South Park: “You’re Getting Old”

Posted: June 9, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Tony here. It’s time to review the newest episode of South Park. The episode, “You’re Getting Old”, aired on July 8, 2011, on Comedy Central. Season 15 has been a funny, insane season thus far–and it looks like it’s time for a rather interesting mood whiplash. Oh, and MAJOR FUCKING SPOILERS below. Let’s get started.

In “You’re Getting Old”, modern music–“Tween Wave”–strikes the town around Stan’s 10th birthday. The music is electronically based and sounds literally like people taking a shit. All the parents hear what the music really is, except for Randy, who–typically–tries to be young and hip and fakes admiration for the moment. Stan himself begins actually hearing the shit in both Tween Wave and even old music. He is diagnosed with being a cynical asshole.

Now until this episode reached around the 27 minute mark (I’ll get to that in a bit), the whole thing was hysterical. A very brilliant satire on modern music with a twist that a lot of people seem to forget–everyone’s music from their youth is considered shit by everyone except for the people whose youth it was. Well, except for Randy of course, who refuses to except that the kids’ music is shit and that he’s getting old. The treatment of Stan’s cynicism was well-done and definitely spot-on–I hate to admit it, but at some points I actually saw a bit of myself in new cynical asshole Stan, specifically when he observes how absolutely shitty the movies coming out these days are. Now about 90% of this episode is just literal shit–poop is everywhere, and it’s definitely disgusting, but the humor serves well nonetheless. Maybe a lot of the fart gags which were just farting and nothing else, but the poop jokes had a purpose to them so they didn’t feel just purely disgusting for no reason.

And then shit (I’m saying this as much as the episode now aren’t I…) hits the fan. In the last about 2 minutes of this episode–once again, spoiler alert–things start getting super serious. Sharon and Randy argue about how Randy is always pulling the crap he does all the time trying to be hip and ignoring the fact that he’s getting old; ignoring the fact that week after week, the same old thing happens and it just keeps getting more ridiculous; that things change; that neither of them are happy.

The episode ends on a closing montage that is heavily open to interpretation, and is not taken comically. Sharon and Randy divorce, Stan moves into a new house with his mom, Stan sees literally nothing but shit everywhere he looks and he is lonely. And this is how it ends. South Park spends half an hour making shit jokes and then goes insanely deep and serious. What’s literally trying to be said is slightly ambiguous, but here’s what it’s definitely implying–South Park is getting old, and Trey & Matt are aware of this. The ending of this episode could mean so many things, but this is the mid-season finale–meaning we won’t know until October. Maybe nothing will change and this whole thing was just to make a commentary on the creators’ opinions on the show right now. Or maybe they’re serious. Maybe they’re changing things from now on–perhaps Stan will now be an offside character, like when Kenny was temporarily kicked off the show after “Kenny Dies”; maybe the show is gonna be some weird, deep mix of drama and poop jokes for the rest of the season or maybe even the rest of the series run (it’s been renewed through season 17).

Sure, there were some problems–what were those two Southern hicks obsessed with freeing britches there for? But this felt legitimately important, more than when the show does an edgy satire on religion or world events. This was a satire and commentary that offered the laughs before ending with a huge bang. And it worked. It worked really well. I give it an A+.

South Park is taking a mid-season break for a while and will return in October later this year. Be sure to continue reading new Toons with Tony posts almost every day.

  1. premiso says:

    Great review. I had to read it to make sure I saw what I saw. Very deep and good. Cannot wait to see what happens in October.

    The crazier thing is, it made me realize just how cynical I was about stuff today, maybe I should stop being so cynical and just enjoy stuff for what it is.

  2. frank says:

    Great article this was a good episode it almost makes me sad because i have been watching south park most of my life and to now see stan actually growing up is hard but it had to come at some point i just hope they end the show n a suitable manor that the fans deserve. I will admit it that the show has been running from recent events which is fine but indicates that there is not too many other adventures coming anyways good article real shitty haa and i wish the best for south park and its viewers

  3. Mark says:

    I agree with you but I think the ending montage was purposed mainly to continue the criticism of modern society that was present throughout the episode. After the ending scene, the first thing that ran through my head was ‘wow, what a shitty ending’. I think the writers wanted us to view how Stan perceives life from his new cynical personality just to reinforce the theme in the new episode. Although I don’t know how this will effect the rest of the season, I will say that Southpark, as always, took the show to extremes in order to express it’s message more accurately.

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