This week on South Park Cartman leads himself, Ike, Butters, Craig, and a new character Chris Stoli to Somalia where they become pirates. Obviously Cartmans rendition of a pirate is vastly different from what a modern day pirate actually is. Through a series of misunderstandings Cartman shows these Somalian ‘pirates’ what a real pirate is and just how a pirate is supposed to act. Kyle on the other hand feels guilty about Ike’s sudden disappearance because he was the one who convinced Cartman to go to Somalia in the first place. But that part of the episode doesn’t really come into play until the last several minutes and for the most part is forgettable. The real focus of the episode is Cartman and just how unaware he is of everything around him. It’s funny and all, but not anything we haven’t seen hundreds of times already.
‘Fat Beard’ really gets back to basics in terms of what South Park humor is like. There is basically one actual joke throughout the whole episode, but it’s told in several different ways. The joke is, Somalian pirates aren’t the pirates people may think they are. Cartman go to Somalia dressed up in full clad pirate suits with eye patchs, peg legs, and all. When he finally comes face to face with the Somalians all he can say is “dude there are no pirates here, just a bunch of black people”. The funny part is Cartman never really realizes that these guys aren’t the types of pirates he was looking for. Instead he just carries on as if they were old time pirates, and eventually he transforms the Somalians into just that. Oh and Cartman manages to steal a Europeon battleship, which was absolutely hilarious to see.
The episode is classic delusional Cartman. Not classic Cartman, classic DELUSIONAL Cartman. Cartman has gone through a lot of changes since the first seasons of the show. First he was just a foul mouthed little boy, and then he was a sadistic and hateful monster, now he’s kind of just a delusional buffoon. It’s sort of weird how he went from being a diabolical genius to a self absorbed delusional idiot. It’s like a complete 180 for the character and I’m not sure if I like it all that much. I mean, it is funny watching Cartman act like a naive idiot, but I really miss his evil side. But hey, times change and people change, even if they are fictional people.
Overall ‘Fatbeard’ was an alright episode. Most of the humor rides on you already knowing and loving the characters involved. They act the way you think they would act and do the things you think they would do. There is nothing here to take you by surprise and shock you. But it’s all in good fun and it did make me laugh several times. The problem I had is there was no real conflict in the whole thing.
Score – 6/10