South Park - Season 20:
i like South Park.
people say South Park had gone to shit the past, eight, ten, twelve years now, but i disagree.
it's a good show and i stand by it.
i've considered myself a South Park Republican ever since some asshole invented the term back at the end of the Bush Years, even though i really have very little in common with the Republican Party.
mostly, i'm just in it for the liberitarianism, taking the piss out of popular culture and casual swearing.

South Park - Season 20 continues the serialized format it only really began in Season 19.
serialization is the best format for televised entertainment. i will never understand why any show would ever have an episodic format.
the story arc for Season Twenty revolves around internet trolling, set against the backdrop of the American Presidential election, with Mr. Garrison as a stand-in for Donald Trump.
Mr. Garrison's campaign revolves mostly around wanting to fuck all the immigrants to death and he finds himself getting increasingly nervous as he can't seem to say things to make people stop voting for him.
he does alienate women, though, which adds to the undercurrent of a gender-war brewing in popular culture.
fanning the flames of the gender war is Kyle's Dad who is a prolific internet troll.
Season 20 is big on Kyle's Dad.
Kyle's Dad spends his time being misogynistic on the internet, nabbing himself bigger and bigger scalps until he eventually drives a Danish Olympian breast cancer survivor to kill herself.
this encourages the Danish government to create a contraption that could retroactively end anonymity on the internet, pegging everything everybody has ever said or done on the internet to their real-life identities.
this causes pandemonium and President Garrison, Kyle's Dad and several other characters have to work together to put an end to the goddamned Danish.
also, Cartman gets himself a girlfriend by pretending that women can be funny.
and also there are member berries.
fucking member berries.

the South Park Guys wanted to talk about nostalgia as a big reason Mr. Garrison/Donald Trump got himself elected President.
people longing for a simpler, safer time that only really exists in their minds.
this fetishization of nostalgia took the form of anthropomorphic berries that only want to reminisce about things.
which is fine, i guess, i'm willing to follow you, but instead of fleshing that out more, the member berries mostly just talked about The Force Awakens.
i mean, i get it, The Force Awakens was just a rose-colored glasses version of A New Hope, but that's really what you want to do with your ten episodes of television? just keep shitting on one okay-but-not-great movie?
i feel like the South Park guys like to set themselves up at the beginning of every season with an unwieldy and absolutely ridiculous premise and then work as hard as they can to make it make total sense.
and, sure, good effort on their part, E for Effort for trying to make nostalgic berries a thing, but they never really play the way i think anybody wanted them to.

for being a better-then-average season, for offering their usually social commentary and critique of what is wrong with the times, for aptly addressing the epidemiology of internet trolling, in-group out-group identity politics, the pervasiveness of nostalgia and the root of the Trump phenomenon, and for doing it all with a whole lot of f-words sprinkled liberally throughout, South Park Season 20 earns an 8.0/10.

Vice Principals:
Vice Principals is a show i wasn't particularly all that interested in.
i was barely aware of it, really, because i don't have TV and i have AdBlocker all over my internet and i don't have social media and i don't have friends.
i have very little idea about what's going on in the pop-culture and i guess that's the way i like it.
it takes a lot for something to come along and get into my cloistered world and Vice Principals just wasn't really up there making an impression but then somehow it did and as a last minute “fuck it, let's try this...” i downloaded it the last time i went on a big piracy run.

Vice Principals is the story of a pair of vice principals who work in a fairly nice high school somewhere in the Carolinas. North, i think.
really, though, Vice Principals is the story of whatshisname, that big troll-looking motherfucker who was also in Eastbound And Down.
you know who i'm talking about.
he always plays an overconfident oaf full of swagger and buffoonery but really has a tender heart deep down.
that motherfucker.
anyways, since Eastbound And Down was a success [was it a success?] the people at HBO decided to see if they could strike cult success again by letting the motherfucker play the same character again, this time against the backdrop of a high school.
it's one of these stories where plot don't really matter as much as character.

anyway, this Overconfident Oaf full of Swagger and Buffoonery is a vice principal and after his principal retires and is replaced by another outside hire principal, the Overconfident Oaf full of Swagger and Buffoonery decides to team up with the other vice principal who is his nemesis to get the new-hire principal fired.
for nine half-hour episodes they get up to hijinks and antics.
along the way the Overconfident Oaf full of Swagger and Buffoonery develops a romance with a new English teacher after he learns how to act like less of an ass and he develops a camaraderie with the other vice principal after working together and realizing that having a friend is nice.
in the end the two vice principals succeed in getting their new principal enemy fired, which is kinda dicked-up as the new principal was a nice enough lady and the entire series was pointing towards the Overconfident Oaf full of Swagger and Buffoonery coming to terms with the new principal, letting go of his ego and accepting her as a new friend.
but he betrays the new principal in the end and the season ends with the Overconfident Oaf full of Swagger and Buffoonery getting shot in the school parking lot by an unknown assailant.
it was a pretty dark turn.

the charm of Vice Principals lies, i guess in casual profanity aimed at children.
it is hard to go wrong with a grown man berating teenagers.
also, the shooting in the series' last seen was pretty memorable.
other then that the story of an uncomfortable weirdo who becomes a hero is nothing new in the new millennium, it's the age of Dwight Schrute, but it is executed well and i have no complaints.
for figuring out a formula for an Overconfident Oaf full of Swagger and Buffoonery to strut about for nine half-hours and to do it right in a way that is enjoyable to watch, and for tapping into the comedy gold of cussing at children, Vice Principals earns a 6.0/10.

//[ab irato ad astra]

September 2017

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