South Park, Season 23, Episode 9, “Basic Cable” Review
Ever since Disney+ came out last month, I’ve been binging all things Star Wars off it. It’s all to prepare for The Rise of Skywalker. Until that movie, though, the hot thing everyone’s talking about is The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda. Which is why South Park uses the nuances of streaming services as a reason to gush over the show.
Given how many times they referenced it in their show, I think its safe to say that Matt Stone and Trey Parker are big fans of Star Wars. They love it so much, that it’s led them to harshly criticize any problems they have with the franchise. The whole premise of the classic episode “Jakovasaurs” was to express their distaste for Jar Jar. Yet they seem to sing nothing but praise for The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda in their latest episode, “Basic Cable”. If South Park says something’s good, then it has to be.
Like the rest of the season, the episode’s based around a fake spin-off, this time focused on Scott Malkinson. He’s the kid with the lisp and diabetes and all he wants is to get Disney+. That desire becomes two-fold when he gets a crush on the new girl in class, fellow diabetic Sophie Gray. She loves The Mandalorian and thinks its the best thing since Empire; and she isn’t wrong. So Scott thinks the best way to win her heart is to watch The Mandalorian with her.
Cable Hates Baby Yoda and Streaming
There’s just one small hiccup to Scott’s plan: his dad works for the local cable company and refuses to do streaming. Instead he stubbornly clings to basic cable and says that it’s all anyone needs to watch. To be fair, Mr. Malkinson does bring up some valid points about the rise of streaming. It’s forcing cable out of existence, and ensuring that people don’t watch anything together anymore. However, his efforts to improve cable’s success are undermined by the show stereotyping cable’s incompetence. They did this years ago with the episode “Informative Murder Porn”, but here the incompetence is genuine.
In true South Park fashion, Mr. Malkinson and the other cable guys refuse to better themselves. Instead, they decide to shut down everyone’s access to streaming services. This ends up foiling Scott’s plans to woo Sophie. However, Sophie reveals that she wasn’t into Scott like that and just wanted to watch Baby Yoda and The Mandalorian.
In the end, the entire town of South Park gets cut off from their streaming. Despite everything, though, the episode ends on a positive note. Scott forms a genuine bond with Sophie over their diabetes, giving him hope for the future. It then turns into an ad for The Scott Malkinson Show, complete with ad and phone number. The show even goes the extra mile: dial the number, and you’ll be directed to the prices for the various spin-offs South Park’s done this season.
A Roaring Good Time
Ever since Disney+ came out, I’ve been thoroughly invested in it and The Mandalorian. As a result, I could relate to this episode a lot, and thus find the humor in what was happening. In fact, I think this was my second-favorite episode of the season. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it sing praise for Baby Yoda!
I Give “Basic Cable” a 5/5. I loved it and Baby Yoda.
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An Important Message
Shortly after the episode went up, South Park’s Twitter account posted this message
Help him out. For Karpman!