‘South Park’ Season 19: ‘Truth and Advertising’ Episode Review

In this week’s episode of South Park, the stage is set for the coming war between humanity and advertisements. Before last week’s Thanksgiving hiatus, when we last left South Park Jimmy Valmer, handicap-able editor of Super School News, was abducted by officer Barbrady on behest of a secret organization fighting a secret war against advertisements. Jimmy was selected due to his ability to insticively distinguish real news from “sponsored content” or hidden advertisements. He is instructed to interview a girl named Leslie from his school who he soon discovers, is an advertisement in human form.

This week’s South Park begins with Kyle being called to the principal’s office by Mr. Mackey and warned that PC Principal had disappeared two students: Jimmy and Leslie. Later during dinner at the Marsh house, Randy blurts out “So, uh, South Park kinda sucks now. You wanna bail?” This leads to a heated family discussion that ends with Randy admitting to his wife Sharon that their family has been priced out of South Park. Due to all the boutiques and expensive restaurants, property values have skyrocketed and he’s had to take out a second mortgage on their home.

A brilliant live-action montage about the history of “Mankind’s struggle to rid the world of ads” leads into Jimmy continuing to interview the hyper-evolved advertisement Leslie about her plans for humanity and begins to feel affection for her. When he confronts the secret agents, who turn out to be former newsmen who wouldn’t succumb to sponsored content and throw to each other with phrases like “Our own Kevin Jarvis has more” and “Back to you Tom.” Tom, the lead newsman (voiced by South Park staff writer Bill Hader) flat out says “Jimmy. You’re thinking with your dick” and goes on to say “All ads lie, Jimmy. And all ads decieve.” This made me scream laughing as I pictured Trey Park and Matt Stone (the creators of South Park) watching last year’s hit film Ex Machina and yelling at the screen ‘You’re thinking with your dick, Domhnall Gleeson! She doesn’t give a s**t about you, she’s a f**king robot!’

Principal Victoria, Mr. Garrison, and his presidential running mate, Caitlyn Jenner return to South Park and find it overrun with politically correct hipsters and overpriced boutiques. They discover that it was Randy Marsh who initially encouraged the town to go along with PC Principal’s new standards and to revitalized the “shitty part of town” into the bourgeois “Shi Tpa Town.” Keeping the season-long running gag going, every time Caitlyn drives anywhere, at least one person gets killed by her car. Meanwhile, Kyle, Stan, Cartman, Kenny, and Butters try to find Jimmy by investigating PC Principal on the internet but pop-up ads keep distracting them and they end up drinking ice cream floats or eating chicken nuggets and trying on shoes. A burgeoning mistrust between Stan and Kyle builds as they begin to accuse each other of being a lackey for PC Principal.

News reports tell of a hunger strike undertaken by the PC Frat until they stop being marginalized in the media. Victoria, Garrison, and Jenner enlist Randy’s help in tracking down PC Principal to the PC Fraternity house to interrogate him about who sent him to South Park to replace former Principal Victoria. Meanwhile, Leslie gains Jimmy’s trust and he helps her escape. They go to the Super School News editing room and find Nathan, Jimmy’s nemesis, running the paper. Leslie betrays Jimmy and beats him up, breaking his heart while Nathan threatens him about the coming war between humanity and ads.

The episode ends with Leslie showing up at Kyle’s house, telling him that his friend is trying to stop him, and asking him for the “last four digits of your soche,” his social security number. Kyle replies, “2-4-6-2,” takes her hand and runs out the door.