It feels like only yesterday Cartman was licking his lips to get Kenny’s new PSP or freezing himself instead of waiting a few weeks for the release of the Wii.
Now winter is coming and the console war is back upon us. Nintendo has already botched its next-gen system release, with underwhelming sales and buzz surrounding Wii U, and company’s dwindling relevancy has made the latest console war a two-system battle. This time around, Cartman isn’t just concocting a way to get the system he covets—in this case he’s all in on the Xbox One—but he’s injecting himself into the battle in what appears to be South Park’s latest multiple episode arc, “Black Friday.”
The episode had a movie feel to it, the kind of classic South Park where a situation is overblown and built up to be the end all, be all. In an ode to Game of Thrones, the boys suit up as their favorite Thrones characters in an effort to come together to fight the Black Friday crowds. Cartman knows that the war for video game supremacy will be waged during Black Friday when holiday shoppers ransack the early-bird sales at malls across America. He dons his wizard costume that is recognizable from the commercials for South Park’s still-delayed video game, The Stick of Truth, and rallies the troops to battle for the Xbox One. There’s a great subtle dig at South Park’s own video game misfortunes when Cartman tells Kyle not to “pre-order a game that some assholes in California haven’t even finished making yet.”
The main conflict of the episode is that the boys are divided on the console war. Naturally, all your friends need to be on the same system so online gaming is more fun. This leads to a separation of tribes and a fun set up for next week’s expected resolution to “Black Friday.” I’ll admit that I’m not a Game of Thrones watcher, so forgive me if some of the jokes about the show flew directly over my head. It seems that South Park nailed the constant references to “winter is coming” and the Lady McCormick bit was wonderful. And you have to love Butters trying to overanalyze HBO’s constant use of gratuitous nudity. Leave it to Butters to ask the tough questions: “Are gay wieners less threatening to women viewers?”
To me, the strength of the episode was Matt and Trey’s ability to mock the disturbing trend of violence during Black Friday sales but the scariest part about the episode is that some of the people they portray on the newscast aren’t too far off from the despicable acts that pop up on the news each year. They played up the console war just enough to where it wasn’t overkill and used the topical Black Friday and Game of Thrones storylines rather flawlessly while letting plenty of characters get screen time. We got enough Randy to wet our whistle and now we have to eagerly wait a week to see how this all plays out. If South Park can build on a promising first episode of this Black Friday arc, it might be time to start talking about how they put together one of the most solid seasons in recent memory.
When the 80 percent off deal is first referenced, the security officer says it’s for the first 20 people into the mall. The rest of the episode it’s said that it’s the first 30 people.
“Winter is coming and I’m a sneaky little bee… buzz, buzz.”
Is there anything Randy does that isn’t hilarious?
Prediction for Next Week:
It was clear that this concept was going to need at least two episodes. Now I expect Lady McCormick to be mercilessly trampled to death in pursuit of the PS4. Kenny will not die in vain though. Someone will get the system for 80 percent off and it will be glorious.