Before we begin, I feel the need to address the trailer for The Love Guru, which ran at the top of tonight's episode. I hope the movie is good, but wow, does it look like a recycled piece of nothingness. Seriously Mike, another goofy guy with a funny accent AND Verne Troyer? Let the little man have his strippers and fade off into the sunset.
Anyway, South Park, the last episode before the twelfth season's hiatus. (They'll be back with seven more, but I'm not sure when.) It was okay. Not great, not horrible. Funny, but not hilarious. There was a noticeable lack of proselytizing, which can be a good or a bad thing. Here's something I noticed, though, as I looked over a few SP message boards after tonight's conclusion: There's always someone who'll swear it was the best episode of the season, and someone who will swear it was the worst. Strange-ish.
Anyway, the kids–this was an all-kids installment, with no parents around–go on a field trip to one of those lame-ass Pioneer Village-type places, to be taught about the wonders of 1864. As usual, South Park is pretty spot-on with the ridiculousness of everyday things like this: The workers won't break character, and the kids are bored as hell. In order to keep from wandering off, the kids are paired off, and of course no one wants to go with Cartman. (He's an asshole, you see.) In one of the episode's best moments, the camera pans to Butters, who looks coy and offers to partner up. Mr. Garrison puts the two together, and Butters swears not to let go of Cartman's hand through the entire episode.
When fattie peeks through the fence surrounding the village, he spies Super Phun Thyme, a huge indoor gaming palace, and drags Butters away from the field trip and over to have a good time. Butters, naturally, gets mad and won't let go of Cartman's hand, so everyone thinks they're special little friends. Second best moment of the episode: Cartman's song about having a super fun time at Super Phun Thyme.
Of course, things can't go smoothly for the rest of the kids, and the Village is taken over by terrorists who have just robbed a Burger King. It certainly felt like the SP guys were heading toward a straight Die Hard parody, but nothing came of that. The episode may have been a slight homage to Toy Soldiers, though. Third funniest moment of the episode: One of the terrorists demands his share of the loot, and when he's given a cheeseburger, he flips through it like it's a stack of money.
Cops surround the compound, and of course Cartman and Butters think it's because they ditched the field trip, so they worm their way back inside. Eventually, there's a shootout, but not before the terrorists threaten to kill Kenny–a big tease, of course. Fourth funniest moment: The Pioneer Village workers refuse to break character and tell them the secret code to a possible escape route, even as they're being killed.
-- Cartman should say "Oh my Jesus Christ monkey balls" more often.
-- Another amazing Cartman quote: "Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, and do whatever you want all the time, you could miss it."
-- Butters: "I'm so disappointed in myself." Cartman: "Don't be too hard on yourself Butters, you can't help being a douchebag."
-- Oh my God, they didn't kill Kenny. Sorry, it had to be said.