The South Park boys enjoyed a new video game last night, a new Tiger Woods game in which players can make Woods’ wife beat him with a golf club. (Cartman, thumbing the controls wildly, used his “Pre-Nup Power-Up Option”; instead of losing points, Woods “loses endorsements.”) Warning here, naughty language:
This episode, titled “Sexual Healing,” was a set-up for a South Park carpet-bombing of all celebrity sex-related scandals and sex-addiction therapy, with David Letterman, Charlie Sheen, Bill Clinton, and David Duchovny among those cartooned by creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
But the 14th season premiere wasn’t really slamming Woods and other famous names — it was doing its usual trick of satirizing a media that gets all huffy and self-righteous about bad behavior. South Park also lampooned the mini-industry of sex-addiction therapy, having Kyle and Butters undergo school-mandated therapy for finding a picture of a naked woman interesting.
Animated scientists from the Center for Disease Control decided there must be a fantastic explanation for “why rich, successful men are trying to have sex with lots of women?” Clearly, the show’s answer to this is: Well, duh…
In the South Park way, things soon spiraled into silliness, with President Obama agreeing with scientists that sex addiction is caused by “alien wizards.” The message here: We don’t have to “condone” celebrity shenanigans, but we also shouldn’t force celebs to make these pious acts of public contrition, go into rehab, and emerge proclaiming (as they did last night), “Look, the sex addiction is leaving my body!”
All in all, a clever idea — especially the Tiger Woods video game, and one of the best Kenny death scenes ever — but a half-hour rather short on laugh-out-loud funniness.
And what did you think of the show that premiered after it, Ugly Americans? Me, I thought the art owed a lot to Gary Panter and the RAW Magazine generation of comix artists, and was fitfully amusing.