South Park: “Hummels & Heroin” Season 21 Episode 5 Review

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What is this episode of South Park even about? Is it a riff on the rampant heroin problems in suburbia? Is it criticizing people who put their parents in nursing homes? “Hummels & Heroin” is so unfocused in its ambitions that it’s hard to even muster the thought of writers believing what they wrote here. And thus, season 21’s streak of bad episodes continues.

With children’s entertainers overdosing at birthday parties all over town, the question has become where are all these drugs even coming from? A police officer says “prison,” and then we cut right to the old folks home where one woman is using her extensive collection of hummels (small, porcelain figurines typically made in Germany) to garner respect and power amongst those in her generation. She gives those who visit handmade pillows, which contain the drugs, the trade with the children’s entertainers on the streets. Stan and the boys catch wind of this and try to find a way to stop it. But this basic yet ridiculous plot description points to a hypocrisy for the show.

Everyone remembers South Park‘s epic takedown of Family Guy in “Cartoon Wars,” way back from season 10. Well that plot description above sounds like it was chosen at random by manatees. There are a few gags that work, however. In an episode so disinterested in all of its ideas, a simple gag like the main drug runner continuously having soft farts can absolutely work. The climax is fun too, as Cartman and the others, minus Stan who’s on an undercover mission to steal the hummels, have to do acapella to distract them is giggle-inducing, especially when they pick such wonderfully dirty classics to sing to the senior citizens.

But two solid laughs never had a chance of saving this misguided, frankly boring episode. It was said before the season started that South Park would stay away from the political satire. But for a show with so much history in just that to be ignoring everything going on right now? Well, they better have one hell of an idea to make us forget that something huge is missing. “Hummels & Heroin” isn’t that idea by a long shot. Grade: C-

By Matt Dougherty

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