South Park ‘The Ungroundable’

Thursday, November 20 by

Butters discovers a terrible secret lurking in the heart on South Park Elementary: there are vampires, and he even becomes so desperate as to ask them to let him join.  The Goths also become “so seriously pissed off” that preppy kids are taking over their Goth look that they decide to do something about it.

Vampires are invading the school, mmkay?
Into the midst of a computer class taught haltingly by Mr. Mackey to obliviously-playing-computers-games-fourth-graders rushes a terrified Butters, who warns Cartman and the gang that vampires have invaded the school.  Intent on distracting Butters, Cartman assigns him to go collect information on the mysterious group.  Butters heads off, happy with the mission, and spies on the vampires in the gym, not noticing from afar how they merely drink tomato juice and call it blood.  They discover him, so Butters pulls out a cross to defend himself, crying out, “The body of Christ compels you!  The body of Christ compels you!”  Meanwhile, the Goth kids are getting angry that the new “vampires” are stealing their look, so they confront them and ask, “Do you guys even smoke?”  The vampires respond that no, of course not, they don’t smoke, that would be unhealthy.  “Oh my God,” comes the Goths’ response.

You are grounded, mister!
Back to the house zooms a freaking out Butters, who tries to warn his parents that vampires have invaded the school.  Instead, he gets lectured by his father, who has accidentally put hamburger helper in his milk because Butters didn’t arrange the cupboard alphabetically like he was supposed to.  After a sound lecture and grounding, Butters is sentenced to putting the cupboard back in order, but as he’s playing the food items back in the X, Y, and Z sections he comes up with an idea that will make him cool and ungroundable – so he approaches the vampire kids and asks to become one of them.  Where do they take him?  Why, off to Hot Topic of course, to pick out the coolest vampires clothes and the most wicked vampire fangs – Butters drinks the tomato juice, thinking it’s blood and commenting that it’s the most disgusting thing he’s ever tasted, and voila, he has become a vampire, complete with the plastic teeth and tacky Goth wannabe clothing.

The hunger…
When Butters arrives home his parents try to ground him but their efforts prove quite fruitless.  “I no longer need to explain anything to you, father,” Butters says threateningly, growling and hissing at them as he does.  Very soon Butters realizes that his hunger for blood just won’t stop, as he lies awake in his bed at night shaking.  So off he goes to the house of none other than Eric Cartman to take a little bite out of his neck.  He wakes Cartman up in doing so, his mouth around his neck, and barfs on the floor, disgusted with himself and realizing he doesn’t have the guts to actually kill somebody.  He hops out the window and runs away as Cartman’s mom walks in and asks what’s going on.  Cartman then speaks the best line of the show.  “Well, Mom, apparently Butters is gay, and finds me very attractive, and, confused about his sexual identity puked up all over my floor.”  Back at Butters’ house, his parents confront him about his behavior, and Butters, still going crazy over the lack of blood and inability to follow through with the kill, realizes what he must do, so he hops off into the night, leaving his parents staring after him, his dad saying solemnly, “He’s become something Linda – something that…we cannot ground.”

Goth is the way to go
The Goths are still pissed off at the vamps – and Principal Victoria calling them into her office to lecture and warn them about influencing all the other kids with their style (an unpleasant side effect of the popularity of vampirism – everyone in the school copies the vamps’ copycat style) doesn’t help matters either.  So to disassociate themselves as much as possible from the vampires, the Goths go Gap, and resume their positions behind the school, minus the cigarettes and black leather but still retaining the defeatist life sucks attitude.  When that doesn’t work, they kidnap the vampire leader and send him off to Scotsdale, the worst place on Earth.  Still with nothing to show for it, the Goths mope at a “Village Inn”, where Butters approaches them and shows them where people become vampires.  Once the Goths realize the source of the evil, they torch the Hot Topic without hesitation, which causes all the vampires at the school to revert back to human, including Butters, who returns home safe and sound and no longer in danger of killing his parents from the insatiable hunger.  The show ends with the Goth kids giving a speech about the difference between vampire and Goth, closing with, “Anybody who actually thinks they’re a vampire is freaking retarded.”

Review
S this is it for South Park, at least until next season.  It’s easy to see why they chose the vampire theme – with Twilight buzz at an all-time pre-release high, it’s perfectly ripe and appropriate timing, and goes along with the latter half of this season’s theme – movie parodies (Indiana Jones, Cloverfield, High School Musical).  This show, however, focuses more on the characters than on parodying any specific aspect of Twilight – and it’s one of their better episodes in recent memory; since Butters became a main character, the creators have usually made time for an episode or two per season that focuses on him specifically, and this one’s as good as any of the others.  In the previous parodies, the overreaching satire cast a bit of a shadow on the characters, so that we didn’t get to see much interaction that was either developing their characters or wasn’t directly related to the movie being parodied.  Because they’re not tying themselves down in this episode, it feels more liberating.  That being sad, it was a bit of an anti-climactic way to close off the season, but that’s just how South Park always does it – their seasons just kind of end, and this one is no different.   It is funny and pretty smart, though, so you’ll probably enjoy yourself.
 

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