South Park Review: "Jewpacabra"
Cartman, converting to Judaism? Now we have seen it all on South Park.
"Jewpacabra" starts with Kyle discovering Cartman talking to his mom about Judaism. Cartman is a noted anti-Semite, so this is a rather shocking admission. Of course, he's only collecting reconnaisance so he can spread the word of the most fearsome creature that preys on non-Jewish children: the Jewpacabra.
No one believes Cartman, because he's been known to spread lies about the Jewish faith before. So he goes out to fabricate evidence of this creature's existence, and takes it to a group of monster hunters, hoping to get a supermarket chain's Easter Egg hunt canceled. Because when people think of Sooper Foods, they think of fun and safety. The Jewpacabra is neither fun nor safe for children.
Of course, the Jewpacabra turns out to be real – or at least something shows up on the tape that causes Cartman to get really scared that his lie is spiraling out of control. This eventually leads to him being tied up in a park in an Easter Bunny outfit, hoping to survive the Jewpacabra. Oh, and he has a Passover-themed hallucination that causes him to convert to Judaism.
This episode was a weird one. Of course, they went after the easy target of supernatural creature hunters, and didn't have anything really new to say on that front. Yes, they're ridiculous, possibly making it all up, and in it for the reality TV exposure... but is this anything we weren't all thinking already?
It is funny to watch one of Cartman's harebrained schemes come back to bite him in the end. However, the seeming moral - of Cartman turning Jewish because of his tranquilizer dart-induced hallucination - fell kind of flat. This was because in part it seemed like the hallucination just showed Jewish people slitting the throats of lambs and rubbing the slit on their doors to ward off God's wrath while frogs fell from the sky and little Egyptian boys' heads exploded.
Yes, it was another week of gratuitious violence on South Park!
That, and there just weren't a lot of big guffaws to be had from this episode. There were a lot of little jokes and South Park quotes along with the irony of Cartman's situation, but no big memorable gags.
The humor value of Cartman's 'conversion' will come from if it sticks in future weeks, or if this is just a one-off episode meant to serve as a hypothetical "What would it take to turn Eric Cartman Jewish?!? THIS!" situation. Personally, I'd rather it be the latter, as this episode was kind of forgettable.
Despite my thoughts here, it does join the proud pantheon of Passover-themed cartoon shows with Rugrats. They may be the only members of the pantheon, but we need more cartoons celebrating other holidays. Well, we need better ones at least.