Kenny gets the boys full attention at how he excels at playing the game Magic: The Gathering. But a new hard-core activity gets in the way, as Wendy tries to get Stan to pay attention to her. She soon realizes he will only do what his guy friends want to do first. Meanwhile Randy develops a new skill set, as he discovers illegal goings-on in the basement of City Wok.
Butters is sitting at home on the computer doing Butters stuff when Cartman comes in saying how bored he is. Butter lets it slip that his father has a drone. Cartman gets extremely excited and just has to see it. So for some reason Butters shows him. And as expected, Cartman takes it and tells Butters to meet him later that night. Later that night, Butters meet him. Cartman makes sure that he wasn’t followed and Butters insured him that he want. Cartman says good and then tells him that he told Kenny because if there’s a drone he just has to tell Kenny. Cartman uses the drone and goes to Craig’s house and accidentally sees Craig’s mom’s enormous bush. Craig’s dad catches him and goes to Butter’s house and blames him because he is the only one with a drone. They check the garage and the drone is there. Which freaks out Butter’s dad.
Mr. Mackey is now gluten free and everyone is annoyed when he won’t quit preaching about how great he feels. But, after witnessing a disturbing demonstration of what happens to your body when you do eat gluten, South Park becomes the first town in America to go gluten free.
South Park has certainly seen its ups and downs this season, featuring both moments of brilliance and mediocrity. Fortunately, “Obama Wins!” brought out the big guns and delivered strong, mostly thanks to the serendipitous timing of two very important events: the 2012 General Election… and the Disney buyout of Lucasfilm. Of course, when you really think about it, Matt Stone and Trey Parker would have been idiots not to combine these two topics for their season finale.
Having said that, expectations were high following the announcement that Season 16 would conclude with another election episode. After 2008’s “About Last Night…” — an episode that showed Barack Obama winning the presidency one night after the election had actually occurred — one couldn’t help but wonder if they could possibly top themselves, especially on such a tight deadline. Thankfully, they did, and that decision paid off in spades. Indeed, Cartman’s ballot heist was almost clever enough to work on its own (as do most episodes painting his character as an evil mastermind). But in addition to this, Matt and Trey had their ace in the hole, and that was Star Wars.
Truthfully, this episode did feel like it was structured to work regardless of which candidate won the election, and that was a smart move on the creators’ part. Fortunately, most of the plot points were centered around Cartman’s hidden ballots and his under-the-table negotiations with Disney and the Chinese. However, there were just enough references to the election to make this episode feel up-to-the-minute; details like including the hair flag lady, for instance, were a nice touch. Likewise, depicting Governor Romney as the s***-quacking duck from last season’s “You’re Getting Old” was not only a stroke of genius, but probably a joke that would have been cut had the election panned out otherwise.
The best kind of South Park episodes tend to not be measured on how consistently funny it is through formula but through how the quickest jokes splice together well within a clever story. This season’s penultimate story returned the show to its soapbox ways and that is said in the best of light because “A Scause for Applause” had a lot to say and it did so very well.
As we’ve witnessed in the news, Lance Armstrong has been on the receiving end of a seeming with hunt, to destroy his impeccable reputation. Let’s not get into those details. The message here is how we deify these icons, their cause, and what happens when the icon is tainted. Do we abandon the cause? Well, usually, because another rubber bracelet is already being made for the next cause.
Then came the delightful surprise that the bracelets didn’t read “Live Strong” but “What Would Jesus Do” instead. Jesus works very well as a metaphor for Lance Armstrong, as they are oddly worshiped in similar ways. When Stan refuses to get rid of his bracelet, the world embraces his courage and starts wearing “Stan Ground” bracelets. Cartman of course is wearing bracelets for just about every cause out there. This is what South Park does best, have fun with relevant issues.
There are some funny gags throughout, especially when SOUTH PARK uses Dr. Seuss and his unique storytelling to hit home the episode’s theme. However, “A Scause for Applause” tackles familiar comedic targets that Trey Parker and Matt Stone have mined with much better results in so many episodes. It’s all just lukewarm and not very clever.