Monday, October 20, 2014

"I Am Lorde"

Good afternoon. Feelin' good on a Monday. We just watched the last two South Park episodes.

We didn't expect South Park to kill it so hard over the past four weeks, especially since the 2012 and 2013 episodes seemed to signal the beginning of a depressingly bleak era akin to every Simpsons episode that happened after 1998's "Lisa Gets An 'A'" (which many fans consider the final classic episode of The Simpsons).

But instead, Trey and Matt's first true extended hiatus (throughout the first half of 2014) seems to have allowed their creative engines to chill and rejuvenate. As a result, this has been their freshest string of episodes since at least 3 years ago.

We found it somewhat predictable that the 2013 season would contain at least one self-contained trilogy. Sure enough, episodes 7, 8 and 9 from last year included the unnecessarily stretched-out 3-episode arc inspired by Game Of Thrones - the one that essentially introduced the versions of the characters that appear in The Stick of Truth.

This time around, however, they seem to be allowing continuity to progress WITHOUT a self-contained mini-series. There's no "Part 2" or "Part 3." The 2nd episode picked up exactly where the first episode ended, and so on, but every episode is its own contained story. There are no cliffhangers, which may have assisted in giving the show an intriguing dopeness that hasn't felt as fresh since at least 2011, if not earlier.

Oh wait a sec... AV Club already wrote something about this, and reviewed it more eloquently than we just did:

See, this is why we don't have as much energy for posting here anymore. Everyone in the entire fucking universe has a blog now, and there's no interesting topics that haven't yet been discussed. (Even quick observations of ours as simple as the similarities between "Marvins Room" and Pinkerton have been getting expanded with fully illustrated annotations.)

Perhaps Hot Mix 2014 is the only reason we're still keeping this alive. Hot Mix is fun. The rest seems less fun at the moment. Whatever.

Three quick points about the South Park/Lorde connection:

#1 It seems like the whole reason why they ended up continuing the Lorde joke was to defend themselves against SPIN, who totally took the joke the wrong way and assumed Trey and Matt were anti-Lorde:
Despite that they're clearly bummed about SPIN, they actually gave the fated non-magazine their best publicity in years. What other sitcoms have actually mentioned SPIN anytime recently? And plus, Stan states that "Lorde is really good" in the follow-up episode, which appears to be Trey and Matt's official statement on whether or not they appreciated her as a pop star to begin with.

#2 The fans were into it, and their Lorde parody is now trending widely enough that the demand has yielded a full-length version:

#3 On a personal note, Lorde's huge hits have yet to stick in our heads. A LOT of people seem to really appreciate her music, and it's probably good once you allow the hooks to steep, although we have yet to recognize any hooks. The other day we heard Charli XCX's "Bang Pow Clang" or whatever it's called, and we were all like "this must be Lorde. Finally, we can say that we've heard and remembered a Lorde song, even though it's somewhat mediocre." But it wasn't Lorde. Maybe it will happen soon.

This feels like the opposite of what happened throughout 2001 and 2002 when we made a conscious effort to avoid Creed's "My Sacrifice," a song with actual strong hooks that we DID NOT want stuck in our heads. We wrote about these events pretty extensively a couple years back:

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