Without My Anus Season 2 Episode 1
In almost all the cult TV series that I have watched, my favorite episodes are bottle-top, conceptual, most often without the main characters in the center of the plot. South Park is no exception in this regard. In general, I’m not the biggest fan of this animated series in the world, for me it ended somewhere in the seventh season and remained a pleasant carbon monoxide memory from the 2000s. And the best episode that I can still recite by heart is “Not Without My Anus and Northern Rescue Season 2” the first in the second season, which came out at one time as an April Fool’s joke.
The entire episode is a Canadian film starring fart comedians Terrence and Phillip. Hilarious fooling around with some charming local pride is what I have always adored Canadians for in South Park, and this series is just a concentrate of it all. The opening scene works like the coolest deconstruction of the genre of judicial drama, then there is a tense political thriller mixed with a touching melodrama, and it all ends with a happy ending in which the people triumph over dictatorial power with the help of collective farting. If this is not our common dream in today’s difficult times, then what?
Egor Belikov (Kino TV):
Towelie / “Towel”, season 5, episode 8
The history of South Park is a history of glittering grandeur. This series is desperately uneven in nature (no joke, every week to give out something near-news, and to be witty and original), but even in its worst moments, this spectacle, full of genuine cinematic vitality, is incomparable with anything else. When Eric Cartman defecates his mother’s face in the Emmy-winning great episode about the borderline between the real and the unreal meaninglessness of being, Make Love, Not Warcraft (Season 10, Episode 8). When Matt Stone and Trey Parker change the world forever, deciding to completely and thoroughly expose Scientology cultists in Trapped in a Closet (Season 9, Episode 12 – 20 minutes of inferior Flash animation never mattered so much). When the totality of nationwide American madness reaches a new level in the free adaptation for small screens of the story of Terry Shaivo’s disconnection from the life support apparatus in the godlike episode “Best Friends Forever” (Season 9, Episode 4). This is forever in the history of American television – if I were offered to see something on TV for the first time that I never had the opportunity to watch with the entire planet at the same time, I would undoubtedly choose one of the above series of South Park.
But nevertheless, the best and greatest episode of this classic series, which so helped me in my youthful period to finally take shape in an ugly, dirty, moralless, boorish and rude little man, I admit something seemingly completely meaningless, unnecessary, even considered by the authors checkpoint. This, of course, is “Towel” (season 5, episode 8). It would seem, what to catch there? The showrunners themselves invented this character, a talking, anthropomorphic, semi-intelligent and ever-smoky towel, as the worst, most stupid hero of their series of all possible, whose image also had to kick the greedy TV channel Comedy Central for their policy of producing unnecessary merchandise. It looks as if the episode had to be urgently submitted to the channel under contractual obligations, but nothing else was invented. The four young protagonists just want to play the new console (GameSphere is an obvious parody of the now forgotten Nintendo GameCube), but instead, a dull, ten-year-old towel ties them into a parody conspiracy hailing from sci-fi video games, at that time very poor in scenario. The military are fighting with scientists who turn out to be reptilians, Towelchik has a muscular evil doppelganger, all the heroes are hanging on the edge of the abyss over the lava, nerves boil – and all this time Stan, Cartman, Kenny and Kyle absolutely do not care. And in this blatant joyful meaninglessness I see real childish cinematic happiness – like when in Rick and Morty the creators stop bothering about their own overcomplicated logical constructions, they just turn Rick into a cucumber and mold it into a Hitchcockian action thriller, here it is the same. “Towel” is a brilliant, straightforward movie, and don’t forget to bring a towel with you.
PS Another great series of “South Park” called “Scott Tenorman Must Die” (Vagabond Season 2, Episode 1) has the same characteristic, but this epic conglomeration of ancient Greek myth, Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hitchcock’s suspense and other art history joys still deserves not a relatively short commentary on an online cinema blog, but a dissertation.
Maria Remiga (Amediateka):
Breast Cancer Show Ever Season 12 Episode 5
Choosing just one favorite South Park episode is, of course, a heartless task. But since times are not easy now, I want to recall the episode of Breast Cancer Show Ever, one of the most life-affirming.
There, in case you have forgotten, the best man on the planet, Wendy Testaburger, speaks at the lesson with a report on breast cancer. Cartman starts laughing like cattle, making stupid jokes, to which Wendy responds very belligerently – challenges him to battle. Then Eric goes through a series of voluntary humiliations, just to avoid the battle – because he is afraid of losing to the girl (in his coordinate system, this means a loss of respect for the boys from the area).
