ESC

After a Strong Start, South Park’s ‘Nobody Got Cereal?’ Limps Over the Finish Line

I had suspected last week that South Park was going to bring us another one of the 3-part episodes they’ve become famous for over the years, but thankfully they decided to keep the ManBearPig storyline to two episodes. While the episode is alright in a vacuum, it’s mostly just rehashing the same jokes made in the last episode.

Just in case anyone missed the whole “ManBearPig is a metaphor for global warming” thing in the last episode or back in ManBearPig, it’s all but flat-out stated in this episode. The main gag is now that everyone acknowledges ManBearPig exists, they can’t decide how worried to be about it. It’s honestly not much different from the climate change jokes they made in the last episode, so it already feels stale.

It’s maybe not the most original joke to have Stan’s grandfather go into unwanted detail about his sex life with Stan’s grandmother and how he meant to “cum on her tits” instead of get her pregnant with Randy, but it’s one of the funniest in the episode. The other highlight is immediately afterwards when Satan dies and goes to Heaven. These almost feel like the only two jokes that weren’t made last week, though.

One of the things the episode does, intentionally or not, is highlight how the writers have no idea what to with Kyle since he stopped being the moral compass of the show in season 19. Kyle spends the whole episode being wrong about everything, and I’m not sure if that’s a commentary on Parker and Stone being wrong about climate change or just a function of not knowing what else to do with him anymore.

The episode concludes about the way you might expect; the old people agreed to ignore ManBearPig because they didn’t want to give up cars and ice cream, and now no one wants to give up soy sauce and Red Dead Redemption 2 to make him go away now, so they just agree to keep ignoring him until he comes back even worse. I’d say it’s overly simplistic but getting rid of bitcoin would meet the world’s greenhouse gas reduction targets for an entire year and we’ve decided that no, weird libertarian fake money is too important.

Overall, it’s nice that Parker and Stone have something to say in this episode as too many other episodes this season have wanted to comment on current trends without saying anything about them; even when I don’t agree with Parker and Stone’s messages, the episodes are funnier when they’re saying something. This was an okay episode, but the two-parter should have been done in a single half hour.  Seeing the whole thing finished, they basically had enough material for a really great single episode, just spread across two episodes.

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