In this latest episode of South Park, we finally find out the source of all of Cartman’s evil, as well as the reason behind the Tea Party’s existence.
In a move that will stun no one, the entire plot of “T.M.I.” revolves around Cartman and a coterie of men with something to compensate for. We get a bit of satire with the Tea Party references, but mostly the episode is about men’s size issues.
Sure, it’s not deep or really socially relevant, but the episode was funny. South Park likes to go to extremes with its plots. This episode stayed completely in South Park, with only one major storyline. It was simple, and it worked out OK.
Cartman gets upset when he thinks the school has posted a list of all the boys’ penis lengths. Of course, we soon find out that the chart actually lists height differentials to measure growth in the past year. Naturally, this information doesn’t come out until Cartman has convinced the other boys to all accurately measure and list their personal details.
Cartman becomes angry that he has the lowest measurement on the list, and becomes angrier when he finds out that it’s his fault a list was posted in the first place. He’s sent to anger management, while the rest of the class gets a special lesson, courtesy of Stan’s dad Randy. Randy attempts to teach the children an alternate method of determining penis size, with a list of inane measurements besides simple length. The Surgeon General quickly comes in to correct Randy’s faulty equation, whereupon he begins to fight her.
Hijinks ensue, and eventually Randy and Cartman are all part of the same anger management group counseling session. The counselor quickly discovers that the reason behind everyone’s anger is that every single irrationally angry person is insecure about the size of his penis. One of the members of the group is a Tea Partier, so +1 for topicality, Trey and Matt.
The anger management group goes so far as to revolt against the government, making far-fetched demands including, of course, the production of Obama’s birth certificate. The Surgeon General ultimately decides to change the “average” for America, so that all the angry people suddenly lose their reason for anger. They then all break out into song, singing “America is back!”
All of course, except for Cartman, who is still one inch below average according to the new scale. So there we have it, status quo. Cartman’s small penis makes him a dick.
While I did find the episode funny, it wasn’t as laugh out loud, milk-out-the-nose, funny as South Park’s best. “T.M.I.” also didn’t focus on any pressing social or political issues. As you guys know, the juvenile humor has never been what draws me to South Park. I like the show when it’s smart and when it’s clever, but even in episodes like this one, when it’s just 90’s-comedy funny, it’s still a solid half hour of comedy.