South Park: Raising the Bar Review

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This week South Park took on fat people, Honey Boo Boo, and the overall tolerance we have for things that “lower the bar”. The results were pretty mixed.

First off, Raising the Bar had great ideas. How can anyone watch people like Honey Boo Boo ruin their life on national television? When did our society reach this level? It is a difficult thing to pinpoint exactly but over time our standards have greatly diminished. The best moment of the episode came when Kyle told Stan that they (they being South Park) were as much a part of this trend as Honey Boo Boo. I applaud Trey Parker and Matt Stone for throwing themselves in and not thinking they are above it all. It could have been hypocritical and it wasn’t.

However, the way we got to this point was really disjointed, even for South Park. A lot was going on in this episode. Cartman started riding a scooter. Token and Kyle tried to make a documentary about it that ended up being competition against Honey Boo Boo. Speaking of, we got several segments of the recent star doing her thing. Meanwhile, James Cameron took a mini-submarine down to the darkest depths of the ocean to find the mystical “bar” that needs to be raised.

I actually quite liked the James Cameron bit, but the rest struggled to feel like they all belonged in the same episode. Sure, South Park‘s take on Honey Boo Boo and her mother were hysterical, but the reasoning behind their inclusion felt forced.

The same goes for Token’s plan to make Cartman a star. It really didn’t need to be there.

Raising the Bar was a solid episode. This is an example of how this show can suffer from the quick turnaround time between episodes. The ideas just weren’t as well thought out as they could have been. But at least the ideas are still there. Grade: B

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