South Park returned to resume its 13th season last night and with an episode title like "Dead Celebrities", you just knew that the episode would somehow be involving the recent deaths of everyone from Billy Mays to Farrah Fawcett to Patrick Swayze to...yes, even Michael Jackson.
I don't know about you, but I found this episode to be a little bit of a letdown. As we have discussed previously, all of the best recent South Park episodes tend to provide some sort of commentary-at-large, and I felt as though "Dead Celebrities" didn't really have all that much to say, beyond that a lot of celebrities have died recently.
"Dead Celebrities" touched on pop culture's foolish obsession with ghost hunting and contacting dead spirits - with references to everything from The Sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project (which for a show as topical as South Park can be, both seemed a little dated) to the more current Ghost Hunters.
The episode also touched on pop culture's obsession with infomercial type products (I can't tell you how many of my recent conversations have revolved around the Snuggie...), and I will admit that the Billy Mays infomercial for Chipotlaway - to get the blood stains out of your underwear from eating too much Chipotle, as eating too much apparently causes one to "crap blood" - was pretty damn funny (and jeez, what do Trey and Matt have against Chipotle?).
But, as a whole, "Dead Celebrities" felt somewhat disjointed to me, lacking any sort of message at large (like "Maragaritaville"'s attack on the state of the economy or "The Ring"'s attack on Disney/The Jonas Brothers - both standout episodes from earlier in this season). I think that they just knew they should in some way address all of the recent celebrity deaths (and man have there been a lot) and that humor - or controversy - could somehow be derived from them, but didn't quite know where to go with it.
Also, while I am never someone that is offended by South Park...I didn't even think the Michael Jackson Beauty Pageant at the end gave that much payoff. I won't even say it was in poor taste; I just didn't find it that funny (except for the return of the Chipotle joke). I am kind of...done...with analyzing the oddity of Michael Jackson.
All in all "Dead Celebrities" did have some laughs, but for me it fell on the more average-side for an episode of South Park.
What did you all think of "Dead Celebrities"?