But the fact is that no one respects Cartman anyway, and most importantly, he himself gives Wendy the key to emancipation, which leads to an unconditional victory in the fight: they say, cancer does not play by the rules, so you do not follow them. Then Eric turns into a red porridge. This is both creepy and funny, and very, let’s say, encouraging: at the moment of confrontation with stupid evil, one must remember the feat of a little girl from an eternally snow-covered town (disclaimer: this, of course, is not a call to violence, in my opinion it is obvious that the fight between Wendy and Eric is a convex metaphor).
Alikhan Israpilov (Cinemaholics, Film.ru):
The Losing Edge Season 9 Episode 5
Like any South Park fan, when asked to name my favorite episode of the series, dozens of different options pop into my head, but for some reason I thought it was right to choose the episode “Black Bullet Season 2”. He unfairly rarely hits the top of the best episodes, but for me it’s a textbook episode, proving that Randy Marsh is one of the funniest characters in the series. And this is simply a rare episode that makes me laugh out loud at the mere recollection of a plot parodying sports dramas.
While the boys are trying with all their might to lose one baseball game after another in order to fly out of the championship and free the summer vacation, Randy Marsh starts fights with the fathers of children from other teams, but suddenly he meets a worthy opponent. The second half of the episode is, it seems to me, a distilled South Park: absurd, sarcastic, wrong and ridiculously ridiculous. Children prove to the other team that they suck and do everything to defeat, but still win; Randy confesses to his uncomprehending wife that he is … afraid to go to the game and lose a fight, although no one asks him to fight. Although no, he asks: the realization that he lives in a “free country, America.” At South Park, that has always been both the main motivation and the best excuse for being an idiot.
Evgeny Tkachev (afisha.ru):
The Simpsons Already Did It / “It Was Already in The Simpsons” Season 6 Episode 7
One of the favorite episodes explaining that art and, more broadly, culture do not exist in a vacuum, everyone is fed and inspired by something, because art is communicating, constantly overflowing vessels, from cultural exchange between which something new is born. So, according to the plot of this series, Butters makes plans to destroy the world, but every time he feels horror when he learns that his ideas are unoriginal: everything was already in The Simpsons. Suffering one fiasco after another, the boy goes crazy, experiences a nervous breakdown, as a result of which he even begins to see the rest of the characters in the animated series in the form of the characters of The Simpsons.
In the end, his friends agree that there is no need to worry about this, “The Simpsons” has already shown everything it can, and the wise Chief notes that Matt Groening’s show borrowed ideas from the classic “Twilight Zone”. That is, for five (or whatever) thousand years of human civilization existence, it is difficult to come up with something original. More important is the optics, with the help of which we look at things. Say, “Portrait of a Girl on Fire” by Celine Syamma would not have been possible without Bergman’s “Persona”, and if you really go deep into the legends of the hoary antiquity – without the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. But the point of “Portrait” is that he turns this myth inside out, offering to look at it with a different (female) look. In general, it doesn’t matter that everything was already in The Simpsons and The Twilight Zone – the mediocrity borrow, and the professionals steal, because, as you know, the horror “We” by Jordan Peel also grew out of the episode of “The Zone” about frightening doubles.
Katya Karslidi (Cinemaholics, Film.ru):
The Hobbit Season 17 Episode 10
Like all normal kids in the 90s, I started watching South Park back in the early 2000s, when the show was shown at night on REN-TV somewhere between conspiracy shows and late-night soft porn. Mom was horrified by the Christmas Poop cartoon, which made South Park’s secret ninja viewing even more interesting. Like The Simpsons, the Trey Parker and Matt Stone show has raised an entire generation, although half of the old episodes can be freely enchanted, but we never stop watching them.
In the series “QB1 Season 4 ” (as in its predecessor Fishstiks), the creators have resorted to the main rule of the comedian: the joke will be even funnier if you add Kanye West to it. While the town’s feminist icon Wendy Testaburger struggles with the unrealistic beauty standards imposed by the “Kim Kardashian + Photoshop = Success” formula, Kanye aggressively tries to “grab the microphone from her.” It is important for the honorable gay fish to maintain the illusion that his wife is not really a hobbit, and for girls at school who have seen enough of the photoshopped magazine covers, it is important to get rid of all the “flaws” of their appearance in order to become more self-confident and popular. In the collision of the real and the illusory worlds, the second, of course, wins, and even bends Wendy under her. It’s easy to see how well this episode resonates with today’s public mood: just look into the comments under the photos with body-positive models, or drown in the wave of hatred of Cosmopolitan readers, if suddenly there is not a ton of retouching on the cover. We are all Kanye West, stubbornly believing that his wife is not a hobbit.