Kenny has a girlfriend! Much to the chagrin of his pals, who, when they discover that she's a slut who gave a boy a blowjob in the parking lot of a TGIFridays, warn him of the dangerous diseases, like syphillis, that you can catch from that most vile repository of filth: an American woman's mouth.  Kenny is undeterred, though, and plans to use the "tingly" feeling the Jona Brothers ignite in her to get his way. Only one problem. The Jonas Brother's new fad? Purity rings. It's the new season on South Park!!!

Episode 1: The Ring
Full Episode Online: TV Dome

Kenny and Tammy sittin’ in a tree
The boys all watch from their lunch table in awe, commenting on the impossible in front of them: Kenny eating lunch with his girlfriend – Tammy Warner – a 5th grader and the only kid in school from a family poorer than Kenny’s. Butter rushes by to inform them of exciting news: Kenny has a girlfriend!  When the boys tell him that they already know, and that Kenny really likes her, Butters says he worries about her being a whore, hearing about how she blew someone in the parking lot of TGIFridays.  Cartman is pissed off and he and Stan and Kyle go to inform Kenny of this – his reaction, though, is to run off screaming in ecstasy.  He rushes off and invites Tammy to TGIFridays after school, and she agrees, so Kenny starts to do a little dance.  She confesses to him that the rumors about TGIFridays are true, but it’s not her fault; she just gets all tingly after listening to the Jonas Brothers.  So, South Park reveals their target this episode: the Jonas Brothers.  Seems a little late in the game, and I wonder how much they’re gonna be able to do with it given that they already covered little girls fads back in “Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset”.  But let’s wait and see, shall we?

Concert Chaos
Kenny immediately heads out to purchase tickets, and the boys tease him about doing it just to get a BJ.  Cartman points out how girls’ mouths are full of germs, but Kenny says not to worry; he’s gonna get protection, as they see when he walks into a store to purchase extra large condoms.  The boys still are worried about Kenny’s safety, but he takes Tammy to the concert anyways, where he’s surrounded by thousands of screaming fans who immediately start to go crazy when they start singing.  Even Mr. Slave is there, getting in on the “tingly” feeling.  Kenny is in awe, observing the massive adoration all around him.  After the concert is over, Tammy tells Kenny that she feels all tingly, so when he suggests they go outside, she agrees, until they’re all called into the back of the room to meet with the Jonas Brothers, except Kenny, who beats on the door angrily.  Inside, the girls all learn that the Jonas Brothers don’t want them to give them blowjobs, but rather get them to wear purity rings and not do naughty stuff.  The girls all agree, slightly nonplussed.  So, looks like they’re going to go the opposite route of “Stupid Spoiled Whore;” clever enough, but it’s also pretty smart because it skewers the hypocrisy of companies like Disney.

Purity is the new sex
“Here he comes, BJ McKay and his best friend bear,” Cartman comments to Kenny when he walks up next to the boys at the bus stop the next day.  He reluctantly takes off his glove to show his purity ring, and Kyle tells him that he thinks it’s good that he and Tammy are saving themselves until their older.  Kenny angrily admits that it is, and all is quiet for a few seconds until he storms off, mumbling about how now he’s never gonna get a blowjob…poor Kenny.  Later, all the boys are playing basketball, and Butter excitedly informs them that Kenny is still going out with that slut.  They inform him of Kenny and Tammy’s new purity rings, and Butters looks thoughtful. “A ring that two people wear to promise each other they’ll never have sex?  Isn’t that called a wedding ring?”  Funny because it’s coming from Butters, but we could have seen this joke coming a mile away, and it seems a little rote for South Park.

