I’ve been getting into South Park recently & finding it as fantastic as people make it out to be. & with the show’s 18th season finishing last week, I decided to do a scoreboard on my thoughts.
For the starter, there’s Go Fund Yourself. The boys quit school & start their own business, coincidently calling it the Washington Redskins. Of course, this causes trouble with the real Redskins &… that’s it. There’s some confusing stuff with Kickstarter, the logos the boys make go a lot overboard & the ending’s symbolism goes pretty brutal.
The next is Gluten Free Ebola. & this is one of the few problems with this season; the continuity. Now, how they use the continuity is good, but it seems more like the creators saying “HEY, remember this from the last episode? You do? OK! Just wanted to let you know!” which is pretty annoying. However, it’s done well here. The boys go back to school & everyone ridicules them (for good reason). They decide to throw a party to get theirselves liked again, but news about the dangers of gluten causes an epidemic among the adults. The boys finding the right heart for this gluten is sweet & the “gluten can make your dick blow off” is SO South Park. But sadly, after this one, it goes downhill with…
The Cissy. & here’s where another problem with the season comes in: there’s too much Randy. Now I don’t hate Randy, he’s probably the best father character on the show, but he’s had parts of the plots of these episodes practically EVERY episode! & I get that even though the boys are all equally the main characters, Stan’s the main main character. But Randy’s been overused here. Why? One word: Lorde. Now, in the last episode, having Randy dress as Lorde was funny to show his cheapness (claiming he knows Lorde’s father in the office). But, no! It’s REAL! There’s NEVER been a real-life Lorde; it’s all been a middle-aged man crossdressing living a double life! See the problem? Yeah, it’s FLAT-OUT ripping off one of Disney Channel’s worst shows, Hannah Montana! & by God, WHY is everyone SO stupid with not getting that it’s a guy in drag?! I mean, there’s Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie convincing drag & then there’s Adam Sandler’s Jack & Jill. This is the later. Why does nobody notice THE MUSTACHE?! & why does Randy create this alternate identify? He wanted to use the women’s bathroom. STUPID!
Cartman’s plot is interesting & funny, but… it goes mean spirited so quickly. He goes “transgender” so he can use the girls’ bathroom. The girls get fed up & the principal actually installs a transgender bathroom in the school, only for Cartman to use. Cartman’s bastardly strategies for this scheme is good, & it’s even BETTER when Wendy switches genders to give Cartman a taste of his own medicine. But here’s where it goes mean-spirited. He screams at Stan calling him a cissy (the term for non-gays) & he starts getting ridiculed for this. Randy hammering in his Lorde life to Stan also pressurizes Stan, making him a mess. Even at the end, he STILL gets sent to the cissy bathroom!
Handicar became the first episode of the season where I liked EVERYTHING. Timmy starts his own taxi cab-like business called Handicar. Why? To raise money for the special needs kids’ summer camp this year. Not to be greedy like Scrooge McDuck, he’s using it for the best cause he can! How can you not gush in “awe” at this? However, 2 disabled kids are trying to stop Timmy’s business, just so ‘cause they don’t wanna go to camp. They go so far as accompanying rival car companies compete with Timmy, having an homage to Wacky Races. Both Timmy’s big heart & how well the references to Wacky Races is are the best part & that alone are what makes this episode work. But… why do people consider this the worst? It’s better than you think! Only bad thing is the show reminding us that Randy is Lorde (AGAIN!) but at least it’s short.
But then with the Magic Bush, it goes back to weak territory. Cartman & Butters take Butters’ dad’s drone & take it for an illegal spin, even filming footage of Craig’s mom & her bush. It gets complex & mean-spirited afterwards. The saving grace is the drones; both the way they’re animated & the many different versions they showcase. But what’s bad? Craig’s mom is just so taunted with her bush in this! We feel sorry for her & everyone else making wisecracks & claiming “Oh, no, I never watched the video.” What assholes! & what’s more is we’re supposed to believe that Butters, SWEET ADORABLE BUTTERS, is the bad guy! I mean, Butters did nothing at all! He just stated his dad has a drone & Cartman steals it, calling Butters out that HE’S the one who started it all & we have to hate him! Sure, & Token’s the bad guy in World War Zimmerman! It ends up as a double torture porn.
Then we get our Canadian episode with Freemium Isn’t Free. There’s a new Terrence & Phillip mobile game that’s generic & stupid… but is addictive to Stan. It turns out every “Canadough” you spend gets turned to thousands or millions of dollars that goes to Canada for rebuilding. It’s a great get rich quick scheme by the Prince of Canada & it’s a good relatable addiction story that kids can relate to. There’s Satan, Stan’s grandfather, Canadian stereotyping that SP does so great, it’s a lot of fun.
