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South Park 21.5 Review – ‘Hummels & Heroin’

October 19, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Lambert
South Park - Hummels and Heroin
8.8
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South Park 21.5 Review – ‘Hummels & Heroin’  

Hummels & Heroin was the South Park episode I’ve been waiting seasons for. No more serial storylines that got confusing and had to change on a whim based on what was going on in the world. No more playing to a certain audience. No more political nonsense. Just an episode of South Park that can be watched today or 10 years from now and still make sense. Finally.

The opioid epidemic is topical, but drug epidemics are always going to be topical in America. Whether it’s oxy, lean, heroin, fentanyl, morphine, or any other legal or illegal drug, they’re always a subject of conversation in America.

The brilliant part of Hummels & Heroin was that, while it hit you over the head with the topic (no, Grandpa Marsh literally hit people over the head with the topic), it didn’t hit you over the head. The retirement home/prison parallel was just a nice backdrop to the conclusion, which puts the blame on the pharmaceutical companies. It was a one-note joke that made it’s point and then ended. Assuming they don’t follow up on things next week, and I really hope they don’t, it was the perfect ending. It reminded me of the episode Toilet Paper, which ends with Josh ready to roll the White House. Nothing else needed to happen after that. Josh broke free, he’s going to roll the White House, and that’s that.

The same thing applies here. Marcus is going straight to the source, he’s going to address the issues, and that’s that. I hope to never see Marcus again. It was perfectly acceptable as a one episode character.

The prison-retirement home comparison worked for me. I didn’t find it super original, but it was fine as backdrop.

Where this episode really shined, though, was the music. I’ve found the music to be exceptional this season. ‘Put It Down’ was an instant South Park classic and the Killer Mike track during the drug deal montage was perfect. On top of that, like with the country version of ‘Humble’ in the season premiere, the Barbershop Quartet doing a medley of popular songs had me cracking up.

Matt & Trey are probably underrated when it comes to their musical talents since everyone focuses on the jokes and the message, but their best work truly is in their music.

For the record, I didn’t know what was Hummel was prior to this episode. I thought it was going to turn out to be those little angel statues that my wife has, but it turns out those are called Willow Tree statues. Maybe those who are familiar with Hummels found that joke a bit funnier. I just enjoyed watching Grandpa Marsh beat the hell out of the old ladies with them.

There was no shortage of laugh out loud moments in this one. Matt & Trey managed to get the five kids (if you don’t think Butters is on the level of Cartman, Kyle, Stan, and Kenny by now, where have you been?) involved, bring back a classic character like Grandpa Marsh, include some small moments with the Marsh family, and introduce some new characters that did their job and will hopefully never be seen again.

This was classic South Park for me.

8.8
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
I hesitate in calling this a perfect episode because I'm slightly worried they try to follow it up with more Marcus next week. However, assuming this was a stand-alone episode, I have to say it was just about perfect. It hit all the right notes and had everything a longtime South Park fan could want. It's only not perfect because I wouldn't quite put it on the level of Towelie or Scott Tenorman Must Die. But it's in the category just below.
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