TV Recap: South Park, ‘Informative Murder Porn’

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When South Park suffers the pit falls of a not so spectacular episode there are always safe go tos the show takes to bring the funny back in full. Tonight’s “Informative Murder Porn” utilized once again the awesomeness that is Randy Marsh while also steering the episode in a tight structure of laughs and meta social commentary. While it could have used the extra oomph of some really good laughs it chuckles well with the plot and was ultimately a step up from last week’s season premiere.

The set up is pitch perfect with a complete roll reversal of children being deeply concerned with the effect of violent imagery on their parents. Apparently there has been an increase in viewership of the investigative shows aired on channels like ID, Oxygen, and A&E. The primary viewers? Couples who find the cases involving spouse murders to be sexually arousing. This seems tamed until a man murders his wife in a manner similar to one of the shows prompting Stan and the kids of the town to institute a parental lock on these shows.

Image Credit: Comedy Central
Image Credit: Comedy Central

The only way around it is to learn to play Minecraft (the parental lock asks how do you create a horse in the game). Instead of getting around just the lock the sudden rise in parents playing the game only feeds off of the negative effect already in motion. This is clearly the message being sent by the show’s creators; no matter what extreme measures you take to solve a problem it only makes the situation worse. The best part of all of this is its Parker and Stone utilizing their best weapon when it comes to tackling any mainstream issue; no side is taken and the viewer is left to interpret was is the right message being sent. Compared to last week where the show got very preachy there are clear messages being sent but no telling of what is the right choice or not.

The laughs were in abundance this time out and while nothing was particularly rolling on the floor in tears, peeing your pants hilarious (well, maybe a little of the last one) it still ran full speed ahead with many one liners and less running gags. This episode had this reviewer from the moment you realize it’s a Randy centric story. Stan knocks on his parents’ bedroom door after he hears a commotion from within leading to Randy’s blunt yet hysterical line of “Who could that be? Oh, it’s probably f***in Stan!” Everything had a chance to make you chuckle ranging from Randy’s rants to Stan about how cool Jaden Smith is over him to Cartman’s persistent declaration of “Boo Wendy!” whenever she got up to speak.

Photo Credit: Comedy Central
Photo Credit: Comedy Central

Besides the jab at all these investigative shows and its graphic content the show took aim directly at the common man’s greatest enemy: the cable company. We have all been there and this was taken to ridiculous heights with the cable company workers resorting to rubbing their nipples suggestively at how they are the only game in town and they don’t make exceptions to anyone. I personally hate these companies and their insistence on stacked channel packages instead of preferred ones that customers cut and paste their selections from so the snooty nature of the employees were both funny and spot on infuriating.

As I predicted in my review last week South Park was able to rebound quickly from an episode that was ultimately a mixed bag. When the show takes the commentary and the laughs and finds a way to connect the doubts with all their zany plot threads you get a pretty solid outing and while its too early to tell if this will highlight the current season it is definitely on the right path.