South Park Season 14 resumed last night. When South Park Season 14 got started in the spring, they got in their biggest hot water yet on their 200th episode. Even months later, they can never rerun that episode, although snippets of it were seen in the new opening credits montage. It seems unlikely that they can top even that controversy in the year’s second half, but they have a lot of newsworthy topics to tackle anyway. However, the second half of Season 14 started with jabs at NASCAR and Vagisil instead.
Warning: Spoilers follow
Cartman’s latest life-long dream is to drive for NASCAR, but he doesn’t believe he is qualified enough. Naturally, Cartman’s standards are a little more twisted and prejudiced than most others. Therefore, he sets out to be as poor and stupid as he believes everyone in NASCAR to be.
Taking on NASCAR to resume Season 14 came a bit out of nowhere. It isn’t a ripped-from-the-headlines topic, although their Chase for the Cup is underway. The sport is actually suffering from lower attendance, and boredom over Jimmie Johnson winning the title every season, so its growth has stalled a bit.
Nevertheless, since some look down on NASCAR’s culture, and regard it as full of stupid rednecks, that does make it an ideal South Park topic. Since Cartman regards NASCAR as a poor and stupid sport, that is a hint right there that it isn’t true.
As a contrast to Cartman’s ignorance, the midseason premiere actually gave a big part to Kenny. Since he’s stopped dying every episode, he’s only actually done something once or twice a year. But this was one of his rare starring roles, as Cartman actually clashed with someone other than Kyle for once.
Kenny set out to prove that NASCAR fans like himself aren’t morons, after Cartman’s idiocy made national news. In addition, by using Vagisil to make himself stupider, it gets him NASCAR sponsorship – and set up an obvious string of Vagisil jokes.
With NASCAR and Vagisil getting the South Park treatment, there were the expected jabs at redneck stereotypes and female genitals. But since NASCAR wasn’t really painted as poor and stupid as Cartman thought, they have no reason to be offended – although Vagisil might be a little bothered.
Now that the second half of South Park Season 14 has started, the show has another six weeks to add to its hit list. A bigger current events episode is probably likely next Wednesday, at 10 p.m. est on Comedy Central.
South Park Studios- “Poor and Stupid”
Entertainment Weekly- “South Park season premiere review: NASCAR and Vagisil”