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South Park 21.2 Review – ‘Put It Down’

September 21, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Lambert
South Park - Put It Down
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South Park 21.2 Review – ‘Put It Down’  

I was fully prepared to hate Wednesday’s episode ‘Put It Down.’ Tweek’s freak out over North Korea was funny, especially his opening song and playing with fidget spinners, but I had trouble getting into the Cartman-suicide story.

I understood the humor in it. Cartman doesn’t really care about suicide prevention, he just wants the attention to be on him. It’s a character trait that has defined him throughout the 21 seasons. I also understood the part about suicide not being any more important than other causes, like distracted driving. The spoof of Logic and his song ‘1-800-273-8255’ along with Cartman’s attitude highlighted our culture’s new obsession with wanting to raise awareness and being praised for doing so, instead of just doing it.

I got the logic in everything Matt and Trey were doing throughout the episode.

But they just did a social media suicide storyline last year and I have a tough time finding the humor in anything suicide-related given my own struggles with depression and how the two relate.

But the final act was so brilliant that I can’t hate the episode. In fact, the final act made me love this episode.

The message from Matt and Trey was clear through the voices of Heidi and Craig. If you know someone, who is struggling with anything, just be there for them and support them. Whether they’re freaking out over North Korea or freaking out because their team lost a basketball game, just talk to them. You never know what could lead to someone thinking about suicide, but if you’re there to talk to them and support them, it goes a long way in calming them down.

In an episode where it looked like Matt and Trey spent the entire 30-minutes (plus commercials) making fun of suicide awareness, it was actually a powerful advertisement for suicide awareness.

The other message was also clear: Get off Twitter, Donald Trump. You’re only making things worse with your tweets and there are plenty of Tweek’s in the world are freak out every time you send a message about North Korea.

The episode closing song “Put It Down” was a funny poke at the President and anyone who spends too much time on their phone. Calling someone “Donald Trump” for paying more attention to their phone than the road or children is a nice little gag for us South Park fans. If you come across someone tomorrow who is always on their phone, call them “Donald Trump” and just see how they react.

As far as the serial stuff goes, through two episodes, Matt and Trey have seem to struck a balance. Mr. Garrison is indeed still President, Cartman and Heidi remain a thing, and Tweek and Craig remain a thing as well. But this episode really had nothing to do with last episode aside from continuing Cartman’s relationship with Heidi. If there’s a season long arc in play, it’s not as obvious as last year’s trolling/election story.

The laugh out loud moments in South Park have decreased, but the show can still tell a great story in its limited time. It used to be Stan’s ending monologue that delivered the message, but Matt and Trey have grown a lot in their 21 seasons to where they don’t use him as the voice of learning anymore. There are also so many well-defined and different characters, that the show isn’t even about the four boys anymore. It’s about the South Park universe.

I’d still like to see less political comedy and more over-the-top madness that made us fall in love with the series in the first place, but those days appear to be gone. And if they don’t return, I’m perfectly happy watching episodes like ‘Put It Down.’

I’m on Twitter @jeremylambert88

8
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
After an average debut last week, 'Put It Down' was a great step in the right direction. It's an episode that could give you mixed feelings depending on your thoughts about suicide and suicide prevention, but by the end should make you appreciate what Matt and Trey were able to say and do. There still aren't enough laughs for my liking, but in this new South Park universe, this was a top-notch episode.
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