An important disclaimer up front: No Water Bears were harmed in the writing of this review. However, South Park’s eighth episode of season 21, “Moss Piglets,” was a disservice to those wonderful microscopic creatures. Much like most recent Dallas Cowboys seasons, something with a lot of promise was derailed by Jerry Jones and the NFL.
I’m a huge fan of Nathan and Mimsy episodes, especially when Jimmy and Timmy inadvertently play their foil. So pitting them against one another in the special education science fair was a great first act set up. I was also happy to see another layer added to Cartman and Heidi’s relationship. With pimples, her buttcrack out, and a newfound hatred for skool, Heidi has fully embraced the lifestyle of Eric Cartman, to the shock of the little man himself. I might be in the minority here, but last week I thought South Park doubled down on Trump in an effective and obvious way, keeping a razor sharp focus (note: I didn’t review the episode) by using Cartman and Heidi as a metaphor for the Trump voter, and it continued this week.
Again, it’s not headlining-making “South Park Takes Down Trump” that a lot of people seem to be looking for. There’s a brilliant line that Heidi is essentially Cartman with the initiative to actually get something done, the effect of enabling and normalizing Cartman’s behavior, and a warning about our current shit storm political climate. We all knew Cartman’s nice guy behavior last season was an act, and he couldn’t be trusted to deliver on promises like getting us to Mars, so it’s rewarding in a sense to see him manipulate Heidi to the extent that he can barely tolerate a female version of himself.
The rest of the episode quite simply was a hot mess. The promise of Nathan and Mimsy took a backseat to Jerry Jones and the NFL searching for new fans to make up for people tuning out the NFL because of protests, concussions, or because generally the league puts out a trash product on a weekly basis. Even for viewers fed up with the NFL, the storyline came out of nowhere, barely connects to the glorious Water Bears, and wastes the potential of Nathan and Mimsy, and Jimmy and Timmy for that matter. This felt lazy, especially when in recent years South Park has had fun with the NFL in “Sarcastaball,” “Go Fund Yourself,” and “The Washington Redskins Go F*ck Yourself Special.”
Keep the Water Bears. Lose Jerry Jones. Even the NFL seems to agree with that.