The mouse behind it all
Kenny isn’t enjoying his ring, hanging out with Tammy watching NetFlix and eating luncheons with other purity ring couples chatting about watching Grey’s Anatomy and other pure activities, just like songs from the Jonas Brothers tell them to.  At the end of another music video shoot, the Jonas Brothers inform their managers that they’re not going to wear purity rings anymore.  “You’re gonna say that to the boss’s face?”  they ask him.  Slightly nervous, they respond that yes, they will.  Then the “boss” walks in – Mickey Mouse!  Classic, it’s about time Mickey got to be a South Park character, though he did have a cameo in “Imagination Land.”  He’s none too happy, and he tells them that they need to wear the rings so that Disney can sell sex to little girls and not look bad.  When one of them threatens to not go on stage anymore, Mickey kicks the crap out of him and tells them to make some goddamn money, and they all mumble out acquiescence.  So far, this episode has been absent from any significant comedic moments, but the introduction of Mickey adds some serious spice to the mix.

The Destroyer revealed
At the store, Kenny’s friends find him searching through the DVDs, picking out seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.  Now they’re even more worried about him. “He’s turning into a boring turd!”  Kyle says.  Then they notice the cover of a nearby “Teen Beat.”  It’s of the Jonas Brothers, and the cover story is about purity rings; instantly the kids resolve to put a stop to this.  At an interview, the Jonas Brothers promote their new show on the Disney channel in 3D – where they’ll also douse the audience with white hot foam; they even do a small demonstration and toss a little hot Jonas Juice into the audience right there.  Cartman, Kenny, and Kyle suddenly start shouting out from the audience that the Jonas Brothers are merely using the purity rings as a disguise to sell sex to little girls.  They’re interrupted by poisonous darts to their necks courtesy of a Mickey Mouse hiding behind stage observing the promo show.  They wake up woozily later with Mr. Mouse in their faces accusing them of working for Dreamworks, trying to take him down.  They deny it, but he’s not having any of it.  The concert’s just about to start, as Disney calls “The most pure and innocent rock event of the new millennium.”  Backstage, Mickey wields a chainsaw to convince the boys to start talking.  They explain the situation about Kenny, but he still doesn’t believe it.  The Jonas Brothers realize that they shouldn’t use a Christian symbol for profit, and Mickey tells them they don’t have a choice – and they will go out and perform that concert.  “I’m selling sex to their daughters.  I’ve made billions off of Christian ignorance for decades now!”  Mickey shouts exultantly as Cartman moves the curtain up behind him.  Mickey turns around and tries to cover his ass by introducing the Jonas Brothers, but the entire crowd starts to boo him.  Mickey screams out, pissed off, and grows to an enormous size, blowing fire out into the fleeing crowd.  On the news, the commentators talk about how Mickey will soon go back to Valhalla to slumber and come back another day.  “Vengeance is mine!  You are all ants and I am your destroyer!” a giant, Macy’s balloon-like Mickey shouts as he floats over the city, spewing fire onto the terrified people below.

The dirtiest place in the world
As Kenny and Tammy sit watching the TV, witnessing the massive failure, Tammy decides she wants to take off the rings so they can be boring and lame when they reach their 30’s, like everyone else, but not now.  Tammy, giving him a smile, suggests they go to TGIFridays.  The next day, the pastor presides over the funeral of a little boy – Kenny McCormick, who died of syphilis.  The boys mourn over their friend as they contemplate how they warned him that a woman’s mouth is the dirtiest place in the world.  “Well, now we know,” Kyle says.  “An knowing is half the battle,” Cartman pointedly says to the camera.

After their usual hiatus, it's difficult not to feel like this South Park is a bit of a disappointment, for several reasons, among them the tired feel of the whole "Jonas Brothers" parody, which, much of the time, feels like a retread of their "Elementary School Musical" episode last season. However, major kudos to putting Mickey into this episode, as every line he says is hilarious and he serves as a perfect symbol for Disney's hypocrisy, the main target of the episode. It's also a bit of a disappointment because Cartman, Kyle, and Stan's purpose in this episode is only to follow Kenny around - even Cartman is pretty tame; he's even noble, what the hell? One nice round of applause to the close of the episode - Kenny dying, classic South Park, ending on a note of much-needed hilarity. This episode shouldn't worry us too much about the rest of the season, though - South Park doesn't usually pull out the big guns until later. Guess we'll just have to wait and see how big those guns are.

-Thomas Anderson
aka MovieBuzzReviewDude. Check out his movie/media/pop culture blog here.