04 April 2010

The Long Halloween: Easter Sunday

Finally a no-brainer. Welcome back, eager readers, to our year-long look at the greatest Holiday Specials on Television, and there's no show that can better celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ, Someone's Lord than South Park. No Easter Celebration is complete without the brilliant "Fantastic Easter Special" (S11;E5). This one is no joke, watch now on Easter Morning before you start your day:

You can also watch the episode in its entirety here. You'll quickly find out that every part of this episodes makes it perfect for an Easter Special. It generally lampoons the nonsensical pagan customs of the holiday and in perfect South Park fashion seeks to rationalize our cultural insanity through the outrageous. The Da Vinci Code (2006) parody is spot-on and never seems forced while the Catholic Ninjas fighting Easter Bunnies is exemplary of South Park's typical dual wield of serious violence in ridiculous context.

The perfect South Park episode is actually pretty predictable. It starts with some innocent custom or cultural trend, then very rapidly spirals out of control leading to global conspiracies, mass killings and a small group of children attempting logic in a world ruled by insane adults. "Fantastic Easter Special" holds this formula to a T, but remains interesting through its general silliness, the cuteness of rabbits, as well as the common question we do all ask ourselves - "Why the fuck DO we colour eggs on Easter?!" Its satirical edge seeking on the surface to explain the customs of Easter while lampooning religious conspiracies in the subtext brings the episode up a notch. It's got annoyed mall guys in Bunny Costumes, Peeps and Jesus. You can't ask for too much more in a classic Easter Special.

In some seriousness it looks a bit at the hypocrisy of Christianity, but pointing out Christian fallacies are easier than targeting the Jonas Brothers. Finally, there is one scene that really sends this episode into the stratosphere - I speak of course, of Jesus Christ. Thanks to Nick Donovan, Jesus comes back from his death in Iraq to the coolest scene in Season 11. Watch here:

It's purposely hokey, but I still love every minute of it. He's so cool in those shades! Yeah Jesus! South Park consistently does do a great job, more in recent episodes, of making Jesus the action hero he needs to be. More pieces of media need to feature Jesus with M-60s fighting Aliens. Anywho, the episode is pretty brilliant, has some cute bunny moments, believe in miracles moments and a pretty silly message that actually has a bit of meaning disguised in blood and rabbit poop.

Happy Easter.

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