I enjoyed the season premiere of South Park more than last year’s; I won’t talk a lot about it because it hasn’t aired in Canada yet (the Comedy Network will have it this Friday at 9:30), but as often happens, Trey Parker started with really easy satirical targets, the Jonas Brothers, moved on to even easier targets, “purity rings,” and finally moved on to the easiest target of all. Which is fine. South Park always takes on easy targets.
But the tip of the hat to A Face in the Crowd was fun, and it was good to see Kenny get an episode again; he had one last year, “Major Boobage,” but I didn’t care for that one much — the extra money they spent to do the hand-drawn Heavy Metal style animation just seemed to make the episode feel a little heavy and slow. This was an episode that actually drew on the things that made Kenny a fun character in the early years: he’s the only one of the four boys who is genuinely interested in sex. (Stan has a very chaste relationship with Wendy; Kyle has no apparent interest in girls; and Cartman talks about sex but doesn’t actually understand it. Kenny is the only one of these kids who isn’t an innocent on some level.) More Kenny stories, please.
This episode also demonstrated again that Parker and Stone are no longer as out in front of pop-culture trends as they used to be. Last year, several of their episode dealt with trends or issues that were basically over by the time they did the show. Toward the end of the season they managed to satirize the current trends among kids (like Twilight), and this one was obviously supposed to be a follow-up to those episodes, by parodying the Jonas Brothers as the current big thing. Except that their 3-D movie bombed, so between the time this episode was conceived and the time it aired, the subject seemed a little out of date. Not that it really matters; it’s just that South Park’s ability to do episodes about things that are happening right now, once a much-hyped part of its appeal, now doesn’t seem to be as strong as it was.