South Park Season 18 finale recap & review
Although he doesn’t celebrate the holiday, Kyle Broflovski opened the eighteenth season finale of “South Park” with a Christmas carol about the direction that viewing television has taken—giving a message akin to Christopher Nolan’s op-ed letter to the Wall Street Journal from July 7, 2014. People all over the world watch their shows alone and comment on what they saw online. It’s lonely and depressing. Kyle decides to begin a movement to dust off the television bring back the living room with his #savethelivingroom trending topic. All over the world, CartmaanBraa has started trending thanks to the use of his hologram army of celebrities both living and nonliving. This opens up the episode to an unrelenting joke/ reference machine for the next twenty minutes. Trey Parker uses material that’s built up over the season for a spectacular payoff with a few new quips, as well.
Shelia knocks on the door to tell Kyle that Bill Cosby is downstairs to see him. If you can get past the initial shock that “South Park” decided to go there then you’ll find out that Cosby decides to throw in with Kyle for a holiday special (yep) in hopes to save the living room. As Cosby leaves and heads for his ride, he flickers—a hologram. It’s a trap.
Randy and Sharon sit at the SPPD where Randy comes clean about his alternate identity of Lorde in order tell warn the police about the hologram army inundating pop culture, but not before he makes an even more hilarious confession to Shelly first. The cops (depicted more racist than ever before on the Comedy Central program) bring in a suspect, Michael Jackson’s hologram, who was trying to break into the old Jefferson place. The hologram is expected to play the role of “Peter Pan” in the “Washington Redskins Go F—k Yourself Holiday Special” alongside the following: Al Pacino, Iggy Azalea, J.J. Watt, Miley Cyrus, U2, Angelina Jolie, Bill Cosby, Taylor Swift, Tom Hanks, Lorde (but not really), Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, and holograms of Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, Robin Williams.
The special’s producers worry where their star MJ is hiding which causes a cutback to the SPPD where a hologram of Tupac walks in to trigger a string of more racist cop jokes as Tupac eventually breaks the King of Pop out of captivity. Cue Stan and Kyle running to Cartman’s room to cut the problem off at the source. Stan confesses that Randy is Lorde. But it’s too little and too late. Cobain has gone on to perform, as have Elvis and Iggy Azalea. The joke really hits its peak when Cosby performs the unfortunately apropos Christmas song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Taylor Swift. When the two buddies give up on Cartman, they appeal to the special’s producers who decide to take them captive. The producers call Randy and threaten to kill Stan if he fails to cooperate.
Did I mention the fake tweets on the bottom cycling through the entirety of the special? Read ALL of them. The plot of Transcendent kicks in for the next joke as Cartman “trend-cends” and takes over Times Square. The producers grow infuriated as Kyle takes the chance to apologize to Ike for being a “grandpa” as the King of Pop executes a producer in the background. Ike and his crew help bring PewDiePie back on as the YouTube icon begins commenting on Cartman. Cartman is powerless as PewDiePie eventually just starts in with the Call of Duty.
Stan and Kyle cool off at Stark’s Pond where they reflect on the new art form they introduced to the show in the form of PewDiePie. It’s difficult to disagree with the points the friends make about YouTube celebrities being “self-made” and not “promoted” by fat cats. Kyle feels comfortable and sane admitting that the “new generation of entertainment is here.” Indeed. The season didn’t close with an unforgettable Kanye West/ Hobbit theme or “Game of Thrones” trilogy, but instead took ten episodes that built on each other and culminated to a hilarious conclusion that made the entire season worthwhile. Thank you, Trey Parker, for a great season of “South Park.”