Burn Down, Burn Down Hot Topic

After the epicness that was the Imaginationland storyline in season 11, it seemed like South Park had set the bar pretty high for itself. But when season twelve bowed in the spring, it seemed like Matt and Trey were far from out of ideas. The first half of season twelve gave us the Heavy Metal, Internet, and writers’ strike sp12x14-01episodes, which I think are some of the best they ever did.

Something happened over the five months between the two halves of the season. I’m not sure what exactly, but it seemed like South Park just wasn’t trying anymore. Out of the first six of the seven eps that made up the back half of the season, four of them I’d rank as ‘meh’, while two of them (the breast cancer and High School Musical eps) were flat-out bad. This was pretty shocking, as I can’t honestly remember the last time I’d call a South Park ep ‘bad’. None of these episodes even made me laugh, the best any of them elicited was a couple smirks. It seemed pretty clear that the show had jumped the shark.sp12x14-02

So I was a little hesitant to watch this week’s season finale, but what did I find when I did? It was pretty funny. Not of the same quality as those I mentioned earlier from the first half of the season, but it was by no means bad. I laughed quite a few times, which actually shocked me. After the previous six episodes, I’d just sort of resigned myself to the ep being bad. This was quite a pleasant surprise for me.

So, now I’ve got a question: Was this a return to form for the show, or just a fluke of quality in the sea of mediocrity the show has become? Honestly, I’m not sure. I hope it’s the former, but I guess we won’t find out until next March. To bide the time, I think I’ll rewatch that episode.


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~ by Jerk on November 21, 2008.

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