South Park's Butters Tells Mr. & Mrs. Ben Affleck 'Argo F-Yourself!'
South Park is either getting seriously meta, or bizarrely free-associative in its advanced age. The beginning of Wednesday night's new episode of the Comedy Central series saw the relentlessly cheerful and naively optimistic character Butters Stotch become a pint-sized rageaholic that is initially attributed to his Hawaiian roots, but later turns out to be about the charmed life of Ben Affleck. After arriving on the island of Kaua'i to engage in a rite of passage that, presumably, will cure him of the furies, Butters inexplicably vents about Affleck, wondering how after the mediocrity of Daredevil, the actor/director "can hit a home run that everyone loves," a reference to Affleck's critically well-received Argo.
"You shouldn't be able to be good looking, and be with Jennifer Lopez and be a good director," Butters wails "Argo is a good movie! It holds up! Ben Affleck has everything, Braaaaa!" (Affleck and Lopez were featured in a famous 2003 South Park episode called "Fat Butt and Pancake Head."
At one point, Butters summons up enough rage to sink a cruise ship with a golf ball. His battle cry: "Stupid Ben Affleck!"
The cure for his vexation: Jennifer Garner. Butters cools his jets when someone points out that Affleck is no longer with JLo and is now married to Garner.
"He's just married to Jennifer Garner? Oh my gosh, I feel so much better!" Butters says, setting up one of the most creative insults I've heard on South Park. "Ben Affleck has a lot going for him," Butters says as he walks off into the Hawaiian sunset with Kenny. "Not everything, but a lot."
Maybe I'm reading too much into this plot point, but I wonder if creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are making a bigger point here, or whether they were just free-associating at such a high speed that things appear to mean more than they do. Regardless, there are some interesting coincidences that have me looking for a larger meaning. For example:
-Is there some kind of connection to be drawn between Butters' ire and the fact that Garner's latest movie is titled Butter?
-Are Parker and Stone somehow also having some fun with Argo producer George Clooney? One of the subplots of the South Park episode is about residents of Kaua'i claiming to be natives of Hawaii when they're just longtime residents who got there before the more recent tourists, whom they despise. Although Clooney's name is not mentioned in the episode, I was reminded of the plot of Alexander Payne's 2011 movie The Descendants, which starred the actor and got him an Best Actor Oscar nomination. In the movie, Clooney plays a genuine Hawaii native who's grappling with selling his family's 25,000 acres of pristine Kaua'i land to a developer.
-Am I spending too much time looking for meaning in South Park episodes?
If anyone out there can make sense of this, I'd love to read your interpretation in the comments section.
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