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South Park Review – 15.8 – ‘The Last Of The Meheecans’

October 13, 2011 | Posted by Mike Nasiatka
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South Park Review – 15.8 – ‘The Last Of The Meheecans’  

By: Mike Nasiatka

To answer last week’s question, the answer is no. South Park is not headed in an entirely new direction. This week’s episode “The Last Of The Meheecans” returned South Park to its current event prodding form.

“The Last Of The Meheecans” begins with the boys playing a game of Texans vs. Mexicans. The Texans’ aim is to maintain their border while the Mexicans’ job is to cross the border. Cartman, not surprisingly, leads the Texans, while Kyle leads the Mexicans. Kyle uses himself as a diversion by having Cartman break out a usual (but always funny) anti-semetic tirade towards him, while the rest of the Mexicans sneak over the border.

Later that night, Cartman is upset with his team’s loss, but we discover Butters got lost and never made it across the border. Butters, sorry Mantequilla, tries to find his way when he is hit by a car. The drivers are a suburban white couple who take Butters back to their home. Thinking he is Mexican they try to make him feel at home by having him clean and do chores around the house all day.

Cartman realizes that Butters never made it over the border. Because of this, the game is not over and Cartman returns to his border post while the others place fliers around town looking for Mantequilla/Butters. The couple housing Butters realize they need to take him home where he belongs. They take him to the the local El Pollo Loco and drop him off. Here, Butters rallies his fellow Mexicans and gets them to “cross the border” and go home.

Butters and his fellow Mexicans successfully cross the border back into Mexico. The U.S. border patrol is utterly confused and makes it their new aim to stop Mexicans from leaving. Cartman also joins the cause of keeping Mexicans in America. Meanwhile, Mantequilla/Butters becomes a national hero in Mexico. Ultimately Butters returns to America, getting by an angry Cartman, and wins the game for the Mexicans.

While the episode was well done overall, “The Last Of The Meheecans” continues to demonstrate the problems I have with the show. Firstly, South Park is no longer the apex for social commentary. Yes, the episode makes a good point in that our country is in such bad shape, emigration could be a potential problem. The episode never achieves that “hit the nail on the head” moment. For instance, in “The Jefferson,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone weigh the issues surrounding Michael Jackson and his strange lifestyle. Ultimately they achieve the perfect judgment by arguing that while Michael Jackson may not have had a childhood, he now has children and needs to grow up. Fans and detractors of Jackson could hardly argue this point. In “The Last Of The Meheecans” no such obvious point is brought up.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t take points away from an episode that didn’t offer astute commentary. Some of my favorite episodes are as far from commentary as possible. “Woodland Critter Christmas” is one of the best episodes of all time and what point are they trying to make – blood orgies for everybody?
The problem with this episode is it simply was not as funny as it could have been. Much like the creators, I am a huge fan of episodes that simply feature “kids being kids.” I was hopeful this episode would be an example of that, but my hopes were thwarted around act two.

Another issue I have noticed is current episodes rely way more on single-serving characters than ever before. The couple housing Butters and the main border security guard received significant screen time, yet we have never seen them before and most likely will never see them again. Like any comedic show, situations are funnier when characters we know are put into unique situations and forced to react. Plot holes would have to be explained, but having Butters disguised as a Mexican doing house-work for the Marshes would have been infinitely funnier.

I don’t want to sound overly negative on the episode as there were several strong points in the show. I was beyond ecstatic to hear a new DVDA song in “Work Mexican, Work.” The song itself delivered as harmonies were exchanged among Butters, Cartman and Trey Parker. Despite not liking new one-off characters, the scenes with Mantequilla working for the couple were hilarious.

Lines Of The Night

Butters is one of those people who you can never remember if he was there or not. – Craig

You’ve heard of Mexican salsa, but Mexican pride? – News Reporter

The 411 South Park once again delivers an entertaining 22 minutes of television. While many problems consistently plague the show, Parker and Stone are continually good for a decent amount of laughs. Also, bonus points for a killer song this week
 
Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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Mike Nasiatka
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