In the almost 27 years that SOUTH PARK has been on TV, one thing that’s remained constant is that Eric Cartman is the story’s true villain. Yes, sure, the character has had many funny moments, and the show even tried to give him a more sympathetic tone for a while. Cartman doesn’t need a redeeming character arc. The show works best when they let Cartman be Cartman: The littlest biggest asshole in town.
DIKINBAUS HOT DOGS tries to tackle a few culturally relevant talking points: “Quiet quitting,” mental health days, and minimum wage. Where this episode works is the punny title and the fact that the characters get to say it several times throughout the 22-minute runtime. Sometimes we all need to laugh like 11-year-old kids. Unfortunately, one joke can’t carry the entire episode.
Where this episode doesn’t work is that it brings up culturally relevant topics but doesn’t say much about them. A nice guy wins, and a bully gets put in their place for now, but everything in between is just a long dick & balls joke. Maybe that was the point. Perhaps Trey and Matt are just trolling their audience. It wouldn’t be the first time, but why take the time to bring up a hot topic only to drop the ball, so to speak?
SOUTH PARK has felt a bit all over the place these last few years because it literally is. New episodes air on Comedy Central and then on HBOMax, but maybe something is on Paramount+ too. New episodes don’t come out on a regular weekly basis. For example, this new season has aired five episodes since it premiered eight weeks ago. After producing this type of content in four different decades, (the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s), I’m sure it’s harder than ever to keep churning out hilarious one-liners and fresh stories. This season of SOUTH PARK feels stale, and DIKINBAUS doesn’t make it better.
SOUTH PARK airs Wednesday nights on Comedy Central at 10 pm ET and then streams on HBOMax.