode is the one I love more than any other. Just something about Cartman being that evil makes it work.

  52. The new ones are still great. Cartoon Wars I & II not only showed how lame Family Guy is but they also called out Comedy Central for their double standard. (i.e. having jesus get shit on at the end but not showing Mohammed.)

    I am still not entirely convinced that the ‘comedy central has decided to edit this frame’ was corporate actually getting involved and exercising editorial control. It is plausible that is was part of the joke within the joke within the joke. They have never been reticent on breaking the third wall or going meta-.

  53. Every seven-episode run has one total clunker. Hopefully this was it for fall 2008. Not funny, dumb commentary.

  54. “Worst SP episode – the season finale pee-wee hockey episode.”

    Man, why did everyone hate that episode? I honestly believe that was one of my favorites, and I’ve seen probably every episode ever. Watching a hockey team of 6-year olds getting literally crushed by a pro-hockey team and then the leukemia patient team member whose last hopes depended on the team’s victory dies out of depression while the pro team celebrates as if they’d just won the Stanley Cup was somehow hilarious to me in a black comedy kind of way. And the announcer dude that followed Stan everywhere was one of the most successful “gags” Southpark has ever done.

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