Thursday, September 11, 2014

Voting Round 1: Randy Marsh and Butters Bracket

Here is the first bracket.  You can vote for every episode technically, but try to just vote for one episode per matchup. 



Randy Marsh and Butters Bracket:
1.  The Losing Edge (Season 9, Episode 5)
16.  Marjorine (Season 9, Episode 9)

           The Losing Edge-  Has to be the one seed in any region involving Randy Marsh, because it is probably Randy at his finest (with apologies to "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson").  The concept is great to begin with.  South Park kids hating baseball, being happy it is over only to be so good they have to play more baseball.  But the show goes above and beyond, giving us drunk Randy Marsh trying to fight a dad on every opposing team, screaming "I thought this was America!" when he inevitably gets arrested.  I love when Randy commits to getting in the best shape of his life and we get this great clip.  

         Marjorine- Another simple concept episode where the boys dress Butters as a girl to try to get a paper fortune teller (Future Telling Device).  Of course the boys over do the plan by faking Butters' suicide causing his family and everyone else to think him dead.  Butters' showing back up at his parents produces some great stuff with his parents reactions and the ridiculous stuff they do. 

8.  The Death of Eric Cartman (Season 9, Episode 6)
9.  Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow (Season 9, Episode 8)  

         The Death Of Eric Cartman-  An episode featuring Butters with Eric typically produces greatness and this is no exception.  The boys all decide to ignore Cartman which brings him to the logical conclusion that he is a ghost walking the streets who needs to atone before he can go to Heaven.  His list of everything awful he has ever done is marvelous ("Then there was the time I convinced a women to have an abortion so I could make another Shaky's Pizza...") and his montage of making up for this is the perfect Cartman plan of atonement.   

         Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow- Another episode starting with a simple concept of the kids screwing up and everyone in South Park completely going off the deep end (this time blaming the flood on global warming and not the kids crashing a boat into the damn).  The episode becomes a disaster movie parody, which features great scenes like Randy getting to be the geologist who explains it all (in an awesome drawing) and Cartman demanding Kyle's "Jew gold."  (Worth noting these first four episodes were all from the extremely strong Season 9 which even features another 1 and 2 seed.) 

4.  Professor Chaos (Season 6, Episode 6)
13.  Medicinal Fried Chicken (Season 14, Episode 3)

          Professor Chaos-  In season 5 the South Park creators started giving Butters more screen time and this is the second of several great Butters centric episodes.  Butters trying to be a Super Villain by doing mildly inconvenient things is very entertaining.        

         Medicinal Fried Chicken-  Randy wants to smoke marijuana legally so he gives himself testicular cancer by microwaving his balls and then rides them around town.   We also get Cartman joining a cartel for ourlawed KFC and eating all the fried chicken skins.  

5.  T.M.I. (Season 15, Episode 4)
12.  My Future Self N’ Me (Season 6, Episode 16)

          T.M.I.- I think this might be an episode I love more than most viewers.  So many South Park episodes start with such a simple idea and everything erupting from there.  Cartman misinterpreting the boys inches grown this year chart for a chart the school made posting the boys penis sizes is magnificent.  So many small moments kill me in this episode.  Butters joy at being hung and then the realization that he is not when the second T.M.I. formula gets introduced.  I loved Randy's hypothetical problem as he tries to teach the students that penis length is irrelevant and shows them what is relevant with Randy.  Stan and Kyle's reaction to Cartman listing his penis as "13 inches," the protesting America by taking down the Federal Express and Randy busting into song are all amazing moments.  Hell maybe I have this episode too low in the bracket.  
   
          My Future Self N' Me-  The parents try to teach their kids about the dangers of drugs by having actors pretend they are screwup future versions of their kids.  It's an absurd concept that the boys figure out quickly, which leads to hilarious scenes like Stan pretending to cut off his thumb and Randy cutting off the actors thumb to cover it up.  Oh and we also get Cartman's revenge business which is essentially painting different colors of poop on the wall.   Great ending as well where Cartman's actual future self shows up.

2.  Make Love Not Warcraft (Season 10, Episode 8)
15.  More Crap (Season 11, Episode 9)

          Make Love Not Warcraft- I don't even get the game lingo that is said, though probably much of it is fake, but wow is this episode amazing.  The dude who just kills everyone in World of Warcraft is perfectly constructed as he matter of factly plays the game.  The "live to win" montage might be the best montage the show has ever done (and they've done a lot of great montages).  The whole idea of going into the woods and killing boars to make their characters strong enough to take on the guy killing them and then of course there is Randy Marsh getting wrapped up in the World of Warcraft and being the one to bring "the sword of 1000 truths" to his son.  

         More Crap-  Randy takes the worlds biggest dump and Bono gets jealous because he previously had the reward and wants another.  That's the episode and it's hilarious. 

