There was a time when Trey Parker and Matt Stone were the edgy new voice, and even when South Park expressed opinions from the most icky corners of their libertarian ideals, there was at least a tender touch of thoughfulness as Stan & Kyle delivered the moral of the story. This was roughly 1997. Two decades later, however, the young turks have turned aging bros, and we can’t say the idea they were going to chime in on the #metoo movement was all that welcome a notion. The reviews seem to confirm that wariness well-warranted. As Vulture‘s Charles Bramesco put it, the pair “may just need a new prescription for their ethical eyeglasses.” My biggest question is why are so many publications and websites still covering episodes of South Park, while I could only find a couple major reviews of the far more compelling and currently relevant Broad City.
The rest of the night’s programming received better reactions. Mr. Robot explored time travel in its usual dizzying but probably satisfying manner (it’s always so hard to get a read on that show). Vikings continued to vike in its Season Five opener. However, the night is won by Riverdale, or as Paul F. Tompkins calls it, “That Archie & Jughead Murder Show.”
Wednesday, November 29th’s Best: Riverdale (9.32/10)
When a creepy thriller leaves its frantic regulars on the side of a desolate road only to be picked up by none other than the Candyman himself (Mr. Tony Todd), you know the horror is about to be amped up to, oh, twelve and a half. Furthering this change of tone is the absence of Jughead as a narrator and a rise of the supernatural aspect. And it worked as more than half the reviewers awarded it their highest grade. Chris Cummins of Den of Geek asserts it “wouldn’t be too hyperbolic to call tonight’s non-traditional installment a game changer,” while joking that “Sabrina the Teenage Witch should be showing up any second now.” AV Club‘s LaToya Ferguson hypes the importance of the series in an “A” review, applauding how it “wears its inspirations on its sleeve; and in doing so, it opens up these inspirations to new generations.” In the case of this episode, the reviewer cites Pulp Fiction and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Justin Carreiro at TV Fanatic is a fan of the episode and loves two of its three threads; however, he dings Josie’s story in that “her segment suffered the most because we had no prior buildup to the events that transpired.” He, too, takes note of the Texas Chainsaw influence.
The Rest of the Night
Vikings – 8.4
Mr. Robot – 8.0
South Park – 5.84
Flying Under The Radar
Broad City – 7.5