It’s just another day in the town of South Park, well except for the fact that the Marsh household has been overrun by the not so great cooking of the now Food Channel-obsessed Randy. Things take a turn for the worse when Randy’s obsession causes him to leave his old job and take a position and the one place that will ruin Stan’s life forever.
In an attempt to save her marriage, Sharon decides to start bettering her appearance with the purchase of a Shake Weight. But the voice assistance model has much more sinister plans for Mrs. Marsh.
And in an attempt to destroy Randy’s obsession, the boys accidentally set into motion the biggest cook-off of all time.
By episodes end, the truth shall reveal itself in all its Crème Fraiche goodness.
What worked: I was really not liking this episode… up until the absolutely insane ending that is. Unlike most of the season, this episode was very grounded. Granted it took on about six pop culture references that could have served to make some much better episodes earlier in this run, but I liked that the humor wasn’t too over the top.
Having two of my own family members that are completely obsessed with The Food Network really put this episode into perspective for me. And while what happened in the show is of course over the top, they nailed how the FN audience views the channel. For some reason they all think they can cook like five star chefs, and it’s just not true.
I also liked that this episode was Randy focused. Many consider him one of the best characters of the series and after three weeks straight of nothing but the boys, this was a nice way to end this run of the show.
As for the Shake Weight gag, I liked where it ultimately went. Rather than just playing on the hand job gag (which they did brilliantly) they gave the Shake Weight a much grander purpose that was fully realized by the end.
I think that’s the best part of this episode, it’s a perfectly self-contained episode. Yes, I know that most episodes are, but this one just felt right.
What didn’t: While having the boys there didn’t hurt the overall gag of the episode, they weren’t that necessary either. I think Matt & Trey should have just committed to a completely Randy & Sharon filled episode.
Also, where was this kind of episode earlier in the run? Overall the last seven weeks have not been the best. And while I’m willing to defend the future prospects of the series, that doesn’t excuse what happened. I have hope that when the show returns in March however, that order will be restored.
Final thoughts: A very well done episode of South Park.
Episode: “Crème Fraiche” (Season 14, Episode 14)
Airs: Comedy Central, Wednesdays, 10pm
What’s next: This is the final episode of 2010.
To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast, The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.