I don't quite know where the inspiration for 'Pinewood Derby' came from. If it's a movie parody, I don't know what movie it's supposed to be mocking. If it's a social commentary, I'm not quite sure what the topic is supposed to be. Maybe Trey Parker and Matt Stone just felt like making a stupid episode. Either way 'Pinewood Derby' was about half amusing, half funny, and half retarded. This week on South Park Randy and Stan enter the Pinewood Derby, a competition where father and son build a small model race car and race it down an incline. The catch is they are only allowed to use the materials provided to them in the official Pinewood Derby kit. Randy of course breaks the rules and inadvertently creates a car that is able to travel at warp speed. After his car shoots off into space an alien named Baby-Farks Mcgee spots it and decides to take the town of South Park hostage. Confused yet?
Don't worry, I was also. Again, I'm not really sure where the inspiration for this episode came from. It seems more like a mishmash of idea's, and in the end I felt like I was watching an episode of Robot Chicken rather than an episode of South Park.
Thankfully the second half of the episode is at least sort-of funny. The town comes into possession of a few million 'space dollars'. They end up sharing it with the rest of the world while at the same time trying to hide all the money from the 'space police' so they can avoid 'space jail'. After all of that happens.........well, if you have been reading my articles up to this point you would know that I hate spoilers, so I won't spoil the rest of the episode for anyone. I'll just say that the episode ends on a fairly satisfying note and Randy and the rest of the earth gets whats coming to them. Except for Finland, poor poor Finland.
But that's not to say the 'Pinewood Derby' has zero laughs. This is a Randy-centric episode so there are at least a couple funny parts. Just watching Randy act in his over-the-top ignorant ways was funny enough to save the episode. I just wish there was more substance to the whole thing. It seemed like Randy just said the kind of things you would expect him to say instead of saying something to really truly shock you. I guess after twelve seasons of being on the air the shock factor can start to wear off.
Overall this was a sub-par episode. It's heart was in the right place, just not its brain. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are better than this, but they have done worse.
Score - 5/10