Now we come to the best of the season: Grounded Vindaloop. Cartman scams Butters to going into a “virtual reality”. In the middle of it, there’s lots of complexity but that’s what so great. It keeps you going “are they really gonna… ?” & they do it! But it’s in a good way! Who else jawdropped at seeing Cartman in a coma with the VR headset on? Who else went “wait, what” with intrigue with each “it’s a virtual reality within a virtual reality”? Who else found Steve’s advice at customer service such a joy to be no help at all? Who else SCREAMED with enjoyment at seeing Butters’ dad FINALLY GET WHAT’S BEEN COMING TO HIM?! The ending? Man oh man is it ever clever! The live kids they got looked SPOT ON! This episode is filled with twists that M. Night Shyamalan WISHES he could do! Overall, fantastic plot (& plot twists), great use of virtual reality, characters are hysterical, a must-watch!
Unfortunately, the rest of the season doesn’t hold up as high as the last one, as so proven in the next episode, Cock Magic. The boys hear of this interesting new take with cock fighting, but instead of fighting each other, the roosters play Magic: The Gathering against each other. The boys buy their own rooster & join the ranks, also while Randy does his own cock magic. This is the only part of SP this season that I liked about Randy. His idea of cock magic is just hysterical; a WAY better side hobby than being Lorde. & the transition moves to well; from home hobby to kids’ parties to Vegas style! The boys competing in the card games is also just as fun.
Finally we get the 2-parter finale: #REHASH & #HAPPYHOLOGRAMS. Both try to be big and epic but… it just doesn’t work. There’s more Randy as Lorde (people STILL DON’T SEE?!) humiliating “herself” at this big concert. He does the whole “I can’t live this double life” cliché, but IT’S NEVER RESOLVED! Even him revealing it to Shelly is so shallow! All the continuity from the past 8 episodes are jackhammered into these 2. There’s this stupid thing about living holograms making their own holiday special that’s supposed to brainwash people? They even bring Michael Jackson back and they DON’T have him go after Ike?! They set it up like that yet… it goes nowhere! Cartman starts his own blog thing, just being a dick giving commentary on EVERYTHING. It starts out funny (especially his video corner appearing in real time), but it soon got irritating. Speaking of social network, all the out of nowhere hashtags that keep popping up? What the hell? And the biggest annoyance is it also jackhammers Christmas. Only Kyle’s thing is the saving grace, trying to get Ike to stop watching Let’s Plays of video games & just do the real thing (& how living rooms are dying because of this). Ike & his preschool friends even call Kyle & Stan grandpas because of it. But even then, they wreck it! It’s revealed “Lorde”’s music consultant is the evil mastermind behind it all! & right when it seems almost sympathetic , Stan & Kyle call HIM a grandpa… FOR TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING THAT THEY WERE DOING!!! Backhand writing at its best, folks! But at least Pewdiepie’s cameo was also fun, since they DID get the real guy.
That’s all I gotta say about this South Park’s 18th. What did YOU think? Was it the same as mine or different? Say in the comments.
South Park © Trey parker & Matt Stone
94. “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” from The Big Chill (1983)
I don’t know if this is what started the “college/high school friends reunion in one house” type of films (y’know, like Grown Ups?), but this is probably what spawned the “dancing in the kitchen while making a meal” type-moments in films. It’s pretty good & you can sense the relationship & friendship between all these people, if you’ve seen the film or not (like me). The song itself is great, since it’s the Temptations. However, it’s placement on the list? I have the same feelings like how I do with Old Time Rock n’ Roll. I’m not saying each song has to an original & be almost 3 minutes long, but… what relevance does this add to the film? Don’t you think this is too short, both to be nominated AND to be placed on the list? I’ve got the same feelings toward “Buffalo Gal” from It’s a Wonderful Life being nominated. I think any of the other 300 songs from the 400 nominations list (like Talk to the Animals, If I Were a Rich Man or the Ghostbusters Theme) could take the #94 spot instead. Maybe there’s just something I’m missing with this one.
Nothing much to say with the drawing. The best aspect of it has to be the background. People could’ve been done better, but this was from the cramming era.
