Kyle, Stan, Cartman, Kenny, and Butters are back and trying to cash in on the startup craze…leading to a chain of events that will shape their year. As the mystery of Lorde deepens, the kids deal with the popularity of drones, Timmy’s Handicar app, “free” mobile gaming, virtual reality, and dangerous Cock Magic! The stakes are high, and the kids of South Park continue to raise them!
South Park—Season 18 aired on Comedy Central from September 24, 2014 to December 10, 2014. The season was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program for “Freemium Isn’t Free”.
I’ll give South Park this, it always experiments. In this season, Trey Parker and Matt Stone decided that all the characters’ actions would have consequences and that storylines would move from episode to episode instead of hitting a giant reset. This not only is a bit of a change, but it also on a larger scale reflects what has happened to TV since shows like sitcoms are no longer one-offs and have continuing plots. It doesn’t always work this season, but it is different.
The season as a whole was pretty strong after a rather weak South Park—Season 17. A number of the episodes were totally on target and hit where they needed to hit. I particularly liked the opening episode “Go Fund Yourself” which poked fun at why the Washington Redskins should really consider changing their name by turning it back on them. It is just an example of why South Park remains one of the smarter shows on TV.
The show does have its weaker episodes as well. Some of the theme issues just don’t hold up for a whole episode and also cause the idea of a continuing plot for the season to get a bit lost. Things like “Cock Magic” are funny, but they aren’t really adding to the whole…though it is referenced in later episodes.
South Park remains one of my favorite shows on TV. It has evolved from a goofy show that pushed too hard for laughs into something really smart that does make you think on occasion, but also isn’t afraid to have fun with itself. I’ll keep travelling back to South Park as long as they keep making it.
South Park—Season 18 Complete Episode Guide:
18.1 Go Fund Yourself Airdate: 09/24/14
Stan, Cartman, Kenny, Kyle and Butters realize that crowd-funding is the key to wealth without any work. With all the good names taken, Stan, Cartman, Kenny, Butters, and Kyle name their start-up company The Washington Redskins…leading to the Washington Redskins objections due to the insensitive use of the name. Meanwhile, Kyle tries his own company with the only name he could get: Furry Balls Plopped Menacingly on the Table.
18.2 Gluten Free Ebola Airdate: 10/01/14
The town of South Park has gone gluten-free after discovering the potentially deadly effects of gluten on the body. Cartman, Kyle, Stan, and Kenny find themselves friendless and decide to throw the most epic party ever…including Lorde!
18.3 The Cissy Airdate: 10/08/14
Cartman is “transginger” and out to get his own bathroom as Erica which leads to an epic battle between Erica, Wendy, and Stan. Meanwhile the true origin of Lorde is uncovered by a snooping reporter.
18.4 Handicar Airdate: 10/15/14
Timmy has created Handicar: a vehicle sharing app powered by his wheelchair. With Handicar getting more and more powerful, cab drivers and car makers realize that Timmy is a threat, and Nathan and Mimsy could be the ones to bring him down in the only matter possible…Wacky Races.
18.5 The Magic Bush Airdate: 10/29/14
Butters’ father gets a drone and Cartman and Kenny force Butters to use it. Craig’s mom becomes the victim of Cartman’s spying…revealing she doesn’t shave. The neighborhood tries to protect their neighborhood using drones which leads to a police action drone shooting. Butters tries to keep his involvement under wraps but Cartman continues to make videos of Craig’s mom.
18.6 Freemium Isn’t Free Airdate: 11/05/14
A new Terrance and Phillip app game has been released, and the Freemium game proves to be a big money maker for Canada. Stan finds himself addicted to the Freemium game leading Randy to believe Stan’s inherited a gambling addiction from his grandfather. Cartman, Kyle, and Kenny discover that Jimmy has a hidden agenda to promote the game.
18.7 Grounded Vindaloop Airdate: 11/12/14
Kyle, Stan, Kenny, Cartman, and Butters might or might not be trapped in virtual reality. As the kids struggle to find a means out of the virtual world that they might be trapped in…while avoiding being grounded and customer service.
18.8 Cock Magic Airdate: 11/19/14
Kyle, Stan, Cartman, and Kenny find themselves involved in Cock Magic the Gathering. Randy hears rumors about the return of Cock Magic and reinvents his Amazingly Randy act.
18.9 #REHASH Airdate: 12/03/14
Kyle finds Ike and his generation only likes to watch commentary on the computer while ignoring “real” life. Cartman starts his own YouTube blog and gains popularity. Randy finds he must perform as Lorde at a concert with disastrous results. A malfunction releases a Michael Jackson hologram into the world and hunted by a Tupac hologram.
18.10 #HappyHolograms Airdate: 12/10/14
Kyle out to save his family and society by starting a #SaveTheLivingRoom campaign. With a big event planned for the holidays, it could happen…but Cartman has his own plans. Plus, the holograms are rampaging, and Randy might have to come clean about Lorde.