Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Rewind: Parenthood, Scandal and South Park

Parenthood: Season 5, Episode 2 – “All Aboard Who’s Coming Aboard”
With the niceties of the season premiere in the past, the Bravermans stumbled toward a variety of mistakes this week. Christina (Monica Potter, “Saw”) plunged ahead with intrepid mayoral campaign, hiring a campaign manager (Jurnee Smollett “Friday Night Lights”) and arousing continued skepticism from her husband Adam (Peter Krause, “Six Feet Under”). Julia met a fellow unemployed parent (David Denman, “The Office”) at her daughter’s school, but this “meet cute” was a little too cute for a married woman. Crosby’s infant hatred grew stronger as the tears grew louder, and Sarah (Lauren Graham, “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs”) once again caught the eye of curmudgeonly photographer Hank (Ray Romano, “Ice Age: Continental Drift”).

The most affecting story of the week was also the quietest. Zeek and Camilla rarely get big storylines because they’ve settled into their grandparent status, but this week they pondered the possibility of moving to a new home and rekindling their romance in the big city. Bonnie Bedelia and Craig T. Nelson knocked these subtle scenes out of the park, a nice reminder that family dramas aren’t all melodrama and contrivances. Sometimes, people just outgrow their homes.

-Mark Lieberman

South Park: Season 17, Episode 2 – “Informative Murder Porn”
The usual hit-or-miss nature of South Park is a definite hit with the second episode of its 17th season. “Informative Murder Porn” oozes the satire that makes South Park a critical hit, as well as the comedy that keeps audience hooked on the animated sitcom.

In less than 22 minutes, “Informative Murder Porn” mercilessly and impressively attacks the American public’s fascination with simulated TV drama, cable company monopolies and their practices.

The episode starts with a fleeting concern about vicious documentaries focusing on spousal crime that couples in South Park are hooked on. The violent TV dramas come to life for the South Park crew when a man in their town brutally murders his wife. The students at South Park Elementary blame the homicide on the “informative murder porn” found in that couple’s home and consequently take initiative to prevent their parents from watching the same shows.

The episode centers on Randy Marsh and his endeavors to watch the documentaries. Randy takes several measures, including complaining to his cable company and learning Minecraft, just to access the channels that his son Stan password protected.

The episode is highly topical, but entertaining for viewers whether or not they are familiar with the episode’s references. Questions and terms about Minecraft may be alien to South Park’s audience, but scenes that like two adults calling each other “griefers” from rooftops paints a hilarious picture that keeps viewers watching.

With all of its clever points, “Informative Murder Porn” still has the distinct humor and characteristics of a typical South Park episode. New and regular South Park viewers won’t be disappointed.

- Kara Avanceña

Scandal: Season 3, Episode 1 – “It’s Handled”
After a long, highly anticipated wait, ABC’s hit drama “Scandal” is back. The season premiere picked up right where the second season left off: the question of who leaked Olivia’s name as Fitz’s mistress.

The self-proclaimed “fixer” Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington, “Django Untamed”) is now the one who needs the fixing. After her alleged affair with the president was exposed, she needs to find a way out of her mess. Viewers were stunned by seeing the vulnerable side of Olivia for the first time as she wasn’t very “gladiator-esque.”

It’s no secret that Olivia is not the best when it comes to men, but viewers were given some insight into why that might be. Olivia’s father is the “original” Olivia Pope; obviously, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Her hard exterior may be tough to break down, unless you’re her father. “You have to be twice as good as them, to get half of what they have,” he says. Now it’s clear why she has such high expectations of herself and her “gladiators.”

The episode was entitled, “It’s Handled,” which is exactly what the premise of the plot was – handling the leaked cheating scandal between Fitz and Olivia. The idea of Fitz, Olivia and Mellie all together in one room might sound like World War 3, but surprisingly, they all came together for the good of their “unconventional threesome.”

But the question still remains, who leaked Olivia’s name? Think about it. As Mellie said, “Who would benefit from it the most?”

- Brianna Williams

thescene@theeagleonline.com


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