Liam Hoofe reviews the second episode of South Park season 23…
After a great opening episode last week, Trey Parker and Matt Stone were back this week with one of their most biting and hilarious episodes in quite some time.
Last week the show tackled the issue of ICE detention centres and the hysteria surrounding the new Joker release, while this week’s episode pulled no punches in taking on Hollywood selling its soul to China and the current political climate in the country.
Continuing to focus on Randy and Tegridy Farms, this week’s episode saw Randy head over to China to attempt to sell some Tegridy weed to the Chinese market. Little did he realise that everybody else is also selling themselves to China right now and he finds himself rather humorously sat on a plane to China with the entire cast of Marvel and Star Wars.
Once he arrives in China, he quickly realises that the country has strict censorship laws and soon finds himself in a prison alongside Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, who have both been imprisoned because people have said they look like members of the Chinese government.
Parker and Stone are about as subtle as a sledgehammer in this week’s episode and the show is all the better for it. The show raises several major issues about Chinese censorship and the working conditions in the country and takes aim at Hollywood and everyone else for simply ignoring these things so they can make money. Mickey Mouse and Randy’s scenes in the episode are absolutely brilliant and Randy finally selling some Tegridy to China at the end, and selling himself out in the process was a great way to wrap up the episode.
Randy and Mickey Mouse aren’t the only people dealing with Chinese censorship in this episode though as Stan, Jimmy, Butters and Kenny attempt to film a music biopic to sell in the country, only to be constantly restricted by the Chinese government and their censorship laws. On top of all of that, the episode also manages to use this narrative to poke fun at dull music biopics like Bohemian Rhapsody. We also get a nice throwback to Finger Bang, which is no doubt going to have raised a few smiles.
Verdict: Band in China is one of the most biting and brilliant South Park episodes of the show’s recent run. Season 23 has gotten off to a fine start so far and let’s hope the show can keep that up for the rest of its run.