South Park wrapped up the first half of its 16th season with Eric Cartman playing an unlikely role, matchmaker, in "Cartman Finds Love."
Yes, there's a new girl at South Park Elementary named Nicole and Cartman decides that he wants to get her together with Token, because he loves love and that's completely in his character.
Or... it's because Nicole is black just like Token and Cartman is a horrible racist. So, of course, he decides to try and get the two of them together by locking them in the gym with board games, grape soda, a deli tray and massage oil. Just like he did with the other two minority students in South Park.
Cartman has been willing to go to extreme lengths to get what he wants done (Scott Tenorman, anyone?) but nothing seemed as unlikely as him pretending that he was in a gay relationship with Kyle in order to defuse any potential attraction between him and Nicole.
Did I see it as being out of character that Cartman would go and profess his "love" for Kyle in front of 19,155 people at the Pepsi Center? Yeah, kinda. But there was Cupid Cartman to help him along. Plus, he is a terrible person, and this did embarrass Kyle. So what if he has to act like he's gay in order to achieve the ultimate success of his plan?
Who knows, maybe this is the season where Cartman comes out of the closet along with converting to Judaism. You are an enigma, Eric Cartman.
A couple of funny asides:
- Mr. Garrison teaching the kids about the seven houses of Westeros in Game of Thrones was hilarious. Perhaps South Park Studios could release videos of him recapping Game of Thrones each week because I can't keep up with half of what's going on.
- Detlef Schrempf is apparently the go-to funny basketball player reference for comedies, as Cartman had a box of D. Schrempf React Tech shoes. If only they actually had him on the episode like on Parks and Recreation. Of course, they did actually get Brad Paisley to sing the national anthem, and to sing a romantic song to Kyle with Cartman. I figured it was just some generic country singer, but no, check the actual credits. It was actually him! Not that I would have known otherwise.
The episode's moral at the end - twisting the we-belong-together-even-if-society-says-we-shouldn't trope around - was definitely a hallmark of the show.
Overall, this episode was just kind of a goofy little trip. Not a classic (maybe if they shoehorned in another trip for Stan to San Diego?), but there are worse ways for the spring season to end. See you again in the fall! We leave you with an updated collection of South Park quotes.