“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” © the Temptations
The Big Chill © Columbia Pictures
95. “We’re Off on the Road to Morocco” from Road to Morocco (1942)
Before hearing the song, I was aware of the “road to” gimmick before. I’ve seen the Family Guy episodes, some fanfics right here on deviantART, etc, but of course, this originator is the best of them all. I’ve heard Bing’s voice plenty & have seen Bob’s stand-up before. Never figured them to be a team. As for the song, it’s pretty catchy, has nice 4th-wall breaks/exposition, what more could a comedy song need? Even though visually, it’s just them riding a camel, their small “dances” they make & Bing fluffing the camel’s hairs… I guess is also enough.
For the drawing, almost everything is based off Disney’s Aladdin franchise. Bing & Bob’s look are based off two of Genie’s transformations from Aladdin & the King of Thieves &, of course, the camel’s based off the narrator’s camel, even if a quarter of its face is shown. Once scanned, I colored the picture in… well, color & then saved another version to change to black-&-white. Why didn’t I just change the original colorized one? You can’t be too careful. Besides, Bing & Bob pop up more times in the list. Why keep guessing the colors when you already have them? Only problem I have is their body positioning. They look too stout & short, probably more so on Bob ‘cause he’s near the camel’s rear. I just wanted to be sure that at least their legs are shown and being on a camel, that’s obviously hard to make it look good. That I could’ve improved.
Road to Morocco (film & song) © Paramount Pictures
96. “Footloose” from Footloose (1984)
Ah, Kenny Loggins; a singer who has quite a genre leap, doesn’t he? Going from soft children’s lullabies to all-out rock head-bangers like this one. Just goes to show the great range of an artist. I think the first I’ve heard of Footloose was when the musical came out. Never seen it, but I remember the title. In fact, my cousin was in a production of it once. Then I heard the song, & it sure screams “80s”. As for the placement in the movie, it gels fantastic, since the song also screams “dance par-tay”. & these “kids” (adults playing teens) sure do have quite the footwork as well! & no, I haven’t seen the original or the remake yet, but I do know that people consider the original one of Kevin Bacon’s best movies. PS, is it me or does the dancebreak of the guy at 2:27-2:38 look like a CGI rendering test? Not in a bad way, it just has the sort of green-screen look of it.
For the drawing, this was probably the first big tackle I had to work on; mostly with the coloring aspect. When I drew it on paper, I knew there’d be challenges with this. Not the background party-goers or the barn: it was the spotlights, the balloons & the confetti. You’re probably thinking “How can those things be hard to draw?” Well, they’re not; it was coloring them.
The spotlights were the easiest, since it’s just a brush tool, but getting all 3 of them in a precise location and having them look reflective instead of just a flat circle. Fun fact: for the dancers that are behind the spotlights, I didn’t even draw their faces. Why bother since they’re gonna be covered up anyway? For the balloons, it you notice, you’re able to see through them, the separate colors blend AND they’re in a huge pile! So getting the right transparent look was tough. And the confetti… don’t even get me STARTED on the confetti!
I knew if I were to do it in little Sharpie dots would ruin the look, so I went Google Image-hunting for “yellow glitter pattern”. I found a good one & then the hardest part began. I took the image into Photoshop & tried hard to get rid of the black background using the magic eraser tool. Then when I moved it to the picture, it was the right size (about half the size of Kevin Bacon’s face) so I didn’t have to change the size at all… I just had to multiply the same image… about more than a hundred times. And if THAT’S not enough, I had to make them all transparent just like the balloons!
So yeah; great song, nice drawing & complicated coloring, but it was all worth it.
“Footloose” (song) © Kenny Loggins
Footloose (film) © Paramount Pictures
97. “42nd Street” from 42nd Street (1933)
Somehow I feel like I heard this song before as a kid, but I can’t remember where. Ah well. I “revisited” the song when, like All That Jazz, I decided to listen to the full set of songs from this list. & this sure is an entertainingly busy number! Ruby Keeler’s singing & her tap-dancing are both pretty good. Speaking of dancing, the choreography is the true star of this number. At every different angle, every person shot on camera, EVERYONE is in time & synchronized to the music. Busby Berkley really knew his rhythm.
This was probably the simplest drawing so far. I already had a drawn picture of Ruby Keeler as her character from 42nd Street for a different project. Only thing I had to do left was easy: draw the background, scan/color that in, take a copy of Keeler, turn it black-&-white & pasted it onto the background. I’m not gonna be doing that for any other lucky chance like that; only if the pre-existing drawing piece looks good enough. I find reusing past pictures for new ones cheating. Besides, it’s in black & white. You won’t be able to tell THAT much of a difference.
"42nd Street” (song) © Harry Warren and Al Dubin
42nd Street (film) © Warner Brothers