TV Review | South Park (S26.E3 Japanese Toilets)
“South Park has become the loudest and clearest voice in an echo chamber that is American BS. I laughed a little but my eyes are now wide open. Solid A!”
In a curveball classic South Park move, Trey Parker has retreated from the more omnipresent pop culture news mockery and has lasered his sights on something most Americans do not know about. Japanese toilets. Yes, Japanese toilets. It sounds ridiculous but this is South Park! I googled Japanese toilets yesterday before the episode premiered and was blown away by how real these things actually are.
Japan does not use toilet paper as they typically used bidets that clean the bottom without wasting paper. The story begins with Randy being nagged by his wife Sharon to fix their clunky, old toilet. Randy is being his usual idiot self, hogging his son’s Hogwarts: Legacy game and being overall, obnoxious. Randy has a sentimental attachment to his toilet who he affectionately calls Ol’ Blue. And even though it is a piece of garbage, he is reluctant to replace it. Yet, Sharon will not have any of it and Randy gives in and goes to Home Depot to purchase a new toilet.
However, he quickly falls down the rabbit hole of the amazing Japanese toilet that plays music, has seat warmers, opens its lid automatically, and gives an American a toilet-style “happy ending.” (At least that’s how I interpreted it). Much like buying a defunct Blockbuster franchise, Randy shells out 10k for the toilet (much to his wife’s ire), claiming he is rich and successful like the Kennedys. And needs to set an example for the rest of South Park.
This cruel irony is perfect to frame the rest of the episode as much of the Kennedy family is no longer with us. And is regarded in the zeitgeist to be rich, overprivileged idiots. Randy calls all of his son’s classmates’ parents bragging about his new toilet. And he invites the parents to his house for a large dinner, hoping they will use his toilet. What did it for me in the laugh department (besides Randy being a moron) was how they poked fun at Japanese culture.
I personally love the Japanese (and all Asian cultures) but I couldn’t stop laughing every time sensual Japanese music would play when the toilet was in use. And the Japanese men who installed the toilet in the Marsh ranch had the head guy bow and speak Japanese, reminiscent of a wise Japanese sensei.
RUNNING THE GAUNTLET!
Stan runs the Gauntlet at school (because of Randy), and the rest of his classmates think he is a rich snob and shuns him. What I find odd though is that Kyle (Stan’s best friend) does not appear in this episode. At all. And I expected him to be his friend’s confidante. Instead, that role falls to Jimmy, and in addition to no Kyle, Cartman only has one speaking scene and I can’t seem to recall if Kenny was present. It’s an interesting tactic to isolate Stan from the rest of the main cast. And I feel that was intentionally done to make Stan feel more ostracized as the whole school is making fun of him for being the owner of such an expensive toilet.
In brilliant South Park fashion, Trey Parker darkly parodies the recent shooting of the former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in what was probably one of the only shootings in recent Japanese memory. Randy of course subs in for the Prime Minister as he is trying to encourage South Park to buy less-expensive Japanese toilets and become “Marshes” like him. The shooter is never identified. But in the end, it was more than likely to be the Toilet Paper companies who tried to assassinate him for speaking about making their product obsolete.
HARD TO FLUSH
The series lampoons how much toilet paper Americans use per year. Destroying millions of trees and releasing tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, worsening climate change. I am generally not a huge fan of media sticking these issues in our faces. But if it has to be anyone I’m glad it’s Trey Parker. Also, it’s TRUE. It’s even mocked in the episode! In the Post-COVID world, everyone is so serious about wearing masks in crowds to prevent the spread of disease. Yet somehow we think a thin piece of paper is the best method to clean our anuses after defecation. The paper doesn’t prevent the spread of germs. And the fact that we spend so much money per year on this product is ludicrous.
Watching this episode reminded me how much overreliance we have on this product. And I recall, that my mother bought toilet paper at least once a week when I was growing up. So, maybe the Japanese are right. Maybe it’s time to change, switch to bidets, and stop destroying trees, and nature’s lungs.
South Park has become the loudest and clearest voice in an echo chamber that is American BS. True, it isn’t quite as hilarious as it was in its heyday. But I just love how they tackle all these little issues that we don’t really think about or accept as the total norm (despite being hogwash). Also, I am always down for Randy hijinks. I laughed a little but my eyes are now wide open. Solid A!
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Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter where he shares his love of the Force frequently!
1 thought on “TV Review | South Park (S26.E3 Japanese Toilets)”
Captain Planet style episode that has been done before. What may work for CP and Widget The World Watcher, does NOT work for ESCAPISM shows like South Park and Galaxy Rangers!
I understand full well the meaning, but that doesn’t make for a good episode which this one wasn’t with it’s f–k you ending ala The Magnificent Kiwi from the latter show!
Make this episode a two-parter with part one ending with Randy getting shot, then in part two where Stan is giving his speech, the rest of his team (Kyle, Eric and Kenny) are hiding nearby where one of them spots the assassin and stops him/her from killing Stan. From there, the boys torture the assassin until it reveals possible corporations behind the attacks. From there, the boys have to figure out which one is behind it and shut them down for good.
Much better than the garbage we got the other day.