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South Park Season 15 Episode 6 – “City Sushi” – Review
When I heard we were getting a Butters episode, I was psyched, as some of my all time favorite South Park episodes have focused on Butters as the main character–”The Simpsons Already Did It” and “Butters Bottom Bitch” spring immediately to mind. You can’t imagine how disappointed I was after I watched it and realized not only was this a disappointing episode, it was a set-back in a season which started off rough, was beginning to improve and is now back to square one again.
The episode focused primarily on stereotypes, especially the stereotype that most non-Asian people have that the Chinese and Japanese are pretty much the same thing. I was bored of the battle between the two restaurant owners straight away; nothing about that particular storyline really caught my attention, because it wasn’t funny. Seriously, I’ve heard Lu Kim say “shitty” a load of times before, and while it was pretty funny the first time I ever heard it, at this stage it’s just irritating. They just kept beating the same jokes over and over, like the one where they couldn’t understand each others accents. South Park is usually great at playing with stereotypes and poking fun at them, but everything here was just so obvious: Chinese and Japanese guys fight, try and outwit each other, etc., etc.
The twist of the episode, though, was something I didn’t see coming, and I have to say I was impressed by it. At first I thought it was stupid, but looking at it after the episode, it was a very clever way of linking both the storylines together while also pointing out that we can focus too much on stereotypes without seeing the true worth (or just truth) of a person…for example that the Chinese guy who runs your local Chinese restaurant could also be a Caucasian Psychiatrist with multiple personality disorders. Who knew?!
What was the most disappointing aspect for me was the lack of comedy in the Butters storyline. Sure, there were the odd great moments–the psychiatrist coming into Butters’ room, beating him up, and urinating on him was a hilarious homage to Paranormal Activity–and I can’t help but enjoy seeing Butters get the blame for everything like always, but I expected so much more. I know South Park requires a suspension of disbelief, but, seriously, how stupid are Butters’ parents? The fact that they confused children’s playtime with multiple personality disorder and insanity was a bit too much to believe even for South Park. The story just seemed to plod along, relying on the ever crazy psychiatrist to provide the humor, but like the rest of the episode it just didn’t work. Something just seemed missing, and although I love Butters and always will, this felt like a rare miss for the character.
The episode as a whole was pretty underwhelming; it wasn’t very funny, and the story was predictable, aside from the aformentioned twist that raised my opinion of the episode somewhat. Overall I was disappointed with an episode which promised so much but gave so little. I really hope this was just a misstep in South Park’s return to form.