South Park ‘Dead Celebrities’ Review: Dead On
SOUTH PARK: Friday 9th October, Comedy Central, 10pm Alert Me
Thank God for South Park.
Whilst we’re not going to deny our occasionally shallow addiction to all things celebrity paff (seriously – you can’t beat a good brain off, feet up session with the latest Heat magazine), the modern penchant is to either idolise or criminalise stars in the public eye.
Dead Celebrities is a prime example of South Park’s ability to do both whilst simultaneously hitting the pop cultural vein on the nerve, with hilarious results.
As you can tell by the subtle, tasteful title, South Park’s 13th (doesn’t that just make you feel old?) series debuts with an amusing take on The Sixth Sense.
Ike is being stalked by ghosts. Except they’re not just any ghosts. After a summer filled to the burial plots with the untimely demise of many a celebrity, there are guest appearances by Natasha Richardson, Farrah Fawcett, David Carradine, Patrick Swayze, DJ AM, and the American cable channel legend Billy Mays (America’s very own Barry Scott) who are all stuck in purgatory and aiming to use Ike to help them out.
Taking the undead biscuit however, is an appearance and subsequent possession by the prince of pop himself, Michael Jackson.
While the story veers off into OTT parody, a rather disturbingly sexualised take on Little Miss Sunshine and an unhealthy obsession with blood smeared faeces, it does at heart always have its tongue firmly in cheek.
The headlines and Jacko fans may be screaming bloody murder (litigators take note, I’m talking about the character assassination, not the Wacko conspiracy theories), but for those who know South Park’s tone and mission statement, there’s surprisingly little that’s truly shocking on show.
Still, if it manages to stay as reliable, guffaw-worthy and entertainingly current as this, it’s safe to say South Park isn’t likely to suffer from the traditionally troubled teenage years.