7.  Consul Wars Trilogy (Season 17, Episodes 7-9) 
10.  The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs (Season 14, Episode 2)

         Consul Wars Trilogy-  It parodied Game of Thrones perfectly.  Little things like the Red Robin Wedding, or the Mall security being the Night's watch and best of all the "Garden of Betrayal," were all excellent.  So much to talk about in three part episodes I think my two favorite parts were Randy saying he was a "Sneaky little bee," and Cartman telling everyone "Lets me honest this is about you and me getting xboxes...."  

          The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs- The boys read Catcher in the Rye and decide they can write a more offensive book.  Their parents find it and they blame Butters.  Of course their parents thought it was a great work of literature trying to say a lot about society (because this is South Park after all) and Butters becomes a famous author.  Nevermind that everyone pukes trying to read it. 

3.  With Apologies to Jesse Jackson (Season 11, Episode 1)
14.  I’m a Little Bit Country (Season 7, Episode 4….100th episode)

         With Apologies to Jesse Jackson-  This might be the episode of South Park I laughed the most in and it starts from the very beginning on Wheel of Fortune.   I still remember watching this in college the night before Green Beer day at Miami.  It not only features Randy Marsh struggling with the backlash to his appearance on Wheel of Fortune, it has Cartman just laughing at the sensitivity training little person.  I think my favorite part was when he tried to get back at Cartman and Cartman got pissed until he saw him and then of course started laughing hysterically.  "Who is the freaking genius who dressed it up in little suspenders...Clyde was that you?" 

         I'm a Little Bit Country-  A divided town of pro war and anti war citizens and everyone hates each other.  I love how South Park manages to rip on anyone and everyone.  Randy's song at the end is great.  Also great other plot is kids having a report on the founding fathers where Cartman tries to make himself have a flashback to learn instead of reading.  

6.  Butters’ Very Own Episode (Season 5, Episode 14)
13.  Butters’ Bottom Bitch (Season 13, Episode 9)

        Butters' Very Own Episode-  Really dark start to the episode as Butters' mom tries to kill Butters by driving the car in the lake with the plan of killing herself.  She backs out when her husband tells her he still loves her and tells him she killed Butters.  The hilarity ensues as they try to cover it up despite Butters' surviving.  Oh yea and the Butters theme song "Everyone knows it's Butters....That's me."

        Butters' Bottom Bitch-  Butters becomes a pimp.   Seriously, Butters becomes the most Butters pimp ever, he gives his Ho's stickers.  

Randy Marsh and Butters Bracket
 
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All Time South Park Episode Bracket

On a number of nights I have found myself tweeting with various people on the greatness of whatever South Park Episode happens to be on that night.  South park is set to begin it's 18th season in a few weeks.  As of right now there have been 247 episodes.  For the bracket I have narrowed them down to what I deem the best 64.  There were some very tough omissions.  The four most notable were Red Hot Catholic Love, You Got F'd in the A, Le Petit Tourette and Informative Murder Porn.

How I arranged the bracket:

1.  I went through each season episode guide and picked episodes I thought were great or particularly funny.  I also wanted to have at least 1 episode per season.  My personal opinion is South Park did not really take off until season 4 or season 5, but I have included a few early episodes that I particularly liked or were very culturally relevant at the time.

2.  I broke the bracket down into 4 groups I thought would divide the episodes fairly well.  Those groups are the Eric Cartman Bracket, The Randy Marsh and Butters Bracket, The Religion and Politics Bracket and the Everything Bracket.  There are multiple episodes in other groups that could probably go in the Eric Cartman Bracket (For instance Cartman's story in Imaginationland is probably my favorite non Scott Tenorman Cartman story), but I tried to make the brackets as even as possible. 

3.  I seeded the brackets based on how well received I thought all the episodes were.  For tiebreakers I put my own personal favorites slightly higher, but I tried to be somewhat objective in my seeding of the brackets.  There are episodes that I personally love that I may vote to go far, but I don't think other people like as much as I may.  Favorites are largely personal and I did not want the seeding in the bracket to just reflect my own personal preference.

4.  For multiple episodes that cover 1 plot I combined them into one episode for Bracket purpose.  That may give an unfair advantage to something like Imaginationland or Cartoon Wars, but I think it is hard to separate these episodes and view them individually.  Additionally, when you see the by season distribution breakdown I will note where one of those episodes was actually a multi-part episode.  A three part episode when rating the strength of the season is worth three episodes for the season as a whole (on that note season 17 was a particularly strong season compared to the few seasons prior).

5.  I did not include the movie.  These rankings are purely based on the television show.  The movie was great.  It's an awesome achievement and hilarious throughout.  I still cannot believe they have not brought back "The Mole" for a guest appearance on the show.  That guy killed me.  That said, i just did not think it was fair to include it.  The show and movie are doing different things. 

