TV Recap: South Park, ‘A Song of Ass and Fire’

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It is now apparent that South Park’s recent parody/homage to Game of Thrones will stretch out for at least one more week and, in all honesty, that is just great. I mentioned last week how 50/50 multi episode arcs on the show can be but considering how the overall quality of this season has gone it’s been a very refreshing outing. When Trey and Matt aren’t trying to cram too many plot points into one episode (as they have several times this season) the story and jokes balance out. For a second week South Park has showcased why it still has enough life left in it by continuing their GoT parody in the perfectly titled and perfectly executed “A Song of Ass and Fire.”

This week we didn’t dive into much of a plot beyond the internal struggle between the Xbox One and PS4 camps. Wizard King Cartman (not be confused as a King of Wizards) is dealing with the betrayal of Princess Kenny into the PS4 camp as early reviews start to filter in of how amazing their competition actually is. Building the anticipation of warfare on Black Friday worked so well here even down to allowing Randy Marsh’s security camp a moment to enjoy a gag or two. Because this is clearly going to continue into next week there was more room for laugh than plot development but the show still found time to build a great story introducing new characters every second in the way Game of Thrones does.

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I must compliment the writers on not allowing any joke to become stale and balance out both the plot and the need for laughter. Cartman’s continuing trend of talking about betrayal in the old man’s garden is still firing on all cylinders and was upped a little bit by having the tables turned on Cartman via Bill Gates. Gates as an evil, wine drinking businessman might be one of the best one off celebrity antagonists the show has done to date. His “clean this shit up” line was absolutely brilliant and his insistence on potential bloodshed as healthy competition fit so perfectly into both a classic villain trait and the overall mentality of the modern video game market.

This week was a great example of how giving a plot point time to flesh out is a big plus as was the case with the story’s focus on media sensationalism. The news loves building up the risk that goes around Black Friday and here it was taken to the nth degree by directly stating that “having a blood bath on Black Friday is good for the news.” They even found a way to check off a GoT hallmark by having the two news anchors sleeping together be siblings. Having the news reporter in his on camera demeanor playing his cards and threatening black mail was brilliant and it worked for the rest of the episode. Very few things here didn’t work. As repetitive as someone might find George RR Martin’s wiener celebration in front of Butters it never got old but could have easily derailed when the choir came in at the end.

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“A Song of Ass and Fire” was once again another instance of ending on a potential cliffhanger that would be a perfect end to the overall arc. I’m torn on whether the idea of Martin being able to move Black Friday to December 6th (and Thanksgiving for that matter) is a commentary on his carefree “I’ll do what I want” style of writing. Regardless if this is being kept up for one more week I am fine with that as long as it stays consistent. For two weeks now South Park has been able to keep oil in the engine dishing out jokes at a fast pace and an incredibly cohesive plot. My only regret this week is I seem to not be clever enough to stick a wiener joke into this review. Hey! I did it!

 

All Images Credit: Comedy Central

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