South Park: “Cock Magic” Review

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The format I have been utilizing for most of my South Park reviews this season is looking at an episode and trying to figure out exactly what “type” of episode it is.  This sounds rather counter productive but when you’re dealing with a show as unique and varied as South Park, it could be quite fascinating.  Was the episode a commentary on a recent current event?  Was it a takedown of something inherent in our modern society?  Was it a meta-joke about itself, or poking fun at another show?  Or is it the “bank” episode, which the which the crew creates outside of the whole “seven days to air” thing?  Yes, figuring out just what an episode of South Park is trying to do can sometimes be a joy in and of itself…and then you have episodes like “Cock Magic,” in which the series just goes for a wacky as hell episode and hopes to get some comedy out of it.  Thankfully, in the case of this episode, the wackiness worked.

Not that there wasn’t some subtext to this episode: South Park is an insanely smart show, and even their most ridiculous episodes usually have some point to them.  And there was certainly a light thread of social commentary here: why else would the show give so much attention to the girl’s volleyball team, which the boy’s spend the entire episode mocking and not cheering for?  Clearly “Cock Magic” was a response to the idea of a “real” sport, and what men enjoy watching and think is cool as compared to what it actually is (in the case of rooster based Magic competitions, lame as hell.)

But once again, that thread is barely touched upon in “Cock Magic,” with a majority of the actual episode being focused on the boy’s making their way through the world of underground cock magic fights.  It’s ridiculous as hell, but in a really fun and wacky way — at the start I wasn’t really digging the direction of the episode and believed that the jokes are laughing, but the image of a chicken clucking to chose a Magic card to play ultimately broke me.  I still don’t think it was a particularly great storyline, but it certainly had its moments.

South-Park-Cock-Magic

And for whatever failings “Cock Magic” had, they were mostly made up by the absolutely hysterical subplot.  No surprise it was Randy who got the best material out of this episode, as the character confuses the concept of “Cock Magic” with, well, “Cock Magic.”  This is one of those glorious subplots that felt like an off-hand joke by one of the writers, but got fleshed out to be much more.  The kids birthday party in particular was a huge highlight of the night, as was the final sequence in which the two plotlines converge.  Everytime the word “Cock Magic” was used and Randy popped up I immediately got my body ready for the hilarity, and boy was it not disappointed.  That “Barbie Girl” sequence?  Jesus, it broke me.  The Cock Magic competitions were certainly far from my favorite South Park storyline, but if it gave us the opportunity to see Randy ejaculate a bouquet of flowers out of his dick, I can certainly live with it.

Loose Ends:

  • This is the part of the review I usually fill to the brim with random musings and funny quotes from the episode, but my computer ate up my notes, so it will be pretty brief this time.
  • I will never complain about an appearance from Sergeant Yates.  Never.
  • There was a funny line from Yates actually about magic cock fights not just being for ethnics anymore…but I can’t remember it.  Man, really wish I had those notes right now!
  • As a huge Wendy fan, her half-hearted, semi embarrassed attempt to convince more people to attend the volleyball games was both hilarious and heartbreaking.  Also great was Stan’s reaction to finding out that his girlfriend (?) was the captain of the volleyball team and he didn’t even know.
  • The cut to the silent, near dead volleyball game slayed me every fucking time.
  • And that’s all I can remember strictly off of memory.  Damn it laptop, sucking away all the notes…