Distribution of Episodes by Season:

Season 1:  1
Season 2:  1
Season 3:  3
Season 4:  2
Season 5:  4
Season 6:  6
Season 7:  5
Season 8:  5
Season 9:  8
Season 10:  5, One of which is a 2 part episode
Season 11:  4, One of which is a 3 part episode
Season 12:  4
Season 13:  4
Season 14:  3, One of which is a 3 part episode
Season 15:  3
Season 16:  2
Season 17:   3, One of which is a 3 part episode

I would say from this distribution the peak of the series is season 9, 10 and 11, which seems pretty accurate to me.  Those were 3 incredible seasons of South Park. 

The Bracket:



Randy Marsh and Butters Bracket:


1.  The Losing Edge (Season 9, Episode 5)
16.  Marjorine (Season 9, Episode 9)

8.  The Death of Eric Cartman (Season 9, Episode 6)
9.  Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow (Season 9, Episode 8) 

4.  Professor Chaos (Season 6, Episode 6)
13.  Medicinal Fried Chicken (Season 14, Episode 3)

5.  T.M.I. (Season 15, Episode 4)
12.  My Future Self N’ Me (Season 6, Episode 16)
  
2.  Make Love Not Warcraft (Season 10, Episode 8)
15.  More Crap (Season 11, Episode 9)

7.  Consul Wars Trilogy (Season 17, Episodes 7-9) 
10.  The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs (Season 14, Episode 2)

3.  With Apologies to Jesse Jackson (Season 11, Episode 1)
14.  I’m a Little Bit Country (Season 7, Episode 4….100th episode)

6.  Butters’ Very Own Episode (Season 5, Episode 14)
13.  Butters’ Bottom Bitch (Season 13, Episode 9)
    
     
Religion and Politics Bracket:

1.  Trapped in the Closet (Season 9, Episode 12)
16.  It Hits the Fan (Season 5, Episode 1)

8.  About Last Night (Season 12, Episode 12)
9.  Crack Baby Athletic Association (Season 15, Episode 5)

4.  Mystery of the Urinal Deuce (Season 10, Episode 9)
13.  The Return of Chef (Season 10, Episode 1)

5.  Christian Rock Hard (Season 7, Episode 9)
12.  Rainforest Shmainforest (Season 3, episode 1)

2.  All About Mormons (Season 7, Episode 12)
15.  The Wacky Molestation Adventure (Season 4, Episode 16)

7.  Dances with Smurfs (Season 13, Episode 13)
10.  Best Friends Forever (Season 9, Episode 4)

3.  The Passion of the Jew (Season 8, Episode 3)
14.  Ginger Cow (Season 17, Episode 6)           

6.  Woodland Critter Christmas (Season 8, Episode 14)
11.  Goodbacks (Season 8, Episode 7)




Eric Cartman Bracket:

1.   Scott Tenorman Must Die (Season 5, Episode 4)
16.  Cartman’s Mom is a Dirt Slut (Season 1, episode 13)

8.  Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy (Season 10, Episode 10)
9.  Cartman Sucks (Season 11, Episode 2)

4.  Kenny Dies (Season 5, Episode 13)
13.  Fatbeard (Season 13, Episode 7)
     
5.  Awesom-O (Season 8, Episode 5)
12.  Die Hippie Die (Season 9, Episode 2)

2.  Ginger Kids (Season 9, Episode 11)
15.  Fat Camp (Season 4, Episode 15)

7.  Cartmanland (Season 5, Episode 6)
10.  Fishsticks (Season 13, Episode 5)

3.  Casa Bonita (Season 7, Episode 11)
14.  The Coon and Friends Trilogy (Season 14, Episode 11-13)

6.  Tonsil Trouble (Season 12, Episode 1)
11.  World War Zimmerman (Season 17, Episode 3)    


Everything Bracket:

1.   Imaginationland (Season 11, Episodes 10-12)
16.  Cash for Gold (Season 16, Episode 2)

8.  Good Times With Weapons (Season 8, Episode 1)
9.  Child Abduction is not Funny (Season 6, Episode 11)

4.  The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring (Season 6, Episode 13)
13.  Asspen (Season 6, Episode 2)

5.  Brest Cancer Show Ever (Season 12, Episode 9)
12.  You’re Getting Old (Season 15, Episode 7)
     
2.  Cartoon Wars (Season 10, Episodes 3-4)
15.  Major Boobage (Season 12, Episode 3)

7.   Lil Crime Stoppers (Season 7, Episode 6)
10.  Spookyfish (Season 2, episode 15)

3.  The Red Badge of Gayness (Season 3, Episode 14)
14.  Chinpokomon  (Season 3, Episode 11)

6.   The Death Camp of Tolerance (Season 6, Episode 14)
11.  Reverse Cowgirl (Season 16, Episode 1)
  

I will be releasing polls to vote on each bracket, with my thoughts on each of these episodes.  You will be able to vote throughout the next few days.  If you have any thoughts on seeding I got wrong, or episodes I have wrongfully excluded tweet me at @bearcatmark1 or leave a comment below.