South Park: “Tweek x Craig” Season 19 Episode 6 Review

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I think it’s time we start talking about South Park in a serious critical manner again. Season 19 continues to be wonderful with its best episode yet, where the show tackles overly PC parents.

“Tweek x Craig” was such an on-point representation of a particular attitude toward the LGBT community in a time where people regularly brag about how PC they are. It all starts when the Asian girls in the school fictionalize a relationship between Tweek and Craig and draw it all over the school. It’s called Yaoi, and it’s very real and probably won’t make sense to South Park‘s audience, or maybe any audience for that matter. Yaoi is a genre of anime that focuses on two boys in love. That’s all fine and good, but the part where things get strange is that it’s targeted at young girls, not boys in the LGBT community.

The episode then exploits out misunderstanding of this fad by having everyone else misunderstand it as well. It’s not long before the entire school thinks Tweek and Craig are an actual item, and they just love it. More attention is suddenly put on their relationship than any other simply so the town can show how supportive they are of gay relationships. Season 19 thus far has been very much rooted in all the political-correctness that seemingly popped up out of nowhere and has everyone pointing fingers at the wrong words. The show’s stroke has been broad on the subject, but this episode put a narrow focus on the overly PC supporters of the gay community. Tweek and Craig aren’t even gay! Yet everyone in town has sold themselves on the story just to show that they support it.

This makes the inclusion of Craig’s disapproving father all the more significant. In the whole episode, he’s the only one being truly honest. That’s not to say folks like Randy don’t support the LGBT community, but that their overwhelming support seems to be a vehicle for them to be better than other people who aren’t. Craig’s father initially hopes for Craig to be straight. But upon seeing the look on his son’s face after he’s “broken up with,” he starts to come around. Craig’s father supports his “gay” son because he loves him, not because the media or the general attitude around town told him to. That’s the support the LGBT community needs, rather than the folks who put their gay friends on a pedestal.

All this talking about politics, and I have yet to mention Cartman’s absolutely hilarious subplot with Cupid Me, the imaginary Cupid version of himself. Cartman makes his imaginary friend gay for him, only to refuse every advance. Finally, he gives in and we get that final shot of Cartman on the toilet masturbating to himself having sex with himself. Man, only Cartman.

Overall, “Tweek x Craig” took everything that’s made season 19 great, and increased the focus. By picking apart the ways society’s overly enthusiastic support can have some weird, off-putting side effect on the community getting support, South Park has nailed what it’s been trying to do all season. With that, this season is already the best in years. Grade: A

Some Other Notes:

  • The best moment of the episode obviously involved Randy, the perfect choice to personify over-enthusiastic LGBT support. When talking to his son about how someone can be gay, he starts by getting it all right. But after Stan asks how the Asian girls choose who to depict as gay, Randy corrects himself, doing his best to remain confident to his son, and says that Asians choose who is gay. The quest this leads him on, where he’s honestly just trying to educate himself, ends up being incredibly offensive, and absolutely hilarious.
  • Tweek and Craig get in a fight in the hallway. To show his support, PC Principal just hands them some money and tells them to go home.
  • The fact that this episode can even exist and be relevant so soon after gay marriage became legal is something of a triumph for the LGBT community. No longer are shows depicting gay relationships just to check a box on the PC checklist. Now we have shows picking apart the nuances of why that’s wrong.

By Matt Dougherty

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