“All love is magical”
A romantic episode of South Park? ‘Tweek x Craig’ is about as close as South Park will probably get to a romantic episode! It was something of a stark departure from the usual scathing satire that we are used to, but as they say, a change is as good as the rest. And, amazingly, it worked! ‘Tweek x Craig’ was, considering the nature of the plot, touching and funny in equal measures. The only side-plot that didn’t work out was Cartman’s relationship with Cupid Cartman, which drove the story into an awkward ending. However, ‘Tweek x Craig’ proved that South Park doesn’t always have to be satirical to produce good entertainment!
‘Tweek x Craig’ is based on real-life fan-fiction about a relationship between Tweek and Craig. How utterly bizarre! But the internet has produced all manner of strange and wonderful things. In the episode, Asian-American students have (for some unknown reason) been drawing ‘Yaoi’ pictures of Tweek and Craig in various loving embraces. Of course, this persuades the schoolchildren that Tweek and Craig are actually in a relationship. In the new ‘P.C.’ world of South Park, their “relationship” produced some good laughs.
I couldn’t help but chuckle when people (including their parents) kept offering Tweek and Craig money because of their homosexuality. In Whole Foods, Craig’s dad gets a round of applause. Tweek’s dad says that he believed Tweek to be “just a spaz”, but due to his son’s homosexuality, he’s extremely proud of him. While I’ve not been a great fan of the P.C continuity, it worked especially well in ‘Tweek x Craig.’ The two titular characters were also brilliant in the episode, especially the faked break up scene where Craig took things a little too far (“You’re never the bad guy, are you?). The scene where they ‘got back together’ was oddly touching (even when Craig’s dad gave Craig a $100!).
“Love is love…”
I’m not often emotionally affected by South Park in a whimsical way, but the musical numbers and the accompanying montage rather touched me! Tweek and Craig seemed to bring out the romance in the inhabitants of South Park. Of course, as with any South Park musical number, there was a layer of ridiculousness. But they really did bring ‘love to all!’ Randy bought flowers for his wife, the Mayor visited her husband’s gravestone, and even Cartman found love in a very, very peculiar place. His imaginary Cupid Me side-story ended with a scene uncomfortable to watch, but necessary in the grand scheme of the story.
Throughout Series 19, South Park has had a lot to say about various issues but has often stood on the fence. It’s as if Parker and Stone have taken ‘P.C’ to heart, and balanced arguments on both sides of a story. We want the South Park that comes with a big, fat, overt message to tell us what to think! However, with ‘Tweek x Craig,’ they firmly came out with the message that it’s okay to be gay. All love is love! It’s a little trite, but in the context of the story, it was heart-warming! All in all, a wonderful little episode of South Park. Not quite the South Park we know and love, but it’s always interesting to have something different!
VERDICT: 8/10. A strange and discomforting Cartman side-plot aside, this was a heart-warming story from South Park, and a very well-done one at that!
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(Click here for my review of South Park, Season 19, Episode 5: Safe Space)