“Streaming services make everything suck.”
South Park still hasn’t completely recovered from the COVID-era issues. There still has not been a complete 10-episode season, and the slack is still being taken up by specials. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but at least it’s kept us in Cartman and the gang even as other shows have closed down. The longer form also gives Parker and Stone a chance to really let an idea play out. I think they have tended to run out of gas somewhere in the back half of the second part. When you think about it, you’re really looking at four episodes in length, and Parker and Stone have a pretty spotty record when they’ve tried to run an idea for that long. The Streaming Wars Specials suffer from just that affliction, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a ton of clever South Park to be had here.
South Park is suffering from a drought. Farmers like Randy and his Tegridy weed farm are starting to get worried until a state official lets him in on a little known secret. Randy can tap the mountain water, which is a bit more plentiful, and whatever he doesn’t use for his farm can be sold to the city. In effect they can use that surplus water to create a “streaming service” to others in need. Word gets out, and all of the farmers are getting in line to start streaming services of their own. The rules state that each day you must prove that your water surplus is making it all the way to the city. So they start to hire the boys to build boats with each streaming service logo. When the boat makes it to the city, they are confirmed.
It starts to become a great racket for the kids, who are trying to keep Cartman out of it. They get paid good money for each boat, but the demand continues to build until they reluctantly include Cartman, who needs $10,000 so his mom can get breast implants. She doesn’t want them, but Cartman want her to be attractive to the rich old guy who has moved across the road from their hot dog stand. The boys let him in, but the demand is so heavy that quality suffers. It doesn’t help that the rich old man is trying to take over the other streaming services. But Cartman gets the money, and when his mother refuses, he gets them himself after trying to use that as a bluff to force his mother. So for some of the running time, we’re stuck with a huge-breasted Cartman.
As the quality gets bad on the boat building, it becomes apparent that there was someone manipulating the entire ordeal. Look to Pipi’s water park, where the rides and pools are 50% water and 50% urine. He manipulated these streaming services in order to use up all of the water supply and come to the rescue with the urine he “harvests” at his park. He even gets those cryptocurrency celebs like Matt Damon to endorse urine as an alternative with ads that end with things like: “Matt Damon’s in our urine?”
Finally Randy goes back to being a geologist and discovers a way to bring in sea water and desalinate it so that they residents don’t have to buy urine. I was hoping this would be an end to Tegridy Farms. I mean, Parker and Stone have milked that dead horse for as long as I can take it. Season 26 would dash those hopes.
You’ve got to hand it to those guys, though. This was one of the more clever devices they’ve ever thought up. The idea of a streaming war that was actually about a stream. The boys learn that when you flood the market with “content”/boats the quality goes down. I have to admit I loved this idea. They just ran out of gas … and water before they actually ran out of running time.
Each episode of South Park is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Colors are fantastically bright in this 1080p image. Brought to you by a solid AVC/MPEG-4 codec, the picture certainly looks as good as it ever did. You can really appreciate those special things like the comic frames. This is starting to look better with each year. Not bad for what started out as construction-paper cutouts. The look remains, but there’s no question that the boys are using the latest in technology to look so old-school.
The Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 track is perfect. There’s some high-flying music and wonderfully immersive ambient sounds. Otherwise, the audio differs mostly in the greater range of dynamics to the sound to the DVD or broadcasts.
I certainly liked this special better than the COVID specials the show ran. The show has gotten to be too much about Randy and his weed and less about the boys. I think it’s a mistake, and I was hoping they had figured that out by now. The true genius of this special is that they are actually spoofing themselves here. I just don’t know if they know that. “I want no playing. No reading. And no fun stuff.”